I look forward to receiving your magazine each month and one of my favorite sections is the Readers` Forum. I would like to respond to Ms. Caryl Carradine`s letter (July 1999) regarding minority dental hygienists.
I am an African-American woman who has often wondered where all the other African-American hygienists were. Like Ms. Carradine, I was one of two African Americans to have graduated from my dental hygiene program. In 1997, I graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City dental hygiene program and currently hold a bachelor`s degree in dental hygiene. I hold licenses in three states but practice in Washington state only. I work twice a week for Dr. Bryan Olson.
Although I enjoy hygiene, it is not my only occupation. I have been employed for 11 years as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines. I find the flexibility of both occupations make this a winning combination. Not only do I get to practice dental hygiene, I also get to travel and take advantage of all the benefits. I find that once people find out I am also a dental hygienist, they start asking questions about oral hygiene products and such. When my patients find out I`m also a flight attendant, they want to know about all the places I have been.
Ms. Carradine, thank you for your inquiry and thank you for addressing a question I have also had. Know that there are others who would love to see more articles about minorities in general, especially African-American dental hygienists. Hopefully, your letter will spark others to write in.
Jacqueline Perry, RDH, BS