Many universities are divided into emphasis areas to allow students to focus on their specific studies, but A. T. Still University in Kirksville is not. Their administrative faculty realized different emphasis areas work together to strengthen each other.
A new Kirksville dental school is seeking to ease a shortage of dentists in Missouri.
The Columbia Missourian reports that the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health opened Tuesday at A.T. Still University. The only other dental school in the state is at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The new dental school's initial class of 42 includes only nine Missouri residents. But the school hopes that its health center placement program will persuade many of them to remain in state.
About 20 percent of Missourians live in areas where there aren't enough dentists, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In Kirksville, the A.T. Still University is tackling the problem by building a new school of dentistry, which, in a few years, will be graduating dozens of new dentists each year.