Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Barry J. Currey, DDS
Dr. Barry J. Currey is a Past TAPD President who served in 2000/2001. Please join us in congratulating him for the 2022/2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Name: Barry J. Currey, DDS
Position: Chairman of the TDA Smiles Foundation
Number of years in practice: 42
Where you went to dental school and completed residency:
UT Dental Branch in Houston for DDS in 1976
UTHSC San Antonio for Pediatric Dentistry Certificate in 1982
Number of years as a TAPD member: 40
What made you decide to get involved as a TAPD member: I believe in the mission of organized dentistry and the benefits it affords its members and the profession.
What have you learned in your time as a TAPD member:
- That being proactive politically as an organization is better than being reactive.
- That treating your peers as colleagues rather than as business competitors is better for our profession and patients.
- That your peers can be a wonderful resource of helpful information and support in your practice and personal life.
What surprised you the most about the legislative process: How much money it takes to gain access to legislators in order to present your political agenda and seek their support, and then how much time and effort it takes to follow up and get the desired result.
What are you most proud of about TAPD:
- That we engender camaraderie among our peers.
- That we are recognized by the AAPD, the TDA and TAGD as being the experts in our field, an effective advocate for children’s oral health, and how our political perseverance has resulted in obtaining our political objectives.
What do you see in the future for pediatric dentistry:
- That the need for our services will continue to grow.
- That better public education about oral health combined with proven methods to prevent and better control dental disease will result in less aggressive definitive care.
What advice would you give to a graduating pediatric resident:
- Let professional and personal ethics combined with the “Golden Rule” be your primary guides in determining your treatment recommendations/decisions rather your desire for monetary gains. You have a fiduciary responsibility to put your patient’s best interest ahead of your own.
- Word of mouth referrals from patients’ parents and pediatricians are better than big ads online.
- That parents don’t care about how much you know until you show them how much you sincerely care about their child.
- Don’t try to provide care that exceeds your current level of training.
- Don’t hesitate to ask a peer for advice and/or help.
- Use conservative treatments when feasible to gain control of caries before providing definitive care.
- Don’t believe all the claims of dental product providers – use what materials and procedures have a multi-year successful track record.
- Be a perpetual student and practice evidence based dentistry.
- Support and be involved in TAPD and TDA.