The Way I See It: Dr. Caitlin Lange Flosi ’18
Dr. Caitlin Lange Flosi ’18 always knew she’d wind up back in Fort Worth after dental school. Four years in Cowtown as a Texas Christian University undergrad was all it took to convince this Cincinnati, Ohio, native that the city with small-town charm and big-city amenities was her cup of tea.
Since graduating, Flosi has settled in as one of four dentists at Fort Worth Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. She stays extra busy with professional outreach and cherishes how her dentistry career allows for a healthy work/life balance. Life after dental school and living in Fort Worth is everything she’d hoped for.
“At any given time, you can find me at a TCU game, exploring new restaurants, or walking with my husband and golden retriever, Sadie, on the Trinity River,” she says.
In return, Fort Worth’s dental community is showing its love for Flosi. The Fort Worth District Dental Society recently nominated her for the Texas Academy of General Dentistry’s New Dentist of the Year Award. She was one of 12 dentists nominated.
“I was incredibly honored,” she says. “Being included in this group was very humbling. It has definitely been one of the proudest moments of my career so far.”
Even before Flosi left Dallas in 2018, she got involved with Fort Worth’s dental society. Last year, she served on their board of directors, chaired the new member committee and contributed as a regular columnist for their newspaper, Twelfth Night. She also serves as a mentor for Texas A&M College of Dentistry’s private practice preceptorship program.
What was especially distinctive about your time in dental school?
I felt so fortunate to get to work with such amazing faculty and dentists. So many of my professors were influential in shaping the type of clinician I aspired to be. I try to treat my patients with the respect and grace they treated me with. I was very thankful for the amount of hands-on clinical experience and ability to volunteer at several public health dental clinics. Also, to any D1s, if you heard Dr. McDonald’s story about the girl who accidentally dropped her wax-up down the sink at the end of the first dental anatomy lab practical, that was me.
What is the most important way Texas A&M College of Dentistry prepared you for practice?
Texas A&M College of Dentistry truly prioritized providing students as much clinical experience as possible. The rotations and ability to volunteer at public health clinics, both during the school year and over breaks, also gave us invaluable experience and opened my eyes to the good that dentists can do to serve populations with limited access to dental care.
Have your early practice years taught you a thing or two?
The day I quit learning is the day I need to retire from dentistry. My boss and mentor has taken me under her wing, and I have learned so much from her expertise. From a clinical standpoint, I have learned my passion for both digital dentistry and surgery. If you told me when I graduated that I would be doing procedures such as bone grafting with PRF, placing implants, or designing and seating my own CEREC crowns regularly, I would never have believed it.
What’s the best part of your workday?
The best part of my workday is the relationships I have, both with my patients and team. Our team is comprised of genuine, caring, intelligent women who inspire me to be better each and every day. Our team also begins our morning huddle by sharing what we are grateful for that day. This helps me start every workday off with a good perspective of what is most important. I also love connecting with my patients. Building long-lasting relationships is my favorite aspect of dentistry. There is no better feeling than gaining the trust of a nervous, apathetic patient and witnessing their transformation to prioritizing their oral health.
Do you learn from your patients?
I learn from my patients every day. Each patient I meet brings a different perspective, personality and priorities, and getting to learn them has been so rewarding. I strive to tailor each appointment for each patient’s unique needs, and seeing an initially fearful patient become comfortable and trusting is one of my favorite parts of dentistry. I also try to listen to my patients for feedback, so I can continuously improve and better serve them.
What’s the best thing about the dental profession?
My favorite thing is definitely the work/life balance that dentistry allows providers. I also love that dentistry is a relationship-based profession and the ability to form connections with patients that span years. I am at my best when I am working with a team, and my incredible coworkers give me both accountability and fun at the office. Finally, I love that dentistry is a unique combination of science and art. I love art and working with my hands, and I view each dental procedure as a work of art. Making my restorations beautiful feels very rewarding. I am also very Type A, so the scientific aspect of dentistry and continuous learning is very appealing to me as well.
What about your own experiences in the dental chair?
I grew up in a family of two dentists and two orthodontists, so I always felt very at home in the dental chair. My dad was my orthodontist and I always loved my appointments at his office. He always made going to my appointments fun, and I loved the positive culture he built with his team and the genuine, caring relationships he has with his patients.
What’s the best part of your life these days?
My husband, Jake, has been my rock since college, and both being done with graduate school and enjoying more free time together has been so fulfilling. Dentistry is such a great career for women, and I am thankful I don’t have to choose between a career I love and time to spend with family.
What gets you out of bed in the mornings?
When I was in college, I took a life-changing leadership seminar about defining your core values and intentionally defining a statement of your life purpose. My mantra is, “Use each day as an opportunity to love and prioritize others, pursue new challenges and experiences, give complete effort with integrity and balance, and maintain a positive, joyous outlook.”