Student Feature: Sasha Sherry

We know our students have the drive to succeed in everything they do, but Sasha Sherry is a fourth year DMD student with a story to be told. Before setting her eyes on Temple, Sasha was busy perfecting her career in women’s ice hockey. During her undergrad at Princeton, she was the first female All-American for the sport. In 2009, she was invited to try-out for the 2010 Olympic team, and she finished just two spots outside of the selected team. Sasha isn’t stuck in the past, though. Read our interview with her below to learn more about her bright future.

Did you always think you'd go to dental school? What brought you here?

I grew up spending a lot of time in my father’s general dentistry office because it was an extension of our home and I was home schooled for a few years of my primary education. I became very close with his staff and loved to shadow him. His kind and reassuring demeanor and the way he spoke to patients always amazed me. I truly wanted to have that type of effect on the people I interacted with and make a positive impact on their health and wellness.

Many outlets in medicine interested me initially, but after carefully considering vet school and exercise science, I ultimately landed back where I was most familiar in dentistry. I was a little reluctant at first to follow in my father’s footsteps because I was concerned it would be viewed as taking the easy route. However, I set my stubbornness aside and embraced the fact that this profession entirely suits my personality, skill set and passions.

I spent the three years after graduating from Princeton in 2011 finishing a few more pre-reqs, working in my father’s office in a variety of positions, and coaching ice hockey. Before I committed myself to the application process I was seeing how far my ice hockey could take me while on the USA women’s national ice hockey team. I began playing when I was eight and it has been one of my loves ever since. I had dreams of going to the Olympics and wanted to dedicate myself to achieving that before I set my sights on dental school. Ultimately, I came up a little short, and when my time with the national team ended, all of my focus went to establishing myself as an attractive dental school applicant.

What do you love most about the DMD program at Temple?

When I did my interview at Temple and learned that the program has some of the highest clinical requirements, I knew it would be my first choice. I wanted to graduate with as much clinical experience as possible.

Which specialty are you interested in? Why are you interested in it?

General dentistry is where my heart lies because I enjoy the variety, the longtime relationships to be built with patients, and the ability to be a little selective about cases depending on difficulty.

How have you grown as an individual and as a professional since coming to school here?

In my time here, I have enjoyed learning from the various part-time faculty who share their unique clinical expertise with us. There are so many different approaches to doing dentistry and I really appreciate the wide range of techniques and opinions we have access to. I have become much more confident in my decision-making and clinical skills. I look back and laugh at how long it used to take me to do some procedures.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

I plan to work in one of my dad’s offices when I graduate as a general dentist so having the opportunity to improve my skills across a wide range here has been indispensable. We are required to spend significant time in the oral surgery, pediatric, and emergency clinics which has been important to my growth as a clinician.

What's one thing you'd like future, incoming students to know about Temple?

I think incoming students should know they will work very hard and at times it may seem impossible to get everything completed, but in the end, they will be more prepared as they enter the real world. The learning never stops, and it is ok to make mistakes - through the struggle we gain strength.

Anything you'd like our alumni to know?

I would like alumni to know that they can make a huge difference to our experiences here with just a small contribution. Every school needs something or another and they can relate to how difficult achieving your diploma and license can be. We also enjoy hearing about the transition from dental school into practice so if any alumni are interested in sharing their stories and advice it would be warmly welcomed.