Lina Shahinyan

Obstacles in life often act as deterrents to achieving one’s dreams. Lina Shahinyan, having immigrated to the United States at a very pivotal moment in her life, did not allow such obstacles to stand in the way of her aspirations to make positive contributions to communities by becoming a socially conscious dentist.

Wanting to gain a deeper understanding of cultural and social impacts on health while also bolstering her preparation for dental school, Shahinyan was incredibly happy to be admitted into the Keck School of Medicine of USC Master of Science in Global Medicine program as a clinical track student. Her time as a graduate student at USC was filled with learning about the foundations of medicine, as well as critical health issues and disparities. The curriculum also allowed her to understand theories of narrative medicine while gaining exposure to patients’ own narratives about their illnesses, sensitizing her to the vulnerable states of her future patients.

Growing both personally and academically during her time at USC, Shahinyan said she feels her character was strengthened, her ambitions made more profound and her spirits lifted, as her inspiration to pursue dentistry grew. With the support of her beloved friends and family, as well as the guidance of her academic advisers, Shahinyan reached her childhood dream of being accepted into the prestigious Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and will continue as a Trojan. She said she believes that success requires a can-do attitude, hard work and perseverance.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to study dentistry at USC and hope to become a part of the driving force changing the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations by healing hearts, minds and smiles,” she said.

— Lina Shahinyan