I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Franklyn Aguebor – @iamdr_a. His content is super fun to follow on social media and he is already doing big things in the dental field, less than 5 years out of school.
So tell me a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Nigeria and moved to the states at six years old. I went to college at the University of Georgia and was practically raised in Georgia. I went to dental school at Augusta University. It was a very slow-paced environment in Georgia, so it wasn’t exactly my vibe. I needed a faster environment and had always liked NYC. I had lived there for a year as a child. NY was the only city I applied for a residency program–only Bronx-Lebanon. I put all my eggs in one basket but felt confident. After completing one year of residency, I had the pleasure of knowing many of the attendings in the residency program on a more colleague-based level and their level of trust and confidence in me was at a much higher level than when I started the program. The job search environment wasn’t too bad because I had connections and recommendations from the residency program directors. Even with that, working under somebody, I immediately knew I wanted to do my own thing. I thought, “Why can’t I do this same thing? Ownership is very possible.” Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I created an LLC and found a location. I just jumped in and started to make it happen. It’s now been about three years and currently on year four with my own practice–I graduated in 2017 and obtained my practice in 2018.
Did you have a mentor?
I had a number of mentors, whom I asked many questions during the process. I learned plenty from their advice, but I always wanted to put my own spin on it, which I did.
How did you start Instagram and rapping?
I started working at my practice in January of 2019. While I was still creating the office, I was working for someone else from 9-5 and then would work at my practice from 6-10 pm. I became the “late-night dentist” which was helping to build my clientele. I thought, how else can I get more patients as this new dentist? How can I make this faster? I tapped into several advertising agencies, and I would try them for some months but wouldn’t get much from it. I thought there must be another way. I’m a little silly and a little funny, so I thought I could do a little something. My assistant at the time knew somebody who could help me record and make videos. I met with the videographer named Yusef and was basically like, “hey, let’s shoot a video.” The first video was executed perfectly, and it was a hit from the very beginning! We just kept getting hit after hit. I realized, marketing internally is more genuine to the public and feels better. I enjoy doing it too, so there was more passion. The thoughts, ideas… I made sure it related to the public and I wanted to show we were fun.
And how did you get into rapping?
When I was 15-16, I would always rap. My cousin had a studio, so I would always lay down tracks for fun. I thought hmmm…maybe I could create a track in regards to something dental. My first song was Justin Bieber’s “Popstar”. I remixed it, and called it “Doctor, Not A Popstar”. I recorded it and came back to film. When Yusef and I meet, we align, we sit down, and knock it out and it is solid! From then on, I just wrote lyrics to whatever was thrown at me. It always has to make sense with dentistry for me.
What’s your favorite song or video you did?
Hmmm that’s a tough one. I would have to say, “Teach me how to floss it”. That one in general, I had a whole lot of my patients come together. They got excited and were like, “yea, let’s do it!” There was so much energy and we had so much fun. We were there for five hours filming, but no one would complain because it was pure fun. And that is how all my video shoots are; pure fun. Yusef lets us know we need different angles, redos, etc. Throughout the entire time, it is so much fun filming. We were there from 6-11 pm and nobody complained! The good dynamic amongst everyone keeps me focused.
What can we expect from you for the future?
Everything is a surprise. I have a couple things brewing. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and then go on Amazon to buy props if needed. 2022 is going to be an amazing year and I’m excited! As long as one person laughs, I’m happy with that. If it gets someone to go to the dentist, I’m happy! It is all full circle.
Dr. Lucas Shapiro is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine, where he received his Doctor of DentalSurgery. He completed his post-doctoral orthodontic training at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He currently practices orthodontics at Lemchen Salzer Ortho in NYC. He started the Instagram page @futuredentists, works with the educational organization @ignitedds and has an orthodontic tiktok page @drshap