Alumnus serves underserved population as a dentist

Alumnus serves underserved population as a dentist

Dr. Floyd Michael Nicholson ’14 was working as a dentist in private practice when he noticed something was missing in his career.

“I felt like my position in private practice wasn’t reaching the communities that needed me the most,” he said.

So he left his position in Anderson, S.C., to work as a general dentist with the South Carolina Department of Corrections in Columbia.

“I made this decision based on my philosophy of giving back to underrepresented communities,” Nicholson said.

“Working at the Department of Corrections is a very rewarding experience because this population base is often overlooked or forgotten about. My patients are very grateful for their treatment and express their gratitude for my service daily.”

Nicholson has been working with the Department of Corrections since July 2019. He earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Medical University of South Carolina after earning his bachelor’s in chemistry from PC in 2014. While he enjoys his work now, becoming a dentist wasn’t Nocholson’s first choice.

“I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field but was not sure exactly what,” Nicholson said.

While at PC, he attended a program to try to narrow down which healthcare profession he wanted to go into. He also interned at a hospital because he was considering becoming a doctor and worked in a community pharmacy to see what pharmacy work would be like.

“I worked in these settings to get a feel for each medical profession,” he said. “Through these experiences I was able to get a real feel for the profession and observe day-to-day life on the job.”

Nicholson says he enjoyed all of these experiences but realized none offered what he wanted to do as a career.

“It was not until I interned with Dr. Kristin Derrick of Clinton Dental Care that I realized dentistry was for me,” Nicholson said. “I greatly appreciate Dr. Derrick and all that she and her team taught me during my time at PC.”

Dr. Nicholson is a member of the Presbyterian College Board of Trustees, the PC Alumni Board, and the PC African-American Alumni Council. He’s also a member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association and the American Dental Education Association.