By Hakim Abdul-Ali
The word passionate takes on many meanings and implications to varied individuals in life. One interesting Lowcountry professional recently gave me a version of what that term meant to her.
Her name is Dr. Jennifer M. Forsythe, DMD, and she very quietly is about performing her general dentistry craft with a seriousness that is a wonder to observe. She’s a conscientious dentist and I know firsthand because I recently had some dental work performed by her after being referred to her office.
The initial thing that I observed when I went to her office, and even before meeting and consulting with the dentist, was the manner in which her staff of qualified assistants operated in performing their various duties. This super staff, who are all female, and coincidentally are all African-Americans, exhibited a very comforting and friendly sense of professionalism that you’d expect from a business of this type.
Dr. Jennifer M. Forsythe is a 33-year-old, very enthusiastic and competent business minded dentist working for the Franklin C. Fetter Health Care Network Community Dental Center. The facility is located at 700 Rutledge Avenue in the City of Charleston.
When I interviewed Dr. Forsythe at her office on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, she told me some things about her background and, in particular, about her immense love for what she does. It’s a success story in the making that makes you feel proud of her achievements thus far.
Hailing from the town of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, in the Lowcountry, and being one of five children of Burns and Alfreda Forsythe, she was raised in an academically inclined atmosphere. A product of the Lowcountry’s schooling system, having graduated from the Academic Magnet High School, she then attended the illustrious Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she graduated with a degree in Biology in 2005.
After having graduated from Howard, she had some personal dental work done at the university’s dental school, and it was there that she had become interested in pursuing a career in the field of dentistry instead of going to medical school. She followed through on that interest by applying to and was eventually accepted at the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Medicine and Dentistry, entering in 2007.
Dr. Forsythe completed the dental program at MUSC graduating in 2011. Her next task after graduation was finding employment where she ended up working in 2012 in New York at the renowned Harlem Hospital for a year completing her general practice residency. She then found later employment in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from 2014 to mid 2016 working in general dentistry before accepting her present position at the community dental center.
This easy going, but serious minded, lady is very laid back. Hidden behind that calm exterior, I found a sensitive, informed and outright caring dentist who’s a charming individual to interview.
She related to me that she (absolutely) loves what she does and this is what she has always wanted to do. “I love dentistry because it allows me to practice and mix medicine with art in many ways. Dentistry allows me to provide a service to the population and that’s something that I love to do.
“It’s also about, first and foremost, taking care of and providing my patients with quality dentistry to the very best of my abilities,” is how this skilled professional began describing in essence her love of dentistry to me in our almost one hour interview session. Dr. Forsythe is a genuinely sincere dentist, and she’s a welcomed, up and coming professional in the Lowcountry.
In my interviewing segment, I stumbled across an interesting current footnote in the fact that Dr. Forsythe was the only African-American female dentist presently operating in the immediate area. That was a point that hit me with surprise because I thought that were others, or possibly should have been, more in the area. I stand to me corrected.
Dr. Forsythe said that, off the top of her head, so far as she knows, she couldn’t recall any other females of color in her profession who are currently practicing dentistry in the Charleston area. As she clarified, “There may be others, but I’m just not aware of who they are or may be.”
I inquired of the dentist as to what was her current patient ethnic makeup was since I had seen many different ethnicities in her office waiting room after having visited her office on several previous occasions. She informed me that her patient clientele today is about 20 percent Hispanic, 35 percent European-Americans and the remaining percentage comes from the African-American population.
The dentist, in describing her future plans, alerted me to the fact that her ultimate personal goal is to establish a private practice, one where she still would like to provide services to all, including those who are from the community-at-large. This ambitious young dentist is headed for big things because she’s all about service to the entire community, and she obviously has not forgotten her down-to-earth South Carolina roots and, as a qualified and dedicated dentist, what’s expected of her as she continues to fulfill her vocational aspirations.
Dr. Jennifer M. Forsythe is a very classy, talented and knowledgeable young woman, and I say that with the greatest of respect. Her present on board staff, which she acquired from the previous dentist, Dr. Anastacia Lane, who was formally in charge at the community dental center, is a real hardworking aggregate of friendly, courteous, and gracious people.
Dr. Forsythe and her staff provide much-needed quality dental health related services to the comprehensive community-at-large here in the Lowcountry. So, If you’re having dental issues, or are in need of immediate dental assistance, I suggest that you contact Dr. Forsythe’s office. They are expert dental professionals in every capacity, and ones, who, I’m sure, will provide you with the best aid and adequate info needed to resolve your concerns. For further inquiries she can be reached at 843.723.9582.