Looking back at my life, having grown up in small towns in the south provided a true sense of community that was ingrained in me from an early age. It’s healthy to feel a level of responsibility towards others that goes beyond family and loved ones. I think it was this sensibility that forced me to do well at school. I learned that effort was the greatest commodity that man has. My father always told me that if a man can read, he can learn and become anything he dreamed. I grew up knowing that only a lack of effort could hold me back.
I became the first in my family to graduate college. I stayed close to home enrolling in an honors program at the University of Central Arkansas which, luckily, my prior effort allowed me to attend at no cost. It was a tremendous experience and the curriculum was my first exposure to philosophy and a level of intellectual discourse completely unfamiliar to me. I loved it. In fact, I loved it so much that once I learned the honors program would continue to pay for my classes I decided to stay for a fifth year before submitting my thesis and graduating. Although I had a strong science background in my studies (I majored in biology and minored in chemistry), the fifth year simply let me learn for the sake of learning and I concentrated on my second minor, interdisciplinary studies (a fancy way of saying a little of this and a little of that). College taught me that there was more to knowledge than memorization. College taught me how to think.
For as long as I can remember, my path had always been toward being a doctor. It was such an honored profession and my family always encouraged dreaming big and putting the whole of your effort into it. The question then became what type of doctor should I become? I had always imagined medicine, however, when I imagined that path and where it would take me, it just didn’t feel right. Instead, and of great surprise to my family, I decided to go to dental school. It has been one of the great decisions of my life.
Again, staying close to home, I enrolled in the dental program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. I loved the clinical aspects of dental school and the art involved with hand skills. As I matured clinically, I began to gravitate towards orthodontics as a specialty. There are few other professions where you can make such a dramatic change to someone’s life. With orthodontic treatment, you can change the way people are seen and, more importantly, the way people see themselves. The work of an orthodontist lives on through life’s most joyous moments, in laughter, in a smile. It is a gift to provide such a service.
After graduation from dental school, I moved to Henderson, Nevada to become an intern at the orthodontic program of Roseman University of Health Sciences. I went on to join the Advanced Education in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics program the following year and simultaneously pursued my MBA.
After graduation, I moved to Goodyear, Arizona, and now live in Surprise. It has been an incredible life here with my wife, Annie, and our two girls, Claire and Emma. I am blessed to have a profession that has given me so much and that is so personally fulfilling. Orthodontics builds lasting relationships, shapes personalities, and changes lives for the better. It’s hard to imagine a better life.
4830 N. Litchfield Rd. #101
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340