Fresh Faces: Max Li, DDS

Max Li looks forward to a career in dentistry that allows him to connect directly with his patients in a very hands-on environment.

Sasha Roeder Mah - 04 November 2021

Max Li, ’21 BSc, grew up in Edmonton and is already at home at the University of Alberta, having completed his undergraduate degree in pharmacology here. He looks forward to a career in dentistry that allows him to connect directly with his patients in a very hands-on environment.

What made you choose the U of A?

After studying here for the past four years, I have found that U of A is a very diverse campus with students from various backgrounds. I always enjoyed learning in an environment with diverse perspectives and opinions. In addition, my personal dentist graduated from U of A and he strongly recommended that I attend the program here, due to its strong emphasis on clinical practice and patient care. Lastly, my significant other is also studying at the university. Being able to spend quality time with her and work together to overcome challenges during my education career and beyond are important factors that I considered when selecting U of A. 

What inspired your decision to go into dentistry?

While studying for my undergraduate degree in pharmacology, I found that I truly enjoyed learning about different diseases, their diagnosis, treatment and prevention. In addition, I discovered through various extracurricular experiences that being able to work with people and being able to be very hands on are very important components of what I look for in a career. After shadowing two general dentists, I realized that dentistry integrates all of the aforementioned characteristics. 

What are you most looking forward to in DDS?

I look forward to spending the next four years with my classmates and translating what we learn in the classroom into real-life cases, learning how to provide the best possible oral care for our future patients. 

Anything you’re worried about as you embark on this new path?

Dentistry is a fast-paced program that requires excellent knowledge of the fundamental biomedical sciences, hands-on skills and patient care. I am worried about the pace of the program and how fast we are moving along the curriculum. However, I am confident that with the help of our excellent instructors and my peers, it can be manageable.

How was it to start your program during the ongoing pandemic?

Our campus is extremely diverse and typically has many student clubs. For now, I have to look forward to being part of most of those opportunities in the future because of COVID. And the enhanced safety protocols are still difficult to get used to. Fortunately, many of our classes remain in-person and labs or patient care is still very hands on.

What do you do to unwind from the busyness of your studies? 

To relax, I like to participate in a variety of sports-related activities. From badminton to fencing to hiking with friends, I find that anything that keeps me moving will help me to take my mind off school and unwind during my spare time.