Career Compass

Fast track to associate dean: Q&A with Dr. Sophia Saeed

Dr. Sophia Saeed is the associate dean for patient care and professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry. She graduated from Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 2007, and then completed her general practice residency and hospital dentistry practice at the University of California, San Francisco in 2008. As she finished up her GPR, Dr. Saeed was offered a faculty role for the same program and became director in nine months. After five years in the position, she pivoted her career to predoctoral education. She served as the chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine. In March 2020, Dr. Saeed spearheaded the pandemic response for patient care at UTSD.

Contour: You’ve achieved many career advances in a short period of time. What do you think is important for career planning?

Dr. Sophia Saeed: I knew I wanted to be in academics. Before I went to dental school, I taught at Kaplan for the Dental Admissions Test and the Medical College Admission Test. I found so much joy in helping other people, and that is why I love providing patient care and teaching. The rest just follows through as you learn more about what you want to do. After five years at UCSF as a GPR program director, I pivoted my career to academia. I had realized I wanted to be an academic dean. And so, for the next five years of my career, I worked my way up. I became a course director and then moved into my current position.

Finish reading this interview in the April 2021 issue of Contour magazine.

~Ryan Lee, Texas-Houston ’23, ASDA Contributing Editor

Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee, Texas-Houston '23, is ASDA's editor-in-chief. He is passionate about oral health communication and works on editorials made for dental students. Outside of dentistry, he loves movies and storytelling and is an amateur animator and movie reviewer. He also enjoys long-distance running and cooking Taiwanese food that reminds him of home.

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