Rising Star - Dr. Brittany McCarthy

Dr. Brittany McCarthy

N. Wayne Hiatt Rising Star Award: Dr. Brittany McCarthy

By Jackie Best
Managing Editor

As a young dentist, Dr. Brittany McCarthy has already been extremely involved with and made many contributions to organized dentistry. For her efforts, McCarthy will receive the N. Wayne Hiatt Rising Star Award from the Ohio Dental Association on Friday, Sept. 20, at this year’s Callahan Celebration of Excellence in conjunction with the 147th ODA Annual Session in Columbus.

“Dr. McCarthy consistently shows her commitment to organized dentistry and to promoting the mission of the ODA,” said Dr. Zachary Mellion, past chair of the Subcouncil on New Dentists. “I am proud to serve with her on the Subcouncil on New Dentists and know that her vision and direction will have a positive and lasting influence on our young members.”

McCarthy said she is incredibly honored and humbled to receive the Rising Star Award.

McCarthy decided she wanted to become a dentist when she was a pre-med student her senior year at Duke University. At that time she attended a medical conference to present a paper, and she said everyone she spoke to advised her not to become a doctor, so she decided to reconsider her options.

“My orthodontist in Columbus had always tried to talk me into dentistry. I always said ‘yeah yeah, I want to be a real doctor,’” McCarthy said. “So I decided after the conference to really look into dentistry as an option and absolutely fell in love with it.”

McCarthy then went on to dental school at Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine and received her DMD Cum Laude in 2006.

After graduation, she practiced dentistry in Cleveland for a couple of years until her husband received a job in Washington, D.C. She then practiced there until 2009, when a dentist in Bexley unexpectedly passed away and gave McCarthy the opportunity to take over her practice and continue what she had built. She stayed in that location for about two and a half years, and about a year and a half ago took over another practice close to her home in Bexley.

McCarthy said her favorite part about being a dentist is the relationships she has with her patients.

She said she finds inspiration in her work from always striving to learn more and improve her skills.

“I work closely with a number of specialists in town, and in working with them, and being involved in study clubs and my love for continuing education, continues to drive me to become a better dentist and to become the best I can be,” she said.

McCarthy said she became involved in organized dentistry early on. She got involved with the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) as a freshman at BU. She said she became very involved and has been especially interested in the political side of dentistry and organized dentistry. She said organized dentistry is extremely important to her because of the unified, strong voice it gives to dentists and because of the information and resources available through organized dentistry.

“I really think that if we as practitioners don’t stick together and present a unified front to the public and to the legislature, we will end up having the same issues that our good colleagues in medicine have had and continue to have,” McCarthy said. “Without a strong voice, we can’t ourselves be as strong. The other part of it is that we as practitioners are so busy seeing our patients, running our practices, managing staff and managing equipment, that we don’t necessarily have time on a daily basis to keep up on various attacks on dentistry that are out there. Having the staff at the ODA and the local societies to help keep us informed, and to fight those battles on a daily basis is absolutely huge.”

McCarthy is currently the chair of the ODA Subcouncil on New Dentists and has served as the new dentist liaison or representative to the Strategic Planning Committee, Ohio Dental Political Action Committee (ODPAC) Board of Directors and ODA Leadership Development Committee. She is also on the Columbus Dental Society Board of Directors and has been a CDS Delegate to the ODA House of Delegates since 2011.

She said people sometimes ask her how she is able to devote so much time to organized dentistry, and she said it’s because of how much she loves organized dentistry and what it provides for dentists.

She also participates in community services activities, including the Give Kids a Smile Program and she is a Dental OPTIONS provider.

Outside of dentistry, McCarthy enjoys tennis and golf, and has recently gotten into cycling. She will be riding in Pelotonia on the 100 mile trip for the first time this year in support of friends, family members and patients who are fighting or have successfully beaten cancer and in memory of those who have passed away from cancer.

McCarthy and her husband, Michael, have a 3-year-old daughter Clare and a dog Molly.