Boyd Robinson, DDS, M.Ed
It started with saying “I will” as I took the oath of office to become a member of the US Navy. I am sure I didn’t really understand all that would be required of me as I entered the Navy upon dental school graduation. I knew I would be able to practice dentistry and provide healthcare but I was not ready for strong emotional ties that develop for the men and women who give their lives to protect our freedom.
My career started in a small clinic at the Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California. I was able to perform all disciplines of dentistry at this clinic, which I am sure developed my interest in staying a general dentist. During dental school, I did not know exactly what specialty I wanted to pursue and I was glad for the general practice provided me at Lemoore. It solidified my desire to maintain and develop as a general dentist.
My naval career started to develop and I was stationed with the Marines and went on deployment with them out of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. The deployment was what is called a WestPac (Western Pacific) and we did operations in Japan and Australia. I learned a lot about the Marine Corp from this experience and could really appreciate what they do, how hard they work, and the sacrifices they go through to protect our country. I also learned that visiting the dentist was not one of their favorite things to do which helped me to develop a very patient-centered practice – one that made them comfortable in my chair and one that would let them know how much I care.
The Navy also gave me the opportunity for training. I was selected for a 2-year comprehensive dentistry residency. This came after I had been practicing for about 6 years. It came at the perfect time for me professionally and I was able to increase my healthcare and dental knowledge by a huge degree. From this experience I developed my philosophy on total dental care. It also gave me an opportunity to provide “state-of-the-art” dental care and to be able to decide where these modalities fit into a treatment plan. It served me well as I was assigned to several clinics, one where I was the sole provider of care. I had a very good military service reputation by that time and was known for my excellent dental practice. This lead to one of the greatest assignments anyone could have.