Compiled by Dr. Moein Sadrkhani
Introducing a new feature in The Paper Point, “Spotlight”, in which we will aim to feature one inspiring resident or new practitioner per issue. We’re proud to introduce this month’s featured resident, Dr. Patrick Stamos!
The Paper Point: Tell us about yourself.
Stamos: I am a second-year resident at St. Louis University. I went to dental school at UMKC, where I met my wife [Christina], who is now a pediatric dentist. I graduated in 2015 and did a year of GPR in Kansas City prior to starting my endo residency. My father, uncle and cousin are all endodontists in Kansas City, and my younger sister is a first-year endo resident here at SLU.
The Paper Point: Why did you chose dentistry?
Stamos: My father and uncle are both endodontists in the Kansas City area, so I grew up around dentistry my whole life. I knew I wanted to be a dentist when I was a little kid, but didn’t realize that I wanted to be an endodontist until dental school.
The Paper Point: I heard you were diagnosed with cancer during your national boards. Have you ever thought about quitting dentistry?
Stamos: I was diagnosed with leukemia my fourth year of dental school. I had to take four-and-a-half months off of school while I received treatment, but my goal was to always get back to school and finish what I started. I even took my WREB exam during my last round of chemotherapy. It was by far the hardest thing that I have ever done, but I wanted to graduate with my class. Quitting never crossed my mind.
The Paper Point: How did that experience help you during tough times in residency ?
Stamos: What I learned from that experience is, don’t sweat the small stuff. After beating cancer, you realize that there is so much more to life. I try to have a balance of school and family and to not let things stress me out, like studying for exams.
The Paper Point: How is residency life?
Stamos: Residency life is good. We are fortunate to have a very good director and program. I have great co-residents and we all get along and help each other out.
The Paper Point: Which aspect of residency have you found to be most valuable? (lit review, treating patients, seminar, …)
Stamos: For me, the most valuable part of residency is treating patients. The more patients and teeth I see, the more comfortable I become. Treating a variety of cases has given me more confidence, even when approaching challenging cases.
The Paper Point: Final word for our readers?
Stamos: Life is short; enjoy it and live it up. Treat yo’ self.
About the author: Dr. Moein Sadrkhani is a member of AAE’s Resident and New Practitioner Committee and a UCLA Endodontics resident, Class of 2020.