This year, Saint Xavier will be seeing a new RSO, co-founded by seniors Ahmad Karim and Saed Abughoush. Together, the two are using their last year at SXU to establish a Dentistry RSO on campus.
“I actually bounced around for college,” Abughoush says. “I started off at a community college before heading to Loyola, and then coming here to Saint Xavier for my senior year. And I like it, it’s a nice school. But every other school I went to or looked at had a dentistry club. And so, Ahmad and I were talking and said, hey let’s do it. We know this stuff. We have the knowledge. Let’s help other people.”
Both Karim and Abughoush are majoring in Natural Science, a field that will help lay the foundation for their true goal: heading to dental school.
“To get into dental school, you need to have the prerequisites done, and to major in Natural Science allowed us to mix in the curriculum that we need to finish before heading to dental school,” Saed explains.
Both Karim and Abughoush have connections within the field of dentistry, connections that have heavily influenced their decision to pursue a career in the field.
“My senior year of high school, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to go into,” Karim says, “But my uncle kept bringing up the idea of dentistry. He had me shadow his dentist friend. I watched procedures and surgeries and all kinds of different work he was doing. It was very interesting and it wasn’t complicated. Plus, I liked the idea that dentistry is just like an office job. As a dentist, your work only stays with you in the office, when you leave, your work isn’t on your back.”
Abughoush says he knew from a young age that being a dentist was exactly what he wanted to do. “My uncle is a dentist, and he would always mess around with me and say stuff like, ‘You’re gonna be a dentist, right?’ And as I started to grow up, I realized I would love to be a dentist. I love seeing the transformation people go through. When I was younger, there was a real defining moment for me when this woman actually started tearing up and saying she was a whole new person because her teeth were fixed now. And it was amazing, because you never really think a dentist could make a major change in someone’s life.”
Karim and Abughoush aren’t the only ones on campus who find the art of dentistry beautiful, either, and that’s why they’ve decided to start a Dentistry Club.
“We’ve had a lot of people show interest in what we’re doing, a lot of people who are looking to be dentists and are looking for some sort of support within the campus for that,” Abughoush explained.
The main point of the club will be to help students who are going into the field of dentistry prepare for their Dental Administrative Test (DAT), a test that allows students to be admitted into dental school.
“Studying for that test was probably the most dry and brittle time of my life,” Ahmad admits. “I used to wake up and study until I’d fall back asleep. We used to eat only once a day because we’d be studying so hard for this test. It’s presented as this huge scary monster, and then in reality, it’s just like a little Mike Wazowski.”
“But that stress is something everyone taking the DAT goes through,” Saed added. “And once you take it and know what was on it, all you feel is this urgent need explain it to other people who have to take it that it wasn’t as bad as we think, and just help them learn how to study for it. We also want to help them learn how to apply to dental school and what classes to take preemptively so as not to waste what undergrad class time you do have.”
Karim agrees, adding that they want to emphasize comfortability, “There’s not really a home for dental students here on campus. And so, for the few that are going into dentistry, they aren’t really going to know what they have to do to achieve their goal. So, this group would bring everyone together, give them a guideline of what they need, and kind of provide the help that advisors can’t give. So. Come on in. Stop on by. Let us take you for a dental spin!”
For more information on the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.