Our Son, An Officer, a Gentleman, and an Endodontist
A Parent's Perspective of Our Son's Professional Journey
On June 1, 2012 our son, Jason received his diploma certifying him as an Endodontist. His recent graduation culminated the years of schooling, hard work, dedication, and a commitment to live his dream. My husband and I were blessed to be present and a part of this milestone celebration with Jason. The journey to this destination has been long, requiring a determined focus and unwavering faith to reach.
Love, support, understanding, and abundant prayers have been what my husband and I have contributed. Getting to this place and seeing Jason achieve his goal has also been a journey for us as his parents. And now we couldn't be prouder of Jason for all his hard work and dedication. However, I must add that without this accomplishment, we would be no less proud of him because of the person he is underneath. The young man we know first as our son.
Just what exactly does it mean to be an Endodontist?
According to a google definition--
Endodontics is the branch of dentistry dealing with the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp, usually by removal of the nerve and other tissue of the pulp cavity and its replacement with suitable filling material; pulp canal therapy; root canal therapy.
You may be more familiar with the term "root canal", Endodontists are professionals in this area.
This Picture was Taken on His Very First Day of School
Jason began school at age four. He attended Westbrook Christian Academy beginning with kindergarten through grade three. Then he entered the public school system, attending New Mexico schools a few years and then continuing in Texas. My husband and I have attended many graduations for Jason-kindergarten, middle school, high school.
In between Jason's high school graduation and college graduation, he received his Bachelor's of Hamburgerology Degree from McDonald's Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois. He excelled in our family business as well and my husband and I attended this graduation too.
Then college graduation day came when he received his Animal Biology degree with a minor in History. Thinking at this point he might want to be a pediatrician, he explored his options and after much prayer and input from others, he chose to pursue a profession in dentistry.
The Road to a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree
University of Texas Health & Science Center at San Antonio
Apply, apply, apply . . . Jason worked hard at this point getting all the paperwork done to find the right university to attend. He applied to three Texas universities and was asked to interview with all three. After the interviews, he was fully accepted to two and partially accepted to another. Now was decision time, which university would he choose. And I must add that when communication came from these universities, it was a time of family rejoicing and celebration.
The university Jason chose was the University of Texas Health and Science Center at San Antonio. And when he began his studies this was when he officially moved out and left home. It was a great time of adjustment for us all. We still visited often but it was definitely the beginning of a new era for our family.
This part of the journey was where Jason's natural "stick-to-it-tiveness", work ethic, and time management paid off. There was no time to waste and focus on the goal at hand was top priority.
Throughout this four-year period, Jason excelled again through hard work and determination. He impressed his teachers, making life-long friends of them, along with his fellow students and patients.
A note regarding UTHSCSA--Located in the northwest section of San Antonio, UTHSCSA is composed of five schools and the Dental School has been ranked as the top dental school in the nation. The other four schools at UTHSCSA are the Medical School, the School of Allied Health Sciences, the School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Visiting "Our" Dentist
Speaking of patients, my husband and I were privileged to be Jason's patients too. Sitting in his dental chair was an enormous blessing and a time when we looked forward to seeing our dentist. Funny, the term "seeing our dentist" took on a whole new meaning for us. Also when Jason was learning his dental skills, his professors told the students to treat each patient as though it was your mother in your chair. So Jason actually did get to practice his newly acquired skill with his mother in his chair. And he did fabulous, I enjoyed every minute of being his patient . . . even the shots and the nitrous oxide, which I appreciated when he applied two beautiful gold crowns on my back molars. These crowns were custom-made by Jason.
We visited Jason many times in a professional capacity and were patients for important exams. Also his dad was a patient for his final board exam. Jason passed all his exams and boards with high grades.
The Coffee Mug Shaped Like a Tooth
This is a unique coffee mug and one for any collector to add to their collection. I purchased this mug at the University of Texas Health and Science Center Book Store in San Antonio. I collect coffee mugs and it was the perfect addition to my collection representative of my son the Doctor of Dental Surgery.
Definitely a conversation piece. Get your unique coffee mug here.
Caring for Your Teeth - Don't Forget to Floss Daily . . .
It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss daily.
In our house throughout our children's growing up years, we used Crest toothpaste, oral B toothbrushes (soft), and Reach dental floss. We still use these products and the last I knew Jason does also .
And used regularly, they keep your teeth healthy; our family has had very few cavities throughout the years.
Jason Gets Married, Graduates as a DDS
and Joins the United States Navy
After his first three years of dental school, Jason married his high school sweetheart, Mandy. She continued her schooling and he finished up his final year of dental school.
Then after a total of four years of hard work, we attended another graduation ceremony for Jason. At this one, he was hooded as a Doctor of Dental Surgery and commissioned into the United States Navy. His next step was Officer Indoctrination School in Rhode Island. My husband and I attended another graduation ceremony for Jason where he became a Lieutenant in the US Navy. Then it was off to Okinawa, Japan to serve our country overseas.
United States Navy - Anchor's Aweigh
Another Graduation and A Daughter is Born in Okinawa
While in Japan, Jason graduated another time from a residency program receiving an Advanced Education in General Dentistry. My husband and I missed this graduation but we did visit Jason and Mandy once while they were overseas. And before they returned to the states, our first grandchild, a beautiful baby girl, was born in Okinawa. We finally met her when she was four months old.
While in Japan, Jason continued to excel in his career becoming dental clinic director at one of the naval bases in Okinawa.
This picture is from the recent Endodontics Graduation in June 2012; our granddaughter is now three.
Visiting a Dental Professional - Dental Pain Makes Your Tooth Feel Really BIG!
Have you ever had a root canal?
Back Home Again for an Endodontics Residency Program
And Two Years Later, Graduation Day!
Before leaving Okinawa, Jason was accepted into the two-year Endodontic Residency program. That meant his next duty station would be Bethesda, Maryland where he would study at the National Naval Medical Center aka The President's Hospital. We were again so proud of his achievement and even happier that Jason and his family would be back home. This was 2010 and now the two years have passed; and I might add they have not passed so quickly for Jason. With it now being 2012, it was time for yet another graduation to attend for our son. I now end where I began this lens, with the graduation of one impressive young man and our loving son . . . a very handsome, Endodontist, US Navy Officer and a gentleman, aka my pride and joy.
United States Navy Products - Show Your Support for Those Serving Our Country in the US Navy
Jason becomes Board Certified
In May 2014 Jason was recognized for achieving the distinction as a Board Certified Endodontist at a luncheon in Washington DC.
At a very young age, only In his early thirties, Jason had reached the pinnacle of his career when he became Board Certified.