Christa Rizkallah, D.M.D., ’10, Dentist and co-owner Devonshire Dental Associates
“I knew I wanted to pursue the field of dentistry while I was still in high school so I went to Merrimack with that vision in mind. I tried to take as much as I could from all of my science courses and to absorb and learn everything my professors taught. While at Merrimack I also worked part time as a dental assistant.”
My Merrimack professors knew of my early interest in attending dental school and I received lots of support to help me reach this goal, especially from Biology Professor Mark Birnbaum, Ph.D. and Associate Professor and Chair of Biology, Janine M. LeBlanc-Straceski, Ph.D. Their care, support and interest was really overwhelming and so helpful. They wrote me glowing letters of recommendation, which I believe were a big factor in my gaining admission into dental school. After I graduated from Merrimack, I went on to attend Boston University’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine in July 2010.
I received my doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D.) degree from Boston University in 2014 and immediately began a private practice as a general dentist. In July 2017, my husband and I purchased the practice I was working at in downtown Boston, Devonshire Dental Associates. Becoming the owner of a private dental practice was always my ultimate goal. I am grateful I was able to accomplish this goal early in my career. As a general dentist, I am responsible for the complete oral health of all my patients. I focus on prevention of oral disease and restorative treatment whenever necessary.
I also enjoy practicing cosmetic dentistry and going above and beyond for my patients to make them look and feel their very best. I have completed hundreds of hours of continuing education courses in order to provide the best overall care possible. The field of dentistry is always changing and improving, which makes it a very exciting profession in general. My desire to continue learning and cultivating my craft is fulfilled every day. It is truly an honor to be able to help people while doing what I love.
How did your experience at Merrimack help you as a professional?
My experience at Merrimack helped lead me to where I am today professionally. I feel that I truly benefitted from the small class sizes and the one-on-one mentorship I received at Merrimack. I felt like I was really seen as a student and that my goals mattered; I don’t believe this would have been the case if I had gone to a larger school. All of this support and guidance gave me the confidence to pursue my goals — and ultimately achieve them — and for that I will be forever grateful.
What is the best advice you could give current Merrimack students?
My advice for current Merrimack students: figure out the path you want to take and set your goals early on, so you can benefit from all the resources Merrimack has to offer. Take advantage of the small class sizes and get to know your professors because they will become invaluable resources. Remember to also have fun and make as many connections and friendships as possible but never lose sight of your aspirations.
Why are you Merrimack Proud?
Merrimack will always hold a very special place in my heart. I am so proud of the all the positive changes I have seen over the years and I know that it will continue to get better and better. The friendships I made at Merrimack are ones that will last a lifetime and all the fond memories I have will remain with me forever. Merrimack is a part of my narrative and I will always be Merrimack Proud.