Learning from Dr. Keerti

‘What would be the biggest lesson you would want to pass on to future women dentists?’

For the past few months, these questions have been plaguing me; ‘what can I do now, that’ll help me achieve my future goals? What do I need to know now that’ll help me serve my patients, and care for my family better? What is the ‘meaningful end’ that I should work towards?’ I’ve written before about the lack of representation we, as women often experience in leadership. It is because of this, that women find it harder, across all industries, to find mentors to model themselves after.

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I wanted to hear from women that are in leadership positions, and from women who are carving their own unique career path, about their experiences. What would they recommend others try? What advice are they trying to follow themselves?

A growth mindset

Being a good dentist is more than just that. It is also about having a growth mindset and following ‘your why’. And, following your path is about constantly evolving, being open to different opportunities and experiencing the joy that comes with learning new things. When I was thinking about all of this, I immediately thought of Dr. Keerti Sahasrabudhe.

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Meet Dr. Keerti

Dr. Keerti is a an AACD accredited, cosmetic dentist practicing in Redmond, WA. Her artistry goes beyond her beautiful same day crowns (CEREC) and smile makeovers. It extends to paper in the form of poetry too. I first came across her work via her guest interview on The Noobie Dentist Podcast two years ago and have been following her inspiring journey on Instagram ever since. When I asked her what her advice would be to young female dentists, this is what she had to say:

‘’Get out of your own way

Let there be some room for magic.

Let me explain 

Women in dentistry are generally quite ambitious.

Naturally. 

“I got this far – didn’t I?”

Yes. But what got you here is not going to get you there. 

Why?

Because you don’t even yet know what “there” is right now.

Yes. But what got you here is not going to get you there. 

In fact- let your “there” be redefined by you every few years. Get out of your own way. Give yourself the permission to look around, grow. Change. Change your mind. Change your goals. 

You see, all our lives, our goals are laid out for us. It’s actually quite easy, come to think of it. K through 12. Then in college and dental school. 1st to 4th year. Your goals are laid out for you. All we have to do is stay focused and move through the plan efficiently. 

Unfortunately, real life does not come with a curriculum. 

Let there be some room for magic.

But I see young female dentists wanting to create a curriculum for life and try to rigidly follow that once they are out of school too. “In 3 years I will do this and in 5 years I must have my practice and so on” And then if things go differently- the little naysayer witch that resides rent free in all our heads – defines it as failure. And that is hilarious if you think about it. Who is setting these goals? Who is even defining success here?

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Some of the most amazing women I have met in dentistry have done it upside down and backwards while moving sideways. Never owned a practice yet carved out a big name. Sold a General practice to go back for residency. Stayed in academia. You name it. One commonality I see in them is that they may define very short term goals for themselves but in the long run they leave room for possibilities and wonderment and hence organic growth. 

Some of the most amazing women I have met in dentistry have done it upside down and backwards while moving sideways.

The landscape in Dentistry is evolving. Now, more than ever. So, now more than ever, it is time for young female dentists to stay a bit fluid. Go with the flow a bit. Be open to various opportunities. Define your “there” as not so much a goal to be accomplished but rather a state of mind, where you are happy and growing and enjoying the journey. ‘’

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

Thanks, Dr. Keerti for your words. It is such an honor to be able to learn from your wisdom daily. Thank you for being such a worthy role model to so many new dentists and dental students!

If you feel inspired reading this, drop a comment below, let us know what you are thinking. Share with us what magic you are creating in your life, or what you need help with. Let’s grow together and continue staying ‘fluid’.

Stay tuned for more such messages!

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