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February Student Spotlight

February 05, 2021 2222
CDA Student Spotlight

Quick Summary:

Get to know CDA’s February Student Spotlight, Purna Patel from UCSF School of Dentistry class of 2021. 

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

I am grateful for the opportunity my faculty and supporting staff have given me during this difficult time. I was able to express myself in a way that allowed me to connect with my patients, and I learned a lot about what being a dentist really means.

Being close to graduation, it is rewarding when I hear, “Oh! I won’t see you again; I will really miss seeing you” or “You’re such a caring soul.” Such small gestures by my patients give me a sense of accomplishment, and these are the moments that are most close to my heart.

Have your career aspirations changed due to COVID-19?

After what I have witnessed the past year, my passion for dentistry has become stronger than ever. We are not in a profession that could be substituted. At the same time, the joy and satisfaction of providing service to patients in need are incomparable. 

What are you most looking forward to after dental school?

I am an internationally trained dentist, and I have spent almost 10 years in my dental education, including residency in pediatric dentistry from India. At this point of my life, I am eagerly waiting to start working and exploring the world of dentistry in a private practice. I have always dreamed about having my own private office and it’s about time for me to pursue that goal.

How has your life changed in the last year?

Last year I could do all things that I wanted to do for a long time but could not do because of certain reasons or just out of laziness. I was able to allocate my time to things I enjoy outside of dentistry. I like to paint, so I tried my hands-on watercolors and that worked out really well. I picked up few new things like indoor planting, biking and spiritual learning. Good thing is, I am still doing all of these activities and they have made a positive impact on me.

What is your favorite guilty-pleasure movie or TV series?

Undoubtedly, that would be Friends. After completing the series for the tenth time, I stopped keeping count. It never fails to uplift my mood.

What is your favorite podcast and why?

I am thankful to my husband who introduced me to the world of podcasts. There is so much material out there that you can learn free of cost. Two of my favorites are Joe Rogan and Robert Kiyosaki, who help me learn about mental and physical health and finances.

Why are you #cdaproud?

CDA stands true to supporting the best and brightest in dentistry. Not only does CDA support dentists throughout their careers but it has also made impactful changes in communities through events like CDA Cares. I am proud to be part of such an organization that touches so many lives on so many levels.