DR. BRYANNA HUBBARD, UCLA DDS CLASS OF 2019, makes motherhood and postgraduate training look easy. The recent UCLA Dentistry graduate gave birth to her first child, Amalia, at the end of October 2018, at the start of her final year of dental school. Dr. Hubbard was treating patients at the dental school clinic up until two days before she went into labor. She came back within weeks and graduated on time, with honors, in June 2019.
“Having Amalia during such a stressful time was overwhelming. Fortunately for me, I had an amazing support system here at UCLA and at home,” Dr. Hubbard said. “Before my due date, I focused all of my efforts on completing as many clinical requirements as I could and just stayed on top of things.”
Dr. Hubbard is now pursuing a General Practice certificate and is on track to graduate June 2020. “General Practice made the most sense, and learning how to treat medically compromised patients was an area where I felt I needed more training. There’s a great need for specialists in this area and I’m grateful for this opportunity to train at UCLA.”
Dr. Hubbard’s dentistry path started much earlier in her career. Before she was accepted into UCLA’s Professional Program for International Dentists in 2017, she was already a certified periodontist in her native country – Brazil. She moved to Los Angeles after she met and married a native Angeleno. She spent several years checking off requirements to become a competitive U.S. dental school applicant, including volunteering at a clinic, researching in a lab, and taking the board exams.
Now nine months into her postgraduate training, balancing motherhood has become more of a challenge, especially with her unpredictable schedule and being on-call. There have been many times when Dr. Hubbard leaves before Amalia wakes up and comes home after she’s already asleep. She and her husband, who has more job flexibility and is able to help with childcare, also lean on Amalia’s grandparents for help. The couple also adhere to a detailed, organized schedule in order to keep it all together.
“I keep reminding myself that Amalia won’t remember this hectic time in our lives. I’m the one that needs to let go of the guilt,” Dr. Hubbard said. “I know that the sacrifices and hard work will lead to a better future for my family.”
Dr. Hubbard deals with the stress of her schedule and training by being aware of her feelings, and finding ways to cope, such as spending time outdoors and cooking. “I like what I do, so instead of feeling anxious, I just dig in to what I’m learning.”
Dr. Hubbard credits faculty members, Drs. Steve Lee, Eric Sung, Flavia Pirih, and Evelyn Chung, for all their support and guidance during her time at UCLA. Following completion of her postgraduate training certificate, she plans to take a little break. She already has a position lined up, closer to her home in the San Fernando Valley, but she is especially looking forward to spending more time with her family.