Alumni Spotlight: Advice for the Class of 2024  


The lives of every graduate in the GSDM Class of 2024  are about to change, as they prepare to embark on an emerging dental career. The graduates are joining an extensive alumni network of exceptional clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovators who are spread across 63 countries and 49 states. We asked GSDM alumni to give motivating advice to the latest GSDM graduates about life after dental school. Here’s what they had to say.  

Note: Featured alumni submitted photos from their commencement days and/or present day. 


Khamir Patel DMD 14

“As you step into the real world of dentistry after leaving Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, remember, this adventure, though it may seem tough, is incredibly rewarding. Your journey isn’t just about fixing teeth; it’s about making a real difference in people’s lives with your unique skills. Dentistry combines science and art in ways that let you improve your patients’ smiles and well-being. Strive to be the best at what you do, and always remain a lifelong student, constantly evolving and learning in your craft. Dive into the challenges with a positive spirit and don’t hesitate to learn from experienced dentists out there. Good luck, and always feel free to lean on the dental community. We’re all here to cheer each other on!”


Kristen Forehand DMD 23

“One of biggest pieces of advice in my limited experience as a dentist is to be humble. You may feel like you know everything coming out of dental school, or feeling confident in particular areas, but you will run into things you’re not sure of. It’s hard to admit that you don’t know how to go about a treatment plan or diagnosis, or how to go about communicating things to the patient. This is where you need to use your resources and hopefully a mentor to guide you through the unknowns so that you can continue to learn every day. There will always be someone who knows more than you. Be humble and understand where you lack to make you better at those things. On top of this, I’ve found that showing my patients I care not only about them but the quality work that I’m providing to them, has helped me build great trust and relationships with patients. Don’t treat them just as another dollar sign but act as though it’s a family member and give your honest advice, even if it’s not what they want to hear. The right patients will appreciate that.”



Zhiqiang Huang DMD 08

“Congratulations to the Class of 2024! Soon, you will be practicing promising and rewarding real-world dentistry without worrying about the intense dental school schedule. However, do not stop learning, as you cannot succeed without continuing to learn. Dentistry is constantly changing. The concepts, techniques, and materials are updated at an incredibly fast pace. While you enjoy treating patients without the need for checks or approval, it is still highly recommended that you find a mentor in the early phase of your career. The best way to find a mentor is to connect with your local GSDM alumni. Your success is our success too.”


Kadambari Rawal AEGD 10 DPH 18
Clinical Associate Professor of General Dentistry

“Don’t look back, changing the past isn’t possible but… give back because the future is in your hands. Give back to your profession, your alma mater and most importantly, to those in need. Taking time out of your busy life to volunteer and participate in outreach will truly bring a smile to a lot of faces including your own. Truly, there’s nothing more rewarding!”


Karen Chileuitt DMD 22

“As you embark on your journey as dental professionals, remember to soak up every moment – from cherished time with friends to invaluable lessons from professors. Engage in social and philanthropic activities, attend lectures, and embrace every opportunity. These experiences will shape you beyond dentistry. Seek out mentors, nurture meaningful connections, and continuously learn from everyone around you. Never cease to ask questions, each question fuels growth. Know that with each day’s dedication, you evolve into a better version of yourself. Embrace this transformative journey, it molds not only your career but your character.”


Mira Khouzam DMD 16

“Being a dentist is a privilege. Approach each day with that mindset. You will have great days and difficult ones. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small, and learn from your mistakes. Be kind to yourself. Define your core values and build a working life that encompasses that. Find yourself a mentor. Establish connections with your peers. Be teachable! Remember, to stay afloat, you have to keep moving! And most of all, enjoy your work and take pride in it, you have worked so hard to be where you are right now!”


Reem Al Shaltoni PROS 23
Clinical Assistant Professor of Restorative Sciences & Biomaterials

“Class of 2024, congratulations on reaching this milestone! As you gear up for your post-dental school journey, remember to cultivate clinical expertise. Continue learning beyond the classroom, staying updated on advancements in dentistry, and honing your skills. Embrace mentorship opportunities to gain insights from experienced professionals. Develop strong communication skills to build rapport with patients and colleagues. Stay resilient amidst challenges and prioritize self-care to maintain your well-being. Most importantly, never lose sight of your passion for improving oral health and enhancing lives through dentistry. Good luck, you’ve got this!”


Tadasha Culbreath DMD 89

“Have a long-term strategy for your career. A beginning, middle and end. Continue to learn those skills you are interested in. Congratulations!!!”


By Rachel Grace Philipson