NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / October 29, 2020 / Two graduate students at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine changed the way communities of professionals connect through social media. “It started three years ago,” said fourth-year Brendan Gallagher, “when a few classmates and I started an Instagram page to share the stories behind the journey of every dental student.” The account took off, gaining thousands of followers within weeks, and was quickly known as the most professional page featuring dental students. And that was only the beginning. “I had an idea to start a similar page for dental practices and met with Brendan to see what insight he had,” said dental classmate Sean Zar, also in his fourth-year at Stony Brook, “by the time I saw him later that day he had already created it for us and then some.” The pages @topdentalpractices, @elitedentists, @topmedicalpractices, @elitephysicians, @toplawfirms, @topattorneys, @eliteveterinarians were born, alongside the original, @studentsofdentistry.
A year later the two united their pages under TopProfessionals LLC, a platform designed to connect professionals within like-communities. They’ve since added daily enrichment to their platforms including exam-prep modules, access to the latest releases in research, and a program that connects dental students with pre-dental students. “We work best by bouncing ideas off each other after really analyzing what the audience is looking for, and then how we can provide it,” explained Brendan, “it’s how we’ve built what is here, and what we’ve reproduced to create what’s coming.”
The breakthrough that sparked the most attention was their Dent-PreDent Match Portal. The issue that had been plaguing pre-dental students had been the lack of accessible, reliable and affordable information regarding dental school applications. The portal operates by randomly matching prospective dental school applicants with the page’s spotlighted pre-dental mentors to provide them with a better understanding of the expectations of individual programs. Matches have currently been created at dental schools in the United States, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Poland. “It’s a free service we created for students applying to dental schools and looking for guidance. That was a stressful time,” said Sean, “this is a portal we wish that we had when we were undergraduates.” They’ve since connected hundreds of pre-dental students to mentors at their dream dental school, and it wasn’t long before they attracted dental brand giants FIGS scrubs, Designs for Vision, Orascoptic, SurfCT, Jaanuu and Medelita among others interested in sponsorships. The team plans to reveal the Dent-PreDent Match Portal’s sponsor on the launch date next month.
“I think an important factor to much of the success we’ve seen thus far has been because of the strong support of our family in this with us,” Brendan said. Shortly after the establishment of TopProfessionals LLC, the team added family members Melissa Gallagher and Sharlene Zar. “In the midst of applying to residencies in Orthodontics and Brendan applying to Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residencies,” said Sean, “having his mother and my sister with us helped to continue strides toward our vision.” And as their time in residencies grows closer, an uncertain timeframe and undetermined locations for either partner has initiated a full throttle approach to streamline current and future programs.
With due diligence and massive perseverance, this duo pushes to bring their start-up to the next level. As the world continues to become more virtual and digital, two dental students in the heart of Long Island have discovered new ways to guide dental professionals alongside the advancement of dentistry.
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