By Kandia Johnson
Dr. Christina T. Rosenthal is a dentist, social entrepreneur, and recently named Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity, one of nearly 300 people working worldwide to build fairer, healthier, and more inclusive societies. Just one year out of dental school, she opened her first private practice, and then later launched Determined to be a Doctor Someday (DDS), an initiative to develop the next generation of healthcare professionals who will be representative of the communities they serve.
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, and housed on the campus of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis, TN, DDS provides mentorship connections with local healthcare providers, access to a community of like-minded peers, and site visits to healthcare facilities and institutions.
Beyond exposure to various healthcare professions and an opportunity to earn scholarships, DDS offers standardized test preparation to six-month program participants, and many have credited this feature for high or improved test scores. To date, her very first scholarship recipient, Taylor Wilson, is pursuing dual MD/ Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the host institution for the D.D.S. initiative. Another participant, Quodarrius Toney, who was uncertain of his career path after high school, is now a dental student at Howard University.
Below Dr. Rosenthal shares her journey from idea to vision to reality below, in her own words: