Letter to the TUSDM Class of 2017 from Dr. Yun Saksena


Dear IS’17s and D’17s,

Congratulations for your graduation!  You’ve reached this huge milestone through hard work and determination!

  • You were the first class we had for book groups. Remember the lessons from Henrietta Lacks. Some of you were really shy back then. Being part of your professional development has been a privilege.
  • Many of you​ really stepped up to help your “littles” transition into clinic, going above and beyond, ​especially when the D’19​s needed help in the IDP 3 workshops doing exams on one another. TAs or not, you gave up your time and taught them something to make their lives easier. ​Thank you so much!

  • You were the first class where all of you were asked to take part in the Pod​/Recare/Prophy program. ​Many​ of you gave up your prophys and time to your “littles” so that they could have a great first experience doing a procedure on a real patient. Thank you!
  • Your class was good at bringing issues in your group practices and clinic to the administration to try to improve things for yourselves and your littles. ​
  • You graciously put up with groups having to work on different floors during renovations.
  • Your class gift speaks volumes of your caring nature and concern for others.

Many of you have made, and continue to make extremely valuable contributions through community service and research.  We are so proud of you!  Continue in your active citizenship!  Encourage others!  Inspire those around you!  Consider giving back through teaching… I am fortunate to have witnessed your transformation and development. Thank you for brightening my days those times you said hi to me in the corridors and stairwells.

I hope you’ll take a breath, and treasure this time with your family and friends before advancing your career.  Enjoy a well-deserved break if you can and the warm weather!  Remember where you started from, and the support and love, which has carried you thus far and embraces you now.  Give that same gift to someone else in the future.

Keep striving for excellence, reali​z​e your potential, but hold on to the person you want to be!  Go forth with confidence because you have earned the title of Dr., yet remain humble.  Ask for help when you may need it or when in doubt.  Know when you are up for a challenge, but be realistic, and know when to refer e.g. to Pros.

Continue to build on your excellent foundation from TUSDM.
Keep learning. ​
Keep an open mind. ​
Keep doing your very best. ​
Hold firm to the standards we’ve taught you.  The speed will come with time and practice.
Do us proud. Practice ethically and professionally.

Treat your patients with respect and dignity.  Listen to them and be empathetic.  Remember patients are people! Love what you do. Make time for the people you care about. Enjoy life after dental school!

I am so very happy for you though​ I will miss you!  I’ve gotten to know some wonderful kind souls in your class, critical thinkers, bright personalities, intelligent people, effective leaders…

All the very, very best to you!!!

—- YS