Hey everybody!! I’m Dr. Patrick Reilly and I have decided to write this blog as a way for me to share insights into the exciting world of dentistry. It may be that the world of dentistry is only exciting for me, but hopefully readers will find something that is interesting. Like most, I was first introduced to dentistry as a young patient and had a very favorable perception of the dentist and hygienist. Our family dentist is a close family friend and he provided an environment that was fun and educational. Later, during a youth group "career-focus" at a local dentist’s office, I formed a loose association with dentistry as a possible career path. The more I learned about science (life sciences in particular), the more I realized dentistry seemed to fit my goals and interests. Near the end of my high school years, I had set a firm course for my future profession.
When I was first accepted to dental school, I was speaking to a family friend who had gone to medical school while serving in the USAF. He advised me to look into what training programs the Air Force had to offer and to look for opportunities that military service provides. I appreciated the advice but did not give it much serious thought. Upon arriving at school, one of the first presentations I was exposed to was a health professions recruiter from the Army who had brought an Army dentist to speak about his experiences. From that presentation, I began researching what opportunities were available for military dentists.
I was fortunate enough to receive a 3 year health professions scholarship from the Air Force and an opportunity to receive further training in an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency. This year of additional training exceeded all expectations. The Air Force provided an excellent training environment with a foundation in evidence-based dentistry.
My remaining three years, stationed in Florida, was a transition from being mentored to becoming a mentor to new dentists coming in. Our small clinic had 5-6 dentists working together to learn more about our profession and to provide excellent care to the brave men and women of our Nation’s armed forces. I am thankful for that opportunity to serve and look forward to continued service in the Air Force Reserves.