Mr. Tice, a 2015 program participant at the University of Louisville. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2017 with a bachelor of science degree in pre-professional health sciences. Today, he is a 2nd year dental student at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. Mr. Tice’s post graduation plans are to return to the Orange County and Los Angeles area to practice esthetic dentistry.

What led to your interest in a health profession?

I was first interested in the health profession at a very young age. As a kid, I always loved going to the dentist and being in immersed in that environment. While most kids hated going to the dentist, I always looked forward to my next visit. As I matured, I realized that joining the health profession was a challenge that many individuals strived for. I realized it was going to be a long journey, and that it would require perseverance, patience, and greatness. My decision to join the health profession was solidified when I had a dentist visit our elementary school to talk about how he works in the community and provides others the chance to obtain quality dental care. It was not just the actions that this dentist performed, but it was the mass amount of respect he received from others in the community. It was at this moment that I realized I wanted to give myself, my family, and others in the community a better quality of life.

Who or what inspired you?

My biggest inspiration was my family, especially my siblings. I wanted to become a role model for my younger sister and brother so they could see that the road to joining the health profession is attainable. I want to provide them with the guidance and motivation to attain their dreams, and show them that success, and respect, can be earned with perseverance. The second biggest inspiration next to my family was attending SMDEP. I was surrounded by such a diverse and motivated group of students that it propelled me to strive for greatness, inside and outside of school. This group of students became my second family, and I am still in contact with many of them today.

What surprised you the most about professional school?

My biggest surprise about professional school was how welcoming and friendly everyone was from day one. From the first day at orientation, I met so many good friends and faculty members that have made my transition into dental school so much easier. From the first day of dental school, up until now, I have made countless friends and built relationships that will last a lifetime.

If you had the opportunity to talk to a health profession student, what would you tell him/her?

No matter what happens, or what you may be experience, never let go of what makes you, you. Always strive to be the greatest version of yourself, and never let anyone take that away from you. It may seem like achieving your dreams are impossible because of where you’re at in life; but always push forward and persevere. Your decisions, not your conditions, determine your destiny.

Do you remember your first day of graduate studies? What memory stands out the most?

I remember my first day of dental school vividly, we got introduced to all the faculty members and got to see what our first semester of dental school would be like. Our first class, which was preventive dentistry with Dr. Z, it was the first time I learned about actual dental related topics and how to interact with patients in a clinical scenario. I just remember sitting in the classroom being so happy that I am finally in dental school, and so close to obtaining my dream of becoming a dentist.

Posted: May 2019