Life as a New Dentist — Active Duty – Army
The ADA is made up of individuals—here’s one of them.
Who are you? I’m Dr. Keri Jamison. I’m a proud member of the Class of 2013 of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, and I am practicing general dentistry at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia before I start my prosthodontics residency in July 2014.
If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be? My family says I’m the C.E.O. type and my friends think I’m a frustrated interior designer, so maybe I could be the C.E.O. of an interior design firm.
How did you choose this career path? The military paid for my four years of dental school, in addition to providing a stipend, and in return I owe four years on active duty. My prosthodontics residency will be an additional three years so it’s a total active duty commitment of seven years.
Biggest surprise so far about this career path? I should mention that our clinic has 46 chairs with 13 doctors. We mainly see young soldiers right out of basic training and it was a big surprise to find out how many of them had never seen a dentist or had any dental education. We spend a lot of time educating them about oral health.
What’s your schedule like? We see patients Monday-Friday from 7:30 to 4:30. Tuesdays are entirely devoted to new-soldier exams and each doctor will see around 30 patients on a Tuesday. Friday mornings we have physical training starting at 5:45 a.m., and there are classes and CE courses during the month.
What are you doing for fun? I play tennis a few times each week, and since I miss my horses in Kentucky so much I am learning to play polo!
Any advice for someone considering your career path? Be passionate about whatever you choose to do. That way your enthusiasm and drive will be noticeable, whether you are writing a letter-of-intent, or interviewing with a program director.
Future Plans? I believe in always pushing myself and never staying stagnant. I have a lot to accomplish!
Interested in sharing your experience as a new dentist? If you are fewer than ten years out of dental school we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.