Yumna Piracha, a member of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine Class of 2018

Yumna Piracha '18: Serving the Community, Catalyzing Change

Yumna was born and raised in Westhchester County and studied biomedical education at Sophie Davis, a part of City College of New York. Dentistry, for her, combines a range of passions. And she wants to use to to make the world a better place. Yumna, the College of Dental Medicine is proud of all you've done so far and what you've given to the community and to your school. We can't wait to see what comes next for you!

Why did you choose to become a dentist?  

It’s an exciting career that combines science, art, finesse, communication, and professionalism in such a beautiful way. Dentistry is my way of using my knowledge and skill to better serve the community. 

What is one experience from CDM that you’ll always remember?  

I had the good fortune of teaching and mentoring students these past few years. I’ve worked closely with minority high school students to provide initial academic skill development and health care career exposure, who otherwise without constant support and encouragement would not strive for higher education.  When a child gains an education, it sends ripples of positive change across a community, and understanding and realizing that I have been part of this has truly been gratifying 

What advice do you have for future dental students? 

Believe in yourself, because you get in life what you have the courage to work for! There will be ups and down throughout the journey, but will-power in passion will drive you to your goals. 

What’s next for you? 

I begin endodontic residency this June here at Columbia for two years. Afterwards, I hope to work in private practice, and eventually to teach in academia. 

Is there anything else you want to say to your classmates and the greater community? 

Dental school has been an eventful journey, with memories and friendships that I’m privileged to have. Let’s not doubt our capacity to make a difference. Let’s treat people with the same dignity and respect that we demand for ourselves, with absolute intolerance of the abuse of power. I look forward to great achievements from my graduating class!