Women in Oral Health Care: Dr. Sophia Lalani 

by Dr. Sophia Lalani

What led you to become a dentist?

From a young age, I had a wide variety of interests. A family member served as one of my main mentors and opened my eyes to a career in dentistry. The profession appealed to me due to its unique combination of science, art, and business, while also allowing me to make a difference in people’s lives.

Describe your journey to where you are today and the key steps along the way. What helped you to succeed, and what obstacles did you face?

My journey began with a strong educational foundation. Obtaining my first degree in Computer Engineering equipped me with problem-solving skills that I utilize in all aspects of my life. After graduation, I spent a year working in the banking industry, exploring my interests in business and finance. The main challenge I encountered was finding a career that aligned with my diverse set of interests. Dentistry emerged as a fitting choice. Upon completing dental school, I chose to specialize in Endodontics due to its requirement for precision and attention to detail, coupled with the opportunity for meaningful patient relationships. Hard work, persistence, and unwavering family support have been instrumental in my success. The primary obstacle I continue to face is maintaining a balanced life, though our profession offers flexibility in achieving work-life harmony.

What advice can you share with women just starting out in either the dental profession or industry? What would you tell your 20-year-old self?

To women entering the dental profession, I advise approaching every challenge as an opportunity for growth, emphasizing the importance of lifelong learning in this evolving field. To my 20-year-old self, I’d stress the significance of balance – prioritizing personal well-being alongside professional aspirations – and the value of taking risks early on.

What changes would you like to see in the profession or the industry to better support women’s growth and success?

I advocate for more mentorship and leadership programs targeting young female professionals in dentistry. Additionally, support networks facilitating the exchange of experiences and strategies can greatly contribute to the growth and success of women in the dental profession.

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

Maintaining a balanced life is vital for my workplace productivity and overall happiness. I achieve this by conscientiously scheduling time for my family and hobbies, such as hockey, yoga, and traveling. Despite my busy schedule, being a mom to my three beautiful children remains my top priority.

Who or what was the greatest inspiration in your career choice?

My family has been the most significant influence, encouraging me to challenge myself, surpass my limits, and strive for excellence. Additionally, each patient expressing gratitude and satisfaction with my work has served as an inspiring force, reaffirming my career choice.

Dr. Sophia Lalani received her DMD from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in 2009. She continued on at the same institution and completed a graduate program in Endodontics in 2011. Her undergraduate qualifications include a degree in Computer Engineering with a minor in Business Management. Dr. Lalani was awarded membership to the OKU Dental Honor Society in 2009 and the title of Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists Canada (FRCD(C)) in September 2011. Dr. Lalani is the past president of the Ontario Society of Endodontics. She is an active member of the Ontario Dental Association and Ontario Society of Endodontics and is an instructor at the University of Toronto. As a mother of three, Dr. Lalani enjoys yoga, playing hockey, and traveling with her family. She is passionate about health, fitness, and nutrition.

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