Life as a New Dentist—Associate
The ADA is made up of individuals—here’s one of them.
Who are you? I’m Dr. Tisha Rekhi. I’m a member of the Class of 2011 of the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. I’m an associate dentist working for my older brother — Dr. Princy Rekhi — who is the owner-dentist of a three-location practice here in the Greater Seattle area.
Was your plan always to practice with your brother? Absolutely yes! I’m fortunate to have such an awesome relationship with my brother. He really helped me with that transition from thinking like a student to thinking like a working dentist.
Talk a little bit about that transition You know in school I can remember having a patient who needed two restorations and I would do the procedures in two appointments with each restoration taking like three hours. And that’s not how it goes in the real world. We use different materials than we used in school, I’m working with a chairside assistant now, and that’s not like being a student. I feel like my brother was patient with my learning curve. If I have a problem or question all I have to do is ask and he’s there for me.
That sounds very harmonious Well it took us a little while to get there! I have my own house and my brother has his own house but most of the time we end up having dinner at our parents’ house (it’s a cultural thing—we’re Indian.) He and I would bicker and our parents said, look you can’t stress each other out at work and at home. If you are going to practice dentistry with someone in your family you have to work on those boundaries between work life and home life.
What’s your schedule like? Like I said there are three locations, so I work at #1 on Mondays and Fridays, #2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and #3 on Wednesdays. Basically I need to pay close attention to what day of the week it is because if I let my mind wander while I’m driving I’ll end up at the wrong location!
Any recommendations for someone in your shoes? Having a great dental team makes all the difference. You are going to be spending a lot of time together so it’s important to enjoy one another’s company. I truly enjoy going to work every day, and I know not everybody is lucky enough to be able to say that!
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.