What were the last few months of dental school like under the stay-at-home order?
I remember the last day at school before the stay-at-home order. Everyone was worried about what would happen. We were one week away from ending the winter quarter, so we got a few extra vacation days. But as the cases increased and the situation got worse, I understood we were at the beginning of a historic moment where we needed to rethink our priorities and work on defeating this unknown enemy for our loved ones. As the days went by, I would just think and feel like the animals at the zoo and just imagine what they have to experience their whole lives in captivity.
Have your career aspirations changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
I don’t think my career aspirations have changed, but I am sure my life aspiration and priorities have. This unprecedented year helped me set my priorities straight, take advantage of every moment I spend with my family and friends, learn how to not take anything for granted and understand that the world needs more team players.
How do you see dentistry evolving amid the ongoing pandemic?
Dentistry is a profession in constant evolution. I’ve seen pictures of dentist in the past working without gloves. With this novel virus, we have to evaluate our protocols and embrace the changes in favor of our patients and ourselves. We are at the gates of a new civilization; we need to adapt to survive.
What made you interested in dentistry?
My dad is an orthodontist, so one of my earliest childhood memories was watching him with his patients and pretending to be a dentist in his office. As I grew up and went with him on mission trips, I fell in love with helping people and dentistry.
What has been the most rewarding thing about working with patients?
Definitely the reaction of patients when they look at their teeth after treatment and get excited with their new smile.
How do you relax after a long day at school?
I love soccer, so after a long day there is nothing better than watching my team play or just any good soccer game, although sometimes I end up more stressed.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure movie or TV series?
“Napoleon Dynamite” without a doubt. It is such an underrated movie.
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