5 things that influenced your career path

Collage of dentists

From top left, Drs. Shelly Taylor, Jasmine Khedkar and Jessica Blanco; from bottom left, Drs. Alayna Schoblaske and Addison Killeen.

The New Dentist News asked dentists following various career paths what influenced them to pursue the one they chose. Here are their responses:

Jessica Blanco, D.M.D., owner of a solo pediatric practice: I chose to become a pediatric dentist simply to give children a more positive dental experience, to try and help take away the fear of the dental experience and turn it into a calming and fun experience. That way, they carry those positive and fun experiences into their adulthood and they do not fear the dentist nor neglect their oral health.

Jasmine Khedkar, D.M.D., consultant with past dental service organization experience: The reason I chose this path is because I love the clinical part of dentistry, and the management and administrative aspect has always fascinated me. I wanted to learn how business works. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with the dental community on business acumen, revenue cycle management, office management and the power of referrals, and I believe that if dentists are stakeholders in corporate dentistry and participate in advocacy, only then can they have their voices heard and they can do what is best for their patients and their teams.

Addison Killeen, D.D.S., owner of a group practice and co-founder of Dental Success Network: I get the best of both worlds — mix my week with a few days of clinical dentistry, with a few days of consulting and writing. In general, I follow what gives me more energy, and for a few days a week, I love seeing patients and being a part of my community. However, passing along knowledge through writing and coaching inside Dental Success Network is even more invigorating, so I love the days I spend doing that as well.

Alayna Schoblaske, D.M.D., general dentist and dental director at a federally qualified health center: I chose to practice in public health because it gives me the opportunity to serve patients who have traditionally been overlooked by our health care system because of their income, housing situation, immigration status, preferred language and more. I love collaborating with and learning from the nine other dentists in my clinic and value the teamwork and support they provide. Finally, I appreciate that working in an FQHC has provided an opportunity for loan repayment and made my student debt more manageable.

Shelly Taylor, D.M.D., periodontics resident and subject matter expert with CareQuest Institute for Oral Health: I chose my career path because health disparities in under-resourced communities are unacceptable. My goal is to combine a passion for public health and periodontics to contribute meaningful innovations and advocacy to improve the health and oral health of all people, especially those who need it the most.