Career Path Interview: Amy Rosinsky, DDS
Amy Rosinsky, DDS
Howard Dental Center
On the surface, the dental profession does not seem like it would offer a variety of career paths but in reality, there’s much more than just what’s on the surface. Recently the team at the Articulator sat down and discussed the diversity the profession has to offer. From private practice and DSO to academics and public health, even entrepreneurship and innovation, there are countless options for dental school graduates or career dentists looking to make a change and find their passion within the industry. But don’t just take our word, we sat down with seven dentists from different journeys in the industry to learn about how they found their way within the profession. Despite their differences, at the heart of the interviews were two common denominators: the importance of not settling until you find a position that truly makes you happy and taking time away to reset whether through education, family, exercise or a hobby. Hear more from Dr. Amisha Singh, Dr. Geebellue Mensah, Dr. Nicole Furuta, Dr. Arthur Yagudayev, Dr. Amy Rosinsky, Dr. Jack Nguyen and Dr. Brett Kessler in the pages to come.
What influenced you to choose dentistry as a career?
I was originally scheduled to take the MCAT, but my long-time dentist saw me for a visit and we had a good discussion about work-life balance, so I canceled my MCAT and here I am. One thing I liked was that I always saw the same dentist (and I saw him a lot having grown up in the ’90s on Kool-Aid and Gushers) but I never seemed to see the same primary care doctor as the residents in the local hospital and associated family practice were always coming and going. I shadowed my dentist quite a bit after our initial discussion and got to see how he cared for his patients and was able to get to know them.
Can you please share a little about your career path to public health? Did you always know you wanted to work in this area of dentistry?
Aside from shadowing my personal dentist, I also shadowed at our local public health clinic and loved the work they did. People would travel more than three hours for their appointments and were always extremely thankful. This is my second job in public health, and I recently celebrated my five year work anniversary.
What is the biggest reward and the biggest challenge of working with an underserved population?
The rewards greatly outweigh the challenges. I believe our clinic has some of the best patients in the city. It is a joy to go to the office and work with some amazing and interesting personalities and to be surrounded by a team who all feel the same. We have many patients who have been with the clinic since its inception in 1994 so it is possible to build long-term patient relationships in public health. We specifically serve individuals living with HIV, many of whom have experienced past stigma surrounding their dental care. I take great pride in being able to make patients comfortable and involve them in their care. The biggest challenge for me is having patients fall out of care due to challenges such as unstable housing, behavioral health concerns and comorbidities. It can then sometimes feel as if we are starting back at square one.
What advice would you give someone thinking about a career in public health dentistry?
There are so many paths available to dentists. I know of a few retired solo private practice docs who transitioned into public health because it takes away the stresses of owning a business and keeps the focus on patient care. Not all clinics offer the same scope of services, but you can often find a very good fit if your passion is working with the underserved. For new dentists, multiple loan repayment programs might work with your clinic site as well. One more thing—be ready to never have a dull moment!
You also give of your time and talents to the CDA New Dentist Council and the Dentist Professional Liability Trust, what prompted you to participate in these organizations?
The Colorado New Dentist Council has always been on the cutting edge of engagement compared to others throughout the nation and it is because of great events and great people. This starts at the student level, and I attended several events as a student at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. This year I am serving as Chair of NDC and am looking to help it bounce back after limitations from the pandemic. We have great things planned for the coming year. As for the Dentist Liability Trust of Colorado, I started as the New Dentist Council Representative and recently became a regular board member.
Are there any takeaways you have gained from participating in either that have helped you in your career?
The networking and friendships formed through New Dentist Council events have provided a sense of comradery in the Colorado dental community. Sometimes we can all feel as though we are on our own island and instead of having colleagues we have competitors. Of course, attending the educational events has also been great. This group has pushed me to be more involved when sometimes it feels easier to stay home, and also helped me grow as a leader.
Being a board member of the Trust has been an incredible learning experience for me as we discuss risk mitigation and how the Trust handles claims and complaints differently from a traditional liability company. Because it is a board run by dentists, for dentists, there is a great understanding of what a settlement in the presence of no wrongdoing can do for the reputation of the individual dentist. Any member of the Trust can call and speak directly to the Executive Director, who also happens to be a retired dentist, for advice on a potential patient complaint. I love being involved in the Trust because of the type of personalized service we provide.
“Burnout” is a hot topic and has been in dentistry for some time. What are some things you do to help stay centered and balanced?
Most importantly, it is vital for me to take time away from work to avoid burnout or compassion fatigue. This is one of the major advantages a career in public health can offer—paid time off, and often, someone else to cover the clinic in your absence. One of my favorite quotes regarding burnout is, “You don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.” Things I do include getting outside in our beautiful state hiking, paddle boarding, road biking, or just sitting on a lake beach and listening to the waves on the sand. For some reason, an afternoon off is more restorative for me than an entire day since I do not feel internal pressure to “be productive” at home. To be at your best for your team, your patients and your family, you cannot pour from an empty cup.