In this exclusive interview, Dr. Richard Malouf tells of his inspiration to become a dentist, how he wanted to help people, his educational path and his driving motivation to learn, improve and become the best dentist he could.
For more information on Richard Malouf, visit http://www.RichardMalouf.com
In the sixth grade I did a science fair project, and it had to do with dentistry. It was really cool. I got to do a little field project. I went to the local dentist. I thought, ‘Wow, this is a really interesting way of life. He’s a doctor. He doesn’t have doctors’ hours. He gets to make really cool things with his hands and be innovative. And he has a lot of respect. And he gets paid pretty decently,’ so I said, ‘All those things really make sense to me. I like that.’
So I did my first science fair project and I made a tri-fold board and cut out a hole and put a light behind it and put an x-ray on the front and got all these different kinds of teeth and my project was actually on the development of teeth—how they go from, you know, a child to the adult version of teeth. I’ll tell you what, from that course, from that project, it was a straight arrow. I had a laser focus on, ‘I’m going to be a dentist.’
I got accepted to three different, there’s only three dental schools in the state of Texas and I got accepted to those three dental schools after my second year in college. So I was a very young dental student. After traveling around to different dental schools, I settled on the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. I had a fantastic education there, I think the program there is excellent.
When I was in dental school, I wasn’t the smartest in the class, but I guarantee you, if I wasn’t the hardest, I was one of the hardest working ones in that class. I wanted to be the guy who was well rounded and I knew a lot about different areas and I could kind of bring those together and be a really comprehensive provider. And I went out and I spent several hundred hours in continuing education learning about orthodontics because I really liked it and it made me a better practitioner for knowing how to do it. I went and learned about sinus lifts and veneers and a bunch of more advanced things. Now, am I saying that I’m the best there ever was? No. But I sure did my best to try to make sure I was educated in different fields and do all I could do within my comfort zone.
I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be able to help people. I wanted people to respect me. I wanted to be able to have an occupation that I could provide for a family, and the utmost, I really wanted my parents to be proud of me.