We had the good fortune of connecting with Melinda Beck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melinda, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
My father always said that I should pick a job in a field that I loved. It didn’t matter if there was a million people in the same job as you because there is always room for the best in your field. And if you truly love what you do, then you will be the best because you want to do better. I didn’t choose to be a dentist to make money or spread influence, or whatever reasons there may be. I choose dentistry to help my patients in pain, to help someone achieve a smile (and maybe a little more happiness) where they didn’t feel they wanted to show one, or to just be a supportive “friend” to help patients strive towards a healthier mouth and body. I love putting a smile on my patient’s face and helping them feel better, especially during this last stressful year of 2020. Just going into the dental office and spending a day with my patients is equivalent to spending a day chatting with my friends. I love it. I love hearing what they have been up to, trading stories and enjoying human interaction while at the same time helping them feel better overall. Having strong goal orientation is also important. I knew dentistry is an expensive occupation to pursue having to pay for 8-10 years of undergrad and graduate education. I didn’t want to have looming loans clouding my ability to make appropriate treatment decisions for my patients. I was awarded the health professional scholarship through the US Navy that paid for my dental school at any civilian school I wished to attend and then I scrimped and saved to buy my own practice and building. Maybe I didn’t get to eat out or go on that vacation but I had a long term plan and goal. I would definitely say that meeting my goal and having my own practice with low overhead has brought me more happiness than I could ever imagine. Now I have a relaxed pace at work where I wake up in the morning and smile knowing I “get” to come to work. During this last pandemic, I have felt even more grateful.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I excel in treating pediatric and fearful patients as I am very compassionate, explain treatment to ease fears, and will take the time to make sure all ages are comfortable during procedures. I do not run a crazy schedule jumping from chair to chair. I’ve been there, done that and I don’t enjoy it. I’m not out to make a buck off someone coming into my office. I truly want to see them leave happier and healthier than they were before. If someone tells me a problem they have, I want to fix it and if I don’t get the opportunity to speak with my patients, how will I know that? My engineering mind is constantly churning to solve problems and that is another reason I love dentistry so much! I have a strong background in geriatric and medically compromised care and understanding the havoc the prescription medications, age, and certain medical conditions create for our teeth. I myself don’t take any prescription medications and when presented with an aliment, I like to find natural ways to deal with my problems when possible. Having grown up in the land of hippies and natural medicine that is Portland, I have a strong holistic base to draw from and having lived in Japan, I picked up a few international tricks along the way as well. Our oral health has been referred to as the “window to our overall health” (Mayo Clinic) and treating oral disease and infection is the first step in improving our self. I completed a dental residency program focused on the different dental specialties to provide the best comprehensive dentistry possible. Then, I served with the US Navy in Sasebo, Japan where I became very comfortable with trauma, moderate PTSD and resulting TMJ/TMD issues, and family dental care. I also believe that as a dentist, we are members of a professional community and I would like to support my community with increased health, as well as giving to our local programs in need. We strive every year to give a portion of our proceeds earned to support local schools, non profits and scholarship programs. Because without our community, who are we?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Santa Barbara is a special place for our family. We try to visit at least once a year and always return refreshed and happier. We love walking the trails along the ocean, grabbing a bite to eat on State Street. Growing up in the pacific Northwest, I live and die with my coffee and wine. No trip is complete without my morning coffee at Handlebar Coffee Roasters and then a day at Demetria Winery in Los Olivos. The family who runs Demetria have a gorgeous outdoor tasting area and are the most warm-hearted, friendly people who make the best sparkling rose!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My two children – Everyday I work harder to be a better role model for them and they are what keeps me smiling. My dad – for giving me everyday inspiration and a good kick in butt when I needed it to keep me going My grandpa – for showing me what success can be a talking me through how to get there My family – for always loving me unconditionally and always being only a phone call away
Family photo – credit to vangelisphotography