A few words from a Navy Medicine dentist:

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After having grown up in the Bay Area city of San Leandro and attending Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, I majored in molecular and cell biology at University of California, Berkeley. I became interested in joining the military when my older sister, Maggie, graduated from University of California, Davis and commissioned into the U.S. Air Force. Watching her move abroad, I saw the unique professional experiences she gained and I admired the outstanding opportunities she was afforded in addition to developing leadership skills that would serve her later in life. Needless to say, I was a bit envious and yearned to start my own adventure in the military and gain my own experiences.

Several of my cousins have served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and their devotion to service and their country was something in which I longed to partake. Before my acceptance to dental school, I applied for the Navy HPSP (Health Professions Scholarship Program) as a way to serve my country with my unique skills as a dentist.

After obtaining my DDS at San Francisco’s University of Pacific School of Dentistry in 2011, I commissioned and entered active duty as a lieutenant in the Navy. As a general practice resident at Naval Medical Center San Diego, I obtained invaluable knowledge of medicine and oral surgery in addition to advanced topics in general dentistry, which I utilized at my next duty station on board USS Rushmore (LSD 47).

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After an eight-month western Pacific deployment and a two-month Rim of the Pacific deployment, I learned the true significance of what it means to be a Naval officer. My time on board Rushmore allowed me to travel the world to places I’d never imagined like Hawaii, East Timor, Australia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Hong Kong. In my 25 months on board that ship, I developed a true appreciation for the extremely hard working crew, especially my phenomenal dental corpsmen, who all sacrificed so much precious time away from their families to go where the Navy needed them.

I am extremely proud to serve such dedicated men and women who sacrifice so much for our country and put service before themselves. My fondest memories thus far in the Navy are meeting such exceptional colleagues and coworkers, many of whom I’m also honored to call friends.

As I continue my career in the Navy, I hope to one day specialize in orthodontics.

My name is Catherine Kubera and I Am Navy Medicine.

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