COSAM News Articles 2019 December Alumni Spotlight: COSAM Alumnus Helps Patients Improve Their Quality of Life as an Orthodontist

Alumni Spotlight: COSAM Alumnus Helps Patients Improve Their Quality of Life as an Orthodontist

Published: 12/10/2019

By: Maria Gebhardt

“There is no doubt in my mind the students that graduated through COSAM were by far the most prepared students entering into dental school,” explained Dr. Ben Samuelson, a 2010 graduate of the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) with a Bachelor’s Degree in biomedical sciences.

Dr. Samuelson is an orthodontist at Samuelson Orthodontics in Hoover, Alabama. He earned his DMD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry and completed his residency and a Master’s of Science in orthodontics from UAB School of Dentistry.

“We started dental school with a series of courses referred to as Fundamentals, a course designed to be a review of all of the material/content that we learned in undergrad in about four months,” Dr. Samuelson shared. “COSAM graduates always had an advantage. While the volume of the material/content was unprecedented, those that had experienced the rigorous nature of the COSAM courses looked at this as merely a review. I could not have imagined going through these course and having to not only keep up with sheer volume of material but to be also learning it for the first time.”

During his time at COSAM, Dr. Samuelson had many professors, but one stood out.

“Dr. Larry Wit was an incredible teacher in and out of the classroom,” he added. “His course on mammalian physiology was always considered a keystone course in our journey to become physicians, dentists, or ophthalmologists. While it was one of the most rigorous courses I had taken at the time, it was also the most fascinating. His ability to connect all of the information we had learned up to this point in our academic career and make it make more sense.  This was our first time truly connecting all of the sciences and applying it to clinical application.”

As an orthodontist, Dr. Samuelson enjoys working with a range of patients including teens and adults. They seek to improve their smile and their lives.

“An individual’s perception of their own teeth has the power to influence their confidence, self-worth, and overall quality of life,” Dr. Samuelson shared. “I get to assist people in achieving the goal of having the perfect smile or the smile they always dreamed of, and it is life-changing.”

While at COSAM, Dr. Samuelson developed a great relationship with Dr. Beth Yarbrough, director of student services.

“Beth truly cares about her students,” he explained. “She is extremely selfless and an incredibly hard worker. Our relationship evolved from teacher/student to becoming a true friendship....I think this is a perfect example of the Auburn Family–it’s all about relationships.”

His advice to students that might be interested in becoming an orthodontist?  

“Being an orthodontist is an incredible career in that affords one an opportunity to work with individuals of all different walks of life, form long lasting relationships, while also being creative in developing customized plans for each individual,” Dr. Samuelson said.   

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