Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA
Career Plans: Pursue an orthodontics degree and eventually open up her own practice with her twin sister.
I wanted to go to a school that would help make me a better person and I feel like the Dugoni School’s focus on heart and humanism will shape me into the person I want to be.
While many of us have siblings, relatively few have twins. The twin bond is a unique relationship, something that Renee Greene, DDS Class of 2021, can tell you a thing or two about. After all, it was her identical twin sister — a third-year student at the Dugoni School —who got her interested in dentistry.
“In college my sister had an accident that knocked out her #9 tooth and part of her #8,” recalls Renee. “That experience inspired her to pursue dentistry, but I wasn’t sure about it.”
The healthcare field had always been an interest for Renee so she decided to pursue a master degree to explore her options. With her sister in San Francisco for dental school and her in Washington DC pursuing her master degree, it was the longest separation for the twins — who prior to this had only been apart for five days at most.
“I came out to visit my sister during Dugoni School’s annual Halloween Party and she told me all about dental school and even let me prep a crown while I was there,” says Renee. “I really loved the family atmosphere at the school and how dentistry allows for a work and family life balance. It’s a big reason why I decided to go in that direction.”
One of the aspects that Renee loves about being here is the Dugoni School’s “head, heart and hands” philosophy which embraces the integration of current and emerging biomedical and clinical knowledge (head); professionalism, ethical behavior, empathy and communications skills (heart); and clinical skills (hands). She particularly enjoys the focus on “heart.” Coming from her master education that focused heavily on “head,” she favors the humanistic environment at the Dugoni School.
“The school has classes that are concentrated on developing patient relationships and events that emphasize understanding diverse audiences and different cultures,” says Renee. “I wanted to go to a school that would make me a better person, and I feel like the Dugoni School’s focus on heart and humanism will shape me into the person I want to be.”
This emphasis on humanism is one of the reasons she decided to become co-president of the school’s Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) program. SCOPE is a student-led volunteer community service organization at the dental school. Their mission is to develop dental professionals committed to improving the health of all people.
“SCOPE provides lots of opportunities for students to go out into the community and help those with limited access to oral healthcare,” says Renee. “I think it’s an important part of our education to grow as individuals and that’s why I wanted to take on a leadership role within the organization.”
She’s thankful to have found a school and a career that focuses on helping individuals become better people. As for her future, she plans on applying to an orthodontics program with her twin sister and they hope to eventually open their own practice.
“How fun would it be to go to work with your best friend every day? The gap year apart was a good opportunity to grow as a person independently. But I feel like somehow we are better together.” I guess you could say — it’s a twin thing.