JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
Lt. Cmdr. Jeffery Hoyle, a research dentist with the Naval Medical Research Unit San Antonio at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, inspired students and raised awareness about career paths in Navy medicine during his talks to five classes of middle school students at the Joel C. Harris Academy in San Antonio Nov. 16, 2016.
“It was an amazing experience and opportunity to bring a view of Navy Medicine to such a richly diverse group of youth. The students were enthusiast and engaged, and the teachers and school administration were welcoming,” Hoyle said. “I spoke with about 150 students spread out across the five classes. Each session continued to grow in the number of students, with my last talk having 50 students in attendance. It seems that word of mouth spread and more students wanted to meet the Navy dentist.”
Part of Hoyle’s demonstration included casting of a dental mold with silicone pressure material.
“The students had a great time with the molds,” Hoyle said. “They could directly relate that to an experience at the dentist, but now had a better understanding of the material science.”
The research dentist also showed slides from a recent deployment, which included photos of life on a Navy ship and a few videos, including a video about the recovery story of the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient, Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, who had been wounded by an exploding grenade while protecting a fellow Marine in Afghanistan.
“I shared my personal connection to the story because I was part of the maxillofacial medial team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that helped rebuild his teeth after facial trauma,” Hoyle said. “The students were so moved by his story and wanted to know more about how they could make a difference in military service, healthcare and research careers and humanitarian service.
“We discussed what it takes to contribute in positive ways – hard work, dedication, passion, focus – and how the students might be able to work toward that in healthcare and military settings.”