Job Shadowing Biology Major Becomes Navy Dentist

Dr. Nic Shirey '11, a biology graduate of Lebanon Valley College, is a dentist serving active military members in Norfolk, Va.

It took one day of job shadowing his childhood dentist for Dr. Nic Shirey ’11 to know dentistry was his calling. During his junior year at Lebanon Valley College, Shirey spent breaks observing Dr. Bill Maffett in Hanover, Pa. “Dr. Maffett just seemed like he was having the time of his life every day at work,” said Shirey. 

The LVC Health Professions Committee advised and supported Shirey, a biology major, through the tough process of applying to dental school.

“Not only did I have letters of recommendation that were written by professors that knew me well, but the committee condensed these letters into a single document,” said Shirey. “My interviewer at the University of Pittsburgh actually mentioned how much she enjoyed reading it. I also sat down with members of the committee for a mock interview, which I would say was more challenging than the real thing,” he said. 

He attended graduate school on a Navy Health Professions Scholarship.

“It didn't take long to know that I was well-prepared in the sciences. Time management is another key skill in professional school, and I would say being a student-athlete aided significantly in my transition,” said Shirey, who played football for the Flying Dutchmen.

He now practices in Norfolk, Va., at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek where his patients are all active duty military. He also spent two years stationed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), an aircraft carrier based in Norfolk. 

“I love being a dentist because it allows me to interact with people each and every day,” said Shirey. “I get to educate, treat, and develop relationships with people from all walks of life.”

Shirey’s advice to those students considering LVC and a career in the medical field? 

“I think it's important to understand that LVC will offer a great education not just in your major,” he said. “I'm thankful for my exposure to the arts and humanities. Some of my favorite classes were outside of the natural sciences. Your education at LVC will take you as far as you want to go.”