Each month an active member of our AAE Connection Community will be highlighted
Say hello to Dr. @Kevin M. Keating
Position: Dean and Professor, California Northstate University College of Dental Medicine
- Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics
- Managing Partner of a multi-office, multi-specialty dental group 38 years Sacramento, CA
- Clinical Professor UCSF Pre-doctoral and Endodontic Residency program 38 years
- Active in Organized dentistry and Oral Healthcare politics and policy development at the local, state, and national level for AAE, ADA, and California Dental Association as a Board member and Executive Committee member
- Board of Directors and Treasurer for The Dentists Supply Company (TDSC), a start up online dental supply company
- Board of Directors and Treasurer for The Dentists Insurance Company(TDIC), a professional liability and practice insurance company
- Expert Consultant for The Dental Board of California on endodontic care
- Chair of the Task Force to explore opening a dental school in Central California
- Selected as Dean for the California Northstate University College of Dental Medicine.
Why Endodontics: Entering dental school I was absolutely sure I wanted to be a Maxillofacial Surgeon, but through the impact of mentoring faculty I was drawn to Endodontics. When I decided to specialize, I applied to and was accepted to both Endodontic and OMFS residencies. At the moment of having to make a decision on which program to accept, I realized Endodontics was the better choice for me. This decision was driven in large part because of the role modeling of those mentors who had the greatest impact on me while in dental school and the personal realization that I was drawn more to the challenges associated with endodontic care.
Best Piece of Career Advice: When I was leaving my residency, when asked where I was going to set up my practice and teach, I responded “With good luck, Sacramento and teach at UCSF.” Dr. Harold Gerstein looked at me and said, “There is no luck, only hard work.” Having a vision of the quality of endodontic care and understanding that quality of care has many layers was an observation I made of those practices that seemed to work better than those that did not. It became a long time effort to build a culture of quality care that starts with the referring office who call and the first contact between the patient and our staff to the last moment that patient walks out of the office following completion of care. It does not happen overnight and it does take consistent modelling through messaging to not only the patient, but to partners, associates, and staff. Lots of hard work that continues throughout practice.
Reason for Becoming an AAE member: The last thing I anticipated becoming active in was organized dentistry. But as part of a response to the nationwide malpractice insurance crisis of the early 1980s, a movement was made by some who blamed specialists for creating the malpractice crisis by insisting that generalist should be held to the same standard of care. That movement was to eliminate the two smallest and newest specialties, Endo and Pedo. I got involved politically to ensure the survival of the specialty, but then became further involved with AAE and forming of California State Association of Endodontists. This interest in organized dentistry led to many instances of being involved with others working to grow and improve the specialty through service on Boards and Executive Committees for local, state and national level. The work was engaging and many, many friends around the country and world was an unanticipated blessing.
Fun Fact: My goal for retirement was to be a master woodcarver. I could carve a face but could not draw anything other than a stick figure. A fall caused me to give up carving due to hand injury which the carving aggravated. My son bought me glass blowing class to get me out of the house one weekend, and that hobby has continued to grow. There is nothing like walking up to the “gates of hell”, opening the gate to the crucible of molten sand, gathering a bit of that molten sand on a pipe and manipulating it into something beautiful or creative…without getting hurt. For those interested in trying glass blowing as a hobby, I have one piece of advice: Glass blowing is a dangerous hobby you definitely do not want to suck at!!!
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