40 Under 40 Inspiring Innovators Top 10 Winner
Dr. Zerita C. Buchanan grew up watching her mother mentor hundreds of Morehouse College students, exposing underrepresented minority students to careers in STEM fields. Buchanan was in awe of her mother’s impact on the community and knew at a young age that helping others was her purpose in life. Years later, the 34-year-old dentist has made good on her promise to lift others up, using her private practice, Dental Dreams, LLC, as an innovation hub for HBCU students and mentoring a record number of predental students at Spelman College.
Q: Why is it important to you to uplift the next generation of minority students?
Dr. Zerita C. Buchanan: I am actively working to eliminate healthcare disparities by educating and inspiring the next generation of minority healthcare providers. I hope through my mentorship efforts minority students will see a face that looks like theirs in dentistry. If I can give self-confidence to just one student and encourage them, then my time on earth will be well spent.
Q: If you could start over again, what would you do differently?
Dr. Zerita C. Buchanan: I would tell myself to slow down and rest. Being at rest doesn’t mean you’re unproductive. It’s actually quite the opposite. The more you rest, the better you will feel and the better you’ll be able to do your job.
Q: How can readers help you with your mentorship efforts?
Dr. Zerita C. Buchanan: The mentorship program I work with, Increasing Diversity in Dentistry Pipeline (IDID), provides financial support to underrepresented minority students who are interested in pursuing dentistry. Donations to IDID can be made on our website.