Meet an Alum: Dr. Jeanette Kern, Class of 1989
Every year for 30 years, Dr. Jeanette Kern, Class of 1989, completed hundreds of continuing education hours in cosmetic dentistry technology, techniques, and materials taught by the world’s leading dental pioneers. Her hard work and dedication to elevating her understanding of the specialty paid off as she is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of cosmetic and restorative dentistry.
After graduation, Dr. Kern settled in Monterey, Calif., where she established a successful practice and at one point was the Monterey County Director on the Monterey Bay Dental Society Board. For her contributions to the regional business community, she received the Monterey Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Award for Health Care in 2009 and 2016, as well as the Professional Women’s Network Woman of the Year Award in 2007. She is also a sustaining member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a member of the American Dental Association and a member of the California Dental Association.
Equipped with over 40 years of dental industry experience as a hygienist, dental associate, and as a practice owner, Dr. Kern uses her unique perspective to help current dentists grow their practices. She recently published, “Start Here - Path to a Profitable Practice” to teach others how to grow a profitable and professionally fulfilling practice all while rising to the challenges of ownership.
In 2018, Dr. Kern sold her successful dental practice and now enjoys traveling with her husband, Kevin, of 40 years. UCLA Dentistry recently caught up with Dr. Kern who shared her dental journey:
Q: Why did you choose dentistry & what do you most enjoy about being a dentist?
A: “Exposed to dentistry as a teenage orthodontic patient, I realized the self confidence that came with having a beautiful smile. I carried that knowledge throughout my time as a dental hygienist and then as a restorative cosmetic dentist. My greatest career happiness was perfecting smiles and enriching the lives of my patients.”
Q: How did you prepare for the business side of dentistry?
A: “As an associate and team member, I followed the ways of my employers. Business acumen is learned through reading, listening to experts, trusting your intuition, and then confidence in your leadership to implement. Once you have your own practice, surround yourself with knowledgeable experts, invest in your education, and hire consultants or a coach.”
Q: What would you tell graduating dental students who are wanting to jumpstart their career?
A: “A wise UCLA instructor told us that as dentists we would make a comfortable living. He also said you can choose the style of your delivery. You can be the McDonalds or the Nordstrom of dentistry, the choice is yours.
I recommend that new graduates attend quality continuing education as soon as possible. Spear, Kois, Dawson and UCLA continuums will put wind under your wings. Expose yourself to dentists from across the country and share your ideas with high-quality institutions.”
Q: What do you do when you aren’t practicing dentistry?
A: “In 2018, I sold my Monterey dental practice and enjoyed international travel. I have now turned full time to private dental success coaching. I created ‘Path to a Profitable Practice,’ an online and group coaching program for dental practice owners. This year I published my book, ‘Start Here - Path to a Profitable Practice.’ If anyone has questions, I can be reached at www.drkerndds.com.”
Q: What is one of your fondest memories while you trained at UCLA SoD?
A: “My fondest memories of UCLA Dentistry was the close camaraderie of our class (1989), the wisdom of our clinical instructors, and the excellent level of education we were given. Dr. Don Jeanet, Dr. Jim Grenfeld, Dr. Don Fisher, and Dean Cherrick were some of the men I admired and were most grateful for the privilege of knowing.”
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.”