A former urbanite, Dr. Shervin Rowshani, HBSc, DDS loves rural life. He runs the Muskoka Dental Group, which includes several small dental offices in Ontario’s cottage country.
He knows that low-income people in small towns have trouble accessing dental care. At the same time, professionals like him can’t always find trained clinicians because many dental students don’t look for work outside the Toronto area. “I think a lot of them would find their personality a fit for a smaller town, but they’ve never been exposed to it.” he says.
In an effort to address these two problems, Rowshani has created a $25,000 endowed fund at the Faculty of Dentistry to support student service-learning in underserved areas. “My fund is to help students get there,” he says.
He heard about the need in the service-learning program from his Muskoka Dental colleague Amir Azarazhooh, DDS, MSc, PhD, FRCD(C) who is an associate professor at the Faculty. He told Rowshani about the dentistry students who do service rotations at small-town health units. “Many of them don’t have cars,” he says.
The Rowshani Student Outreach Fund will provide funds for travel, incidentals and accommodation to students who do rotations in areas such as Haliburton, Kitchener and Peterborough. Rowshani maintains his own practice while pursuing an executive MBA at UofT’s Rotman School of Management. He wants to encourage his equally busy contemporaries to five generously too. “It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a difference.”