FARMINGTON -- Dr. Catherine Akridge knew she wanted to be a dentist when she was in fifth grade, though she can't point to anything in particular that set her on that path.
"I remember sitting at my desk. I knew I was going to be a dentist," said Akridge, 27, a new associate with Dr. John Bain of Farmington. "I don't know why but I'm glad I did. I'm really enjoying it."
Akridge graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Arkansas, took a year off to live in Louisiana with her grandmother and work and then enrolled with the School of Dentistry at Louisiana State University.
She said most UA students go to the University of Tennessee for dental school. She liked LSU because of its smaller class size and because students start clinical training the first year, compared to the third year at Tennessee.
Dentistry meets several personal needs, Akridge said.
"There's a caregiver in me that really likes to help people, and it's also artistic," she said. "I like hands-on work."
Akridge said she wanted to return to Northwest Arkansas and began her search with dental clinics in the region. One goal, she said, was to find a dentist who would mentor her. Akridge said she felt it was important to continue to educate herself beyond dental school.
This mentoring relationship with Bain started in February.
"Even before I graduated, he was sending me clinical cases and quizzing me," Akridge said. "It was nice to have that mentorship. None of my classmates were being mentored in February and they were all jealous. He's been very helpful and active in teaching me."
Bain's niche leans toward natural health and Akridge said that's another benefit of being an associate with Bain. She's being mentored in natural health medicine as well.
"They didn't teach that in dental school," she said. "I feel very fortunate."
For his part, Bain said he was not looking for an associate but Dr. Michael Curry of Fayetteville highly recommended Akridge and advised him, "You better take a look at her." Curry's compliments about Akridge made him start thinking about an associate, Bain said.
Bain has been impressed by Akridge's willingness to learn so she can take care of her patients in the best way possible.
"I haven't seen another young dentist so eager to learn," Bain said. "She's been attending study clubs and treatment conferences. She's absorbing all the knowledge she can as fast as she can."
When she's not at the dental clinic in Farmington, Akridge can be found playing her acoustic guitar, listening to bluegrass music or spending time hiking, climbing or any other outdoor activity.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Akridge, call Natural Family Dentistry, 82 Southwinds Drive, 479-267-4900.General News on 07/04/2018
Print Headline: New Dentist Joins Farmington Clinic