The Journey from Army to Dentistry

When Dr. Jeremiah Taylor was in high school, his teacher informed the class that they could leave for the rest of the school day if they went to the auditorium and completed an examination. Like many other students, Dr. Taylor made his way down to the auditorium and got started on the ASVAB – the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. While the test came with no strings attached, after receiving his high score, Dr. Taylor began to wonder if joining the military could be in his future.

After getting in touch with army recruiters in Tampa, Dr. Taylor decided to join the Army reserves as a dental assistant. He felt that dental assisting could be a translatable skills that could help him transition from the military back into civilian life. Even though the culture shock from growing up in Florida to being based out of Wisconsin was considerable, Dr. Taylor found himself enjoying his new step in life.

"Sure enough, once I found out what dentistry was and how the job worked, that was it for me. I was smitten. I enjoyed dentistry. I was having fun. I loved the atmosphere and the culture of dentistry because there's more interpersonal communication than some other medical fields, and the patients realize that. We really get to talk to patients and get to have a really good vibe with them." - Dr. Jeremiah Taylor at Canoe Creek Family Dental in St. Cloud, FL.

"Sure enough, once I found out what dentistry was and how the job worked, that was it for me. I was smitten," said Dr, Taylor. "I enjoyed dentistry. I was having fun. I loved the atmosphere and the culture of dentistry because there's more interpersonal communication than some other medical fields, and the patients realize that. We really get to talk to patients and get to have a really good vibe with them."

After serving in the army for 13 years as a dental and front desk assistant before earning his dental hygienist certification, Dr. Taylor decided to bring dentistry from the background to the forefront of his life and attend dental school with hopes of becoming a dentist. After attending Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee for four years, Dr. Taylor made the decision to continue in their Graduate Residency Program to further his dental knowledge and became the chief resident of the program.

Dr. Taylor was first introduced to Heartland Dental during his residency when a recruiter came for a lunch-and-learn at Meharry.

"I was one of those people who wanted to ask all the questions, because as chief resident, I wanted to make sure my residents got all the knowledge that was available to them. I asked every single question I could think of because we needed the most information, whether it be about time off, pay, what hours we would work or Heartland Dental's retainment rate of supported doctors. When the recruiter gave us all their answers and numbers, their responses were 98% of what I was personally looking for," said Dr. Taylor.

Once graduated, Dr. Taylor began handing out his resume all over his local area in Florida. He got call backs immediately but knew he was looking for something more. Then one day, he headed into Dellagio Dental where he met Dr. Michael Badger and connected over their alma mater – Meharry Medical College.

Dr. Badger immediately put Dr. Taylor in contact with Heartland Dental to set up an interview, as well as connecting him with Dr. Tommy Dorsey, another Heartland Dental supported dentist who attended Meharry.

"I felt really at home. I was fresh from school and didn't know anybody in the dental community – especially near my hometown. Then I find all these people from Meharry, and they are all so prevalent in Heartland Dental. It wowed me, and I knew it was the place to be. It was like I found all these people who I wanted to be around and the people I wanted to be like as I grew as a dentist," said Dr. Taylor.

"On top of that, I am a real big proponent of education. When I found out how dedicated Heartland Dental is to education, I knew we were going to vibe together because we speak the same language," said Dr. Taylor.

After signing on to become a supported doctor with Heartland Dental in January of 2018, Dr. Taylor worked as a temporary dentist in multiple offices while searching for his right fit in his desired location. In the beginning of April 2018, he settled into his now permanent position with Canoe Creek Family Dental in St. Cloud, FL.

"I really love the team that I work with. Without my team, there would be no point. The people of Heartland Dental are also always willing to help. Everybody is willing to help everybody, and that type of lateral service definitely resonates with me above everything else," said Dr. Taylor.

As a lover of psychology and languages, Dr. Taylor emphasize communication while he practices dentistry. "Mastering the lost art of communication is something I'm striving for. Right now, I have developed my skills enough to deliver treatment plans in English and Spanish, but I want that to transpire to multiple languages in the future."

From being based in Wisconsin as a dental assistant in the Army to now a practicing dentist in Florida, Dr. Taylor says, "I'm in dentistry, and I'm very happy. From what I've heard from other dentists, those two things don't always go hand-in-hand. The fact that I can achieve that this early on with Heartland Dental sets the bar really high for me."

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