A Conversation with the School of Dental Medicine’s New Dean


Nadeem Karimbux, a leader in dental education, talks about innovation and the significance of mentoring
Nadeem Karimbux, who turns into the 17th dean of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine on July 1, is a familiar parent inside the lecture rooms and clinics at One Kneeland Street. Since arriving in 2012 as associate dean for instructional affairs and professor of periodontology, he has been worried about each issue of teaching and studying at the dental faculty—not simply as an administrator overseeing the schooling of 900-plus predoctoral and postdoctoral students, but as a palms-on teacher and mentor himself.

He led the college thru its 2015 reaccreditation and oversaw a sweeping curriculum revision for the DMD application, which better combined classroom work and practice within the clinics. During Karimbux’s tenure in instructional affairs, the faculty has also accelerated its attention to interprofessional education and integrated new technologies into schooling. Karimbux has edited several expert journals—he is the Journal of Dental Education editor and acquired the Provost’s Teaching and Service Award from the School of Dental Medicine in 2015.

Karimbux got here to Tufts from Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine, in which he turned into an assistant professor and assistant dean. He earned his dental diploma, a grasp’s in oral biology, and a certificate in periodontology from Harvard. He also has a bachelor’s diploma in zoology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He arrived at age eighteen from his local Kenya, unusual on time with much about existence in the U.S., but already satisfied that he wanted to be a dentist. He recently spoke with Tufts Now about his adventure to the School of Dental Medicine and his hopes for the school’s future.


Tufts Now: Why is that this an essential time to steer the School of Dental Medicine?

Nadeem Karimbux: The college’s strategic plan, referred to as Vision 2020, has almost been completed. With some of the challenges with the converting healthcare device, the manner this technology of college students learns, and the forms of technologies that can be included in dentistry, the ones demanding situations want to be put together in a brand new strategic plan. The School of Dental Medicine has enjoyed a 150-yr history. It is exciting to launch TUSDM into the following a hundred and fifty years with this new strategic plan.

Can you inform us of a touch bit about your private adventure?

I grew up in Kenya, East Africa, as a third-generation Kenyan of Indian descent. I had a hobby in technological know-how, and I think very naively had decided about dentistry. I say ‘naively’ because in case you study the contemporary technology of dental students, they surely researched dentistry as a profession. With that very little understanding of dentistry as a career, I came to the United States.

Having come from Kenya to America, I appreciate and recognize how much this u. S. Has to offer. I assume that’s an attitude that my kids growing up within the United States don’t have, but it rings a bell in my memory that notwithstanding all that’s occurring on this u. S ., those who come right here understand all the ability that they could have.

What have you ever visible as the most important changes in dentistry over your career?

The modifications in techniques that we’ve got available to us. FOR EXAMPLE, when I think about dental implants, we had been just starting to do them when I graduated. Now they’ve become very commonplace as a hit remedy for our sufferers. The other areas that I’ve seen shifts in are our expertise base. We now apprehend the hyperlinks among periodontal sickness and systemic disease, for example. The use of increased elements, using bone grafts, the usage of dental membranes to regenerate tough and tender tissue are some of the things that had been no longer to be had after I graduated; however, they have now emerged as not unusual practice.

What is one characteristic which you think every chief must own?

The potential to pay attention, to seek to enter, and to manual and mentor in a manner that offers the community or representatives the capability to clear up issues by way of themselves. And a willingness to additionally step in to assist humans in passing along, to solve troubles that they cannot.

Have you benefited from mentors at some stage in your profession?

Mentorship has been important to my development. While at Harvard, I turned into fortunate enough to paintings with a mentor, the dean of dental training, who gave me plenty of duty as a junior school member. I discovered my errors. However, I was additionally exposed to things that allowed me to develop.

I accept that mentoring for college students and faculty is an important part of what we do. Ever considering I’ve been at Tufts, I’ve had a cohort of 4 students in keeping with yr that I mentor. Setting aside time to be with one’s college students, to have dinner with them, and to pay attention to their testimonies is important for me to apprehend. When they arrive with me to work on a studies project or get some advice about the profession, I see the effect that you could have as a mentor. I also work with faculty one-on-one, whether it’s on a brand new course or operating on research tasks. It’s allowed me to comprehend the boom that you could supply to junior faculty while you spend that type of time with them.

What are your hopes for the experience that students will have at the school?

I might desire that they would make their horizons bigger. I wish they could take advantage of all of the experiences they can have right here —they could pass on an international service mastering trip, paintings in a graduate application, and experience what it might be want to end up an expert, and do studies inside the lab.

What do you want to do while you’re not on campus?

Certainly, a journey has been a huge part of what I’ve experienced. When I became a younger college member, a scholar who changed into assisting me in my dental exercise challenged me to run a 1/2 marathon. When I dedicated myself to that, I identified the want to set aside time for one’s gain. I want to practice yoga, meditate; I still play squash at the weekends, and I have these days offered a spin motorbike. I cook on the weekends. When I exit to dinner with my scholar mentees, the message that I deliver them is ready, looking for time in busy schedules on the way to enjoy those things.