Constant dedication and tenacity

Reid Boulet awarded the Alberta Dental Association & College (ADA&C) Gold Medal Award

Cheryl Deslaurier - 28 June 2021

When Reid was asked why he was chosen for this award, he responded with, “I want to start by saying how humbling it is to receive such a prestigious award, there are multiple very deserving graduates this year for the gold medal award. Our DDS Class of 2021 has many students who will be very skilled and successful practitioners throughout their careers and provide the best care to their patients.  For me, I believe it was the hard work and perseverance from day one of dental school in 2017, right until the last day of classes this year.  Being able to build on the didactic knowledge throughout the four years of the program and the countless additional hours I spent in sim lab during our pre-clinical training allowed me to have an easier transition to the clinic and patient care.”

Reid had a tremendous amount of support and inspiration from his family, friends, instructors, and classmates throughout dental school. 

“We have a very tight-knit class,” said Reid.  “I feel everyone went above and beyond to help support each other through dental school, as well as through the obstacles of dental school during a pandemic.”

The DDS 2021 'family' was full of driven, intelligent, and hardworking people which really pushed everyone to get to that next level.  Without his classmates Reid would not have had the same experience in dental school.  “I appreciate each and every one of them for their help and support over the last four years,” said Reid. “I am excited to see the amazing practitioners they will all be.”

Reid’s greatest academic challenge was the constant dedication and tenacity required to achieve the standards necessary to apply and gain acceptance into the School of Dentistry.  “This is one of the most challenging hurdles our class managed to accomplish before even starting the rollercoaster of dental school,” he said.

Once in dental school, the biggest obstacle to overcome was the COVID pandemic.  “Our class had minimal time off between third and fourth year,” he said. “Along with all the constant changes to clinical protocols and course delivery modalities, it made it very difficult to keep up with it all. 

On top of the changes in the way that clinic and didactic material was delivered, his class missed out on so many great team-building events such as Dentoween, O-week, Wellness Retreat, etc.  Going through the program the last year was not the same, but it did demonstrate how resilient the students were including the faculty for helping them push through this difficult year.

However, during COVID, Reid, along with his classmate Wojciech Junikiewicz did manage to start a non-profit volunteer organization called Access for All that centres on providing oral health care in areas where access is limited. Trips to the Yukon were made possible through Access for All where medical or dental can be very difficult for many patients, especially those in Northern Alberta.

After Reid graduates, he will be starting the General Practice Residency (GPR) program at the University of Alberta, allowing him to further develop his skills while gaining more experience in both hospital and emergency dentistry at the University of Alberta Hospital clinic.  Upon completion of the GPR, Reid will continue his journey by specializing.