Joelle E. Foster, School of Dentistry Class of 2022

Why did you choose dentistry?

I chose to pursue dentistry because of the unique marriage between science, artistry, and service. Dentistry is very hands-on, and I am rewarded every day when using my own manual dexterity to alleviate pain, enhance esthetics, and restore function for patients. I knew I wanted to be a dentist by the time I was in kindergarten, and even dressed up as one for Halloween!

Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?

The thing I remember most about interviewing in San Antonio was the positive feedback I received from the current students. They were proud to be dental students at UT Health San Antonio, and it gave me the confidence that this program would best prepare me to become an excellent clinician. As I begin my senior year, I can confidently say that I would easily make the same choice again!

How has UT Health helped you?

UT Health has trained me to be a well-rounded dentist, emphasizing the strong connection between dentistry and overall health. I had opportunities to work with students and faculty from the Long School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and School of Health Professions. These experiences have reinforced the importance of communication and cohesive interdisciplinary care for our patients.

What is your plan for after graduation?

I am currently applying to periodontics residency programs. Following residency, I plan to return to Central Texas to be close to my family, work closely with general practitioners and other specialists, and provide high-quality and evidenced-based care to my patients. I have participated in dental refugee clinics and mission trips while in dental school, and I plan to continue volunteering in these clinics following graduation.

How do you intend to give back to UT Health?

As a young college student who was looking for guidance on how to pursue dentistry, I was so grateful to have a dentist mentor who helped show me what a career in dentistry is like. His kindness and passion for dentistry was contagious, and his mentorship made me feel confident in my decision to apply to dental school. I would love to provide the same mentorship to those considering a career in dentistry, as well as current dental students preparing to graduate and begin their careers.

Who is your favorite professor, mentor or staff member? And why?

When I think about the number of faculty who have gone out of their way to teach me, mentor me, and guide me, it is impossible to select one single person who has made the biggest impact. I have had the pleasure of learning from several different faculty members in both didactic and clinical settings that have collectively influenced the way I will practice dentistry.

General Practice Group 1 faculty have provided me with the real-world skills I will need to provide my future patients with the best care possible. All of the GPG 1 faculty have gone out of their way to help me and my fellow classmates understand treatment planning, patient communication, and time management. Aside from their mentorship, I have developed excellent friendships with my faculty mentors that will last long past graduation day.

Joelle E. Foster, School of Dentistry Class of 2022
Joelle E. Foster, School of Dentistry Class of 2022