“I originally had no interest in being a dentist because my dad was a dentist. I worked for him throughout high-school and college and he could be pretty demanding which could be tough at times.
One of the things I really enjoyed when I worked for my dad was when he would remove a tooth from a patient who was in pain. The sense of instant gratification was amazing for me to witness early on.
But I still didn’t want to be a dentist — I just saw it as a job to get by.
I originally wanted to be a neurosurgeon. That’s why I came to Baltimore, to go to Johns Hopkins University. At the time, Hopkins was one of the only places where you could get a neuroscience degree.
When I was there you had to do two years of research no matter what field you were studying. Over the course of those two years I realized that neuroscience would turn into my entire life if that’s the path I went down. I really liked working hard but I also desired having a life outside of work, and there were a lot of egos and demands there — at all hours of the day.
Studying at Hopkins made me circle back to my childhood and realize that dentistry really hits on all of the things that I wanted: medicine, science, helping people, working with my hands. Dentistry can be all those things except you can still have a semblance of a life.
I also found that if I went into dentistry, I could build off of the things I learned from my dad, but do them in my own way.
Having my own practice was really hard at first. It still is. I’m very lucky to be busy, but all of my time and money goes into the business now. There is not much of an outside life. But I have faith that it will be worth it, and I am so proud of what I have built and so grateful to my patients and everyone who has helped me along the way.”