Why do you want to be a dentist? The oral cavity is the window to the rest of the body. As a dentist, I want to help bring patients to a state of oral health and guide them to feel empowered, so they can take control and maintain their health and wellbeing. Additionally, I want to work with underserved populations who have limited resources and access to care, especially those who have been disenfranchised and marginalized in our society.
What do you think is the most vital quality in a leader? A willingness to learn and grow and to be open minded in the process.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in dental school so far? Keep your eyes and ears open. There is an opportunity to learn and grow every moment of dental school. Soaking in every bit of knowledge you can now will help you in the future, and allow you to make informed decisions on your feet. Learn from your own mistakes and failures. Learn from the mistakes of others so that you find yourself prepared when you are expected to perform. Everyone has something to teach you.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? Traveling to Costa Rica to live with host families and teach English for six months with limited Spanish proficiency and no established relationships was a difficult leap. Studying abroad in Morocco for six months during college also helped me grow significantly. I have found that immersing myself in another country with a different language, culture and way of life encourages growth and a sense of adventure.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Take a breath.