Meet the Graduates:
Keyoni Mbroh DDS ’23
09 May 23
Keyoni Mbroh DDS ’23 wanted to be a dentist since her elementary school years. Fueled by her time at Ostrow, Mbroh is now prepared to fulfill that vision.
EVER SINCE HER CHILDHOOD YEARS IN OKLAHOMA, Keyoni Mbroh knew she wanted to pursue dentistry.
She did not waver from that mission while majoring in health science at the University of Missouri, a course of study that unlocked other intriguing career possibilities across the healthcare landscape. Nor did Mbroh alter her plans after failing to gain admission into dental school immediately after earning her bachelor’s degree and spending a gap year shadowing her childhood dentist in Oklahoma.
“I had a lot of dental work myself as a kid, and I knew I wanted to help others in the same way,” Mbroh says. “Being a dentist was always the goal.”
While initially slated to attend dental school at Tufts University in Boston, a visit to USC in early 2019 led Mbroh to reconsider.
“I loved the energy and welcoming environment of USC and immediately felt it was the place for me,” she says.
Embracing every opportunity
Mbroh ventured to Los Angeles in fall 2019 and tossed herself into Ostrow’s lively culture, making intentional decisions that enriched her dental school experience. She served on the wellness committee of the American Student Dental Association’s USC chapter, organizing different events to counter the isolation stirred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mbroh later became a board member with the Sports Dentistry Club and spent one year as co-president of the Ortho Study Club.
“I was open to gaining community and tried to embrace every opportunity put before me,” she says. “I knew that would make for the richest possible experience.”
In the classroom, Mbroh endured challenging courses and admits self-doubt crept in at times. Yet, she pressed on, steadfast in her commitment to conquering dental school.
“I had some tough moments, but I look back grateful for those because they shaped me and pushed me to be better,” she says.
Importance of clinical experiences
Mbroh calls clinical experiences the most impactful part of her Ostrow experience. Whether it was treating patients at the Union Rescue Mission on L.A.’s Skid Row or helping low-income residents across the L.A. area with dental care as part of a mobile clinic team, Mbroh says her clinical experiences exposed her to different environments and obstacles to care.
“These types of clinical experiences taught me so much because I was forced to think on the fly and work within different constraints,” she says, adding that her time tending to low-income residents’ dental needs proved particularly rewarding.”
An independent, resilient and confident dentist
While Mbroh will soon depart Los Angeles to begin a one-year general practice residency in Louisiana, she’s excited for what the future might bring. She hopes to pursue a career in orthodontics and perhaps someday run her own practice. But wherever Mbroh might go, she assures her affinity for USC will travel with her.
“Coming to USC was the best decision I could have made,” she says. “I know I am better for it. Having access to all of the opportunities that USC has to offer has helped shape me to become an independent, resilient and confident dentist.”
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