Brookhaven native pursues dental school dream
A Brookhaven Academy and Copiah-Lincoln Community College graduate is well on his way to following his life-long dream of becoming a dentist.
Ryan Kimble, the son of William and Sonya Kimble, has recently joined the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program that helps students prepare for dental school. In return, Kimble will practice dentistry in a medically underserved community in Mississippi.
“My dad’s a veterinarian, and my mom’s a nurse, so I knew I wanted to go into the medical field,” Kimble said. “I like to work with my hands, and I like to fix things. That all seems to come together for dentistry.”
Kimble was first inspired by the late Dr. Wade Ditcharo, and his passion was solidified after he had the opportunity to shadow under Dr. Shannon Patterson in high school.
Since joining MRDSP, Kimble has also gotten the opportunity to shadow under rural dentists. Kimble said one of the biggest differences in rural dentistry is procedures tend to be less cosmetic.
“They deal with a lot of different issues that other dentists may not,” he said.
Kimble said many of the issues stem from a lack of availability, which is why Mississippi started the program to begin with. The program decides which areas are eligible based off of need. The MRDSP scholar must provide dental services as determined by the MRDSP in a full-time clinical practice in an approved Mississippi community of 10,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.
The program also gave Kimble the opportunity to visit the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry for two days where he was able to work in the lab for two hours and talk to advisors.
“It’s a lot different than looking over someone’s shoulders,” he said. “They’re really trying to help cultivate us to be great applicants.”
Sonya said the program helps students make sure they actually do want they want to do.
“I think that’s what they want, early exposure,” she said. “I just think it’s a great program.”
Kimble graduated from Co-Lin in May and will continue his studies at Mississippi State University where he plans to pursue a degree in microbiology.
For more information about MRDSP, contact the associate director at 601-815-9022, firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.umc.edu/mrdsp.