Meet Dr. Nathalie Morin, New Clinic Director

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Nathalie Morin

Dr. Nathalie Morin completed her DMD from Université de Montreal in 1990 and practiced general dentistry for the Canadian Forces Dental Services as well as in private practices. She completed a Master of Public Health Dentistry at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, in Bethesda, Maryland, and was trained to be one of two WHO gold standard examiners for the dental component of the Canadian Health Measure Survey. From 2008 to 2015 she was the Director of professional services for the Québec dental regulatory authority (L’ Ordre des dentistes du Québec). She maintains a part-time private practice at the McGill University Students & Staff Dental Clinic.

As of November 1st 2016, she will be entering her new role as Clinic Director at the Faculty of Dentistry.

 

Did you always know you would become a dentist? Was there a defining moment in your life that moved you to commit to this profession?

Since high school, I knew I wanted to work within the health field. Helping others reach a better state of health and wellbeing appealed to me and was for me a very noble and rewarding professional objective. Dentistry was an ideal choice because of its “hands-on” side where you spend most of your time actually performing various procedures rather than doing office “consultations”.

You have had a rich array of experiences, from working in private practice to treating military patients of the Canadian Forces as well as being involved in public protection with the “Ordre des dentistes du Québec”. How did this influence your development as a dentist?

Being involved in many sides of the profession certainly made me realize how important it is to be trained with good technical skills but moreover with a high ethical standards and professionalism. During my dentistry studies in the late 1980s, I remember that with my classmates, we would mainly speak about how to improve our clinical abilities and efficiency but we did not have lengthy discussions about the “patient-centered” side of our job. I feel that dental schools have made great improvements in teaching this side of the profession in recent years.

You are a strong proponent of improving dentists’ understanding of people of low socio-economic level in order to provide them with better care. Why do you believe this is so important?

During my military career I met many young recruits who admitted to me that one of the main reasons they had decided to join the Forces was because of the free dental care. Many of them had very important and urgent dental problems and they were so grateful to finally get rid of the pain and to recover their smile.  Having oral health problems early in life can really be an obstacle to many opportunities and be detrimental to a person’s self-confidence.

What makes you most proud of being part of McGill’s Faculty of Dentistry?

The different people surrounding me every day is the most fulfilling part of my work at McGill. I am happy and proud to be part of the group.

What are you looking forward to in your new role?

The fact that I will be more involved with the clinical-teaching aspect with the students. I find them so energizing and motivating. I would like them to get the best and most fulfilling clinical experience possible during their program so that they feel confident and ready to go on with any project they might have after graduation.

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