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December Student Spotlight

Get to know CDA’s December Student Spotlight, Benit Meyer from UCLA School of Dentistry class of 2023.

How has your life changed in the past year?

I’ve gone from working in dental insurance during my gap year to pursuing my dream of becoming a dentist! I’ve moved away from home, met so many incredible people and learned dental anatomy terms I didn’t even know existed. In short, everything has changed and I’m so excited to see what’s to come. 

What made you interested in dentistry?

I’ve always enjoyed going to the dentist, which was in stark contrast to my friends when I was growing up. One of my best friends had to be strapped to the chair when she was little, which has obviously influenced how she perceives dentists even as an adult. Now that I’m older and in the thick of dental school, I’m drawn to how dentistry can serve as an intersection between education, health care and politics — the latter of which I learned a lot about when I was working in insurance. 

What is your favorite podcast and why?

My favorite podcast is “How I Built This” by NPR. In short, CEOs of successful companies are interviewed about how they propelled their ideas from the ground up. It’s an inspiring reminder that everyone’s journey is unique and that it’s never too late to create a company or product you believe in. 

What has been your favorite dental school moment or experience so far?

I’ve been having a lot of fun getting to know my classmates. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by a large group of people working toward a similar goal. I was an English major in another life, and while I truly enjoyed splitting my time between the humanities and STEM courses, I always felt disconnected from my classmates. Moving to Los Angeles with this built-in group of friends has been so awesome and I truly couldn’t have asked for a better class.

What are you most looking forward to after dental school?

While it’s very premature, I can’t wait to pave my own way in the dental field. The next four years will allow me to explore what that might look like, so I’m certainly in no rush to speed through my time here. 

What is your favorite comfort food?

Pad Thai is my go-to!

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

With all of that extra time, I'd train for a marathon I have my eyes set on next year, get more creative with my cooking and get out of my little bubble by exploring Los Angeles.

Why are you #cdaproud?

CDA is full of supportive professionals who strive to advance our profession in a multitude of ways. CDA helped connect me with my first shadowing opportunity when I was in high school and didn’t know how to get started. When I was older, CDA Cares highlighted how I’ll be able to give back to those in need of dental care. Now, as a dental student, CDA has been very forward with resources to assist us. I'm so thankful to be supported by such an amazing organization as I grow into a future health care provider.

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