“I truly appreciate the opportunity that the Dugoni School has given me.”
Eliseo Fiffe's interest in the health of people's mouths was, curiously, first sparked during his childhood in Cuba, when his mother brought him to the orthodontist. "It was so interesting to me to compare my own study models with other patients', seeing how different each one was, and observing the changing positions of my teeth throughout treatment." This interest, combined with a passion to help others, led him to pursue a career in dentistry.
Graduating in 1988 from the Higher Institute of Medical Sciences of Santiago de Cuba, Fiffe practiced as a general dentist for six years. Next, he managed to secure a position in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program from 1994 to 1997, where he finished his training with an outstanding GPA.
Fiffe practiced as a maxillofacial surgeon from 1997 to 2004, and also became a professor of Oral Pathology at the University of Havana from 2001 to 2004. In 2003, he became chairman of the Maxillofacial Department at Salvador Allende Hospital in Havana, where he served for a year.
His career took him places, literally. In 2004, he participated in a mission in Venezuela. He stayed on for a time, working as general dentist and oral surgeon consultant, but by the end of the year he had decided to move on. Eventually, his path took him to the United States. "I was looking for a better opportunity to practice dentistry, and I consider the U.S. to be the best place in the world as far as dentistry is concerned — this country has the most current technology and advanced resources."
As a member of the dental student community and IDS representative for ASDA, Eliseo feels a commitment to represent his fellow students in his program. His plan: succeed in the IDS program, and be an effective voice on behalf of dental students, especially international students. After graduation, he wants to practice as a general dentist and apply to an oral surgery program.
"I am very proud to be the first IDS student accepted from my country into the University of the Pacific," he says. "I truly appreciate the opportunity that the Dugoni School has given me. It is a privilege to be part of the Dugoni family. I love the humanistic values of the school as well as its diversity — not to mention the amazingly dedicated faculty and staff!"