Hometown: Newark, California
Career Plans: To own a private practice and to work with children.
The school gives us many chances to interact with as many people as possible, whether it’s through community events or humanitarian trips.
Inspiration comes in many forms, whether from a person, a place or an object. For DDS 2018 student Albert Young, it came in the form of his dentist and mentor, whom he credits for showing him how diverse dentistry could be and how he could build interpersonal relationships with people from all walks of life.
"I wanted a career that was very diverse and something I could make my own," recalls Albert. "I love that dentistry can be pushed beyond the office." This was also a major reason he wanted to attend the Dugoni School. The school offers many opportunities for students to enhance their dental school experience beyond the classroom. They are encouraged to be involved in the community and to experience personal as well as professional growth.
"The school gives us many chances to interact with as many people as possible, whether it's through community events or humanitarian trips," says Albert. "I just think we are so much more capable than what we think we are, and the school pushes us to those limits."
Albert also praises his classmates to pushing him to be the best. Being around individuals that are as driven as he is motivates him even more. His mentor told him once that he should always surround himself by people that can make him better. Albert believes that he's surrounded by great people at the Dugoni School on a daily basis, everyone from his classmates and faculty to the staff and administrators. "You realize that these are the people that will make you a much better person that you can become on your own."
Now in his second year, Albert's favorite part of the day has been interacting with his patients. In addition to becoming a better clinician, he's learned so much about himself just by interacting with them. At the time of this interview, Albert was studying for the National Board Dental Examinations and doubting himself and his preparedness to take the test. It was a conversation with one of his patients that boosted his confidence.
"She said to me ‘Albert, you're a little hesitant in what you're doing. But I believe you are much better than what you think you are,'" said Albert. "It was exactly what I needed to hear at this point in my life. I am only a week away from boards and I just needed to hear this confirmation and this patient gave me the most beautiful advice."
To get the support and encouragement from his patients and work with such a diverse population in San Francisco has been incredibly rewarding for Albert, who loves meeting new people and hearing their unique stories. He wants to take everything he's learned at the Dugoni School and the relationships he's built and bring it to his future dental office. However, immediately after graduation, Albert will head to the Navy to fulfill the three-year commitment as part of his scholarship.
As for after the Navy, he's keeping his options open, whether he decides to stay in the military or open his own practice. One thing he's sure of is being involved in at least one humanitarian trip every year, no matter the location. Albert was fortunate enough to take a humanitarian trip to Jamaica with his mentor before he even started dental school. "To be able to go out and help those who don't have healthcare readily available, it's just unbelievable."
Albert can't thank his mentor enough for showing him how great dentistry could be. He feels like he's found the perfect career that makes him feel fulfilled and allows him to continue to learn and grow.
"I never want to fall into a monotone work/life style," says Albert. "I want it to be continuously changing and I love that dentistry allows for this sort of diversity."