Magazine article Black Enterprise

A Reason to Smile: Oral Surgeon Knows How Make Patients Feel Good in Her Chair

Magazine article Black Enterprise

A Reason to Smile: Oral Surgeon Knows How Make Patients Feel Good in Her Chair

Article excerpt

Out of 6,000 board certified oral surgeons, Dr. Ngozi says approximately 100 are women, and refers to her personal pursuit of becoming one as a series of triumphs: being awarded the first dental scholarship by the Colgate Palmolive Foundation in 1992; earning her doctor of dental, surgery degree at New York University's College of Dentistry in 1993; completing her residency at Howard University Hospital in 1997, and then winning a fellowship to the Oral Surgical Institute in Nashville, Tennessee, a coveted award fordentistry students, the following year.

Etufugh, who was born in Nigeria, concedes there were many challenges, particularly from classmates and professors, those who should have offered support. One professor sarcastically told Etufugh her chances at success were slim. Her classmates chided that she had three strikes against her: being black, being a woman, and being petite.

Today, Etufugh operates two practices as a board certified oral surgeon: one in Hempstead, Long Island, and the other in Manhattan. A recent inductee to the exclusive New York Friar's club, Etufugh realizes that her accomplishments aren't typical of an oral surgeon, especially one of her caliber, who is also certified to perform facial surgery. Opening a second oral surgery practice can easily take 10-15 years. But, Etufugh has found that her faith, confidence and her interpersonal approach continue to contribute greatly to her growing practices. "Everything I set my hand to do, rye become successful at. …

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