Dr. Nidhi Gupta, DMD is a Captain in THE U.S. Army reserves and a general dentist with an extensive clinical background, bringing about 15 yrs of healthcare industry experience in general dentistry serving all different populations ranging from age one to the geriatric population. Dr. Gupta has worked in many different clinical settings in the last 15 years, from pediatric clinic, to Federally Qualified Health Centers, including, private practice, and have done several weekend dental events at the National Guard to working in a Military dental clinic at Fort Bliss doing many different dental procedures.
Prior to starting dental school at Boston University, Dr. Gupta completed her Masters in Pharmaceutics at University of Georgia.
Dr. Gupta feels blessed to be in such a noble profession where she can help relieve patients tooth pain and do esthetic dentistry. It is a very rewarding career, and she loves what she does. Her passion is for leadership, understanding different personalities and bringing harmony. She loves spending time in nature. She also enjoys running, working out, swimming, hiking, skydiving, and cooking. Hoping to get a flying license one day. She absolutely loves spending time with her two kids, and making new friends.
Nidhi, can you start off by telling us about yourself and why you chose the dental profession?
My name is Nidhi, and the word Nidhi means treasure. I am from India, originally. I moved to the United States for studies in 2002, and I have been working since 2006. My father is a retired general Physician, so that had an impact in pursuing the healthcare profession. In India, it works a bit differently from the U.S. After the high school, you compete in the entrance exams which are both the individual state level and then at the national level. While you are in high school, you kind of think what interests you and what you might want to pursue later, and then start prepping for the exams. Yes, those exams are very competitive, and it’s based on merit. And one student usually goes for more than one entrance exam. Based on my score, I was first chosen for Pharmacy school which I joined as well and was placed in the waitlist for dental and medical school. Later, I got the call for the dental school, and I choose to pursue that mostly because at that time I thought I could have my own practice and have flexibility in the days and hours I want to work.
Can you tell us what drives you to be successful as an Officer in the Army and Doctor of Dental Medicine?
I feel I am intrinsically motivated and want to grow and be a better human. I feel blessed to be in a very healing profession and seeing a smile on patients face and them appreciating me or the service I provided is very rewarding, it just makes my day. I honestly love the energy and the drive of the veterans, so much to learn from each other. People come from different backgrounds and have varied experiences. Joining the military honestly has changed my inner world for the better. As much as we are taught to plan in advance, we also learn to go with the flow as the things can change last minute. It teaches you critical thinking and makes you versatile.
Tell us about your role and your vision of your career in the next 5 years.
I will be reviewed by the promotion board this year for promotion from Captain to Major. Fingers crossed, I have worked very hard this time to prep my board file. I would like to expand my clinical skills in the area of placing Implants and doing more Ortho cases and mentor new dentists who join our team.
What’s the one or two accomplishments that you’re proud of?
Something that I am really proud of is the first time I went skydiving. Overcoming the fear was a challenge, but I did not let it get in my way. It truly changed me and gave a different perspective about life. The same goes for running. Just pushing yourself for higher goals and getting out of your comfort zone. The first marathon I did was impromptu, and I did not prepare for it. It was more about building mental endurance and you realize how important it is to be successful in life. You body will deliver what your mind is prepared for. But yes, it’s important to be kind to your body as well and listening to it. It’s a sweet balance.
What advice do you have for the other up and coming young medical professionals?
Believe in yourself. Listen to your inner voice. And have great mentors for different areas of your life. Listen to the advice but at the end go with what sounds right to you. Choose your friends wisely. We become the sum of the five people we surround ourselves with the most. What we listen and read has a huge impact in shaping us. So being conscious of that. It helps.
Are you active on social media professionally? If so, what platforms work best for engaging your followers?
Professionally our workplace has a Facebook page, and it’s managed by a social media specialist. I am not active on social media professionally. However, personally, I follow some organizations that are for and support veterans.
What is the major difference between being a Dental Provider in the military and as a civilian in private practice? Any comparison?
Although I am a dental provider in the military, the biggest difference is that we have monthly drills, and they usually do not do much related to dental. The same goes for anyone else with a particular MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) and what they do on the civilian side. At the civilian work place, most of the time is the chairside working on patients.
Who was your biggest influencer?
My brother. It’s because of his guidance and leadership that I am in the United States. In my eyes, he is close to perfect. He tries to live a balanced life and has always been very inspiring and supportive for me. He has guided me in both my professional and personal life. He keeps me grounded.
What is the most challenging part of your work as a leading Dental provider and leader?
I would say people skills. Different people have different personalities and come from different cultural backgrounds with different exposures and they comprehend the same thing differently. Understanding each other and to communicate in one’s language and being able to work as a team, be it big or small. It’s a constant learning.
What do you have your sights set on next?
To get my private pilot license and I am prepping for the new Army combat fitness test. Weather is getting better, so I am hoping to get on it.
What is a day in your life like?
I try to exercise and meditate every day and cook fresh food at home. It does not always happen. But it’s very therapeutic for me and makes me feel good. I try my best to do a video call with my parents in the morning and before going to bed. I talk to the kids and catch up on their school day. I consider myself very spiritual and go to the temple often. And yes, I squeeze in some dentistry as well.
Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy being outdoors. Going for a bike ride, running, gym time, cooking, and sometime in the sky. I enjoy participating in different workout challenges and social get-togethers with team RWB, a veterans support group.
What makes you smile?
If I feel someone smiled because of me, that makes me smile. That’s true fulfillment and living a content life. Materialism only leads us so far.
What are you never without?
Presence and guidance of God in me. I always pray to God to provide me strength and wisdom.
What scares you?
To be honest nothing. I have a strong faith in God. I try to live my life being led by faith rather than fear. Whatever good or bad happens, happens for a reason. We might not understand in that moment, but things reveal on their own with time.
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Acadia National Park in Maine. It was one of the most relaxing vacations. Nature is at its best. I did not need a vacation after the vacation.
Other work, published articles, interviews or accomplishments:
• U.S. Army Newsletter Interview
• The Digital Executive Podcast