Fueled By Passion

by Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr., Dean

Among our many other responsibilities as healthcare providers, we are responsible for possessing an honest passion for what we do. Our patients expect us to care deeply about their health and well-being. An important motivator, passion plays a similar role in dental education. Often the best faculty members are those who feel a true drive to help students become thoughtful and well-rounded practitioners. Students who have a passion for learning or for helping others will get through the rigors of dental school better than those who don’t share that inner drive.

This issue of Contact Point is about passion — those things that make us feel fulfilled as individuals and professionals. In the following pages, you’ll find stories about passionate members of the Pacific Dugoni family. We’ll explore the non-dental passions of some of our alumni and faculty in one of our feature stories. From organic farming to singing, I think you’ll be fascinated by what these dental professionals do in addition to their work in dentistry.

You’ll also read about some recent school milestones and how these accomplishments were driven by passionate individuals from every level and group at our school — students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends. We’re in the midst of a very forward-thinking time at the dental school, especially with the creation of our new San Francisco campus, but it’s also important to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and from where we’ve come. I know that all of these milestones would not have happened if not for hard work coupled with—yes—a passion for keeping Pacific Dugoni on the forefront of dental education.

We round out our feature stories by profiling our Alumni Association, which recently transitioned from being a separate nonprofit organization to an official department of the dental school. You’ll get an up-close look at our Alumni Association’s activities, which are all driven by a group of individuals who care deeply about providing a reliable and valuable resource for our thousands of alumni.

Finally, I hope you enjoy an excerpt from the Journal of Dental Education, written by one of the most passionate individuals I know, Dean Emeritus Arthur A. Dugoni.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our students who are discovering and demonstrating their passion for caring for patients. It makes me feel optimistic and excited about the future of dentistry, dental education and Pacific Dugoni.


Patrick J. Ferrillo

Dr. Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr.