Student Sues NYU Dental School Over Quota Claims

dental student sues school

Photo by Chicago Dental Society / CC BY 

It takes an individual many years and a substantial amount of money to graduate from dental school. The person that has decided to become a dentist will need to complete the right undergraduate course work along with their college education, and it will usually take about eight years to fully complete their studies.

If the goal is to become an expert in a particular field such as an oral surgeon or an orthodontist, even more schooling will need to take place, between 10 to 14 years depending on the field of expertise. It is a career in which only a very dedicated student will succeed, but which the monetary rewards are great as well. The median income of a dentist is approximately $150,000.00 per year and those with a specialty make even more.

Although you won’t find too many people who enjoy going to see their dentist, dental hygiene is seen as an integral part of health care in general. There are some studies suggesting that bad oral hygiene can actually be a cause of heart disease. These studies show that those with a higher level of a certain type of bacteria in their mouth also had high levels of clogged arteries, which is a leading cause of stroke. It may seem somewhat strange that bad dental hygiene could lead to something as serious as a stroke, but bad teeth can also lead to conditions like diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer.

So after years of hard work and study, image the surprise of student Katie Kickertz when told by school officials at NYU’s College of Dentistry that she would not be receiving her diploma. The reason stated in Ms. Kickertz’ lawsuit is that there was a specific monetary amount in dental procedures that was not performed. School officials are denying this claim of a “quota system”, saying that the amount of money charged for procedures performed by students was to help teach the students how to run a dental practice. However, when told of the shortfall Ms. Kicker was allowed to charge the shortfall on her credit card, which school officials later cancelled.

Recently the Manhatten appellate court has ruled that the school must grant Ms. Kickertz her degrees, which overturns the division reached by a lower court, but the NYU College of Dentistry plans to challenge the decision based on the fact that they claim Ms. Kickertz violated their schools policies.