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  May 12, 2003

Dental School Graduate Still
Draws Inspiration From Mentor

In his choice of a dental career, Mark Tromblay's inspiration and mentor was Dr. Eugene Gadaire, a childhood friend of his father's. And Dr. Gadaire has continued to play an influential role in Tromblay's evolution as an aspiring dentist.

Working at Gadaire's dental practice in Washington, D.C., during his senior year in high school and during the summers as an undergraduate at Middlebury College in Vermont, Tromblay saw first-hand the many benefits of practicing dentistry. He liked the lifestyle and reasonable and predictable work hours. But what he liked best was building relationships with patients. "The attraction was to be with people, get to know them, help them," Tromblay said.

Class of '03
Image: Mark Tromblay

Mark Tromblay

Photo by Peter Morenus

He had set his mind on attending UConn's dental school, and was disappointed when he wasn't even granted an interview. Although he was accepted at Tufts, Tromblay turned down the offer and took a year off. "I took the entry tests again, scored higher, and was accepted at UConn," he said.

During his year off, Tromblay set out to make some money to help pay for his dental education. He joined the Teamsters Union and was employed by a trucking company, but when business got slow in January, he left to work in Gadaire's office until school started.

Tromblay recently completed an externship - part of the course of study taken in a private practice - with Gadaire at his current practice in Georgetown.

During the past four years, Tromblay has also found time for volunteer work. He was a member of both the Peru and Trinidad/Tobago Oral Surgery missions, performing extractions in remote villages. He also participated in the Special Olympics dental team, conducting dental screenings, and worked at the South Park Homeless Shelter, a student-run shelter, where he was co-director.

Tromblay has accepted an associateship with Gadaire's dental practice and plans to move to Georgetown in June.

Tromblay was chosen by vote of his fellow dental school graduates to represent the class. He will give a speech during the Health Center's Commencement exercises May 19.