Know your worth and never settle. You are your own competition and always take advantage of opportunities to learn more about your field.

Who is Dr. Thomia Campbell?

Dr. Thomia Campbell is the Lead Dentist and Dental Director of the Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut. She was born in Huntsville, Alabama, but spent most of her adolescence growing up in Paducah, Kentucky. She completed her undergraduate training at Oakwood University where she received her B.S. in Biology, and later received her D.D.S. from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Following graduation, she completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at Howard University College of Dentistry. She worked in private practice for a few years, but loves the opportunity of treating patients going through the hospital’s addiction and general psychiatric program.



Special Training

Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency (Howard College of Dentistry)



How did you choose to pursue this field?

I actually wanted to be so many things when I was younger, such as a nurse, physician, veterinarian, teacher, hair stylist, etc. But as I got older, I had more opportunities to shadow and get advice from close family members in those particular fields. In doing this, my list got smaller. It wasn’t until I had braces that I seriously considered dentistry. In addition, I loved art, took sculpture classes in high school and participated in multiple art competitions. With dentistry having an artistic aspect and still being in the health field, I knew before finishing high school that I wanted pursue it as career path.




Who was your inspiration or role model that guided you to this field?

My inspiration came first from my parents, for always being supportive of whatever career path I decided I wanted to do. They believed in me more than I believed in myself at times, and that really pushed me to do what I felt I would really enjoy and also to make them proud. I was also inspired by my general dentist Dr. Slaughter, my orthodontist Dr. Woods, and the many mentors I had along the way including Dr. Cynthia Hodge and Dr. Andrea Morgan.



Did you always have the desire to work in this field? If not, what was your intended field? Why did you change careers?

I didn’t always want to pursue a career in dentistry, but I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. Once I finished high school, my mind was set on becoming a dentist.


What do you love most about your job or career?

I love that I get the opportunity to share with patients my passion for dentistry and the importance of oral health. So many patients I meet have had negative dental experiences. I feel most successful when patients see me for the first time and leave feeling understood and not judged, had their needs met, and had a better dental experience than expected. I also love the ability to recreate things such as fixing a broken tooth, denture, etc.



What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job or career?

Knowing I did my absolute best and that not just a person’s smile was fixed, but their perceptions of seeking and receiving dental treatment. I also love the relationships I get to build with patients. It can be easy to think of most professionals as “stiff” or having no sense of humor. But I feel I balance being a professional and down to earth fairly well.




What things would you want to see changed about your current field of study?

I really wish people had better access to dental care, in addition to being educated about oral hygiene early enough to understand the importance of preventative care.  Also, I’d like to see and increase in the number of more underrepresented minorities in dentistry.



What are the most difficult things or disappointing aspect of your job?

The most difficult aspect is seeing people who are so mentally ill that they don’t care at all about their oral health and only see it necessary to see the dentist if and when they are in pain.



What tips would you offer to anyone thinking about entering into your profession/field of study?

Shadow, shadow, shadow! Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to be so many things initially, and shadowing different people in those professions and asking copious questions really opened my eyes to what it takes to be in that particular profession.




How have you combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM?

I feel I have had to work harder to prove I am just as qualified as other people in my profession, especially with being a young health professional. However, this has proven to be a good thing in that it pushes me to learn more and strive for excellence.





What advice would you give your younger self about your career journey as a “woman of color” working in a predominantly white, male-dominated field?

Know your worth and never settle. You are your own competition and always take advantage of opportunities to learn more about your field.




Can you provide some words of wisdom to young ladies thinking about entering a STEM field as a career choice?

You can be ANYTHING! Don’t try to be like anyone else! If you are still trying to figure out what you want to pursue as a career, think about what excites you, what are you passionate about, what are your natural gifts and talents. These are stepping stones to lead you in the right direction.





What is your favorite quote?

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow’ “- Mary Anne Radmacher & Jonathan Lockwood Huie.


I love this quote because it is easy to see other people’s success or them doing things you only dream about and assume they haven’t had many struggles or disappointments. Life has a way of humbling you and reminding you that you aren’t in control as much as you would like to think you are. There will be good days, there will be bad days. But the defining moment is ALWAYS trying again!





What are your future goals related to your career?

I plan to continue practicing dentistry, but in the coming years, hope to work in an academic setting as well.





How has your family been a great influence or support system?

I am a proud wife to Dr. Earl Campbell III, who is completing his Gastroenterology & Hepatology fellowship at Yale University in June of this year. I also have the privilege of being the mother to fraternal twins Earl IV and Kylah Campbell, as well as a dog mommy to Titus. My family has been overwhelmingly supportive of my journey and career choice. Their words of encouragement, prayers, and monetary contributions and more have helped propel me to where I am and keeps me motived to continue to do and be my very best!




How do you juggle motherhood and your career?

Teamwork really does make the dream work. My husband and our nanny are probably the biggest help I have in balancing work life and motherhood. I could not do this alone and we constantly communicate, show our appreciation for one another and work together as a team.




What are some interesting facts about yourself that you would like to share?

I love to read books in my free time, run races (5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon), shop, travel and spend time with family.




Follow Dr. Thomia Campbell

Instagram: @thomiacampbelldds


We hope you enjoyed learning about our latest “STEMsation”, please comment about how her experiences have inspired you, how your experiences can inspire others and nominate our next “STEMsation to spotlight their amazing accomplishments.



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