Why do you want to be a dentist? Unlike most children and adolescents who visit the dentist often and have inspirational stories of wanting to follow in their footsteps, my path was a little different. Despite pleading with my parents to get braces as a kid, due to my generally good oral hygiene/occlusion and our lack of dental insurance, the first time that I ever saw a dentist wasn't until college to get my wisdom teeth extracted. Nonetheless, when entering college I began looking into the different health professions and took an interest in dentistry.
During an undergraduate outreach trip, I volunteered in New Orleans, Louisiana, serving as a teacher's aide in Post-Katrina Headstart Schools. I saw how basic items like a toothbrush and toothpaste were vital to keeping children living in socioeconomically deprived areas of the city in good overall health. I realized the fundamental role a dentist can serve. It was at this time when my interest turned into a passion. I’m deeply motivated to not only serve my own patients one day, but also to support those without access to care or community health initiatives through the MBA/MPH I'm concurrently working towards.
What do you think is the most vital quality in a leader? While there are numerous qualities that are vital for a leader to possess, the one I feel to be essential is communication. A leader should know when to take action, but additionally be willing to step back and let others take control when their capabilities exceed those of your own. To do such, you must possess the ability to talk through a situation rationally while, at the same time, listening to and analyzing others’ perspectives.