Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Center Dental Services
1775 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10453
Dr. Ingrid Dowrich’s dream of becoming a doctor took root in childhood and continued to grow and develop throughout high school. It fully blossomed after her college years in New York City. Reflecting on her childhood on the Caribbean Island of Barbados, Dr. Dowrich vividly recalls being taken, along with other school-aged children, to the one dentist in their town. She remembers how the dentist “would simply put a needle in your mouth, with no explanation whatsoever, and this led to pain which made all of us extremely fearful.” This experience, though a traumatic one, ignited Dr. Dowrich’s interest in Dentistry.
Dr. Dowrich’s family moved to New York when she was a youngster, driving the path to where she is today. After graduating from high school, Dr. Dowrich attended Hunter College. Due to her status as an immigrant, her counselor recommended that she become a nurse rather than a dentist. Since no one in her family had any college experience, she was forced to rely solely on the counselor’s advice. Dr. Dowrich obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and was subsequently hired as a critical care nurse at Bellevue Hospital. While she excelled in the nursing profession, Dr. Dowrich never lost sight of the seed that was planted when she was a girl in Barbados, namely to be a dentist. She returned to Hunter College and completed pre-medicine courses for three years, followed by enrollment at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine for an additional four years. Dr. Dowrich went on to complete post-graduate training for one year at Montefiore Medical Center and then spent another four years training at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn in the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. In total, Dr. Dowrich committed herself to a further twelve years of academic study.
Upon completion of her residency training, Dr. Dowrich obtained Board Certification in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. She then went into private practice in Brooklyn before being asked in 1999 to join the staff at Interfaith Medical Center as the Director, Dentistry. Dr. Dowrich was later promoted to Chair and served in this capacity for eleven years. In 2014, Dr. Dowrich opted for a major career shift, accepting a position as an Attending in Oral Surgery at BronxCare. She was soon promoted to Clinical Director, Oral Surgery.
When the previous Chairman of BronxCare’s Dental Department retired in 2019, Dr. Dowrich was selected for the position. Under Dr. Dowrich’s stewardship, the department continues to advance as a leader in the feld, providing almost 100,000 visits annually, as well as offering highly acclaimed residency programs in general, pediatric, and orthodontic dentistry. An important affiliation agreement was also established by Dr. Dowrich with Woodhull Hospital, whereby residents and interns are rotated on an ongoing basis for training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. In addition to establishing this affiliation, Dr. Dowrich created a new leadership tier and reporting structure. Weekly leadership meetings were added where departmental performance and strategic planning are discussed and addressed.
Dr. Dowrich presently oversees a staff of approximately 200 employees assigned to the main 1775 Grand Concourse dental facility, in addition to five offsite practices across the Bronx. The main dental practice has 47 dental treatment rooms, including adult, pediatric, orthodontic, and oral surgery services. Each of the offsite locations has a Clinical Site Supervisor who reports directly to Dr. Dowrich.
In her time away from BronxCare, Dr. Dowrich enjoys “two very important hobbies,” reading and solving Sudoku puzzles. She maintains ties to the country of her birth and travels back to Barbados to spend treasured time with family. Dr. Dowrich is also an avid sports fan. She has two children, a son who graduated from the University of Maryland and is an Audio Engineer with his own business and a daughter who is a recent graduate from Sarah Lawrence College with a Master’s degree in Women and Gender History. She later received a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University and is employed by NYCDOH as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant.
“I am confident that our Dental Department will continue to be successful in delivering smiles and all levels of oral health care to patients, their families, and the community, through the provision of the highest quality of care while maintaining the best standards.” stated Dr. Dowrich. It is clear that Dr. Dowrich’s determination, drive, and strong work ethic have allowed her childhood dream of becoming a Dentist to bear fruit.