My story


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.

foreign trained dentists in USA - Thomas C. Maveli DDS, MS (Prostho), Meera G. Maveli BDS, MS (Perio)

Thomas C. Maveli DDS, MS (Prostho), Meera G. Maveli BDS, MS (Perio)

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!!

15 thoughts on “My story

    • says:

      Thanks for the appreciation..I have soooo many things I want to share and make this process easier for others but my schedule is crazy right now with a one year old in the mix!

  1. pree says:

    hi meera thanks for all your efforts..i would like to do the fellowship at lomalinda too..can you please share more details about it and where can we practise after that?

  2. Shrinkhala Shree Kapoor says:

    Hi, Dr. Meera.

    Reading your bio, made me felt so thankful of you that you even thought of blogging it to help others. You might not even have the idea how much a tremendous help it is to finally come across a blog which actually clears doubts, instead of increasing them.

    Huge thanks.

  3. dr swati joshi asopa says:

    hi dr. maveli,
    read your blog, its very inspiring and informative too.
    I am an Indian prosthodontist, worked for 4 years now. I was going through the admission requirements for the same program on LLU page, I saw nbde is only needed for US studies dentist. Does that mean as an international dentist I won’t need this exam scores? I am interested in advance standing program
    kindly help.

    • says:

      Hi Swati,
      You will need NBDE scores regardless of the program you apply to…some programs may say they don’t need it but even if you get accepted into a program, you will need to pass NBDE’s to apply for licensing exams. So get it out of the way!

      • dr swati joshi asopa says:

        Hi Meera,
        thank you for your prompt response, I m already studying and taking part-1 by April, as I’ve heard INBDE is soon taking over. I m planning to apply for DDS & advance learning once I clear part-2 as well. I hope my Indian career experience so far nd future examination results can help me get through the program as I won’t be able to take up anymore future courses to enhance my application due to my age, finance and visa constraints.

  4. Dr.Parvathi Devi says:

    hi dr.meera…im an aspiring dentist to migrate to USA.. hope all information would defenitely add to my efforts to make my dream come true

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *