Dentaltown August 2020 - 25

office
visit
Tell us about yourself and the path
you took to becoming a dentist.
I grew up in Paragould, a town in
northeast Arkansas 90 miles from Memphis.
My dad was one of two radiologists in the
area who worked seven days a week and
eventually developed a bad taste for medicine.
Our next-door neighbor, "Dr. C," was a
dentist who fished a lot and one Sunday as
my dad was going to the hospital to read
films, Dr. C was coming back from fishing.
My dad told me that day that I should
consider dentistry.
I attended the University of Arkansas
in Fayetteville and started out as a biology
major. A couple years into college, my grades
were not at the dental school acceptance
level, so I switched to agronomy. I ended
up with an agronomy degree and went to
work as a crop consultant and salesman for
a farm chemical company. I did that long

enough to realize that I really needed to
be a dentist. I worked hard and finally got
myself accepted into dental school. Better
late than never.

Before moving into your new
practice, you dealt with some
less-than-desirable circumstances
at your previous office. What was
going on there, and what finally led
you to starting fresh?
I graduated from dental school in 2003
and was approached by a local dentist who
wanted to sell her practice.
It was great for the first month or so, but
then she decided to move to California. So
I was a new grad, in an old office, without a
mentor around. It was tough, but I learned a
lot. However, the demographics of that area
were not the greatest. I saw a low-income
population and although I got good at
extracting teeth and making dentures, I
wasn't getting the sexy, cool work that I
really wanted to be doing.
I watched that area of town and that
part of the state start to dry up. People
were moving out, but no young people were
moving back in. I needed to relocate, but
the opportunity just wasn't there. So, I kept
plugging along, learning endo and implants
to expand my options. I hung in there long
enough for a group starting a DSO to find
me and offer to buy my practice. I ended
up selling it to them, working for them for
about a year, then realizing that I wasn't
happy working as an associate.
I had never worked for anyone but myself
and I knew it was time for a change. I knew
there was a better way to run my practice,
but it needed it to be laid out differently
and I needed fresh new faces to help me
fulfi ll my vision. I worked on the vision
and mission statement for several months.
Once I figured out what I wanted, I just
needed the perfect location; any old space
wouldn't do. It was great coincidence that
my new practice and the Concourse were
starting to take shape around the same time.

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Dentaltown August 2020

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