Lakshmi Vishwanat became interested in dentistry at eight
“It was the first time I was in a dentist’s office and I was
really inquisitive at that time,” Vishwanat said. “I wanted to know what my
dentist was doing and he was really nice and took the time to explain
everything to me.”
Near the end of high school, Vishwanat returned to that same
dentist’s office and started volunteering.
“I wanted to know if this is what I wanted to do on a daily
basis,” Vishwanat said. “I wasn’t allowed to do anything but observe and what I
realized is that being a dentist requires a lot of people skills like telling
people that something really scary is going to be alright.”
Vishwanat then pursued a Bachelor of Dental Science at MS
Ramaiah Dental School and Hospital in Bangalore, India.
“In India, I got a strong foundation in clinical dentistry
but I wasn’t really exposed to research,” Vishwanat said. “I knew that I really
wanted to do research because as a researcher you can make a contribution to
This led her to pursue a Master
of Science in Clinical Investigation at the Graduate School of Biomedical
Science at UT Health Science Center San Antonio.
“The program gave me a good foundation especially for
someone who didn’t know much about research,” Vishwanat said. “I learned
critical thinking skills along with the writing skills needed for my dental career.”
After graduating from UT Health Science Center, Vishwanat
visited the Office of
Career Development to practice her interview skills to apply to dental programs
designed especially for international students.
“I’m the type of person who likes to be over prepared so it
was really helpful to sit down with Teresa and go through all the questions I
would be asked,” Vishwanat said. “It’s much better to be over prepared so I
won’t be nervous for my real interview.”
Vishwanat plans to attend the International Dental Program
to fulfill her goal of being a dentist in the United States.
“I want to stay in the United States and ideally I would
like to be able to do research, teach, as well as practice dentistry.”
This article is part of the “Meet The Researcher” series which showcases researchers at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.