From Where I Sit

Watching Dan Rejman become an orthodontist

It has been a privilege watching Dan Rejman become an orthodontist.

I was 15 when I met him and I knew from the start that there was something really special about him.  He always stood out in a crowd, whether it was because of his practical jokes, unusually strong work ethic, artistic skills, or kindness to absolutely everyone.   It just felt good to be around him.

Nobody was surprised when he did well academically in our little town in Upstate, NY.  It was obvious that he was really smart.  He was from a big dairy farm and we all wondered what he’d end up doing as a career.  We all knew that he could be anything he wanted to be.   He was just that type of guy.

bikeAfter college he studied art at Parsons School of Design but had stopped to pursue something closer to his heart;  Dentistry.  He studied for 18 months.  He took prerequisite classes at 5 am and 10 pm.  He worked long hours for a dentist to make sure he enjoyed working with teeth.  He studied until 2 am every night.  He was warned that many don’t get in their first year, but an envelope arrived and he was accepted into dental school at The University of Michigan.  The Dean at Michigan wrote a handwritten note on his acceptance letter that he was a unique candidate and that she remembered his interview long after it was over.  We’re not sure they ever interviewed a dairy farmer before!

Dan worked harder than he ever had before at dental school.  It quickly became clear that he excelled in the field.  He won scholarships.  He won awards.  He was at the top of his class.  Yet, nobody knew.  He was the normal, down-to-earth guy he had always been.  He never talked about his grades or accomplishments to anyone.  Most people didn’t know how much he had excelled until his name was read over and over again at graduation.  Instead of standing on the stage while his name was read, he quickly walked down the stairs and found a man in the audience who gave him a scholarship so he could shake his hand.

Dan was a general dentist for two years but had fallen in love with orthodontics.  He decided to specialize in the field at Marquette University in Wisconsin.  He continued to work hard both during and after school, but his family was growing and he always made them his priority.  He has always been good at finding balance in his life.  He has always been good at keeping his career in perspective.

Over the years we have watched Dan Rejman use his humor and kindness to ease the worry of children in the dental chair, or gain the respect of parents who desperately crave honest feedback about orthodontics.  We have watched him become friends with such a diversity of human beings by admiring their character above anything else.  Most importantly, we watched him find orthodontics, the career he adores in and out.  He has a smile on his face most every night when he returns from work.

As his high school sweetheart and wife, I can’t help but admire his entire journey.  In fact, I have never admired anyone more.

It has been a privilege watching Dan Rejman become an orthodontist.

 

Julie Rejman has been married to Dr. Rejman for 15 years and is the office manager at Meadows Orthodontics.