Joanna Scott shares love for numbers and helping people.
Early in Joanna Scott’s career, she quickly saw the incredible opportunity dentistry offered her in affecting the health of patients.
“I was in pediatric dentistry for a long time,” she said. “You see a 4-year-old child come into a clinic where they already need to have all their teeth extracted because they didn’t have the toothbrush training they needed for proper oral hygiene. It’s heartbreaking and you can really see how big of an impact you can have.”
Scott earned her Ph.D. in biostatics from the University of Washington in 2008. She teaches research methodology and biostatistics to UMKC School of Dentistry advanced-education students who have already graduated from dental school and are pursuing specialty certificates in areas such as orthodontics or periodontics.
“I grew up loving math, but I really wanted to use math to help people,” Scott said. “Biostatistics really was a beautiful marriage of using mathematical skills to directly impact people.”
Her students develop the abilities to fulfill the research requirements for their degrees and learn to utilize evidenced-based dentistry with their patients. Evidence-based care enables them to provide their patients with cutting edge care, whether that’s determining the best material or the best technique for any unique case they encounter.
Scott’s passion for numbers is attracting recognition by the dentistry profession beyond UMKC. She received the Leaders in Evidenced-Based Dentistry award for Dental, Oral & Craniofacial Research from the American Dental Association (ADA) and The American Association. The national award recognizes significant contributions to the implementation and advancement of evidence-based dentistry.
“These are skills the students can use for the rest of their careers,” Scott said. “They’ll be able to evolve with the industry and make connections with the causes of certain diseases while identifying specific risk factors.”
Story by: Bryce Puntenney, firstname.lastname@example.org, UMKC Mcom