A Fireside Chat with Dr. Rick Crawford

At SMOMS, we are beating the winter blues with a series of Fireside Interviews with our fantastic doctors. Sit down, warm up, and learn more about the SMOMS surgeons!

Dr. Rick Crawford came to SMOMS in 1993, and has been treating our patients with skill, care, and compassion ever since. 

Q: What inspired you to enter the oral surgery field? 

Dr. Crawford: I always liked using my hands, so I always intended to go into either medicine or dentistry. I interned for an ear, nose, and throat doctor in Pennsylvania, which piqued my interest in the operating room and the surgery scene. If it’s broken, I want to fix it. 

Q: What was the first surgery you performed?

Dr. Crawford: Extractions were my first straightforward surgery, but my first major surgery I performed was fixing a jaw fracture. 

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Dr. Crawford: Being on hospital call is challenging because of the trauma cases that we see. For example, gunshot wounds to the face which require extensive corrective jaw surgery are difficult–there’s a lot that’s broken. But that’s even more to fix so there’s a positive spin. 

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 

Dr. Crawford: I come to work everyday to make my patients comfortable. We want to take away any pain, suffering, or infection that they might be suffering from. My job also brings on a feeling of true community service and making a difference. 

Q: Do you get nervous before surgeries? 

Dr. Crawford: There’s obviously a lot of pressure on the surgeon and I certainly feel that pressure before each procedure. There’s no back up! We’re the first and last line for our patients. But we surgeons do have partners at our practice, and at SMOMS I have terrific partners. We go to each other for questions and advice. 

Q: How does your career impact the way you see the world? 

Dr. Crawford: I’ve developed a profound practice of non-judgement in my time as a surgeon. I try to meet people where they are by embracing my humanity and the humanity of my patients. 

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

Dr. Crawford: A doctor. That hasn’t changed much! I remember getting my medical and dentistry merit badges in Boy Scouts. I’ve always loved it. 

Q: Do you have a hidden talent? 

Dr. Crawford: I’m not too shabby at golf. 

Q: What’s your favorite holiday? 

Dr. Crawford: The Fourth of July

Our patients on Dr. Crawford: “We want to express our deepest gratitude for Dr. Crawford’s expertise and kindness with our son’s wisdom teeth extraction. Our son came through with flying colors and feels he’s overcome his fear of needles, thanks to Dr. Crawford’s genius approach!”

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