Recently, Dr. Newhart received an email from Justin, an individual from southern Illinois who aspires to be an orthodontist. In it, Justin asked Dr. Newhart about how he became an orthodontist, and any tips he would provide to those looking to enter the field. We’ve included Justin’s first message, and Dr. Newhart’s response below, check them out!
It is my pleasure to be writing to you on your profession and my dream occupation, an Orthodontist. I first want to tell you a brief summary of who I am. My name is Justin Jenkel and I am a senior at Pinckneyville Community High School, located in a small town in southern Illinois. I am seventeen years old and involved in a great amount of extra-curricular activities. With the small amount of free time that I have, I love to play golf and aid a child who suffers from a case of cerebral palsy. My intended major is Pre-Dentistry, and I plan to attend college at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and work my way towards my dream. I feel that I would be a great Orthodontist because I have shown leaderships qualities throughout my life, I am able to work with anyone, and I am known to have a smile throughout the day. I have been surfing the web, and I explored your website and felt that you would be a great person to talk for assistance. What was the process like to work your way up towards an Orthodontist? Do you have any tips for me as I begin college this upcoming fall? I appreciate the time that you take to help me with my future decisions and plans.
Once again, thank you for your time Doc.
Thanks for contacting me. You sound like a great guy with an exciting future ahead of you. One of the best things about life is that you can constantly invent and re-invent yourself to match your dreams.
I’d love to meet with you, but since we live so far apart let me at least answer your questions the best I can to help you in your dream of becoming an orthodontist.
1. What was the process like to work your way up towards an Orthodontist?
Well, Justin, there are many paths people take in their journey to becoming an orthodontist. Some people go straight through all the schools without a break and others take breaks during process. This is sometimes by necessity and sometimes by choice. No matter which way you go, you will need to have 3-4 years of undergraduate education, followed by 3-4 years of dental school, followed by a 2-3 year orthodontic residency.
2. Do you have any tips for me as I begin college this upcoming fall?
With the inquisitive mind that you have, it almost goes without saying that you want to expose yourself to as much as possible that your college has to offer. College is not only a challenge academically, lifting you to another level, but also a time in life of self-discovery. You are a young man who is still learning about himself, still growing. Going away from home to attend college is scary, exciting, stimulating, overwhelming and wonderful all to the same time. I predict that you will experience your highest highs and your lowest lows during your 4 years as you challenge yourself. I also predict when you look back on your graduation day, with your degree in hand….you will see incoming freshman and you will notice how much you have grown and changed over the previous 4 years.
a. Keep your focus, but still be open to change. See where life leads you.
b. Never lose your faith. Remember that everything will be ok and your life is guided..even when you don’t know it. So when you go through times where things are not going the way you think they should..look around and listen to what the experience is teaching you that will make you stronger in the future.
c. Never lose your passion for what you doing. Passion is the juice of life and without it you will never feel satisfied and fulfilled.
d. Study hard and keep up excellent grades. There is tremendous competition at every level. The competition increases the higher you go with many people vying for fewer and fewer spots. For example, there were only 4 people selected for my orthodontic residency. Over 400 doctors applied for the 4 spots.
e. If your board scores are not satisfactory, look at Kaplan and other preparatory schools to raise them. I know several young people who have gone to Kaplan Saturday and evening classes with great results. If you’re serious about this career path, visit https://cloud9.software/how-to-start-dental-practice/ to learn how you can start and grow your practice.
f. Have fun. You only go through life once. This is not a dress rehearsal.
Let me know it I can be of further help. Stay in touch if you can and let me know how you progress. Lastly, if you are an employer who wants to protect your employees, patients, and community by partnering with a trusted leader in healthcare background screening solutions, you may visit sites like https://www.sterlingcheck.com/industries/healthcare/ to learn more.