Your name, program, dissertation title.
Ahmed Afify, DMD, M.S (August 2016), Graduate Prosthodontics, Department of Comprehensive Dentistry
Please tell me about yourself, why did you pick UT Health Science Center, and your program.
Well, I have always had a passion for dentistry. I was raised in a family of dentists; my two sisters and their husbands were general dentists and specialists. My father, Dr. Reda Afify, was a professor of Oral Surgery as well.
I was awarded my first degree in Dentistry in 2004 from Alexandria School of Dentistry. I soon developed a keen interest to study all aspects of implant dentistry, and so I joined several implants organizations and fellowships.
I also attended a number of courses on the implementation of dental implants in a general practice, including the honorable comprehensive course in implant dentistry from New York University (NYU). I successfully received my fellowship certificate from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists in New Jersey (I.C.O.I) in 2008.
Following my time in New York, I went on to travel extensively, and gained professional experience working in several different countries including Brazil, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. I subsequently moved back to the United States, and was accepted at Tufts School of Dental Medicine, where I was awarded my Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree in 2013, Summa Cum Laude.
Throughout my time at Tufts University, I was honored to be taught by some of the most iconic names in the dental field such as Dr. Gerard Kugel, Dr. Nancy Arbree, Dr. Robert Chapman, and many others. I also received the Merrit scholarship for best academic performance and the Dr. and Mrs. Albert Kazis Endowed Award for Crown and Bridge.
One of my greatest achievements as a teaching assistant was creating and contributing to the construction of the Tufts Operative Video Library for predoctoral students, where my involvement was widely recognized and appreciated by most of the chairmen in the Department of Operative Dentistry.
After I completed my studies at Tufts, I applied for the Prosthodontics program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), and had the honor of being accepted in their prestigious program.
At UTHSCSA, we are exposed to a patient pool with a wide variety of cases involving fixed and removable, comprehensive and conformative, and functional and esthetic aspects under the tutelage of Dr. Stephan Haney, the Graduate Prosthodontics Program Director, and Dr. Ronald Verrett, the Graduate Prosthodontics Program Assistant Director.
I consider my time spent here in San Antonio as a great opportunity to fulfill my dream of increasing my knowledge of treatments via the stomatognathic system on an evidence based approach.
I have also treated a number of cancer patients at the Health Science Center under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Victoria Vickers. I was fortunate enough to be awarded the prestigious Ronald Meffert Award in Implant Dentistry this year as well.
Being in a great school like UTHSCSA has opened many opportunities to be involved in presenting my work in well known prosthodontics meetings like the American College of Prosthodontics, the American Equilibration Society, and I was honored to be awarded the first clinical poster place in the American Prosthodontics Society.
Please provide a few sentences summarizing your dissertation. What was the experience like for you?
Well it was a very challenging but rewarding experience. I developed multiple thesis topics because of the fast paced development in dental technology.I had to find a unique topic that could lead to a significant effect in our prosthodontic treatment.
With the new advances in both digital data acquisition and processing, my topic is discussing CAD/CAM dentistry and the marginal seal of crowns and fixed dental prosthesis utilizing different digital technologies and comparing them to the traditional method of fabricating our fixed dental prosthesis.
The data collected until this interview is very promising and could provide a break through in the way we handle our lab fabrication techniques.
What was your best memory during graduate school or what did you learn?
Well working in a very well established multidisciplinary team made us, as residents, more competent to face the private practice world and creative in our treatment modalities than just working as solo specialists.
The outcome of our treatment that could involve two or more years of work and preparations made every minute in my residency worth the time and the effort given to it.
Teaching pre-doctoral students has also sculpted my academic experience as well. I felt honored to give back to UTHSCSA what I have learned through delivering all my experience to the graduating students.
Academia is part of me. I can not imagine my life without being in an academic setting and teaching while delivering all my knowledge to all future dentists.
So definitely part of my next step is to get involved in a university setup. In addition, I am now in the final discussions refining a partnership in a well established and well known prosthodontic practice in Richmond, VA.
Any advice for your fellow graduate students?
I would echo what Dr Shillingburg once said to an audience of residents. He said ” Do not ever think that you are better than anyone in this room, so keep your head down and keep working. Keep working until you do not need to introduce yourself to anyone anymore.”