More Than Just a Pediatric Dentist
I come from a big Armenian household, first generation, and I grew up in a Quaker community from first to twelfth grade, so between those two I have a strong sense of community and supporting others, and that’s something that I hold of great value to whatever I do and wherever I go. And that’s why I chose Columbia: because they have a huge sense of community here between the students, the faculty, especially the alumni, helping out and giving back.
Eventually, I’d like to become a pediatric dentist; that’s one of my career goals. And one of the opportunities I had while at Columbia Dental School, I was able to go to the Dominican Republic with Somos Amigos. You go for a week, and we were in this amazing clinic helping out this entire indigenous town. These people don’t have much access to barely running water, and we were there to provide them dental care and general healthcare. I chose to treat a lot of kids, and these kids, it’s scary how many cavities they had. And I was able to change their pain and suffering and cries into smiles and hugs after, even though I did a whole workup on them. And that’s the feeling that I really had when wanting to become a pediatric dentist.
There are certain things that Columbia Dental has been involved with the upper Washington Heights, northern Manhattan community, by doing community outreach. I was the president of the Pediatric Dental Club, and one of my main initiatives was actually making sure that our members gave back every month.
So we would go to local communities, local elementary schools, and go into the classroom and do interactive presentations about oral healthcare instruction, and go into family centers and discuss to new moms about the importance of infant oral healthcare and making sure that their child visits the dentist by age one. It’s really providing a resource for the community, and it’s up to them if they would like to use it. I’ve seen a positive outcome. and especially seeing the children being so excited when they see older kids coming in and helping out and doing something fun.
The best advice I was given was: be yourself, but also don’t be afraid to go get your goal, because if you don’t try, you won’t know the answer.
Watch an interview with Lynda Asadourian below.