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Tom Steeves claims national prize

Posted by Cheryl Bell on May 26, 2016 in Research, News
Tom Steeves accepts his prize as this year's CDA/Dentsply Student Clinician Researcher of the year

Third-year dentistry student and Juniper, NB, native Tom Steeves claimed the 2016 CDA/Dentsply Student Clinician Researcher of the year title at the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver in March.

This year’s competition attracted 15 entrants from all 10 Canadian dental schools, each of whom presented his or her table clinic to a panel of three judges. “It wasn’t too nerve-wracking,” says Tom. “We had to do a 10-minute presentation and then take questions. I had practised a lot, so I was prepared.”

An interest in antimicrobial therapy
Tom’s prize-winning topic was “A prospective evaluation of 1- versus 3-day post-operative antimicrobial therapy in preventing surgical site infection following orthognathic surgery”. He became interested in this subject when he worked on a summer research project in the Faculty of Dentistry after his first year of dentistry studies. It happened to be the one topic that the oral surgery department had available to offer him. “It turned out to be much more interesting than I expected,” says Tom, “and I became more involved in the project. I enjoyed the opportunity of working in a hospital environment, which is something I wanted to experience.” Tom will be a named contributor in a forthcoming article in the Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery.

After Tom finishes the fourth year of his DDS program, he is considering returning to study oral and maxillofacial sciences – a further six years of education that would give him a combined MD/MSc degree. “It’s a big commitment, so I’m keeping all the doors open at this point,” he says, “I’m very grateful to Dr. Curtis Gregoire and Dr. Clayton Davis for the opportunities and advice they have given me.”

As for his experience at the Pacific Dental Conference, Tom says that he enjoyed meeting students from the other dental schools and that the conference organisers made sure the group had the best experience possible, with lots of opportunities to talk with dental professionals from across the country.

As the winner of this year’s competition, Tom receives a $1000 Pierre Fauchard Academy scholarship, a life membership to the CDA/Dentsply Student Clinician Research Program, and a paid trip to the American Dental Association Annual Session in Denver, Colorado, in October.