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Keeping Veterans Smiling

Dr. Brian Lehigh was a student at the UCLA School of Dentistry in 2015 when he received a DTA Foundation scholarship for students who showed a dedication to community service. Recently we caught up with the West Los Angeles VA periodontal resident to find out what he’s up to now.

What are your three biggest takeaways from dental school as you move forward with your career?

  1. Be proactive.
  2. Surround yourself with motivated people.
  3. Take time to do the things you enjoy.

What advice would you give to students who are just enrolling in dental school?
Consider applying for one of the scholarships available through the military.

How did getting the DTA Foundation scholarship help you in your final years in dental school?
It helped bring momentum to the Operation Bruin Smiles dental subsidy program at a critical time in its development. It also helped to motivate all of those involved with the program.

Is there anything you’d like to say to the donors who make the DTA Foundation scholarships possible?
Thank you for helping to support the veterans and former foster youth at UCLA!

Are you continuing with your volunteer activities post school?
I have much less time for extracurricular activities now that I am in the residency program at the VA, but I get to treat veterans on a daily basis and regularly check in with UCLA dental students and faculty on the status of the Operation Bruin Smiles program.

What should we know about you now and your plans for the next five years?
I plan to move to Colorado to practice periodontics. Once I feel established in my practice, I would like to start a new community service program to help improve the oral health of disadvantaged populations.