My parents always told me “the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.” That rang especially true when I graduated as a Buckeye from The Ohio State University with a degree in Biology, just as my parents did. My father, who is a dentist and my mother, who is a dental hygienist, graduated from OSU in 1983. They started a small practice in Meigs County, Ohio and later moved to Columbus to run Kennedy Dental in Marysville and Huntsville, Ohio.
I experienced their love for dentistry and their passion for overall body health on a first hand basis working as a dental assistant in their offices during high school and college. My parents where natural entrepreneurs, and had a habit of always giving me advice:
– Treat school like a job! Work each week for 40 hours; you have class for 12 hours and then you study for 28 hours.
– Nothing in life is free.
– Keep your overhead LOW!
– You can’t spend what you don’t have.
– “Lick that calf over” This is an old saying that they used to tell me if I did a job around the house and it needed improvement. To this day, if I do something and think that I could improve my efforts in some way, shape or form, then I do that task again.
In 2011, I started dental school at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I loved everything about dental school! I was involved with ASDA (American Student Dental Association) as a local vice president and national contributing editor. My parents have always instilled in me the “value of a dollar,” and so I translated our family values into a club at Nova when I co-founded our Practice Management Group. During the evenings, I applied for and completed my Master in Public Health degree through the College of Medicine at NSU.
Following dental school, I attended a general practice residency at the VA Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. There, I found a passion for treating medically compromised patients. The challenge of implant placement, working in an operating room, and the interdisciplinary approach to dentistry helped me to thrive in a hospital environment. While in my residency, I applied for and was accepted to a dental public health specialty at Harvard University in Boston, MA.
Currently, I am a blogger for IgniteDDS, and a big fan of Dr. David Rice. Dr. Rice is in the works of creating an online classroom for dental students that will literally knock your socks off. My long term goal is to be involved with dental education and administration. I have always had this dream of being the dean of a dental school. Although it is a lofty ambition, I think the only way to push yourself to your limit is to be intimidated by your dreams. I choose to be intimidated, and I am realizing my dreams head on.