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24-year-old Dr. Lynecia Angel, hailing from Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, Region Three, copped a degree in Dentistry from the University of Guyana.
She grew up in a single-parent household, due to the death of her father when she was just three-year-old.
She attended Greenwich Park Primary School and Saint Stanislaus College in 2010. There Lynecia graduated with passes in 11 subjects. Dr. Angel pursued CAPE at The Bishops’ High School and obtained her Associate’s Degree in Natural Science in 2017.
With encouragement from her mother and sister, she continued her educational journey at the University of Guyana. During that time, she wanted to become a Gynaecologist.
However, with the support of her uncle Dwayne, the family’s resident “smart guy”, and Dr. Shari Younge, she decided to enter into the profession of dentistry.
Dr. Angel at her white coat ceremony in December, flanked by her Mother Faith Angel on the left and her Sister Nicklin Belgrave on the right. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Angel).
“The last 5 years were less than fun, but I was blessed to have a solid support system. The biggest challenge came in my first year, it was then that I realised that Sixth Form could not have prepared me for what was now before me. The transition was not easy. It was a completely different environment, and most of the students in my class had done a course or two at UG before. This caused me to feel unprepared and overwhelmed. Like I was in over my head,” she said.
Further she added, “I quickly had to learn that I should not compare myself to those around me. While we were all on the same journey, it was important for me to understand that we were all individuals with different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.”
Dr. Angel noted that when she overcame one challenge, she felt that meant that there was room for others to spring up.
Throughout her time at the School of Dentistry, she had one consistent problem: the daily travel to and from UG’s Campus and/or the Dental School. The two-hour journey was time-consuming, and she constantly felt like she was being “robbed” of her study time.
She quickly developed the skill of reading in buses (even the ones with loud music) and in boats while crossing the Demerara River.
“I still remember the adrenaline rush of having to shove my books into my bag before the boat mounted the step or before the bus reached the park. However, I realised this was the best way to utilise my time if I wanted to pass, and so I persevered,” she mentioned.
Lynecia stated that pursuing Dentistry was not a walk in the park.
“It took a toll on my family’s finances. In my 3rd Year, however, I was fortunate enough to have been awarded a Public Service Ministry Scholarship. This helped greatly to offset some of the financial burdens placed on my family,” Dr. Angel stated.
“While the journey was difficult, I came to the realisation early on that this was not a path I could travel alone. I was lucky to have people in my life to support me not only financially, but also mentally and emotionally. My mother and sister were my rock throughout my entire time in the programme.
“Dr. Theodora Madekarozwa whom I was lucky enough to meet during my first year gifted me my first set of Dental Instruments and allowed me to shadow her on weekends at Smile Guyana. My lecturers, friends, especially my best friend Dr. Ruth Sanmoogan, and my 10 classmates were all instrumental in helping me be where I am today. Of course, though, none of this would be possible without God.”
Now that she’s finished with her undergraduate studies, her focus is now on developing practical skills. With these skills she can better serve the citizens of Guyana who seek her help.
In the future, Dr. Angel hopes to become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon or maybe an Endodontist.
While I haven’t settled on a decision, these are areas within the field of Dentistry that I find fascinating. Hopefully, with the relevant practice and experience, I will be able to make the choice that is right for me and excel in the chosen area.
“If it excites you and scares you at the same time, then it probably means you should do it. In the process of pursuing your dreams, remember to remain humble, ask for help where help is needed, and do not be afraid to try several times before getting something right. Lastly, be kind to those around you, be appreciative and grateful to your support system, and most importantly, be kind to yourself,” is her advice for youths.
Dr. Angel copped several awards at her White Coat Ceremony in December 2022 from the School of Dentistry.
- Best Oral Surgery Student
- Best Endodontics Student
- Best Prosthodontics Student
- Best Research Project
Her research has been published in the newest issue of the ACTA Scientific Dental Sciences Journal, Volume 7 Issue 1, on December 15, 2022 and it is currently available online for free as of January 1st, 2023 (https://actascientific.com/ASDS/ASDS-07-1534.php)