Center Stage with a Student - Scott Hirose
Why did you choose dentistry?
I've always loved working with my hands – playing with Legos and building model airplanes when I was a kid. In college, I knew I wanted to do something in healthcare, but I wasn't sure what. I tried shadowing and exploring different options, and eventually, I asked my dad – a now-retired general dentist – if I could see what he did. I remember him explaining how a dovetail creates mechanical retention, and the gears in my head started turning.
You currently hold a student leadership position, why did you pursue this and did you hold similar positions in your undergraduate years?
Yes, I'm the D3 class president; it's a pleasure and an honor. I was very shy as a kid, so my friends who know me from back then were all shocked that I'm now in student government. I was not at all the leadership type, but in college I started learning judo. Judo gave me some great role models, and I saw what a difference good leadership can make. In progressing from a novice to being a competitor and teacher, I grew into a leadership role and loved fostering a positive community.
What’s been the hardest thing about adapting to the pandemic?
The social isolation is really mentally taxing. In my personal life, I'm very cautious for the safety of my family and the school's community. In the D1 and D2 years, students spend so much time together, facing the same challenges and relying on each other. My classmates bring a lot of joy to my life, so being separated is tough.
What do you like best about UCLA Dentistry?
I love my peers. They are some of the kindest, smartest, funniest, most inspiring people I've ever met. It's an honor to be part of such a cohort. They make me want to do better and they help show the way. We're always looking out for each other and building each other up. The faculty and staff here are also wonderful. In being part of student leadership, I get to see how hard the faculty work on our behalf.
What are your plans after you graduate?
Entering dental school, I was undecided – open to everything, but leaning mostly towards being a general practitioner. Recently though, I've been really enjoying endodontics. I've been practicing and self-studying, and trying to find more shadowing and mentorship opportunities to decide if that's my route.
In the first year of my deanship, I found myself surrounded by faculty, students, staff, and fellow academic leaders wanting to introduce me to the beauty of this campus, this city, and this outstanding dental school – UCLA Dentistry. I have been warmly welcomed by the entire community to what has now become my home.
Making Saliva a Serious Business
“Most people are surprised when I tell them that saliva can reveal as much, if not more, than blood or urine can. We have made it our mission to make saliva testing a clinical reality to detect for serious diseases. And we’re getting very, very close.”
Decoding Oral Health: Diana Wang, Class of 2017
“I believe there’s a little bit of pathologist in all of us,” said Diana Wang, Class of 2017. “Patients always want to know why something happened to them, and pathology helps answer those difficult questions.”