A Personal Story: “My passion for Oral Medicine”

I decided early in life I wanted to be a dentist, actually an orthodontist. My mother says I started saying this in the sixth grade. Throughout high school, I shadowed several dentists in my community, and this confirmed my desire to pursue a career in dentistry. I attended the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia for my undergraduate education and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2010. During my final year of college, I applied and was accepted to the Medical College of Georgia, now Augusta University, for dental school.

I nervously started dental school, not sure what to expect. During the first week, we were given many introductory lectures to general dentistry and to all of the different specialties. It was all exciting and new, but when I attended my first oral medicine lecture by Dr. Scott De Rossi, I was blown away. I had no idea dentistry could lead me in that direction. His passion for oral medicine was inspiring. I continued my dental school career with the standard general dentistry classes, but the class I most looked forward to every semester was our oral medicine course. My passion and excitement about oral medicine continued throughout dental school, and I shadowed in Dr. De Rossi’s clinic as often as I could. The variety of patients was exciting and the ability to help a unique subset of patients, many of whom had seen multiple providers, was rewarding. 

During my third year of dental school, I was accepted to the Harvard School of Dental Medicine’s oral medicine program and began my residency in July, 2014. Because the oral medicine residency is based out of Brigham and Women’s hospital, I have been able to see both the inpatient and outpatient sides of oral medicine patient care. With the Faculty’s help, I learned a great deal about oral medicine. During the second year of my residency, I sat for Part A of the American Board of Oral Medicine and passed all sections. I am currently completing my final year as Chief Resident. I plan to take Part B of the Board after I complete my residency and am looking forward to pursuing my career in Oral Medicine.

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