The Way I See It: Laurie Inglis, ’02

Consider this column a virtual office water cooler, a forum for our alumni to offer a glimpse of life as they see it. Whether these insights come at the outset or end of a career or somewhere in between, they might just spark some inspiration for the rest of us.
July 30th, 2018

Laurie InglisLaurie Inglis spends her workdays in Plano, Texas, treating patients in the office of Dr. Ron Bosher ’75 and Dr. Tim Nguyen. When she’s not on the clock, she’s doing her part to advance the dental hygiene profession through leadership and mentoring roles. Inglis, the immediate past president of the Texas A&M College of Dentistry Alumni Association and the first graduate of the Caruth School of Dental Hygiene to be elected to this role, is also a longtime participant in the Dallas Dental Hygienists’ Association’s mentoring program and is a past president of the organization.

What was especially distinctive about your time at the college?

The name. When I started dental hygiene school, the name of the school was Baylor College of Dentistry, an institution of the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. When I graduated it was Baylor College of Dentistry, a component of Texas A&M University System Health Science Center.

What is the most important way dental hygiene school prepared you for practice?

Dental hygiene school prepared me for practice by instilling in me the importance of always presenting a professional image and behavior.

Did your early practice years teach you a thing or two?

Yes, they did! Those years taught me that all practices are not created equal, and that I needed to look for an office that allowed me to practice the way I was taught in school … comprehensive care vs. shortcuts.

During the first year of private practice, my classmate and I were visiting with our former instructor, Marylou Stuart, and we shared some of the struggles we had and how we wished someone would have talked to us about time management, insurance codes, office policies and procedures, along with many other topics. She invited us to be guest lecturers, and we developed “Private Practice Employment: the Real World.” The students enjoyed it so much that we have been invited back every year since.

What’s the best part of your workday?

The best part of my workday is the time I get to spend with my patients. I enjoy listening and learning about their lives. I have patients who are 2 years old and a patient who is 104 years old. I have two sisters who I have been seeing for eight years, and every time they come in, they hug me over and over and over. That can sure put a smile on my face. It is a blessing to be in a profession that gives me the opportunity to build relationships with my patients while providing the services that best suit their needs.

Do you keep in touch with your classmates?

Our class was amazing, and I made lifelong friends while in school. We always laughed and said, “How could you not be close when you have to spend two years of your life in Room 310?” We still talk about the time spent in that room together. I have informed those who haven’t made it back to the school to visit how nice it is now, and that the yellow chairs are gone. So many funny stories and memories!

The thing I love most about our class is that they care so much for each other, and although we may not see each other regularly, we are there for each other in times of need. Just recently one of our classmates passed away, and we were all in contact with each other within 24 hours. At her funeral, her husband said she loved every one of us and spoke of us frequently. There will always be a special bond among the Caruth School of Dental Hygiene Class of 2002!

— Jennifer Fuentes