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Dr. Kumar Patel (’03) traveled across multiple continents to claim the UAB School of Dentistry as his alma mater. Patel is originally from Ahmedabad, India but he calls London his home town because that’s where he spent his formidable years and “…discovered myself as a person.”

He earned his dental degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Then, fortunately for UAB, he applied and was accepted into the School of Dentistry’s prosthodontics program. 

Kumar Patel pic newsDr. Kumar Patel“I had an instructor who knew Dr. Leonard Mueninghoff, and he recommended I check out the program at UAB. I spent the day with Dr. Mueninghoff and was so impressed with everyone. It was an easy decision for me to come to Birmingham. Call it destiny,” said Patel.

According to Patel, he received the best training possible at a very low tuition rate. He even made money because he got paid for working at the Veteran’s Administration hospital and his out-of-state tuition was waived. He also earned a master’s degree along the way. 

Patel now owns and is clinical director for three prosthodontics practices in the greater Atlanta area. He believes the training he received at the School of Dentistry made him a better professional and someone who’s not afraid to think outside the box. 

Despite operating three practices and raising his daughters, Kumar devotes a lot of his time to organized dentistry. He’s heavily involved in the Georgia Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and, of course, the UASOD Alumni Association. He swells with pride when talking about his time at UAB and what the profession means to him. His favorite memories from dental school: free lunches from Jim N’ Nicks and some intense discussions about college football with his classmates. Other than Dr. Mueninghoff, his other favorite instructor was Dr. Jean O’Neal. “She was tough. She would chew you out if you messed up, but then she would sit down and explain things to you,” he said. 

Dr. Patel has a passion for continuing education and said, “The more you learn, the more humble you become.” However, life isn’t all work and no play. He chose dentistry because it provides a lifestyle that gives balance of professional satisfaction and family life. He enjoys cooking, spending time with his daughters, and watching movies. Now he is learning to play the piano. 

Dr. Patel said he believes in giving back to his alma mater. He recently made two donations to name operatories for his parents in the soon to be renovated prosthodontic clinic.  He plans to continue serving the school that’s helped him achieve so much.