Dr. Eddie Ramirez
Hospitality | Natural Resources
Eddie Ramirez is a dentist at the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center in Hillsboro, Oregon. Whether he’s performing extractions or fillings, the work is always rewarding.
His patients have often just arrived in the country, sometimes on asylum status. Ramirez sees many suffering from low self-confidence, but as they go through appointments and experience improvements in their oral health, he starts seeing their smiles return. Ramirez knows that’s important. “What’s the first thing somebody sees? It’s your smile.”
Ramirez can identify with many of the challenges his patients face. He knew he wanted to be a dentist since he was eight-years old, but after learning of his undocumented status, he also knew the journey wouldn’t be easy. Three of the five dental schools he applied to while completing his undergraduate degree rejected him because of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. But, with the help of a full-ride scholarship, Ramirez was accepted into the Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) School of Dentistry in Portland — the first undocumented student to enter dental school in the state.
For Ramirez, being a dentist is rewarding in itself. “It’s a reminder that I was able to accomplish what I did with all these obstacles, with all these ‘no’s,’ with all the rejection.” For students who love science and working with their hands, Ramirez thinks this could be the right career.
My job is rewarding in the sense that it’s a reminder that I was able to accomplish what I did with all these obstacles, with all these ‘no’s’, with all the rejection. And I always pushed myself and told myself I would succeed. Now being here, it’s so rewarding to say I made it.
Now go in-depth with Eddie in an extended Q & A session!
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