For nearly a decade, Dr. Mira Albert and her Brush Pediatric Dentistry have been a fixture in Hinsdale family life. But like the rest of the world in 2020, the pediatric dentist known through the village for making kids smile had to abruptly shift gears and move forward in unprecedented times.
“2020 was a year for the record books. It started out so promising and like everyone else our plans came crashing down in midair,” says Dr. Albert, sharing a rare glimpse of what her personal life was like the year our daily lives were put on pause. “Closing the offices for two and a half months was incredibly difficult. Just when it seemed we had a plan in place, my dad became severely ill and hospitalized with COVID-19 on March 28.”
While her father eventually recovered, he spent six weeks literally fighting for his life, she says. It was a turning point for her family, one that made her rethink how she was spending her time. The answer was clear. While Dr. Albert has a highly credentialed background that includes both a BA in psychology and DDS from the University of Michigan, a two-year hospital residency in pediatric dentistry, and a MS in oral sciences from the University of Illinois in Chicago, business school has never been far from her mind. And given that her spare time on non-clinical days was while the kids were at school, she took a leap of faith.
“While it seems like a crazy time to do something like this, the hard stop on our social life and kids’ activities actually gave me a positive place to put my extra energy so I decided to pursue my dream of earning an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University,” she explains. “I’m getting most of my schoolwork done in parallel with my kids’ homework so as not to interfere with family time. Plus, I’m excited to share my older son’s 8th grade graduation year with him in 2022!”
Her goal with the MBA is to broaden her approach as Brush Pediatric Dentistry continues to grow. “While my first love is patient care, I greatly enjoy running my practice and responding to the challenges in spite of how stressful they can be at times,” says Dr. Albert. “Ultimately, I think I will better be able to serve my patient base and team with the knowledge and experience I expect to absorb from the incredible Kellogg faculty and my amazing cohort.”
How does she juggle an MBA, a busy family, and a busy practice all at the same time? It’s not necessarily easy but she says her team at Brush and devoted husband, Dr. Sherif Albert, make anything possible.
“I am fortunate that I have an incredible team behind me at my office, my kids are a little more independent now, and my husband is great at balancing our life with me. He truly is my partner. We share the responsibilities and joys of raising our two boys and managing our three practices together. Without his support, encouragement, and help, it would be hard to be successful at the endeavors I pursue,” adds Dr. Albert. “There are days he’s handling homework and making dinner while I’m doing things for the practices and vice versa. He’s also my fairest critic, which I think everyone needs.”
It also helps that the Albert children are used to living with two busy parents. Dr. Albert says every day is “bring your child to work day,” pandemic or not.
“While I’m sure my boys would love for us to completely turn work off at times, they also understand our dedication and that their blessings indirectly come from that dedication,” she says. “My hope is that as my kids grow, they learn to be loyal to the things they commit to.”
They are also learning valuable life skills by helping out with small jobs at their parents’ practices. “My younger son really loves engaging on the patient side of things. During quarantine, he recorded a reading of our favorite children’s book for our patients and we posted it to our social media,” Dr. Albert says, adding that her kids are also enjoying the fact that Mom has homework now. “The first week of school, Kellogg laid it on thick and I considered dropping out due to the level of difficulty. It was my older son that disallowed my contemplation. He insisted I stick to it and encouraged me in the sweetest way. It was a really interesting parenting moment to have the tables turned.”
While 2020 was certainly not an easy year for anyone, Dr. Albert is grateful for the blessing of time—time to reflect, and time for family. As for 2021, she’s taking all those lessons and moving forward with less plans and more intention.
“2020 underscored the lesson that you can make all the plans in the world, but ultimately things are not in your control and life can come to a complete halt quite literally overnight,” she says. “I hope to use 2021 to dial in my goals, focus on family, work, school, health, and reconnecting with my friends I miss so dearly!”
Brush Pediatric Dentistry is located at 911 N. Elm Street, Suite 228, in Hinsdale. For more information, call 630-504-2223 or visit brushforkids.com.