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Dr. Dorn Receives Endodontists' Highest Honor

Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 4:45pm

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UTSD Endodontics Chair Dr. Sam Dorn (center) received the 2013 Coolidge Award at the American Association of Endodontists' annual meeting in Hawaii. He is pictured with Dr. Shep Goldstein (right), chair of the Honors and Awards Committee, and Dr. Jim Kulild, immediate past president of the AAE.

The American Association of Endodontists has awarded its highest honor and lifetime achievement award to Samuel Dorn, DDS, chairman of the Department of Endodontics at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston.

The Edgar D. Coolidge Award – which recognizes leadership and exemplary dedication to dentistry and endodontics – was presented to Dorn at the AAE’s 2013 Annual Session in Honolulu in April.

For almost 40 years, Dorn has practiced and taught endodontics, becoming a leader in the profession through extensive involvement with and commitment to organized dentistry. He is currently president-elect of the International Federation of Endodontic Associations and serves on the board of trustees for the AAE Foundation.

Dorn is also a former president of AAE and, along the way, has held several offices and committee chair positions within the organization. He lived and worked in Florida for three decades before coming to UTSD in 2009, and his lengthy record of involvement also includes terms as president of the South Florida Dental Association and director and treasurer of the American Board of Endodontics.

Volunteering in local dental associations snowballed into greater and greater responsibilities, he said.

“I’ve always believed that if a job had to be done, I’ll volunteer,” Dorn said. “We have a responsibility to keep the profession strong, for future endodontists and for our patients.”

His extensive professional involvement made him a better practitioner and teacher, he added.

“By being active and going to every meeting, I was always around endodontists who love what they do,” he said. “We swapped stories and learned from each other, and I would always come back rejuvenated.”

Even at the session in Hawaii, Dorn couldn’t resist the urge to volunteer, and he helped raise money for the AAE as friends and colleagues (including UTSD endodontics residents) tried to soak him at the dunking booth for $100 per throw.

Dorn also has enjoyed a distinguished career as a dental educator. He holds the Frank B. Trice, DDS, Professorship in Endodontics at UTSD and was the founding director of the postgraduate endodontics program at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine. He also served as a clinical professor at the University of Florida School of Dentistry and has authored numerous articles and textbook chapters. He has lectured internationally.

Dorn received his DDS from Farleigh Dickinson University School of Dentistry and served in the U.S. Air Force Dental Corps. 

The American Association of Endodontists, headquartered in Chicago, Ill., represents more than 7,500 members worldwide, including about 95 percent of all eligible endodontists in the U.S. The lifetime achievement award is named for Edgar Coolidge, a pioneer in endodontics who helped found the AAE.

Dorn is not the first UTSD faculty member to receive the honor. In 2007, Stephen Schwartz, DDS, MS, UTSD alumnus and former founding chair of the school's Open to Health fundraising initiative, was presented the Coolidge Award.