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Alumna Spotlight: Dr. Elana Younger's Medical + Jewish Art

Dr. Elana Younger is a recent 2022 graduate from our AEGD Program!

When she's not busy dedicating her time to dentistry, she is also an artist specializing in medical, anatomy, judaica, and fantasy art!


Introduction:

Hello, my name is Elana Younger. I am an orthodox Jewish dentist and artist. I spent the past year at NYU Langone‘s AEGD program at “The Nest” in Harlem, New York.  

Why did you choose NYU Langone?

I chose NYU Langone for a variety of reasons. The first and most obvious is the school's reputation for being one of the highest in quality of education. I am not from New York and Covid was very influential in the decision-making process of choosing a residency. NYU Langone, and more specifically, Upper Room AIDS Ministry, Inc Harlem United’s “The Nests” mission to provide affordable quality care to the underserved regardless of gender, race, religion, or health status is a vision that I personally resonate with. During my time in dental school at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, we would have a variety of rotations including rotations through our Cypress Creek Clinic. This clinic provided a variety of free dental services to those with HIV. Although a sad reality, many today still feel a sense of embarrassment or shame due to their HIV status and prefer going to a clinic where they feel welcome. The warmth and encouragement of the faculty, in addition to the feelings of gratitude from these patients, heightened my sense of duty and pride for my profession as a doctor/healer. The faculty and patients at The Nest were no different. Dr. Carter, Dr. Frankel, and Dr. Greenspan all deserve special mentions for their continued support on my continued journey in the art of dentistry.  

Why did you pursue dentistry?

I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field/ healthcare. Ever since I was young, I've loved the sciences (biology being an old favorite). I was always good with my hands and enjoyed the arts, so dentistry seemed like a natural fit. 

What are some of your favorite dental procedures? 

My favorite procedure is probably dentures. I love how one can completely change another's physical appearance, as well as simultaneously restore function whilst being a mostly noninvasive procedure. Seeing the way most patients react on their denture delivery day is one of the most rewarding jobs of a dentist. 

As an artist, where do you take inspiration from? 

I take inspiration from a variety of sources. I am truly inspired by the work of Kentaro Miura (manga artist), Gustav Klimt (art nouveau), William-Adolphe Bouguereau (Neoclassicism). I also take inspiration from science, music, philosophy, psychology, and religion. Beauty and artistic inspiration can truly be found anywhere if you are open to searching for it. The world around us is full of nothing but miraculous phenomena, exploring and coming to understand it at any capacity can be existentially cathartic and spiritually fulfilling. 

What medium of art do you like to utilize? 

I enjoy a variety of mediums with acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, digital, collage, and mixed media being a few of my favorites. I also enjoy quilling, jewelry making, and costume design. I also enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and sharing my concoctions with my family and friends. 

What do you hope to achieve with your art? 

I hope my art can spark curiosity in those with inquisitive minds to go out and explore. I hope that my art can resonate with people on a personal level and allow them to come to a form of self-actualization. I hope that my art allows those with predetermined narrow-minded viewpoints to stop and reassess their ideas through an unprejudiced lens. I hope that my art can make a difference, and that that difference is for a positive one. As a Jew, I believe strongly in the importance of the“tikkun olam” which roughly translates to “repairing the world”. This fundamental concept of one's responsibility to improve the world and try to be a positive role model that shines a light upon it for the betterment of society is something I believe everyone should strive for, to allow us as the individual to make the world a better place. 

Where can we find your work? 

I have an Instagram where one can view my work or private message me if interested in purchasing artwork at: elanayoungerdmd 
I also have a manager Miriam, available via cell at 513-259-4494.

“Thank you for taking the time to read my interview and experience my work, and thank you to NYU Langone for the honor and privilege of the opportunity. I hope that you all enjoy it.” 
- Elana Younger DMD 


Some of Dr. Younger's pieces:




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