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'I Would Choose F&M a Thousand Times Again if Given the Chance'

Kate Trieschman '16, a biology major at Franklin & Marshall, is completing her final semester of dental school at the University of Pennsylvania. Up next for Kate? A pediatric dental residency at Children's Hospital Colorado beginning in June.

We asked her to tell us more about her career trajectory after F&M, how her liberal arts education and inquisitive College mentor prepared her for success, and what she would tell a high school student considering a four-year degree from her alma mater.

F&M: What is your area of postgraduate study?

Kate: Currently, I'm a fourth-year dental student also completing a master's in public health, where I've focused on emergency department use for pediatric dental complaints. After my pediatric dental residency, I plan to practice clinically and work to establish programs that expand access to dental care for children.

F&M: How has your liberal arts education prepared you for what you are currently doing?

Kate: The biggest thing I learned from my liberal arts education is that no area of study exists in a silo. While I majored in biology at F&M, I was also fortunate to take classes in religion, history, Spanish, and so many other topics that broadened my perspective on the world and humanity. Without this background, I don't think I would have had the motivation to pursue a career that combined both dentistry and public health, without feeling (isolated in) one field or the other.

I also think the broad exposure to so many different topics allows me to relate to patients and form connections with them, because I've either learned about the subject matter they are interested in from my time at F&M, or I have the skills to engage in meaningful conversations with them about topics that I've never thought of before.

F&M: Tell me about a person or experience at F&M that you've drawn on to help you succeed when presented with a challenge.

Kate: Beckley Davis from the Biology Department will always be one of the greatest influences from my time at F&M. From taking courses and doing research with him, I learned how to approach a problem or area of confusion, break it down into small steps, and form logical conclusions to go from what we know now to where we are going. Any time I've been presented with difficult didactic material or even tricky clinical situations in school, I've been able to use this methodology of a stepwise solution to achieve a successful outcome. Thanks, Professor Davis!

F&M: What brief advice would you give an admitted student who is considering attending F&M?

Kate: If you choose to go to F&M, you're going to work hard. But I can promise you, as someone almost six years out, with the education you will receive at F&M, you will be more prepared than your peers in your future endeavors, whether it is postgraduate education or a job. The opportunities I had and the friendships I still have from F&M have undoubtedly shaped who I am today, and I would choose this place a thousand times again if given the chance.

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