A day in their scrubs

April 16th, 2014

Meet brothers Blake and Jay Hemphill


L to R: Jay and Blake Hemphill

Dental school can be tough. Luckily, Hemphill brothers Blake, a D3, and Jay, a D1, have the built-in support system of a sibling on board. Read on, and you’ll see that not only are these two pursuing the same profession — four other members of their family are TAMBCD alums, too — they have a few other things in common. If you didn’t know any better, you might just guess the two were related.


Longview, Texas

Dental school survival strategy

Blake: For the preclinical part of the education, I tried to visit the clinic every now and then to assist a D3 or D4 that I knew to refocus on what I was working toward. When I wasn’t studying, I tried to make sure to truly relax, doing mindless activities — sports, video games or music — so that I could stay as fresh as possible. During the clinical years, my strategy has been to maintain excellent interpersonal skills and communication with our clinical faculty and my patients.

Jay: I just try to study hard and not panic because if you spend the time studying you can get there. As long as you put in the time it’s going to be OK, even if it’s not your best test score.

Most productive time of day

Blake: the hours between supper and bedtime

Jay: I like to cook for myself, to some extent, so after I get home from school and finish eating, I’m usually mentally prepared to buckle down.

Best way to unwind after a long day in lecture, lab or clinic

Blake: Go for a run! Usually I’ll go with my girlfriend and her golden retriever, Sammy, on Katy Trail or White Rock Lake.

Jay: On a busy week, if I don’t have as much time for physical activity, I like to walk home, cook and watch something mindless on TV while I eat.

Favorite energy food

Blake: Glazed donuts; I just love ’em. They’re my weakness.

Jay: gummy worms — all day

Goal after graduation

Blake: orthodontic residency

Jay: Ideally, I would like to work as an associate with someone for a short time and then partner with them, if I can find that opportunity in a city in which I would enjoy putting my roots down. So right now I’m all about that DDS.

What people may not know about you

Blake: I played two years of NCAA Division II tennis; I am bilingual — English and Spanish — and I have traveled to eight countries outside of the U.S.

Jay: I count things constantly. It’s almost completely useless.

What it’s like to have your brother with you in dental school

Blake: It’s a lot of fun, because I enjoy getting to pass on knowledge that I’ve gained from my clinic instructors, so I get to do that for my “little sib” in school, and my real little sib, as well. I get to encourage him during the long study hours of D1 by telling him about my clinical experiences so that he knows what he’s working toward. And outside of school, we cook dinner together every once in a while.

Jay: Although we don’t interact much in regards to our school days, I can ask Blake little questions here or there. Sometimes it’s me wondering about a class or a professor, and sometimes I’m just wondering about something I haven’t learned yet and probably won’t for a couple of years. If the latter is the case, I usually regret asking my question because I don’t know anything about what he is saying. Nonetheless, it is cool that we share some of the same experiences.

— Jennifer Fuentes