Pursuing a Dream to Be the Most Impactful Provider Possible

August 19, 2019
Jordan Middleton (left) with his classmate at HSDM's White Coat Ceremony

Meet Jordan Middleton, a member of the Class of 2023 and new student at HSDM. This profile is part of a series of stories about our newest DMD students.

Tell us about your background.

I am from a relatively small city in Central New York called Auburn. I attended the only public high school in town, Auburn High School. Upon graduating in 2015 I attended Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. I majored in Biology and was a student researcher in a population genetics lab. My interests, outside of dentistry, include sports (mainly basketball), politics, various outdoor activities, and watching movies.

Jordan Middleton, DMD23, with his family at HSDM's White Coat CeremonyWhat are you most excited about learning in your first year as a DMD student?

While we are in the medical school for the first year, I am most excited to bridge the gap between oral and systemic health. Considering the “whole” person as opposed to the oral cavity alone offers a unique perspective on patient care, one that most dental students don’t get. HSDM emphasizes the need for incorporating medicine into dentistry in order to fully capture the needs of the patient, and that is something I’m eager to embrace.

What are you looking forward to experiencing in the city of Boston?

Being the sports fanatic that I am, I am incredibly excited to attend as many sporting events as possible. I can’t say that I’ll root for all the Boston teams, but I’d like to believe my attendance will make up for it. I am also excited for the diversity. Boston seems like an incredibly welcoming place for all, and I am thrilled to be in such an accepting and progressive environment.

What are your goals for your career in dentistry?

My dream is “simply” to be the most impactful provider possible. I can’t say for certain what my life will look like four years from now, but I would like it to involve working with kids. As a teenager, I often babysat for multiple families and that nurtured my love for children. With that, I hope to gear my dental career towards pediatrics, or at least family practice where I can work with kids throughout their lives. I saw the same general dentist from my very first visit to the dentist, up until I was 21-years-old, and his mentorship is something I strive to provide for kids in the future.

How did you become interested in pursuing a career in dentistry?

My mom has managed an oral surgery practice for the past 25 years, and the doctors for whom she works have had a profound impact on my life, both personally and dentistry related. I spent endless hours in the office as a kid, and in doing so realized the profound impact they have on each of their patient’s lives. Their careers are spent quite literally restoring smiles, and I can’t imagine a more rewarding career. My older brother is currently a dental student at Boston University, and he has been a major influence as well. We’ve always wanted to go into practice together, and his mentorship and guidance has been enormously impactful.

Share a fun fact about yourself with the HSDM community. 
Jordan Middleton, DMD23, with classmates during Orientation at HSDM

A fun fact about myself is that I was named after Michael Jordan yet consider Lebron James the greatest basketball player to ever live. Not only that, I consider him my personal hero for all the work he does in promoting high-quality educational opportunities for children in underserved communities.

What advice would you give to someone who is applying to dental school, or considering applying to dental school?

I would suggest not prioritizing any one aspect of your resume, instead focusing on building a well-rounded self. GPAs and DAT scores are incredibly important, but they aren’t the only determinants. Volunteering, extracurriculars, shadowing, etc. are equally as important in the grand scheme of your resume. Aside from resume specifics, I would advise anyone to be sure that dentistry is the right career for them. Shadowing as much as possible is the best way to persuade of dissuade oneself, which is why I’d recommend shadowing as many dentists as one can.

See also: Students