On July 14, we announced our Delta Dental Community Care Foundation 2020 Student Leadership Award winners. These graduating dental students exemplify our value of service, and we are proud to provide support as they embark on their careers. Hung Nguyen from Loma Linda University made service a priority during dental school. Hung initiated and led a student food drive, providing more than 1000 cans of food for the community and was a team member of the Campus Kitchen, which prepares and distributes food to the hungry in the Detroit area. All told, Hung has logged more than 460 hours of community service while excelling in his studies. We chatted with Hung to learn what’s next and how he plans to continue to serve his community as he begins his career as a dentist.
What are your plans for the future?
After graduation, I plan to work with a Dental Service Organization (DSO) for a minimum of two years to gain more clinical experience and to improve my practice management skills. My goal is to open my first dental office in the next five years with an emphasis on dental implant treatments. I am currently taking an Implant Dentistry Continuum at Loma Linda University as a Continuing Education Program to expand my knowledge of implant placement and related surgical procedures. I hope to restore a confident smile back to those patients with missing teeth.
Can you talk about the importance of service in your life?
From the first day I entered dental school at Loma Linda University, I was introduced to the importance of service from our school motto “Service is our Calling.” Through local and international missionary work and community outreach programs, I was exposed to the rewarding experiences of serving those who are less fortunate. As health care providers, it is our duty to help and serve others. Therefore, I view it as part of my job as a dentist to be of service. I find that there is something truly humbling and rewarding when I help someone, especially those who cannot pay for my services. I hope to integrate this into my practice by devoting a couple of weeks a year to offer my dental skills to serve others in missionary work and volunteer programs such as CDA Cares.
What does it mean to you to be recognized as a Delta Dental Student Leader?
I am very honored to be chosen among my peers for the Delta Dental Student Leadership Award, and the money from the award will be a great help as I transition into my future employment.
Dentistry is a multifaceted profession that involves not only theoretical and clinical expertise but also relies heavily on communication and management skills. I strived to be a well-rounded dentist and sought to develop the latter skills through my extracurricular involvement in school. I see this award is an affirmation that I have achieved the goals I set out for myself while in dental school. I understand that further development in all aspects of dentistry comes later through experience. I look forward to continued learning and am confident that I have a solid foundation to build upon as I establish myself as a successful dentist.