Meet an Alum: Dr. Katy Rosen, Class of 2013

Posted on: Thursday, 10/15/2020

Katherine RosenDr. Katy Rosen, Class of 2013, knew from an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare focusing on children and young adults. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Penn., both of her parents were in pediatric healthcare, therefore the decision came easy. In fact, all four of her siblings are now in healthcare. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh with a major in German and minor in Chemistry, she applied to and was accepted into the UCLA School of Dentistry Class of 2013.

While at UCLA Dentistry, she was president of the Student Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (SCAAPD), ASB Social Chair, and volunteered her time and growing expertise working with kids. This all led to her completing her residency in pediatric dentistry at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. 

During residency, she received extensive training in various types of pediatric sedation and behavior management.  She gained experience treating patients with complex medical histories and special needs.  She treated many emergency patients while taking call at a level-one trauma center.  She also was part of a cleft team where she was able to work closely with craniofacial orthodontists, plastic surgeons, oral surgeons, speech pathologists, and occupational therapists.  

Upon graduation from her residency program, Dr. Rosen moved to San Francisco to join her now husband, Dr. Amir Chalak, Class of 2011, who she met during dental school. Dr. Chalak, who is originally from the Bay Area, was completing his oral and maxillofacial residency at UCSF.  Since then, she has lived and practiced in San Francisco, San Jose, and many other parts of the Bay Area.  After 8.5 years of dating, surviving 4 years of a long-distance relationship and grueling residency programs, Drs. Rosen and Chalak tied the knot in May 2019. They settled in Los Gatos, CA and are expecting their first baby in November 2020.

We recently caught up with Dr. Rosen and she gave us a glimpse into her day-to-day life in the following interview:

Question: What do you most enjoy about being a dentist?

Answer: I most enjoy being able to build long-term relationships with my patients and their families.  One of the most rewarding parts of being a pediatric dentist is being able to transform a fearful child into a child who loves coming to the dentist. I also enjoy the hilarious things kids say—they are so innocent and honest! It's always so refreshing and fun to look at the world through their eyes.

Question: What do you do when you aren’t practicing dentistry?

Answer: When not practicing dentistry, I enjoy traveling and photography. My husband and I try to get away to a new location a few times per year and I love to photograph our adventures. We love seeing new places, learning about new cultures, and taking a little break from work life to relax and reconnect.

Question: If you could share one piece of advice to current dental students, what would it be?

Answer:
Despite dental school being challenging, they were the most fun 4 years of my life! Do not forget to take care of yourself. Make some time to hang out with friends, take a walk at the beach or around the beautiful UCLA campus, or try a new restaurant. Also, try to take advantage of as many opportunities at UCLA SOD as you can. I highly recommend getting involved in some of the school’s organizations, taking some time to volunteer, and spend time learning about as many areas of dentistry as you can! Even if you choose to specialize, the more you know about all areas of dentistry, the better dentist you will be when you graduate.

Question: What is one of your fondest memories while you trained at UCLA SoD?

Answer: While at UCLA, I made lifelong friends that I still keep in close contact with today. There is something special about the connections you form with your dental school classmates and the things you go through together. Even if I run into a classmate that I do not see or talk to as often, it feels like no time has passed at all. I also met my husband, Amir, while at UCLA SoD, so of course we have some very fond memories of our UCLA days and the early stages of our relationship. We always enjoy traveling to LA and revisiting all of our favorite spots.

Being from Pennsylvania, another thing that was so special to me about my time at UCLA was living somewhere new and being able to explore Los Angeles in my free time. LA will always have a very special place in my heart. Lastly, I am so thankful for the amazing education I received at UCLA Dentistry. Of course, dental school was stressful and challenging, but when I got to my residency program, I realized how well rounded my dental training was and how well prepared I was to practice dentistry. While learning will certainly be life-long, UCLA Dentistry provided me with a very strong foundation to be the best dentist I can be!