A Fireside Chat with Dr. Tim Mitchell
Dr. Tim Mitchell came to SMOMS in 2001, and has been treating our patients with care, skill, and the wit that only an Irishman can supply.
Q: What inspired you to enter the oral surgery field?
Dr. Mitchell: I always wanted a job where I was helping people with problems. I definitely enjoyed dental school, but I chose oral surgery because it addresses the basic necessity of people having teeth and jaws that function properly.
Q: What was the first surgery you performed?
Dr. Mitchell: A good ol’ fashioned tooth extraction!
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Dr. Mitchell: Managing patient expectations can be challenging because you have to balance their wants with medical reality. Sometimes they don’t mesh very well, and we have to be that bridge to explain the difference.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Dr. Mitchell: I love meeting our patients. We meet so many people every day and get to work through the technical logistics of their specific case with them. I like seeing cases transition through from beginning to end.
Q: Do you get nervous before surgeries?
Dr. Mitchell: Not about the actual procedures, no. I think everyone on staff feels some pressure and nerves just hoping that every day goes well. But that makes us perform better, by doing our best to prepare for every day. We try to control as many variables as possible.
Q: How does your career impact the way you see the world?
Dr. Mitchell: I grew up surrounded by a very old-school and super-Irish view that life is hard and full of burdens. We see people at their worst–when they’re in a lot of pain, on top of their other everyday hardships. I see what I do as a chance to get something off of their list of burdens.
Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Dr. Mitchell: A policeman!
Q: What is your favorite animal?
Dr. Mitchell: My beagle is the greatest animal in the entire world.
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