My name is Meera Maveli. As a dentist trained in India, I know first hand the challenges faced by an international dentist when moving to USA. I started this website/blog to share my story and help other foreign trained dentists find viable options to study or practice in USA. Now that I’m an American Board Certified Periodontist, I feel that I have a different perspective as someone who has gone through all the different phases – exams, applications, interviews, graduation, job hunting, immigration etc.
There are few things worse than moving to a new country and realizing you have to start your professional education/career from scratch! I found myself in that predicament when I got married and moved to the US to live with my husband. My husband, Thomas Maveli, was at Loma Linda University (LLU) undergoing a dual Masters program in Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry. Faced with multiple options in USA, I had to quickly determine my priorities.
- One, I wanted to complete a Specialty program instead of an Advanced Standing program, even if it limited my practice to certain US states.
- Two, I was interested in a surgical Specialty, so between Oral Surgery and Periodontics, I decided on Periodontics.
- Third, since I did not want to be separated from my husband, the only place I wanted to apply to was the LLU Periodontics department.
Once I had come to this understanding, I had to turn the odds in my favour. I joined for a 6 month externship program in the LLU Periodontics department that let me assist the residents and attend all their classes. The faculty were able to see me perform in the exams and take part in journal discussions. I interviewed with the Periodontics Department the same year, but was waitlisted and told to re-apply next year. However, God worked a miracle when one of the selected candidates dropped out and I was offered a position in the program. So my husband and I had the pleasure of graduating together from the same university in 2014!! We both are now American Board Certified Specialists in our respective fields and have settled down in Texas.
I have multiple family members and friends who are dentists. Believe it or not but between my husband and I, we have 11 dentists in our families (excluding us)!!. Let’s just say, almost every conversation ends up in dental talk. I get asked constantly about how we made it into US dental programs and are able to practice in the US.
Since I’m currently a stay at home mom, I wanted to start a site to share my experiences and bring all the available resources to one place. The information currently available to foreign trained dentists is so scattered, outdated and sometimes not accurate. And there is so much that people don’t tell you because it’s embarrassing or they think they are a one-of case. That is why this site will have not only blog posts that I use to share pointers but also a resources page with a collection of all the information available on the internet and a forum to discuss specific topics.
To use this site to it’s full potential, I would advise that you subscribe, as well as participate and share your experiences by commenting below each post or starting a discussion group in the Forum. I will try my best to reply to your comments/emails and also cater the site to the needs of the audience. Here’s to a great future!!