Career or Mommyhood: Can Women Do Both?

Why Paving the Way with Your Authentic Self Inspires Vision For What Could Be...
Dr. J’Nelle Delica

I'm completely honored to introduce you to the guest of Episode .003, Dr. J’Nelle Delica of Delicate Periodontics and Implant Dentistry! We covered a lot of ground from what inspired her to choose periodontics, to her years at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, residency, marriage to her sweetheart, starting a family and a startup specialty practice.  

A little more about Dr. Delica…

Dr. J’Nelle Delica is from South Florida, growing up in Lauderdale Lakes. Her mom being a public health nurse exposed her to health care and service at an early age. She decided on pursuing a career in dentistry at the age of 13. After graduating at the top of her pre-health magnet program, she attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2003 with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Chemistry minor. Dr. Delica then studied at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where she received her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 2010 with Honors. She also attended the Harvard School of Public Health, earning a Master of Public Health in 2010. She returned to South Florida for specialty training in Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at Nova Southeastern University, completing the program in 2013. Dr. Delica has since embarked on her professional career. Dr. Delica opened Delicate Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, a boutique practice in Wellington, Florida. Dr. Delica has been happily married for 14 years to the love of her life, Roossely Delica . They met just after high school and have built a life together. They have two children, Clover, who is 10 years old and Kingsley who is 4 years old. Outside of work and public service, she loves time with family and friends, music, great food, and the beach.

A snippet from our conversation…

“One of the things that has always stood out to me is how consistent you are on social media (Instagram) and the thought provoking messages you communicate.  I love having conversations with people centered around their opinions and values, especially when it challenges me to grow my perspective.  

I want to take a moment and read one of your recent posts to our audience that was motivating but also shared a lot of interesting aspects of your story.

Recent Instagram post by Dr. Delica: It may seem effortless, but understand I have been tried and tested in the fire just like anyone else. I have continued to have faith in God and in myself push through adversity, challenges and more. And I’m still standing. There are so many times I could have quit, given up. I didn’t. Even if I had to limp I kept going. FAMU (Florida A & M University) was the best time of my life. Harvard knocked me flat on my butt, which was a first for me academically. I didn’t give up. Getting married during dental school and having a baby during residency - not easy. Explaining to my Caribbean parents why my studies were 11 years when they kept saying, “but you’re already a doctor, why are you still in school?’ - not easy. Starting Delicate Periodontics & Implant Dentistry from scratch? One day 1 with zero patients? Not easy at all. The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory. 

Just like you said in your post on Instagram, pushing through 11 years of school, getting married, having a baby, starting a practice, was not EASY. You and I have also talked about the barriers you’ve had to overcome and push through as a female and an under-represented minority.”

One of my biggest takeaways from my conversation with Dr. Delica was the resilience required for her to be an awesome mother, while pursuing her dreams to be a leading periodontist in the industry.  Regardless of the obstacles or limiting mindsets that stood in her way, she took her seat at the table. 

"If you can't get to that table, find another table and keep going."

Dr. Delicate, I cannot thank you enough for taking this time to share your story and heart with us on The Story Project. If you’d like to stay in touch with Dr. Delica you can follow her at @doctor_delicate.

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