Mentor Advice ForumPublic health and Academia conflict.
AvatarNancy Rial asked 1 week ago

First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this message, being a part of the mentoring program, and providing guidance that will foster my professional development. I was not aware that this program existed, and I am so happy that Professor Rivera introduced me to this resource. My dilemma is that I am stuck between following a career path in public health or academia. Dental hygiene has been an incredible career to me, and I have worked for wonderful dentists in private practice in New York City. I have enjoyed interacting with patients over the last 19 years but do not see myself doing this ten years from now and need to slow down. My neck and back will thank me! Since dental hygiene is all I know career-wise, I am scared! I know I do not want to go into research or sales.
I am currently pursuing a B.S.D.H. at Farmingdale State College. I am very grateful to the professors who teach online; otherwise, I would not be able to earn this degree. I hope to graduate by the beginning of 2022. Also, a concern for me is insurance benefits and employment longevity. I know that may sound silly for some, but I need the security of knowing I will get them due to health issues. As you may already know, it can be difficult to be fully insured as a dental hygienist. I feel very fortunate I could receive full benefits, but my friends in this field have found it challenging.
My questions are:

  1. How did you know the career you chose was what you wanted to do?
  2. Do you have any books or online sources you suggest I read?
  3. What’s the best advice you can give to help plan a career?
  4. How did you land your current job?
  5. Did you have a mentor?

Thank you again for your time and invaluable advice! I hope to make a connection because I am feeling lost!
Nancy Cristina Rial