Dr. Lisa Le’s story begins in Vietnam, growing up in the post-war shadow of the nation’s communist government. Her father, Thuan Le, served during the civil war period as a medic and pharmacist for the democratic south. Following the withdrawal of US forces in 1975, Le’s father was conscripted into a communist reeducation camp; a fate common to many who served in the democratic south’s forces.
Following five years’ imprisonment, her father settled into domesticity and started a family. The youngest of four girls, Lisa drew from her father’s example and experience early on.
“He always wanted his children to be in the healthcare field and I knew I wanted to be a doctor of some kind,” she explains. “His struggle gives me the framework and perspective for my own struggles, which seem small in comparison. My guiding principles are to not take life too seriously, make the best out of any situation, have a good attitude, and be open to trying new things.”
Seeking to provide opportunity for advancement to their daughters, her parents moved the family to the United States in the 1990s, settling in the Bay Area around San Jose, California. Amid Le’s college years, the desire to work in healthcare solidified during a summer research visit with her older sister, An Le, at the University of Connecticut.
“I observed her at her lab, helped her doing dentures, and I really found it interesting,” she recalls. “She mentioned I was good with my hands and that I should think about doing dentistry as a career for myself.”
The epiphany came during the same visit while shadowing her sister’s work in a charity dental program for migrant farmers. “Seeing her helping those people and how they were affected by it, that was the moment I realized that this is what I wanted to do,” she says.
Following this defining trip, Dr. Le finished her degree in Integrated Biology at UC Berkeley, and went on to earn her Doctorate of Dental Medicine (DMD) at Temple University in Philadelphia. While there, she met law student Will Moine, and their relationship would become the key factor in her finding her true path.
As Moine sought employment as a public defender for juveniles after earning his law degree, the options nationwide were surprisingly limited. “Las Vegas has a good public defender office, so we moved here together for his job last year,” she explains. “But I also knew how competitive it was for dentistry here.”
Le initially worked at two different Las Vegas practices, and though grateful for the experience, the guidance needed for a new dentist was lacking at times. “I had just graduated as a dentist and was working by myself at one office,” she says. “Consequently, I had to make all the mistakes on my own, though I did learn a lot.”
“I really wanted to work for Image Dental Las Vegas for the mentorship they provide, on both the clinical and business management sides,” she says. “There is a lot to learn in both those respects, and this has been a great decision and opportunity.”
“I’ve also applied patient rapport skills to business, and to relating with staff and co-workers,” she says. “The doctors I studied under in school always said that interacting with other people was the biggest part of dentistry, and they were right.”
Moving to Las Vegas last year has also been the start of a new chapter in Dr. Le’s personal life, most significantly her recent wedding to Will Moine in May 2017. She was all smiles the day of the interview, showing off the sparkler on her finger.
“I want the public to know that Image Dental Las Vegas offers not only the best possible technology and services, but that we’re absolutely dedicated to ensuring that all their needs are met,” she says. “I want to help restore their perfect smile.”
Contemplating the future, Dr. Le envisions a long, fortuitous relationship for herself with Image Dental Las Vegas, and grand designs for the company. The company’s penchant for constant improvement of skills, continuing education, and sincere patient interaction has proven to be very attractive to the next generation of dentists.
“They really spend a lot of time with the new dentists, which translates to us spending enough time with patients,” Le says. “Patients are more likely to choose or return to a more personable dentist.”