I am really happy and proud that I am a dentist. I can relieve someone’s pain right away after figuring out what is wrong. I can comprehensively educate a patient about the connection between the quality of their sleep and weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and sudden cardiac death syndrome. Being a dentist is a great opportunity to “be of service” to my community. It is the best of the three careers I have had so far.
Yes, this is my third career. I was once an environmentalist; working at the federal, national, state and local level in Boston, Massachusetts. In this role, I worked with low-income communities to locate technical expertise to help them address self-identified environmental issues. Then, I became a Network Engineer working with small to medium-sized companies fixing their networks and finally, I am now a dentist, graduating from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. While these roles might seem disparate, a common thread connects them all. They all gave me an opportunity to be helpful. In summation: to “be of service”.
The funny thing is I never wanted to be a dentist. In fact, in 1992, my mentor mentioned it as a career option when I told her I wanted to work with science for the sake of helping others. I dismissed this idea, summarily. I told her that dentists were all quacks who hurt people. As a kid in Jamaica, I had a negative dental experience that made the profession out of the question. Because of this experience, the word “comfort: in the name of my practice isn’t a marketing ploy. I really mean this as I have been on the receiving end of some painful and traumatic dental procedures.
In addition to being a dentist, I am also a son and a son in law, a husband, a brother, a brother in law, and a father to two awesome kids. I am also the author of Caregiver acceptability and preferences for preventive dental treatments for young African-American children in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry. I am a member of the American Dental Association, The Academy of General Dentistry, the Illinois Dental Society, The American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.
In summation, I am a lifelong learner. I have read many books, articles, and websites about dentistry but I learn the most from my patients. I firmly believe that knowledge is useless if it is not being used. For me, its utility lies in helping me “be of service” to everyone who comes through my door at Comfort Family Dental in Beverly, Chicago. I hope to see you soon!