How would you describe your journey to becoming the doctor you are today?
I have been a general and cosmetic dentist for over 30 years. However, 10 years ago, I attended my first training course in the etiology and treatment of sleep apnea. Seeing the difference that an oral appliance can make in a patient’s life is what started my journey to where I am today.
Describe the moment or time of life you decided to have a career in medicine.
When I was in seventh grade, wearing braces on my teeth, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in the dental field. Luckily, a wise, female pediatrician at my church coached me on striving for my goal and how not to worry about how long it would take to get there. From that point on, my schooling was directed to help me achieve that goal.
What routines and habits help you prepare for, or recover from, a day’s challenges?
For the most part, when I leave my office, I am done. I do not continue to worry about what is happening while I am away and can trust my great team. My husband and I enjoy getting away for long weekends and camping – glamping – with our three dogs. I prefer to be more “play” than “work,” and that keeps me prepared for challenges.
Describe a moment you felt like giving up. Why didn’t you?
After leaving the Navy, I got married to a true, “born and raised Charleston boy.” My husband has always been by my side, encouraging me and helping me through ups and downs. When I stated that I had decided to sell my dental practice, and I had found the perfect location for my new sleep practice, right after COVID craziness, he trusted me. He is the reason that I keep going and never give up on my dreams.
How do you respond to the challenges of being a woman in the health care field?
When I graduated from dental school, I joined the Navy. I spent eight years in the Navy as a dental officer. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and grew from it. Women officers were still in the minority at the time, but I never felt any kind of challenges because of it. Then and now, my patients have gravitated to me because I was a woman, more gentle and caring.
Describe the person and provider you strive to be.
Every day I am thankful for the opportunity and feel blessed to work with so many medical providers and their patients. We are able to help these patients sleep better and become more healthy because of it. I strive to continue to be caring and knowledgeable and to help all of my patients the best way possible.
What great mentorship have you received? What made it great?
Six years ago, I joined an organization of sleep dentist col leagues all across the United States. Many of those members have helped me grow my dental sleep practice to where it is now. We learn from each other and share information that helps us succeed in our daily interactions with patients and physicians.
SLEEP BETTER SOUTH CAROLINA