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Hanscom officer selected for Air Force dental program

Maj. Thomas O’Connor, 66th Medical Squadron dental operations flight chief, poses for a photo holding a dental model in the medical clinic Nov. 13. O’Connor was recently selected for the Graduate Dental Education program and will attend a periodontics residency at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Maj. Thomas O’Connor, 66th Medical Squadron dental operations flight chief, poses for a photo holding a dental model in the medical clinic Nov. 13. O’Connor was recently selected for the Graduate Dental Education program and will attend a periodontics residency at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – An officer from the 66th Medical Squadron was recently selected to attend the Graduate Dental Education program at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Maj. Thomas O’Connor, 66 MDS Dental Operations Flight chief, will participate in the periodontics residency in 2022.

“I know it was a competitive program so I was really excited to hear that I’d been selected,” said O’Connor. “I’m thankful for the chance to advance my knowledge and skillset.”

O’Connor attended dental school at Boston University before graduating and entering the Air Force in 2012. He then went on to a year-long rotation at Travis Air Force Base, California, where he discovered his passion for periodontics, a specialty that focusing on the supporting structure of oral health, specifically gums and bones.

“I always enjoyed the surgical and medicinal side of dentistry and understanding how oral health ties into our overall health,” said O’Connor. “Periodontics felt like the right fit for me.”

Officials from the Air Force Personnel Center lauded O’Connor’s acceptance as a tremendous accomplishment.

“The total field of applicants was extremely competitive, making this selection much more worthy of celebrating,” said Maj. Helena Swank, AFPC’s Dental Education Section chief in a message to 66th Air Base Group leaders.

O’Connor said he’ll supplement his celebrating with more studying to prepare for the rigorous course.

“I’m looking forward to being able to offer my talents in dentistry to the men and women who serve our country."