RADM Bailey, Chief Dental Officer
On the evening of Thursday, April 17, 2012, RADM William Bailey, Chief Professional Officer for the dental category, addressed a gathering of students at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. This was an especially heartwarming experience for RADM Bailey since he had graduated from this dental school 30 years earlier. The event marked the inaugural meeting of the school’s newly formed student chapter of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry.
RADM Bailey spoke to students about a career in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, noting that a career in the USPHS could lead to a rewarding life full of unique experiences. His presentation focused on the mission of the USPHS, the values of Commissioned officers, and current opportunities. RADM Bailey stressed that the USPHS achieves its mission through leadership and excellence in public health practice; the advancement of public health science; and rapid and effective response to public health needs. Foundational to the Commissioned Corps’ purpose is serving vulnerable and underserved populations and working in an interprofessional manner to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities.
Students were reminded that they have made excellent choices to date, are among the ‘cream of the crop’ completing a rigorous educational curriculum in dental medicine, and the choices facing them as they leave dental school are not only career choices but life choices as well. RADM Bailey stressed that a dental career in the USPHS is not the normal career path for dental graduates, reading a stanza from Robert Frost’s famous poem, The Road Not Taken.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
RADM Bailey pictured with student leaders from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine
The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer period when students were able to ask questions on a range of topics:
- How do I apply to the Commissioned Corps?
- What level of control will I have over my career?
- Can spouses with other health degrees submit applications?
- What is the length of the commitment?
- Is loan repayment easily available?
- Where can I find additional information about retirement benefits, malpractice benefits, and a variety of other topics?
“Judging from the students’ questions and comments, there was genuine interest in reducing health disparities, improving the health status of the nation, and learning more about a career with the USPHS. In all, it was a delightful night,” RADM Bailey said following the event. RADM Bailey was honored to return to his alma mater and thrilled to be greeted by such bright and engaging students embarking on their dental careers. He said that he had been inspired by a similar talk when he was a student, and hopes some of those in attendance will consider a career with the USPHS. For those who choose that “road less traveled”, they will appreciate and understand the pride and intrinsic and extrinsic rewards that accompany being a dental officer in the Commissioned Corps.
For more information about a dental career with the USPHS, please visit the Dental profession area of usphs.gov.