Dr Brooke Blicher and Dr Rebekah Lucier Pryles have a strong following in The United States, as educators, researchers, authors, and endodontists. We love their work and passion for dentistry and endodontics, we want you to know their infectious enthusiasm and world class knowledge. And you will, because they are coming to RipeGlobal!
Brooke and Rebekah are colleagues and close friends. They hold faculty appointments at Tufts and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and work together in private practice at White River Junction, Vermont. Along with Dr Jarshen Lin they wrote a textbook called Endodontics Review: A Study Guide. They have achieved so much together and even more individually. One statement is true: Brooke and Rebekah maintain a well earned perch at the pinnacle of dental medicine.
One beautiful observation I made of Brooke and Rebekah when I interviewed them is that despite the accolades and achievement, they are acutely aware that the source of their meaning comes from helping their patients.
"We work side by side, often collaboratively on all aspects of clinical practice, including in the diagnosis and delivery of care, but also in the management of an office," said Brooke. "We each have our strengths and thankfully they complement each other allowing us to pick and choose tasks to our liking. We are respectful of each other, and share many of the same goals, including dedicating ourselves to our families while also ensuring that everything we do in our practice is the best it can be."
Rebekah added, "Like any partnership or friendship, ours is built on respect and trust. That partnership allows us to share both the joys, but sometimes more importantly the hardships of practice. Thankfully, we also share a sense of humour that can make weathering the challenges of practice that much easier. That partnership also allows us both to have a better work-life balance."
Brooke found her way into Endodontics by happenstance. A good friend wanted help with her Saturday job, and brought Brooke along to assist Dr Jarshen Lin, the director of predoctoral Endodontics at Harvard, in his faculty practice. “I fell in love with the work,” she said. “We were able to use state of the art technology and chairside science to treat patients with severe pain and life-threatening infections and have them leaving the office smiling and laughing. Beyond clinical practice, I saw how Dr. Lin was able to incorporate his other loves - teaching and research - into this dynamic field. I wanted all that for myself, and was lucky to have the mentorship of Dr. Lin to carry me through.”
Rebekah fell in love with endodontics while in dental school. She found diagnosing orofacial pain was incredibly interesting, and more profoundly, Rebekah saw that endodontic treatment represented a way to make a very tangible impact on someone’s life by relieving their pain - plus, it was a specialty grounded in the sciences. “I saw in the endodontic faculty the ability to balance clinical care, teaching, research, and family life, and have modelled examples in my own life. I get to care for patients, share my experiences with residents to help them care for their own patients, research and write, all while parenting my growing family with my husband. To say that endodontics has been a dream career is an understatement,” she said.
Brooke and Rebekah were quick to praise the quality of textbooks in the field of endodontics. So it might be a little strange to write an amazing textbook in a field that has amazing textbooks, right? “Yes it’s true,” Rebekah said. “I remember when I was a resident, I yearned for a textbook that distilled the available research from many perspectives and presented it together. I wanted a book that I could turn to with all of those first principles in one place, with easily viewed references. When the opportunity came along to write this together, I was so pleased to be given the chance to draft what I felt I needed.”
Brooke and Rebekah each have their own unique skill sets in writing, research, and working in the clinic together. Brooke has an incredible ability to get things down on paper, whereas Rebekah has a tendency to suffer from what she describes as decision paralysis. “With the facts on paper, I’m much better able to organise information in order to tell a compelling story,” Rebekah said. “I don’t know that we ever discussed how to go about writing the book, or anything else together for that matter. Instead, we both used our existing talents to craft a compelling whole.”
Day-to-day clinical practice offers Brooke the satisfaction of helping patients through pain and infection, while working with colleagues on comprehensive dentistry. “I am truly inspired by Rebekah and the other members of our team. I learn so much from them and my patients every day.” Rebekah agrees. “Practice is where everything comes together, where the supporting research allows me to make clinical decisions to help my patients.”
Stress and Wellbeing
Every one of us in this field intimately understands the amount of stress that comes with dentistry. Do you wonder how Brooke and Rebekah manage their stress? Not only do they both work in their clinic, they are educators at Harvard and Tufts, they write, research, publish, and present internationally. What is their watertight, bulletproof stress management system?
Any work stress that Brooke takes on is mitigated by exercise, time with family, and some decent spa time. “I live in a place that I love which provides many opportunities for my hobbies, such as nordic skiing, hiking and running; I get outside every single day in beautiful Vermont,” she said. “I enjoy spa culture and face masks, and I find great joy in snuggling and reading books with my young kids.”
Rebekah manages her stress levels with exercise and unscheduled time. “Exercise is so incredibly necessary to deal with the physical realities of dentistry, as well as a good way to combat the stresses associated with practice,” she said. “I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful place, where I can hike, run, and ski just a few steps from my door - and can take the kids along with me!”
“While I love dentistry and teaching, as an introvert at heart, I’ve learned that I’m only able to be the best version of myself when I’ve had unscheduled time in my life. Whether it’s filled by time with my family or friends, cooking a big meal, or quiet time reading a book, I need that time to step away and recharge,” she said.
Brooke wants to continue learning and remain adaptive to new concepts and technologies throughout her career. While they have been fortunate to travel as a part of their teaching program, Brooke hopes that she can do more of that and bring the children along to see the world.
Rebekah aims to remain curious, engaged, inspired, and forward-thinking. She wants to share her love of endodontics, and the science behind it - with residents and with students outside the dental school setting alike.
Brooke and Rebekah are RipeGlobal Educators
You do not want to miss their series called Antibiotic Stewardship in the Management of Endodontic Infections. Few educators are afforded access to the latest research surrounded by scientists who are publishing them. Brooke and Rebekah's series is so educational and inspiring, you will love it.
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