Preparing for a Career in Healthcare: Dr. Todd Whitlock shares why he became a dentist and provides advice to IU students
Dr. Todd Whitlock is a genuine Hoosier. Born in Marion, Indiana, he graduated from Marion High School in 1981. Following high school, he got a BA in Biology from Indiana University and continued on to train at the IU School of Dentistry. That same year, he opened his doors to serve patients throughout the Bloomington area. Dr. Whitlock is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and is currently pursuing his accreditation with this highly regarded organization. Earning accreditation with the AACD demands a rigorous examination process along with precise clinical skills.
The IU Career Development Center sat down with Dr. Whitlock and spoke with him the day he was a panelist for our event, Preparing For a Career In Healthcare.
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to become a dentist? Did you have a teacher, mentor, or family member who influenced your decision?
I thought I knew that dentistry was what I wanted to do my junior year as an undergraduate student. I did not investigate or research like I should have and had very little knowledge of what dentistry was actually like. My only experience with dentistry was as a patient. I really liked my dentist and wanted a career like his.
Knowing what you know now, if you were stallion college as an undergraduate, what would you do the same or differently to prepare for being a dentist?
I would have investigated more about what dentistry is actually about and like before starting the DDS program.
Did you take any classes unrelated to your field of study that impact your career today?
I did not take any unrelated classes that directly impacted by career but took a series of ancient history classes that allowed me to be interested in other disciplines that are completely different than the sciences that carry over today and allow me to “escape” from work and be more well-rounded.
What are the challenging aspects of being a dentist? What are the rewarding parts of your job?
The biggest challenge for me as a dentist is also a business owner. I had little or zero practice management skills and realized I needed help in this area. Fortunately, I found a business consultant early in my carer and still use his company long with other advisors. Also, dentistry is labor intensive and care provider receives by helping someone is the greatest reward.
If students want to learn about being a dentist, what websites, magazines, or professional associates do you recommend?
Students can learn about dentistry by looking that the American Dental Association’s website (http://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/).