McAllister Castelaz is a first-year dental public health master's student in the College of Dentistry from University Heights, Ohio! Before coming to Iowa, she practiced as a general dentist in federally qualified health centers in Virginia and Wisconsin. She then received a doctorate in dental medicine from Boston University and completed a general practice residency at Lancaster General Hospital before entering full-time clinical practice. The work McAllister did with federally qualified health centers prompted her to start thinking of the broader health of communities she was working in and return to school with the goal of becoming a board-certified public health dentist.
McAllister’s master’s thesis is focused on the dental workforce community health centers and the characteristics associated with individuals who intend to remain in those settings long-term. She also works with Julie Reynolds, research fellow in residence in the Health Policy Research Program, on her research looking at teledentistry and the establishment of virtual dental home models.
McAllister hopes to become a public health dentist, addressing oral health disparities and providing dental teams and their patients with the necessary tools to increase access to oral health.
Fun Fact: McAllister enjoys cycling in her free time and has completed several century rides, and she hopes to ride RAGBRAI in the near future!