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PR professional, ice cream entrepreneur and youth mentor finds true calling in dental hygiene

May 8, 2018

Allison YochimAllison Yochim
Dental Hygiene | Chicago (Oak Brook), Illinois

Public relations professional, ice cream entrepreneur, youth mentor — these are just some of Allison Yochim's pursuits before finding her true calling in dental hygiene. After earning her bachelor's degrees, Yochim worked at a PR agency that focused on technology. However, when the economy crashed she found herself out of a job and looking for a fresh start. Yochim worked a variety of jobs to make ends meet, such as working with at-risk youth and starting her own ice cream business.

Her first foray into dentistry was volunteering for the Native American Health Center, a nonprofit organization that supports underserved populations in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loved working in the dental clinics, especially when working directly with patients. She also explored other aspects of dentistry, such as volunteering for the efforts to pass the soda tax in San Francisco. Through these volunteer community engagement opportunities, Yochim realized what she loved the most — caring for patients. The role of hygienist aligned more in line with what she was looking for out of a career.

Yochim was excited when she found out that she was accepted into Pacific's Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's dental hygiene program in San Francisco.

"The state-of-the-art building houses a top-notch faculty and wonderful patients," says Yochim. "I couldn't be happier about my choice. I feel like I've found my true calling."

The most exciting part of Yochim's education has been her interactions with patients. Having the opportunity to apply what she has learned so far in a real-life setting has been very rewarding for her.

Yochim is her class' representative for the California Dental Hygienists' Association (CDHA), which advocates for hygienists and the future of the profession, and provides opportunities for hygienists. She says the organization has been a great resource, especially since one faculty member is the president of the CDHA and another is in charge of student relations.

She hopes to continue working with organized dentistry after she graduates. Yochim sees the importance and value of fostering these personal connections. As for her career change, she couldn't be happier about her decision to pursue dental hygiene.

"It took a while to get to this point, but all of these experiences help me connect with patients and make me a more well-rounded clinician," says Yochim. "I'm loving every minute of being at the Dugoni School with the faculty, students and patients, but I can't wait to start what I'm meant to do."

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