Hometown: Mariposa, CA
Career Plans: To open up his own practice.
The family atmosphere at the school really cuts down on the competitive edge and it feels like you’re striving to be the best you can be while helping each other out.
Wood carving is not a typical hobby for most people, but for Franz Wall, DDS Class of 2022, it’s one of his favorite pastimes. Growing up in a small rural town as one of nine siblings, there was never a shortage of people to hang out with or play sports with. But Franz discovered the pleasures of this solitary craft at a young age.
“I loved the idea of turning a block of wood into a piece of art,” recalls Franz. “It was probably what I spent most of my spare time doing and I’ve carved out about 30 different animals.”
It was this love of working with his hands that sparked his interest in dentistry. Medicine had always been something he wanted to pursue but he was unsure of which direction to go. A trip to the dentist changed that.
“I went to my dental office to get a filling and halfway through my doctor started explaining what he was doing,” says Franz. “It was in that moment that I realized dentistry was so intricately connected with something like wood carving.”
When it came time to applying to dental schools, Franz is one of those rare few that only applied to one – the Dugoni School of Dentistry. Attending Dugoni Discovery Day, our annual Admissions open house, inspired him to take that chance.
“During Dugoni Discovery Day I learned more about how the program works and the focus on the family atmosphere and professionalism really stood out to me,” says Franz. “It cuts down on the competitive edge and it feels like you’re striving to be the best you can be while helping each other out.”
For Franz, one of the best things about starting school has been working with drills and hand instruments in the simulation clinic. He feels like getting this exposure early on in his curriculum gives him a better grasp of dentistry. “I think switching between simulation clinic and classes helps to integrate everything.”
Franz recently ran for and was appointed the California Dental Association (CDA) representative for his class. He feels that being in the CDA will allow him to make connections that will help himself as well as his fellow classmates. “I think relaying the information I get from this position to my classmates is a huge benefit for us, not just now but also in the future after we graduate.” The CDA offers unique resources for each stage of a student's career, from dental school to the transition to practice life and beyond.
Immediately after graduation, Franz will head to the Navy to fulfill the three-year commitment as part of his scholarship. As for after the Navy, he plans to open up his own practice back in his hometown. “I just want to go back and help out the community and provide quality dental care. What’s even better is I get to do two things that interest me the most – medicine and wood carving.”