Words From Your Peers

How HOSA Shaped My Passion for a Dental Career

Posted by Kamile Kukleryte on August 28, 2023

HOSA - Future Health Professionals is an international organization that works to develop knowledge, skills and leadership for students looking to enter the health care profession. While this student organization is widely recognized at the high school level, several collegiate chapters also exist. I have the pleasure of being a member and leader of the University of Texas at Austin’s chapter.

At the chapter level, HOSA is similar to most pre-health organizations at any college campus. We volunteer in our local community, shadow various health professionals, have a leadership team,August 2023 Feature_insert 1 socialize, have professional development opportunities and listen to guest speakers. At the state and international level, HOSA stands out by providing workshops, networking opportunities and competitive events.

HOSA provides competitive events to grow your medical skillset. The events range from Creating a Research Poster to Extemporaneous Speaking to Medical Law and Ethics. In the dental realm, there are two events: Dental Terminology and Dental Science. I compete in Dental Science, which has two portions. In the written portion, you are tested on topics, such as history, anatomy, tooth morphology, radiology and chairside assisting. In the hands-on portion, you complete skills like instrument identification, assembling a syringe, taking an alginate impression or educating the patient about brushing and flossing. Competing in these events has allowed me to learn hands-on skills and be able to keep pace in a dental office. Shadowing or assisting is not as scary when you have background knowledge of the skills involved, understand all the tools and their uses and understand the medical jargon.

While attending the HOSA International Leadership Conference (ILC), I was able to meet HOSA members from around the world. We were all looking to grow our experiences and understanding of health care. Whether from China or Puerto Rico, we all desire to prepare ourselves to serve others. I had the opportunity to August 2023 Feature_insert 2attend the workshop with these peers who share the same flame for health care and are discovering their path.

Dentistry is a world of its own. This profession has a unique vocabulary, communication etiquette and procedure skills. HOSA has bridged the gap, making dentistry accessible and approachable. Furthermore, HOSA provides scholarships to decrease the financial barriers to entering health care. I was honored to receive ADEA’s HOSA scholarship at the 2023 HOSA International Leadership Conference (ILC). As someone applying to dental school this cycle, the funding was instrumental in allowing me to pay application fees, transportation and lodging for interviews and undergraduate tuition. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to participate in HOSA!

About Kamile Kukleryte:

Kamile Kukleryte

Kamile Kukleryte
Predental Student
University of Texas at Austin

Kamile Kukleryte is a senior Human Biology major at the University of Texas at Austin and a current dental school applicant. She is passionate about the opportunities in dentistry to build relationships with patients and provide accessible care to those with limited resources.