Alumni Spotlight: Tyler Eatchel, Dental Hygiene
Tyler Eatchel is joining the Navy as a dental officer once he finishes school. Here's how his dental hygiene degree from MCPHS prepared him for this career.
A native of Utah, Tyler Eatchel, DH, grew up around dentistry. His mother worked for a dental insurance company and when his high school required a trade class, he chose to be a dental assistant. “I really enjoyed it,” he said.
When the time came to continue his education, the Fast Track Bachelor of Science Dental Hygiene program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) was the perfect fit.
Now a fourth year dental student at the University of Michigan's School of Dentistry, Eatchel used the education and skills he gained at MCPHS to begin a new and exciting chapter in his career. He was awarded a military scholarship through the Navy, and will be a dental officer for four years after he graduates.
Because of his unique perspective, we asked Tyler to share with us his past experiences with the program and his future goals.
Why did you choose the Dental Hygiene program at MCPHS?
Having already earned a bachelor’s degree from another institution and because I have a family, I wanted to dive into the profession from the beginning of the program – rather than taking needless degree requirements. After researching other programs, I became keenly aware of how regarded this program was.
What were your classes like at MCPHS?
The curriculum is very efficient and effective, stressing not only the foundational concepts, but also the everyday clinical applications. That made the mastery of the material an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Did dental hygiene training prepare you for dental school?
Definitely. I was so prepared that, on different occasions, I have been asked to help co-teach classes at my dental school. So many of my dental school classmates had no dental hygiene experience upon their admission.
Can you tell us about the MCPHS professors?
Each faculty mentor regards each student as a future colleague and this is reflected in the lasting professional relationships alumni have with their mentors. In my ten years of higher education, I have not encountered a more caring, professional group of educators.
We recently launched a brand new Predental/Dental Hygiene program at MCPHS. As someone who has experienced the dental school application process, what are some of the advantages you see to this new program?
The new program is not just philosophical. It’s clinical hands-on education that helps strengthen your dental school application. Also, when you graduate from the program close to - if not all - of your prerequisite classes are covered, depending on what school you apply to.
What did you like most about studying in Boston?
Being surrounded by so many qualified healthcare professionals was great. You are always five minutes or a phone call away from the most knowledgeable people in the world.
Upon graduating from dental school, you will be in the Navy. Can you tell us more about that?
During my last semester at MCPHS, I had the incredible opportunity to be on an external rotation at Hanscom Air Force Base.
My rotation helped me realize that I would like to use my specific skill set in the service of my country. After dental hygiene school at MCPHS, I was accepted into dental school and received a military scholarship through the Navy. I will be a naval dental officer for 4 years after graduation.
Do you have future plans beyond the military?
I have to wait and see. My first year in the Navy will be in the U.S., but the other three could be abroad – wherever the need is. I may pursue an orthodontic residency. I might start a practice. I’ll figure out whatever is best for my family when the time comes.
Our Predental/Dental Hygiene program is designed to enable students to complete the prerequisites required for dental school application – which means that, after graduation, our students can immediately begin the application process and find academic success.