Dr. Aicha Khamsi distinctly remembers a day she delivered a new set of dentures to a patient and the woman was overcome with emotion. The patient’s eyes filled with tears of joy–she was so excited and so thankful. Now she could eat without pain. Now she could smile again.
Moments like those are why Dr. Khamsi became a dentist. She is driven to help people and serve her community. So often, she meets patients who don’t trust dentists or who feel ashamed and embarrassed about the poor condition of their teeth.
“I have had several patients come in and they’re really petrified of the dentist,” said Dr. Khamsi, who practices with Pinova Dental and Braces in El Paso, Texas. “I take my time and talk with them. I want to make them feel comfortable. Then when you help them, they are so happy and so grateful. That is what keeps me going.”
Dr. Khamsi developed a passion for serving others from a young age. Both her parents are teachers. She knew she wanted to follow in their footsteps of giving back. Then her cousin became a dentist and sparked her interest in the profession.
“We grew up with a sense of service in my family,” Dr. Khamsi said. “I enjoy working with my hands. With dentistry, you do more with your hands. I thought that was cool, you can give people immediate relief. I was very enamored by that idea of helping people in the moment.”
Born and raised in El Paso, Dr. Khamsi wanted to stay close to family for dental school. Coming from Colombian and Moroccan roots, she also wanted a school that was diverse and that reflected her community. She chose Texas A&M College of Dentistry (formerly Baylor).
“I was drawn to the diversity in Dallas and in the student body,” Dr. Khamsi said. “They had a really great community. Nigerians, Latinos, whites–it was just a great place to meet and treat so many people from a lot of different backgrounds. It gives you a more well-rounded education working with so many different kinds of people.”
The opportunity to work with a diverse population also was a major reason Dr. Khamsi chose to join Benevis after graduation. With a mission to expand access to care, the company also values diversity in hiring. One-third of Benevis dentists are women from a minority group. Dr. Khamsi said a lot of private practices aren’t interested in hiring new graduates, but Benevis is different.
“Benevis was the only one that really made an effort and said, ‘We really want you to come on board, we see your potential. We want to work with you,’” she said. “That support for a new graduate is so important. You don’t get that anywhere else.”
As a Dental Services Organization, the company also provides a wealth of resources. Dr. Khamsi enjoys being able to focus on her patients without the worries of payroll, billing, or other aspects of managing a practice. “I come to work, and I see my patients,” she said. “Benevis supports me in every way I want to practice dentistry. It makes work-life balance possible. Everyone wants to be in the position where you work to live, not live to work. That is super important.”
When she’s not at the practice, Dr. Khamsi enjoys volunteering for Texas Mission of Mercy and other organizations providing free dental care to underserved populations. Benevis has allowed her to build her skills, and provides flexibility to do the volunteer work she loves. For Dr. Khamsi, building trust is essential. “With families, I really try to listen to my patients and listen to parents’ concerns,” she said. “I think there is a huge amount of distrust with our profession right now. If I can build trust with our patients, I feel like I am helping the community more in the long run. I am helping to set my patients up for better health and a better life.”
Dr. Khamsi looks forward to many more years with Benevis, seeing the practice grow and expand its services to the community. She even encouraged her brother to join–he will start at a Pinova location soon.
“Benevis is really into investing in doctors and cultivating them into really good dentists,” she said. “There is a real focus on providing great care for all. That’s why I want to bring as many more doctors into the fold as I can. It really is a unique company. I personally love it.”
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