Cottam Named Director of Nemours Pediatric Dental Residency Program

Dentistry Today


Michael R. Cottam, DMD, will lead the dental program at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. He also will serve as the education program director for its new pediatric dental residency program, which is the first pediatric dental residency program in the state, beginning this July. 

Previously, Cottam was in private practice in Utah and served with the adjunct faculty at Roseman University of Health Sciences in South Jordan. He holds a DMD and certificate in advanced education in pediatric dentistry from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Also, he is a member of the ADA and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. 

Qualified by the ADA, the two-year Nemours Pediatric Dental Residency Program is for candidates seeking board certification in pediatric dentistry. It offers a unique opportunity to train more dentists to care for medically complex and special needs patients, the program reports. It also will include caring for healthy children. 

Nemours will recruit two new residents to the program every 12 months. The first two residents are Jenelle Fleagle, DDS, and Lida Alimorad, DDS, both currently practicing general dentistry and recruited from a large pool of candidates following the National Match Program.

Fleagle received her degree from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry and comes to Nemours from Mercy Health Sensory, Pediatric, and Hispanic Dental Clinics in Youngstown, Ohio. Alimorad earned her DDS from the University of Maryland Dental School and is the dental director of Community Clinic Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

“Our aim is to provide our residents with robust and rigorous training,” said Cottam. “We are excited to offer Delaware’s first residency program in pediatric dentistry. Our goal is to train dentists to successfully manage oral disease in infants, children, and teens, including medically complex and special needs patients, in a compassionate manner that creates positive, empowering experiences for children and their families. 

“Dr. Cottam’s excitement and enthusiasm is just what we need to help reinvigorate our dental program here at Nemours,” said Stephen P. Dunn, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery. “He also brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to ensure Delaware’s only pediatric residency program is both highly successful and well received by our patients and their caregivers.” 

The hospital further notes that as the demand for dental care services grows in Delaware and across the United States, the number of dentists available to treat will fall short, according to a report from the US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration.

“We hope our residency program will help fill that void, especially in underserved populations, as well as our medically complex and special needs children,” said Cottam.

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