A year after the Y2K frenzy, i graduated from high school. Back then, I.T. / computer science was all the craze. But even though i was 'into computers', i realized that coding was not for me after having a difficult time with basic coding in senior high (also, i hate math). The courses i listed in my entrance exams in some universities were centered on the computer sciences, with an additional pharmacy in another university. So i was pretty dumbfounded on what path to choose...
Anyway, my dad told me, why not take up Dentistry, it could be a good foundation for whatever i was aiming for. (my aunt is a dentist, so my dad made her an example of how life would be if i chose that path)
Being the obedient son, i took it up. And 6 years later, i graduated dental school in CEU, and earned my license to practice the same year. (as a bonus - i aced the board exams, somewhat)
My first job was an associate at a shiny new dental clinic in Ortigas Center. I, along with some other fresh graduates only lasted 2 months before resigning. Because it was a new clinic, i remember i only had a chance to look at a patient ONCE! Other times, we just spent playing Wii or watching TV, or some other stuff that the boss wanted done.
Next up, i applied to join a training program in Hospital Dentistry/Minor Oral Surgery in PGH. Luckily, i, along with 7 others, passed the exam and commenced our duties on October 2007. It gave me the confidence i needed to do my job. It was also an eye opening experience as we also saw a lot of really bad shit, like oral/thyroid cancer, trauma patients (mostly from un-helmeted motorcycle riders), schizophrenics, leukemic kids, otherworldly outgrowths (dental and non-dental), among others. Patients from other wards with dental complaints were referred to the Hospital Dentistry department, and we took turns in treating these patients, aside from the 'normal' walk-in dental patients (requiring tooth extraction or some other minor oral surgery procedures). Suffice to say, it was a difficult 6 months, but definitely worth it.
Afterwards, i did my time as an associate in my aunt's dental clinic. Because of our generation gap however, i became more of a teacher than a student as she often asked me for new techniques/materials in various dental procedures. I made good on the time i spent there as i learned more on the business side of things, and did computer related stuff for her when not attending to patients (because she had other businesses going on aside from dental practice). And of course, it was there i had my chance to hone my skills, uplift my craft, and buildup my own patient base with minimal capital outlay for me as i borrowed most of the equipment/materials.
In the years that followed, i took up short courses in esthetic/cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics. Under the very good tutelage of Dr. Alfredo Valera, we were taught the basics of treating tooth malalignment with braces and other orthodontic appliance. Because of his enthusiastic teaching persona, i also became infected with the passion to do good orthodontics. He was a very good teacher and a helping hand especially with my first few orthodontic cases.
Anyway, so after a few more years of working as an associate, and earning enough to make myself live a comfortable life with a little extras on the side, i finally decided to put up my own practice in 2015. With luck, i was able to find a suitable enough space for a reasonable price last May 2015. It was actually my 2nd time to look for a space in that building. Small spaces are hard to come by and the first place i saw earlier that year was rented out a week after i saw it.
With a lot of help from friends and family, my clinic finally opened for business October 2015. With luck, i survived my first year. With great many thanks to my patients who have supported me since i opened and the referrals they have given back to me, and also to the new ones to who have found my clinic by accident.
Thank you for your patronage and support!
-Jedrek Lenci S. Ho, D.M.D.