Class Year: 2023
Program major: Doctor of Dental Medicine
When thinking of dental medicine, art is likely not the first thing that comes to mind. But for Alexandra Yazdani, it’s what continues to draw her to the profession.
“There is a lot of artistry in dentistry,” the third-year Doctor of Dental Medicine student explained. “Dental medicine is aesthetic as well as scientific—it uses the right brain and the left brain.”
So for Yazdani, who grew up dancing competitively—ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and contemporary—and loves drawing and visual arts, she wanted to pursue a discipline where she could put her passion for artistry into practice.
She found that in dental medicine, which she’s seen up close her entire life, as her father, alumnus Milan Yazani (DEN ’92) owns a private practice near Toronto.
Visiting his private practice and seeing his skill in working with people—showing empathy and connecting with them—captivated her, further sparking her interest in becoming a dentist.
And at the School of Dental Medicine, Yazdani has learned to treat the whole patient, not just their mouth. The school’s Dental Clinic provides students with real-world patient experience, she explained, giving them the opportunity to interact with people from a variety of backgrounds.
“The hardest thing for some people in dealing with patients is understanding that everyone is different,” Yazdani said. “Some people are very anxious, and I have been able to develop a lot of patience and empathy for those who need to stop and take a break or who need a little more explanation about a procedure.”
When she needs to decompress from the stress of studying or working with patients, Yazdani spends time with the friends she has made at the dental school.
“No one else understands what we go through—we are all in it together, and we really rely on each other,” Yazdani said. “The people are what sets CWRU apart.”