On my way back from the airport, I had an interesting conversation with the driver. When I told him I was applying to dental schools, he commented "Your husband must be really proud." I thought this comment was fascinating- would he have said the same to a man? After I laughed and corrected him ("No husband yet, but I am proud of myself.") he reminded me to "never forget about us folks" & to give back to the community.
There is an article today in the Chicago Tribune ("More Americans seek dental treatment at the ER") discussing the lack of preventative dental care for rural and low-income families leading to dental treatments in the emergency room. A common grievance for dentists is patients who don't return after initial assessments. But on the flip side is that these people who are not getting the dental care they need. They are choosing instead to "toughen it out" until small cavities become 3AM emergencies.
|Hopefully before "tooth hurty." For everyone. Picture|
I am slowly realizing that my career can help resolve inequality issues I find so disheartening. In a way, a dentist is more like a painter or a musician: you learn the skills to do things. Over the next four years, I hope to learn these practical skills that can help others- and actually do so. I just happen to have a supportive family; how fortunate am I to be selfishly studying for another four years? Staying grateful and happy about everything I have. Philadelphia, get ready.