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    Meet the Dental Products Report Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017

    Now in its eighth year of recognizing exceptional women in the dental industry, Dental Products Report is thrilled to introduce the Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017.

     

    Debbie Zafiropoulos

    Debbie ZafiropoulosCategory: Researcher/educator

    Originality, confidence and drive come naturally to Debra Zafiropoulos because her family instilled them in her at a young age. Thanks to those facets of herself, she is a respected and pursued key opinion leader, adviser to many corporations in health and wellness as well as a published author and founder of NationalCancerNetwork.org.

    “I guess if I have to define my daily activity and what, at times, I receive a financial exchange for, [it] is to lead a passionate life by example; my daily [work] encompasses my passion to help others, and the pursuit of happiness,” she says. “I am humbled and proud to have earned the respect of my colleagues and continue to find ways to better myself in hopes of being the best for humanity.”

    When she says she started her career young, she isn’t kidding. She began her career in dentistry at 13 years old when she mentioned to her father that she wanted to be a dentist. Back then, most Greek daughters were not encouraged to think of careers outside the home. Luckily, her father encouraged her to follow her dreams and, with the help of a dentist from their family church, she started working in her first dental office.

    “I loved it,” she says. “The patient interaction, the equipment and the smells, I can close my eyes and still smell orange solvent and rubber impression material.”

    Unfortunately, Zafiropoulos suffered a career-ending injury in 2006. After going through three surgeries that didn’t give her back the mobility and sensation she needed to work chairside, she decided to take her experience and put it to new use.

    “Some may have left dentistry to pursue other modes of employment, but I could not,” she recalls. “I figured if I was successful clinically and comfortable with my ability to educate and communicate with my patients, then I could put my experiences into action by learning the corporate side of dentistry. I was a quick learner and rose through the ranks of success in sales and consulting with several companies in the industry.”

    That is around the time she started speaking and writing as well, and she is thrilled to have each aspect of her new undertakings find success in some way. While she’s the first to recognize that not every road led her to success, she continued to move forward unafraid and to continued to grow from every experience, good or bad. 

    “My career has taken on many journeys and I have been exposed to so many different opportunities,” Zafiropoulos says. “Some have been great, fun, educational and productive, others have been disappointing, draining and yet still a learning opportunity. I love to see and be part of the profession’s opportunity to lead the charge in health care. I love being involved in ground floor opportunities for product development, education, marketing and training. I love the one-on-one conversation with people who attend my programs and building relationships with them as they find the ‘why behind their do.’ I love my passion, and my passion is people.”

    As for the future, Zafiropoulos hopes to continue spreading her infectious attitude and working with her fiery appetite for knowledge to educate, impassion and support people in every aspect of the dental industry and beyond.

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