Friday, February 05, 2010

Oregon Women Dentists: a turn-of-the-century perspective

In another of those instances of serendipity that occur, it seems, whenever you make yourself alert to them, our post of yesterday is echoed in the cover of the most recent issue of Doctor of Dentistry (Oregon/SW Washington edition).

"Women in Dentistry Today" features eight Oregon women dentists, including five graduates of the OHSU School of Dentistry (Angela Lafarge Blizzard, Melika Kashkouli, Sheida Kharrazi, Maryam Motlagh, and Bita Zavari). A very brief introduction notes that women made up just 2 percent of entering dental school classes in the 1970s; today, that number has jumped to around 50 percent.

Short interviews with the eight dentists follow, with each addressing why they chose dentistry, how they manage work/life balance, and what they enjoy about the profession. In order to help support women in what remains a male-dominated profession, Motlagh hopes to organize "a study club for female dentists in the near future." To those women considering dentistry, Kharrazi offers this advice:
The most important thing I can tell people in any situation is never give up. If you want to pursue a career in dentistry, you can do it if you just do not give up. Will it be difficult? Most likely. Is it worth it? Immensely!
As we noted just about a year ago, women have been taking up that challenge in Oregon since the turn of the last century.

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