Abe Rosenthall — Southeastern University’s First Dental Student
Abe Rosenthall has wanted to be a dentist ever since he was in high school.
During his senior year of high school, Abe observed a patient’s treatment from start to finish at his father’s orthodontic practice. As his father treated the patient, Abe vividly remembers watching her transform from being embarrassed to smile because of her crooked teeth to beaming with confidence. At the end of her treatment, when her braces came off, she teared up at what she saw in the mirror. The girl who was embarrassed to show her teeth was now excited to laugh and smile.
“That’s the moment when I knew that this is what I want to do for a career. Some people help others by giving money or doing community service, but I felt like this is the way I wanted to help people,” Abe said.
More Than a Coincidence
Abe found out about Southeastern after he was recruited to play tennis for the school. Three days after he received the offer, one of his closest friends, who had no prior knowledge of the offer, brought Southeastern up in conversation and asked Abe to consider the school. “The timing was impeccable,” said Abe.
Moving from his home in Indiana to sunny Florida, Abe started school at Southeastern in 2016. Inspired by his father, Abe enrolled as a biology/pre- medicine major to pursue dentistry. Abe played tennis for his first two years of school, then began to focus more heavily on his studies.
Since then, he has been an active member of the health science research team investigating topics, such as medically synthesizing amides.
An SEU First
The summer before Abe’s junior year, Megan (Vendlinski) Wagner, ’08, assistant professor of biology, approached him about applying to dental school. Dental school is extremely competitive. There are only 65 dental schools in 35 U.S. states. In 2016, only half of the dental school applicants enrolled in dental school, making the average acceptance rate 50 percent.
Megan mentioned Southeastern’s recent partnership with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) that guarantees the yearly acceptance of 15 Southeastern students into their medical, pharmacy, and dental schools. Five students can be admitted to each of the three schools on a yearly basis.
“Early acceptance into dental school sounded really appealing to me, so I applied to their dental school the summer before my junior year,” said Abe.
He became the first Southeastern student to be accepted into the LECOM School of Dental Medicine.
Typically, students apply to dental school the summer before their senior year, but through LECOM, Abe was able to apply early. He was accepted less than two months later.
Abe feels well prepared to further his education at LECOM. “The professors in Southeastern’s science department have done a fantastic job of preparing me for dental school. They are very knowledgeable, and they push you because they want to see you succeed,” said Abe.
Abe wants to eventually work as an orthodontist. “First and foremost, I want to be the best dentist I can be. Afterward, I want to become a pediatric dentist and orthodontist so I can work with kids,” said Abe. In pursuit of these career aspirations, he will attend the LECOM School of Dental Medicine starting in the fall of 2020.