As a teenager, I dreamed of one day becoming a dentist (really!). I remember my visits with the dentist while growing up – the appreciation and love for the work that my dentist had the positive experiences he created, even when I was there for treatments. When it came time to choose my future career path as a young adult, I set my sights on dentistry.
Throughout my time in school I was so fortunate to belong to organizations that were incredibly supportive and provided guidance as I developed my skills within the field. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to not only meet a lot of experienced and phenomenal dentists, I have also had the opportunity to work with some. Several of them even became mentors to me. Their enthusiasm, knowledge and experience taught me so much more about the world of dentistry than my four years in school, making it an amazing supplement to my school education.
Why I Chose to Become a Dentistry Mentor
Because my early career, and even current career, has been so impacted by mentors it was a natural choice for me to give that same level of mentorship and guidance to those who are where I was so many years ago. Now in my fifth year of being a part of the University of Manitoba mentorship program, I have enjoyed every minute of the experience. I remember one of my mentors who liked to use the Latin term “quid pro quo”, which loosely translated means “I give to you so that you may give to others.” I have been so fortunate to have built a wonderful life and practice around something I love and to be able to transfer my knowledge and skills to those starting out is the best feeling. It gives back not only to the profession, but also to the overall community.
I am currently mentoring my fourth and fifth students. Being a touchpoint for them right from the start of their dental school experience, through to their graduation and beyond, is so gratifying. My hope is that they find as much reward and joy in the profession as I have and that they will make it a point to return the favour years down the line and become a mentor themselves.
With so many strong, skilled and truly wonderful individuals in the program, I know that the dental profession will be in good hands for the years to come.