Three Sisters Sharing Penn Dental Education
Philadelphia- Joanna Haddad (D’24), Mira-Belle Haddad (D’25), and Anna-Maria Haddad (D’27) have made history by being one of the very few groups of three or more siblings to be enrolled at Penn Dental Medicine in the DMD program at the same time. Born and raised in Liban-Nord, Lebanon, Joanna, Mira-Belle, and Anna-Maria are all in various stages of study and class years at Penn Dental Medicine. “Going to dental school with my sisters has been an incredible experience. We share a unique bond and a common vision for our future in dentistry,” says Joanna, a fourth-year DMD student. “Having a support system during the challenging journey of dental school has been invaluable. Our shared upbringing and values have shaped our approach to patient care and our commitment to excellence. We are fortunate to have each other as not only family but also as colleagues in this exciting field.” Anna-Maria, a first-year student, says having her older sisters as both role models and a support system has made the journey as a dental student more exciting.
While being raised in Lebanon, the three grew up in an environment where oral health care was inaccessible to the general population. “We came to America when we were teenagers because of our living situation in Lebanon,” says Joanna. “As a child, I witnessed the detrimental effects of poor oral dental care and the way it spread far beyond teeth and into people’s lives, happiness, and even the ability to enjoy food,” says Anna-Maria. “Seeing firsthand the impact of poor oral health care and the toll it takes on people’s daily life and overall happiness, I felt compelled to be a part of improving the quality of people’s lives,” says Mira-Belle, a third year. Having been inspired by their own life experiences, the three hope to make a deep impact on underserved populations during and after their time at Penn Dental Medicine. Joanna, Mira-Belle, and Anna-Maria also credit their passion for dentistry to the sacrifices their parents, Bassam and Georgina, made for them in order to immigrate to the United States over 10 years ago. Only being able to speak both French and Arabic, the family also had to learn English
Joanna hopes to practice general dentistry and possibly endodontics in the future. Mira-Belle and Anna-Maria are considering plans for postdoctoral education, however, all three hope to open their own practice and work together while serving underserved and underrepresented populations. “I plan on exploring dental specialties throughout my time at PDM and advancing my education and skill set to be a well-rounded dentist and offer comprehensive dental care to my patients,” says Anna-Maria. “My ultimate aspiration,” adds Mira-Belle, “involves working alongside my family in a thriving family dentistry practice.”