"It really does feel like family here. My classmates and I are all in the same boat; we're here all day. It felt like we meshed really well."
It wasn't until relatively late in his academic career that Peter Ingoldsby decided that dentistry was for him. During his fourth year of studying music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he started considering a job in either dentistry or veterinary medicine. At the time, Peter had just started a small side business breeding and selling lizards — bearded dragons to be exact. But he found that when his love of animals became work, it became less appealing and fun for him.
"I wanted to do something separate from my hobby, so I shadowed my dentist and just fell in love with it," said Peter. "I was able to sit chair side and observe everything."
Having decided on a career path, he switched his major to biological sciences and with a lot of hard work and determination, was able to complete it in one year. Peter took the Dental Admission Test (DAT) soon after graduation but had to delay applying to schools because his dad needed help with the family business. He ended up delaying longer than expected — to the point where his DAT scores expired. This setback forced him to come up with a new strategy. Peter decided to get a job at Kaplan — the test preparation company — since he had scored well on his test.
"At this point, I had been out of school for a while so I figured that by teaching at Kaplan, I could learn everything again," said Peter. "I taught all the subjects of the DAT and MCAT and it was great because it was like a refresher course."
Although Peter didn't have a specific dental school that he wanted to apply to, he mostly looked at schools in California. The dentist he used to work for happens to be a '77 graduate of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, so before he knew it, he was set up with pre-interviews and touring the school. Once he arrived here, he stopped his search.
"I just loved it here," Peter remembered. "The students were so happy and welcoming." He goes on: "It's very clichéd to say, but it really does feel like family here. My classmates and I are all in the same boat; we're here all day. It felt like we meshed really well."
In addition to the heavy course load, Peter has kept busy with student government. It wasn't something he planned to do but he has embraced his role as president of his class. He also enjoys rock climbing and exploring San Francisco.
And what about his love of animals?
"Well I don't breed them anymore, but I do have seven lizards at home," said Peter. "Oh, and I've also got a champion show dog."