Hometown: Elk Grove, California
Career Plans: Starting his own private practice
“It’s great knowing that you’re a part of adding to the incredible reputation of the school while helping out the community.”
While many dental students struggle to find the right balance between school and their families, Joey Cohen DDS '17 has his wife Hannah right by his side as a fellow second-year student. As high school sweethearts, he didn't imagine that they would follow the same career path. However, that's exactly what happened, and today they are both at the Dugoni School, busy with coursework and seeing patients in the clinic.
Joey sees it as an advantage having Hannah here at the school. "So many people have difficulty finding time to spend with their families and it's easy for us because we're together at school and at home." They have two brains working on school-related projects all the time, whether it's studying or treatment planning or just throwing around ideas. In such a condensed and accelerated curriculum, students have to be extremely focused all the time and having his wife by his side has been really helpful. In fact, he readily admits that Hannah is better at planning and organizing than he is.
"She's a lot better at taking care of the details; it's really incredible to have someone with you every day you know you can count on," says Joey.
One of Joey's favorite things about being at Pacific Dugoni isn't a thing at all — it's his classmates. He feels like these are people he's spent his whole life looking for - not only ones that are smart and fun, but ones that have the same ideals and are as driven as he is. Being around his classmates everyday pushes him to be better.
Now that he's in his second year, interacting with patients is Joey's favorite part of the day. He enjoys making them feel comfortable and educating them. He feels like the patients consistently give positive feedback about the school, whether it's about the students and faculty or the technology and specialties.
"It's great knowing that you're a part of adding to the incredible reputation of the school while helping out the community," says Joey. He cites the Dugoni School's new reduced-fee program for veterans as an example of the great things the school continues to do for the community. It makes him proud to not only represent the Dugoni School, but have the Dugoni School represent his values as well.
Joey has also been involved in student government, serving as Associated Student Body (ASB) treasurer during his first year and now as a member of the as executive council for American Student Dental Association (ASDA) and as ASDA treasurer. He is also a leader for the annual dental mission trip to Jamaica. His desire to be involved stems from his love of being around his classmates and hope that he can enhance the school experience for them.
"I'm so happy I got involved because I feel like I'm making a difference," says Joey. "Meeting student leaders here and nationally has been amazing."
As for future career plans, Joey hopes to start his own private practice. He feels like the school has given him the resources needed in terms of handling the business aspect of dentistry. He's confident that he can handle the decisions and leadership responsibilities that are involved in creating his own business from scratch. He'll also have a business partner - Hannah - that he can totally rely on.
Joey always knew that he wanted to be a private practitioner; he wanted to grow with his patients. "The best thing about private practice is that you'll be someone your patients can rely on for years and hopefully decades," Joey said. "I imagine it'll be really rewarding and it's something I'm looking forward to. And to have this experience with Hannah will make it even better."