Building a future for dental surgery students
More than 25 years since he graduated from Dalhousie’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) program, Reginald Goodday (BComm’71, DDS’79, MSc’88) still credits David Precious (DDS’69, MSc’72), dean emeritus and professor of OMFS, who passed away in 2015, with showing him the importance of giving back to the community.
Inspired by Dr. Precious’s example, Dr. Goodday and his colleagues from the University OMF Surgery Associates, including Ben Davis, Curtis Gregoire, James Brady, Jean-Charles Doucet and Chad Robertson, are ensuring that dental students will be able to train in state-of-the-art surgical operatories with their gifts to the Dental Clinic Renewal campaign. Together they have donated more than $200,000 to support the new facilities.
“We want to create an environment that will maximize our students’ learning,” says Dr. Goodday. “The university supports us in our research, teaching and practice. We are all here thanks to the Faculty of Dentistry, so we thought this was the best way to give back.”
Dr. Goodday had a special appreciation for being a student in the Faculty of Dentistry, particularly for Dr. Precious. “Studying under Dr. Precious was an honour. He was a remarkable lecturer with a great sense of humour,” recalls Dr. Goodday. “He had a rare ability to make every topic interesting.”
And their former professor inspired them not only in the classroom. “Dr. Precious instilled in our group a commitment to giving back,” says Dr. Goodday. In addition to their generous philanthropic efforts, Dr. Goodday and his colleagues volunteer their time at home and abroad. Five of the OMFS faculty members are examiners for The Royal College of Dentists of Canada and several contribute to the National Dental Examining Board of Canada on a regular basis.
Dr. Precious was widely renowned for his humanitarian outreach missions oversees, performing charitable corrective surgery on children with congenital cleft lip and palette and training local practitioners. “He brought an international reputation to Dal, as a leading surgeon in cleft and orthognathic surgery.” Today, Dr. Goodday and other members for the OMFS team travel to Vietnam every year to carry on with Dr. Precious’s work. “You see how much you can do with so little,” he says. “The conditions can be challenging, but the overwhelming appreciation from the parents is so rewarding; it makes it all worthwhile.”
At home, Dr. Goodday and his colleagues are committed to providing the best oral surgery care to the community. “The new clinic will help improve the quality of care our students can provide and offer greater access for patients, as there are a lot of people that come to the school and hospital who have limited financial resources,” says Dr. Goodday.