As a successful dentist, author, philanthropist and Incisal Edge 40 under 40 honoree, Dr. Jessica Brereton Peterkin’s list of accomplishments just keeps growing. She joined Dr. Michael Israel from Touro College of Dental Medicine to discuss increasing diversity in dental medicine and inspiring progress with the book she co-authored, Empower Now: True Stories from 14 Young Minority Professionals.

“Seeing color is OK, it’s beautiful, it’s what makes us beautiful… if you have the power to bring someone along with you and help them feel comfortable, then be that person.”

Dr. Jessica Brereton Peterkin, in her live Instagram discussion with Dr. Michael Israel.

Last year, the Phoenix dentist, popularly known as Dr. Jess B, interviewed with Dr. Israel of Touro College of Dental Medicine about her personal experience being the only woman of color in her inaugural class at the Midwestern College of Dental Medicine and about the best-selling book she co-authored, Empower Now: 14 True Stories from Young Minority Professionals.

How did Dr. Jessica Brereton Peterkin overcome challenges early in life and become an inspirational mentor for diversity in dental medicine?

Dr. Brereton Peterkin and Dr. Israel held an important conversation about increasing diversity in the dental medicine community. As the only woman of color in her dental class, Dr. Brereton Peterkin overcame a significant amount of adversity to be where she is today. She hopes that schools and communities will be intentional about increasing the population of underrepresented students in dental education.

“…During those times of difficulty, you could have never convinced me that it could be used as a tool to help others overcome their own challenges and obstacles in their journey.”

Dr. Jessica Brereton Peterkin, on overcoming adversity on her educational path

Both the interview with Dr. Israel and Empower Now have had immense effects on students throughout the dental community. Dr. Brereton Peterkin knew she was making a difference when several predental students reached out to her with hopes of her providing them with a mentorship after they had either listened to the interview or read her excerpt from Empower Now.

This was a specifically meaningful experience for Peterkin because,“during those times of difficulty, you could have never convinced me that it could be used as a tool to help others overcome their own challenges and obstacles in their journey.”

In 2021, Dr. Jessica Brereton Peterkin, Phoenix, Arizona, was honored as one of the top young dentists in America by Incisal Edge magazine. Her list of accomplishments just keeps growing.
In 2021, Dr. Jessica Brereton Peterkin, Phoenix, Arizona, was honored as one of the top young dentists in America by Incisal Edge magazine. Her list of accomplishments just keeps growing.

As one of the country’s top young dentists, Dr. Brereton Peterkin’s advice for dental students is to believe in yourself. She wants students to know:

“You have everything it takes to be all that you desire. It starts with confidence in knowing that every door opened, every opportunity is yours for the taking. Seize the moments and enjoy every victory and tough lesson learned along the way.”

Dr. Brereton Peterkin owns Breton Family Dental in Phoenix, AZ. Currently she does not have any upcoming author-related events scheduled as she is anticipating the arrival of her second son.

“I’m officially on maternity leave and waiting for my little guy to arrive any day now.”