Here is a little background about why I got into dentistry and a look into what continues to drive me to always want more. For generations, my parents have been cornerstones of our community because of their involvement and services extending beyond their local dental office. They have served people; ranging from those with routine toothaches to individuals in need of a confidant. These two special people have been my role models since before I was old enough to realize how lucky I was to have exceptional parents. I grew up in their office with dental assistants and hygienists for sisters as their staff were always regarded as family, and have early memories of calming apprehensive patients by wearing gloves while pretending to be their dentist at an early age. Playing dentist was a childhood game that turned into a serious passion, and now a calling.
My work ethic is strong. While others vacationed during their summer breaks in school, I worked as a tutor for undergraduates as well as observed office operations of a general dentist and an orthodontist. I saw the amount of energy required to run a dental practice efficiently; those lessons proved invaluable when I reached private practice ownership. By leading two general dental offices, I learned lessons of patience and self-reliance. Furthermore, I am not the traditional student. I pursued a Master’s of Science degree at Hampton University after my undergraduate work at Auburn to fortify my dental education preparation, which was beneficial. That experience was fulfilling not only because of the rich personalities of my instructors and classmates, but also because it was the first time I lived in a different state; thus learning independence and a different American perspective. Now, I have reached the milestone of five years in private practice; with experience as an associate, owner, and operator.
Facing adversity, making sacrifices, conquering obstacles, and withstanding pressure while maintaining resolve to make progress is not new to me. As a child, I endured the murder of my favorite uncle, and continued to remain grounded. Loss of family members instilled a strong sense of appreciation for life and family. Experiences like this gave me an extroverted personality because enjoying laughter and forming strong relationships shepherded me through difficult times. Tribulations sculpted my character, made me strong mentally, and established in me an immense appreciation for simple things in life.
No one ever directed or pushed me to pursue dentistry. Growing up meeting new people every day at my parent’s office, as well as my work in the financial and educational fields exposed me to many different personalities, which allowed me to note how diverse people have a similar way of expressing joy and gratitude – a smile. This influenced me strongly to provide dental care. The love from patients and my parent’s staff made me want to have my own practice. The love from my own patients and staff motivate me to strive further.