Celebrating the Dentistry Class of 2015 with Jeremy Goldberg
At the age of 24, Jeremy Goldberg’s young life has already been powerfully transformed not once, but twice.
And in both circumstances, the dental student was nowhere close to his Thornhill, Ontario home. Instead, he chose to chase the allure of adventure and colourful culture in faraway places – travelling to Israel, for family ties and personal growth, and Tanzania, for professional development and international outreach.
In 2009, Goldberg, Dentistry Class of 2015, took part in Magen David Adom, an ambulance first-responders program in Israel. During his six-weeks in the bustling, ancient city of Jerusalem, he encountered burn victims, motor-vehicle accidents and even helped deliver a baby enroute to the hospital.
“It was my first exposure to the satisfaction of helping others and a turning point for me,” explained Goldberg. “After that experience, I knew I wanted to work in a health-related field, delivering primary care.”
Another, and perhaps more momentous, event for the globe-trotter was his experience this past year in Tanzania as part of MedOutreach, a student-led organization that works to improve access to primary health care in the country. Six-weeks, limited supplies and hundreds of patients – many of whom had never seen a dentist – left a considerable impression.
“It’s the most valuable, life-changing experience I’ve ever had,” Goldberg said with enthusiasm. “To see the differences in the way dentistry is practised in other areas of the world is something everyone should be exposed to. We learned how to work with what we had and left the country understanding the value of giving to others.”
It’s a value Goldberg has fostered during his four years at Schulich Dentistry, and one he will be taking with him as he leaves the School’s familiar hallways behind.
On June 12, Goldberg will be one of 75 students graduating from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry as the Dentistry Class of 2015.
He will be walking across the Convocation stage to receive his lilac hood with a great sense of pride and accomplishment. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here,” he said. “I’ve pushed myself to be the best I can be.”
Positive and energetic, Goldberg exudes a quiet, unassuming assuredness. Coming from a family of health professionals, he knew he was destined for a similar calling from a young age. He started his undergraduate education at Western University in 2008, entering the dental program after completing his third year in physiology.
“My dad is a family physician and he taught me the importance of patient relationships,” explained Goldberg. “Getting to know patients and building their trust is very rewarding.”
With a world of possibilities now at his fingertips, Goldberg will continue to embrace transformative opportunities, as he departs Western after seven years on campus.
This July, he will be starting a General Practice Residency (GPR) program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. “I’m excited to learn a lot about myself and the direction I want to take with my dental career,” he said.
Despite being called westward, Goldberg predicts he’ll make the trek back to Ontario in the near future. “My mom would kill me if I didn’t come back home,” he said with a laugh. “Family is really important to us, we are very close.”
Personal connections have certainly been an essential part of his journey. As chapter president of the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity at Western, he fostered camaraderie and collegiality among his peers at the School.
Goldberg’s Israel and Tanzania trips may be extraordinary stand-outs for him, but the people he has met during his four years at the School have left a mark.
“It’s going to be tough to move on and say goodbye to the many great people who were a part of my dental school journey,” he said. “Thank you to the faculty, staff and my classmates at Schulich Dentistry for getting me to where I am today.”
The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry congratulates Jeremy and the entire Dentistry Class of 2015 on their incredible achievements during the past four years and on their graduation.