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This month’s student ambassador of the month is Neek LaMantia, a third year dental student at the University of California, San Francisco. Neek was one of Figure 1’s first student ambassadors, and started helping our team right after Figure 1’s launch. She’s a dedicated student, an involved member of student government, and she plans on doing her residency in pediatrics. We sat down with Neek to ask her a few questions about herself and where she’s going.

Why do you like pediatrics?

Children are so resilient, and I think we have a lot to learn from them. I am hoping that through my residency training I am able to enhance my ability to accommodate all children, or any person that may need special assistance. I plan to get my certification in laser dentistry, which is an incredible tool in pediatrics.

If you could only have one piece of dental equipment, what would it be?

I suppose I would have to say a hand piece or drill, but dentistry is not just about drilling and filling. It is probably one of the most used pieces of equipment in dentistry though. If I could, I would have a CADCAM machine to fabricate crowns and such too.

If you didn’t work in health care, what would you do?

Ah, this is tough! I think I would be a barber, since a lot of what dentists do is about precision and esthetics, like a hairdresser! Cutting hair was my job in college and I had a lot of fun with it. My other choice would be a teacher, since I love sharing knowledge and working with people.

What case on Figure 1 has been the best learning experience for you?

I have seen countless teaching cases on Figure 1, so it’s hard to choose! However, a while back the image of the week showed a woman with dental pain and severe swelling. It turned out to be Ludwig’s Angina, a cellulitis or space infection often associated with dental infections. The inflammation can be life threatening due to airway obstruction, if left untreated. It was a really powerful case highlighting the importance of oral hygiene and dental check-ups.

To connect with healthcare professionals around the world who are viewing, discussing, and sharing medical cases, join Figure 1.