First-year student Frank Perez credits a dentist in his homeland of Cuba with “giving my mother her life back.’’
After his mom’s teeth deteriorated during pregnancy, she regained her happiness and self-esteem through esthetic restorative dental treatment. The experience inspired him to enter the field.
Perez emigrated from Cuba to Miami in 2014 after reuniting with his older sister, who arrived here via Cuba’s lottery system for those seeking to leave the country. He majored in Biology at Florida International University, where, as a pre-dental student, he volunteered for the Caring for Miami Project Smile program.
Perez choseRSDM because of its diversity and strong advocacy for the LGBTQ community within dental education, in addition to its strong clinical program.
“When I was interviewed, I felt like I belonged here,’’ he said.
Dental school during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an adjustment, but ultimately, he believes it’s good preparation for a medical career. “As future providers, we’re always going to be on the front lines,’’ he said.