USC University of Southern California

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

The Confidence Builder

Photo by John Skalicky

Gelareh Ronaghi PROS ’14


Gelareh Ronaghi took a career in academia to give back to future dental professionals the way her instructors had once done for her.  

“I believe teaching is a way of making the world a better place, and I wanted to be a part of that,” she says.

Ronaghi began teaching at Ostrow in 2014, shortly after completing her prosthodontics postgraduate education program. 

Though she mainly instructs prosthodontics residents (supervising full-mouth rehabilitations and overseeing seminars), Ronaghi also teaches DDS students in both clinical and pre-clinical settings. 

It was in teaching restorative dentistry to DDS students in both settings that the assistant professor of clinical dentistry saw a way to improve the curriculum to better prepare them for the clinic floor.

“I wanted to make sure they had the same confidence in the clinical setting with regards to restorative dentistry as they have in the pre-clinical setting,” Ronaghi says.

To do that, Ronaghi established a new course called Integrated Restorative Dentistry, which builds upon the didactic teaching from previous modules but adds simulated patient treatments for experiential learning. The inaugural cohort of first-year DDS students took the new course this year. 

“This course teaches them how to think like clinicians and how to address restorative dentistry cases,” she says. “Anything and everything on restorative dentistry is covered even from previous modules.”

Ronaghi believes this course will give the students the courage necessary on the clinic floor to approach dental complications and propose solutions. 

“I hope the students walk away from their coursework here at Ostrow with the confidence to believe in themselves and to become leaders and educators in their own communities.”

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This story originally appeared in the TroDent, the official publication for the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. Read more stories like this in our Spring 2018 issue.



Posted May 2018