Why do you want to be a dentist?
Ever since I was young, I have wanted to help people in need. Whether in the United States or across the world, the need for oral healthcare will always be important and dentistry is the hands-on physical skill to tackle this under-appreciated issue. Beyond the basics of good dental hygiene and pain free functionality, people of all walks of life begin most interactions with a smile and I believe a positive self-image is vital to happiness and success in every society. As a future dentist, I get to help reverse disease processes and improve people’s quality of life. I can’t think of anything more gratifying.
What do you think is the most vital quality in a leader?
I believe the most vital quality in a leader is having humility – understanding that success in a team can be achieved by building up others so that everyone feels appreciated and empowered to fulfill their role as well as being willing to change direction when it is right. There is no ‘I,’ in ‘Team.’
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in dental school so far?
That it is okay to ask for help. As in any healthcare setting, those who work well in teams, share ideas and strive to communicate effectively achieve the best results for their patients. I am learning the same is true when students work together so that we all get the most out of the journey that is dental school.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
When I was in college, I planned a solo trip to volunteer half-way across the world. I had no prior experience traveling alone, did not know the language and had to make many unexpected decisions along the way. I learned a lot about myself, how I react in difficult situations, and to trust my instincts.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Never stop believing in yourself.