Here’s part 2 of our conversation with our amazing new pediatric dentist Dr. Ashley Orynich.
What was your experience like at Harvard?
It was literally a childhood dream. My best friend in elementary school always told me she thought I was going to go to Harvard. Having a family that taught me to believe that all things were possible, I was able to realize this dream.
The experience was incredible. It was an answered prayer to have been accepted. I remember the exact moment when I got the phone call at UF when I was told that I had been accepted.
The training at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine was very unique and aligned with my interests in medicine. During the first two years, the dental students are integrated into the medical school. We shared the same courses, hospital rotations, and patient experiences as the medical students. The dental school’s approach is based on Harvard’s academic philosophy that dentists are medical specialists of the oral cavity, with a responsibility to understand the comprehensive health care needs of their patients.
My experiences with the friends and mentors at Harvard were invaluable. They influenced me in ways that I would have never imagined. I admire my profession and I’m very blessed to have chosen this path. I developed interests in oral health policy and the need for advocacy to improve access and quality of dental services both domestically and globally. I was privileged to be the first dental student to receive a concurrent degree at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, enabling me to explore and develop my interests in policy initiatives.
Tell us about your training at Baylor.
In September, I completed my 27 month pediatric dental residency program at the Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. The training involved rotations at various hospitals, the dental school, and multiple community dental clinics. We provided care for children of all ages, including medically compromised and special needs patients.
At Children’s Medical Center and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, we gained experience treating patients with challenging medical conditions through a variety of behavioral modalities, including general anesthesia and sedations. I loved collaborating with my patients’ physicians, learning extensively about their medical conditions while simultaneously working together to provide comprehensive care.
While rotating at the local community dental clinics, we treated patients facing different challenges. These patients did not have the same medical conditions as those treated in the hospital setting, but they did usually face great socio-economic hardship, contributing to their higher risk of oral disease and greater limitations in affording care.
During the residency, I was blessed to have been the recipient of the 2013-2014 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Samuel D. Harris Research and Policy Fellowship. This opportunity allowed me to conduct research on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on pediatric dentistry. This research was also the basis of my thesis work completed at Baylor to complete a Masters of Oral Science.
Baylor’s residency program is incredibly special with its exceptional clinical training in such a wide variety of settings and the support by such a closely connected group of faculty members, residents, and alumni. I have been instilled with personal and professional lessons that will allow me to deliver the highest quality of care for every child I meet.
Why did you decide to come to Tulsa and On the Cusp Pediatric Dentistry?
The primary reason was the opportunity to work with Dr. Ryan Roberts. He has earned the respect of his Baylor colleagues through the manner in which he treats his patients and the approach he takes in making treatment decisions. As I learned more about Dr. Roberts and his practice, I developed a great deal of respect for him professionally and personally. Dr. Robert’s commitment to his faith, wife, and two daughters is evident and undoubtedly contributes toward his continual pursuit in striving for the best care for each of his patients. Dr. Robert’s personal and professional attributes have led me to this opportunity in Tulsa.
Aspects of Dr. Robert’s practice that were very enticing included the volume of patients he sees and the different treatment modalities he provides, including sedation, full mouth dental rehabilitation in the operating room, and the use of general anesthesia in-office with an anesthesiologist. He is incredibly connected to the physicians and dentists in the area, dedicated to community outreach. He’s not just interested in treating a single filling or doing a single crown, but has a sincere desire to determine the contributing factors causing a child’s oral disease.
With the same specialty training, we share similar clinical experiences and treatment ideologies. I have confidence in his drive to provide the best care for his patients. I believe that this important next step in my career will allow me to grow personally and professionally because of the opportunity working with On the Cusp. I am very confident that I made the very best choice in joining Dr. Robert’s practice and team. I look very forward to establishing relationships with my new patients and their families, to becoming a contributing member of Dr. Ryan’s team, and to serving the Tulsa community.