SIDNEY – The relationship she built with her dentist inspired Nicole Lochard to pursue a career in dentistry, and now she’s starting a job at the same practice she visited as a patient.
Lochard, who graduated from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry in May, will begin seeing patients at Midwest Ohio Dental Care on Tuesday.
“This is where I’ve always gone so it’s nice to see familiar faces and it’s nice to be back home,” she said.
Lochard is a Sidney native and a Lehman Catholic High School graduate. Knowing she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, she studied biomedical science as an undergraduate at The Ohio State University.
“I knew I wanted to be in the health profession,” she said. “But when I thought about what health professionals I was able to interact with most it was always my dentist; I’d see him the most often. And I like being able to see all ages. I’m just excited to be able to work with grandparents to little kids and be able to build a relationship with patients that you don’t get to necessarily with any other health profession.”
Lochard’s dentist was Dr. Charles Edelen, who along with Dr. Damen Patel operates Midwest Ohio Dental Care’s offices in Sidney and Piqua. Her biannual visits to Midwest Ohio Dental Care allowed her to build a relationship with Edelen and inspired her as an undergrad to pursue dentistry.
“That’s how I got to know Dr. Edelen well, is I always came in every six months,” Lochard said. “And that’s what I liked, being able to build that relationship, and hopefully if I get to see patients every six months I’ll get to build a relationship with them.
“Just getting to have a good conversation with the patients, that’s my favorite part. I created a lot of really good relationships with patients I had in school and became really close with some of them. That was nice. That’s the fun part. I obviously love dentistry, but getting to build the relationships, that’s my favorite part.”
The first two years of dental school was all book work, Lochard said, then the final two years of her studies she was able to get some hands-on experience.
“We ran a clinic at Ohio State then we would do things called OHIO Project where we would go out in different communities, for underserved areas or areas that accept Medicaid, and work in those offices, which was also really nice,” said Lochard, who served in Troy among other areas. “It was nice to be able to go to actually work out in the real world and work especially with the underserved.”
Lochard and her husband, Alex, a Sidney High School graduate, knew they wanted to remain close to their friends and families. Lochard, who commuted to Ohio State from Sidney the past two years, remained in contact with Midwest Ohio Dental Care throughout her time at dental school and was excited when she was offered an opportunity to join the practice.
“It’s good to come home and serve the community that I’ve been raised in and that I love,” she said. “I’m excited to be back home.”
Edelen said he’s excited to add Lochard to the Midwest Ohio Dental Care staff.
“We are very happy to welcome Dr. Nicole Lochard to our dental team,” Edelen said. “Dr. Lochard has been coming to our office as a patient since she was in elementary school. It is a privilege to have her as part of our dental team now.”
Lochard has remained busy since her graduation from dental school. She gave birth to a daughter, Reese, in mid-June and has started familiarizing herself with her new office.
When she begins work this month, Lochard will build a client base with Midwest Ohio Dental Care’s new patients and also will see emergency patients.
“It is definitely a profession that I’ve always looked up to,” Lochard said of becoming a dentist. “It is cool now thinking that, yeah, this is where I’ve always come. To be able to work here now is pretty special.”
For more information visit www.midwestohiodental.com or call 937-492-2848.
Reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.