Monday, February 14, 2011

Why did I become an Orthodontist?

Many patients and parents ask me what led to my choosing orthodontics as an occupation.  They are also curious to know when I first felt that this may be "what I wanted to be when I grew up."

Unlike most young people, I knew the major I wanted to pursue in college before graduating high school.  Science and math always interested me in school so a biology major was a "no brainer" for me. It was an easy major in which to obtain the necessary prerequisites for dental school as well.  Four years of dental school at UMKC followed college and then off to Mayo Clinic to spend three years in my orthodontic residency.

I had braces as a twelve year old boy and always found it to be a pleasant experience. Dr. McRobert was a kind and caring man while his staff made my visits fun and USUALLY not to painful.  Only once did I hear someone crying in his office during the two years that I made monthly visits.  At that appointment I commented to him that, up to that day, I had never heard anyone crying in his office.  His reply was, "Me neither".  He never spoke of emergency appointments after hours and it seemed to be a dependable 8:00 to 5:00 job.

I thought what is not to like about this occupation!  You could express your creative side by supplying beautiful smiles while working in the health care field.  Everyone in the office smiled while they were working and appeared as some of the most pleasant and attractive people I had ever experienced as a pre-teen. 

So it was while undergoing orthodontic treatment that I made the life directing decision to pursue a future in orthodontics.  This was a from the career path that I was considering at the time which was becoming a church pastor.  I think both professions have benefited from that change in direction!

In next month's blog I'll spell out the educational requirements of becoming an orthodontic specialist for any of you that may be interested in the profession.

Dr. Hechler

Welcome To Hechler Orthodontics!