Pediatric dental resident
As an undergraduate, Bushra Bhatti spent a summer interning in the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Pediatric Dentistry where she realized how perfectly the experience married her interests in dentistry and public health.
"The program exposed me to many aspects of pediatric dentistry, from patient care to evidence-based dentistry to policy issues affecting the care of children," said Bhatti, now a pediatric dentistry resident at VCU. "I saw what the lack of oral health care could have on children firsthand, as well as how early education and care could prevent many children from the deleterious effects of poor dentition."
The shortage of access to specialty care, combined with the opportunity to be an advocate for oral health education and prevention, motivated Bhatti, a North Carolina native, to pursue a career as a pediatric dentist.
"Many counties in my home state did not have a single pediatric dentist," Bhatti said. "Moreover, pediatric dentists serve special needs children who may need supervision when performing normal oral care. Without access to a pediatric dentist, maintaining a healthy dentition for patients and their caregivers can be difficult."
The intellectual stimulation of chemistry and biology along with the personal interaction between provider and patient fuel Bhatti's passion to provide quality care to children in need.
"Pediatric dentists have a real opportunity to education children and parents on the importance of good oral health," she said. "Being able to help children is a professional and personal goal that I am excited to pursue."
"I would also love to educate future pediatric dentists in an academic setting."