Natasha and Sabrina Habib:
Two of a Kind
By Dana Chrysler
Everett Community College Alumni Outreach Specialist
Besides being sisters, Natasha and Sabrina Habib have something else in common: they are both dentists who love their profession. The sisters get a kick out of smiles—particularly smiles they helped to bring about.
“I love working with patients,” said Natasha. “As a general dentist, I love working with families and seeing multiple generations and the same patients over long periods of time.”
Sabrina nodded her head in agreement. “I just feel, every day, I like to get up and go to work and help people.”
Natasha, the oldest, began attending Everett Community College (EvCC) as a 16-year-old, full-time Running Start student while in high school. The Running Start program allowed her to earn her high school diploma and college AA degree at the same time.
“I didn’t even make it to my high school graduation because I had a final at EvCC that day!” laughed Natasha.
A self-described “driven teenager,” Natasha recalled that there wasn’t enough mental stimulation in her high school classes, despite the availability of Advanced Placement courses.
“Looking back, I don’t know if I’d let my kid leave high school behind, but there’s just no way I could have been anywhere else but EvCC and been happy,” she said.
After receiving her AA degree from EvCC, Natasha moved on to the University of Washington (UW), where she received a scholarship to research genetics.
“As a little girl, I used to play being a scientist. I think I might have been one if the day-to-day lifestyle involved more people interaction,” Natasha recalled.
Her growing dissatisfaction with working in an isolated environment led Natasha to explore other options and move away from research.
“I learned that I was really stimulated by being around other people,” said Natasha. “I came into doing research for a periodontist and he encouraged me to look at dental school.”
Unlike Natasha, younger sister Sabrina recalled always wanting to be in some kind of healthcare.
“Growing up, I really liked our dentist,” said Sabrina. “He’s still in practice and is an awesome dentist—really fun.”
Sabrina also attended EvCC as a Running Start student and eventually decided to follow in her sister’s footsteps by pursuing dentistry. She ended up observing in her childhood dentist’s office and receiving a letter of recommendation from him for her application to dental school. Sabrina is now an associate dentist in two private practices, one in Edmonds and one in Snohomish.
“It works out really well,” she said. “I see a lot of families and kids.”
Natasha spent several years in public health and continues to feel passionate about serving the public. When she decided to start a family, however, the long hours presented a problem.
“I needed to cut back,” she said.
She eventually bought a small dental practice that was a perfect fit for her personality and family life.
“I have found so much joy in having my own practice,” enthused Natasha. “My staff and I are really focused on the patient and creating good experiences and healthy outcomes for them.”
Natasha’s passion for her profession and patients is hard to miss.
“We don’t sell dentistry, so I’m not into cosmetic make-overs. We have a lot more of a health and wellness model, as opposed to a sales model,” Natasha stated.
The sisters and EvCC alums positively rave about the education they received from the community college.
“The EvCC teachers were as good as any educators I had at the UW,” said Natasha. “And it was nice to be in classes where everybody wanted to be there.”
Sabrina’s experience at EvCC was equally as positive.
“At EvCC, the classes were smaller, the teachers really cared about teaching the subject, and I could actually talk to the teacher!” she recalled.
What did they take away from having attended EvCC?
“For me, it gave me the confidence that I could figure out the material if it was presented the right way,” Natasha commented. “I remember that I almost dropped out of my first quarter at the UW—it took me awhile to realize that they were teaching the same things that I learned at EvCC, they just didn’t make it accessible.”
Sabrina agreed that her time at EvCC was well spent.
“At the UW, it was a class of 300 people, so you felt it was more ‘sink or swim,’ but at EvCC, it felt like the teachers wanted everybody in the whole class to do well.”
The rewards of the sisters’ efforts and experiences have continued to play out in their individual practices.
“We know our patients,” said Natasha. “We make sure that no matter what happens during an appointment with a young child, the parents’ expectations are set and the child feels a sense of accomplishment. So they come away feeling like, ‘Hey, I rocked that!’” she laughed.
Sister Sabrina feels the same.
“It’s so nice when the kids come in and they’re excited and happy,” she said. “For Thanksgiving, we had a little girl who made a handprint art project and wrote on each finger something she was thankful for. On one finger, she wrote, ‘I’m thankful for my dentist,’” smiled Sabrina. “That made my whole day.”