Tips From Current D.D.S. and Dental Hygiene Students

10 Questions With ... Ms. Janika James

Posted by Janika James on November 29, 2023

1. What’s the biggest challenge facing dental education today?

I feel that one of the biggest challenges facing dental education today is the rising cost of attendance. It can put added pressure on students as they try navigating through school, especially in cities with higher costs of living. 


2. Tell us about one of your “big wins” recently? Nov 2023 GoDental_231025_110807_ADEA2023DEIB_KS_325 px w

I received three academic scholarships from my school this year! I lost my father in the spring of my second year and seeing that I made the dean’s list gave me the motivation to finish even stronger!


3. If they have any advice for predental students in the process of applying to dental school?

Trust the process; everything will happen at the right time! Be tenacious; work hard and demonstrate persistence in your journey.


4. What drew you to dentistry?

The relationship with my family dentist drew me to dentistry. She always answered my questions and allowed me to shadow in her office as a young girl. After college and becoming a dental hygienist, my passion grew stronger when I developed relationships with my own patients. They are truly the best part of dentistry!


5. What’s the best career advice you ever received?

“Plan your work and work your plan.” 


6. Who is your go-to person when you need advice?

I go to my mother for advice. My mother obtained her master’s degree at the age of 51 and she reminds me that it’s okay to be a non-traditional dental student. She keeps me grounded and level-headed.


7. What’s your favorite vacation spot—and why?

Belize has been my favorite vacation spot so far! The water is so blue and it’s so tranquil.


8. What’s something you think you’ll never understand?

I will never understand how the Detroit Lions have never played in the Super Bowl. I'm hopeful for this season!


9. What’s your TV show—and why?

Not necessarily shows, but I love watching documentaries of all types! I love learning about different things and being able to share my excitement about what I learned with others.


10. What skill or talent would you most like to develop?

I would love to learn how to play the acoustic guitar. I played violin for 8 years until my senior year of high school and I would love to pick up a new instrument.

About Janika James:

Janika James headshot_220 blogger_Nov 2023 GoDental

Janika James
Third-year Dental Student
Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry

Janika James is a third-year dental student at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry (Meharry SOD). She currently serves as Co-vice President for the Meharry SOD ADEA chapter and is the ADEA COSRF District 4 Commissioner. Ms. James is dedicated to improving oral health in underserved communities and hopes to leave a lasting impression in dentistry.