Retirement: full-time faculty member


The Faculty of Dentistry is saying farewell to Prof. Lance Rucker, who is retiring after many years of commendable performance and service.

Lance M. Rucker, DDS, AB, BScD; Professor, Department of Oral Health Sciences; Director of Clinical Simulation; Director of the Surgical Telescope Evaluation Program; Chair, Division of Operative Dentistry

Dr. Lance Rucker

Dr. Rucker has improved modern dental-practice ergonomics through his pioneering research on custom declination in surgical telescopes, development of simulation training equipment, and teaching methodologies for developing psychomotor skills. Dental professionals trained to use these ergonomic techniques and equipment are fortunate to have had the benefit of Rucker’s back- and neck-saving innovations.

He graduated with a DDS from the University of California, San Francisco, in 1974, but the call of northern British Columbia brought him to Canada. After six years as a general dentist in Dunster, he moved to Vancouver to work as staff dentist and clinic coordinator for the REACH Community Health Centre. His career at UBC began in 1983, when he was appointed assistant professor; in 2002 he was promoted to full professor.

Rucker’s teaching has centred on operative/ restorative dentistry and ergonomics, from simulation to clinical care, for all undergraduate and graduate dental students, as well as dental hygiene students. He worked closely with UBC colleagues Drs. Marcia Boyd and William Richter, and with Dr. Michael Belenky and others at the University of Maryland. His teaching excellence was recognized with an Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry W.W. Wood Award in 1992 and again in 2000.

At UBC Dentistry, Rucker served as director of Clinical Simulation, director of the Surgical Telescope Evaluation Program and chair of the Division of Operative Dentistry. He also served the Faculty and the university on numerous committees. As a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the new clinic space from 1999 to 2006, he had a key role in the design of the operatories and layout of the clinical space, which is a model for other universities. And, most notably, he chaired the UBC Senate Committee on Appeals on Academic Standing from 2011 to 2017.

Rucker has written over 25 papers, 20 abstracts, seven reports and three book chapters on his various research interests. He has been a reviewer for several journals, including a long association with the Journal of Dental Education. Beyond UBC, he has lectured locally, nationally and internationally on topics ranging from ergonomics, clinical hypnosis, aesthetic restoration and ethics. Several internationally recognized universities, the World Health Organization, the Workers’ Compensation Board of BC (now WorkSafeBC) and disability insurance companies have consulted with Rucker on ergonomics. He has also been consulted by eight developers and manufacturers on the technological design of dental equipment.

Rucker is a member of the American College of Dentists, the American Dental Education Association, the Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the Association of Canadian Ergonomists.

In his spare time, he writes fiction novels and screenplays. His first published mystery-suspense book, Intimate Falls (2001), introduced the Vancouver-based character, information agent Brandon Drake. This was followed by No Secrets (2004) and Final Labyrinth (2005). Rucker also co-authored, with Okanagan lawyer Timothy Perrin, a screenplay titled Albatross, which won the Angie Award for Best Screenplay at the 2007 International Mystery Writers Festival.

Dr. Rucker and his loving wife Bianca plan on enjoying his retirement, visiting their children and grandchildren, transported in Madeleine, their restored 1939 Packard touring sedan.