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Alumna Lakshmi Vishwanat Works Toward Being A Dentist

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Author: Charlotte Anthony | Category: Career Development | GSBS Alumni | Meet The Researcher | August 12, 2015

Lakshmi Vishwanat became interested in dentistry at eight years old.

“It was the first time I was in a dentist’s office and I was really inquisitive at that time,” Vishwanat said. “I wanted to know what my dentist was doing and he was really nice and took the time to explain everything to me.”

Near the end of high school, Vishwanat returned to that same dentist’s office and started volunteering.

“I wanted to know if this is what I wanted to do on a daily basis,” Vishwanat said. “I wasn’t allowed to do anything but observe and what I realized is that being a dentist requires a lot of people skills like telling people that something really scary is going to be alright.”

Vishwanat then pursued a Bachelor of Dental Science at MS Ramaiah Dental School and Hospital in Bangalore, India.

“In India, I got a strong foundation in clinical dentistry but I wasn’t really exposed to research,” Vishwanat said. “I knew that I really wanted to do research because as a researcher you can make a contribution to knowledge.”

This led her to pursue a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at the Graduate School of Biomedical Science at UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

“The program gave me a good foundation especially for someone who didn’t know much about research,” Vishwanat said. “I learned critical thinking skills along with the writing skills needed for my dental career.”

After graduating from UT Health Science Center, Vishwanat visited the Office of Career Development to practice her interview skills to apply to dental programs designed especially for international students.

“I’m the type of person who likes to be over prepared so it was really helpful to sit down with Teresa and go through all the questions I would be asked,” Vishwanat said. “It’s much better to be over prepared so I won’t be nervous for my real interview.”

Vishwanat plans to attend the International Dental Program to fulfill her goal of being a dentist in the United States.

“I want to stay in the United States and ideally I would like to be able to do research, teach, as well as practice dentistry.” 

This article is part of the "Meet The Researcher" series which showcases researchers at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. 

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