Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Name of Undergraduate Institution(s): Morehouse College, Barry University (Master’s)
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Psychology, B.S.; Biomedical Sciences, M.S.
Name of Dental School: Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Favorite Quote: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I’m currently in my 2nd year of dental school at Tufts University, pursuing my D.M.D degree. I always say that I found dentistry as much as dentistry came to me. From a young age I’ve had a unique interest in dentistry; it became my aim as my profession after meeting with my mentor Dr. Jeanette Holloway, who has become one of my biggest supporters. After sitting with her, she shifted my perspective and becoming a dentist seemed real to me for the first time. I want to be that spark for those coming after me and have an impact on a daily basis, helping people daily through practice.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell him?
I would tell a younger version of myself to try everything! Do not box yourself into a mold of what you think you like or what the crowd is doing or likes, because you truly don’t know. Follow your interests and preferences, but push the boundaries and gain experiences so you learn what’s right for you sooner than later. Give 100% in whatever you’re doing so you have nothing to regret or think twice about when you look back on your years. Finally, make lasting memories and build/keep strong, genuine relationships.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
Keep grinding and do not get discouraged, no matter what! The road to becoming a dentist is long and you never know what could come up. You must make sure you have a strong why to get you through.
What is your favorite thing about your dental school?
My favorite thing about Tufts is the attention they pay to the student and the support they provide. The faculty and staff are some of our biggest supporters and they work to ensure we are keeping a balance between schoolwork and everything else we have going on. From meditation sessions to mentor groups to weekly yoga, they make sure students have enough outlets to relieve stress and stay level-headed.
Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?
I’ve earned a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences and looking back, it has been a huge advantage for me. It improved my foundation in the sciences and it has paid off so far through dental school, due to me having seen the information before.
Did you take some time off before dental school? If so, what did you do during that time?
I took time to study for the DAT as well as take some time away from the classroom. Having to take an extra year to finish undergrad, I felt I needed that break from school to gain life experiences. While studying for the DAT, I got a job at an airline and was able to travel to some of my favorite places around the world.
Do you have any passions outside of school? If so, what are they?
Outside of school, I have a passion to help those of the next generation so that they can hopefully avoid mistakes I’ve made throughout my journey. Whether it’s answering pre-dental questions, editing our vlog posts, or developing our Instagram, I enjoy sharing the wisdom and experiences I’ve had. I know what I’m capable of, so helping others develop and succeed at times is more rewarding than succeeding myself.
What do you do to get through the stressful nature of dental school?
To help deal with the stresses of dental school, I make sure I take time for self. I meditate and pray in the morning and try to plan ahead as much as possible. The more prepared you are, the less you feel pressured or stressed about the workload and obligations you have on your plate.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?
Favorite Musicians – It’s hard, I have such a wide range of artists I like to listen to. I’d have to say Future, Jay-Z, Daniel Caesar, Ty Dolla $ign, Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake. Really there are too many artists to list, but that’s who I’m listening to most right now.
Favorite Books – My favorite books are: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and the Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois.
Favorite Shows – Power, Billions, Shark Tank, Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, and Martin.
Favorite Movies – Bad Boys 2, Inception, The Matrix, Step Brothers and the Kill Bill Series.
Thanks a ton for all of the fantastic advice and wisdom that you've shared with us Tyrell! It's great to hear how your experiences have shaped you into the person you are today and by sharing a bit about yourself, you are definitely helping someone else reading this who may have needed this type of motivation! Continue to do the great things that you're doing in dental school and best of luck to you as you move on in your career!
Posted on December 3rd, 2018