If you've every watched a wrestling match with Freeman Doster, you know how excitable he is. A wrestler himself, he raised three stellar Baylor wrestlers, one being a four-time state champion.
He's excited now, but not about sports. He can barely contain himself about his new partner in his dental practice. His son, Cross, graduated from UT dental school this past spring after getting a BS from UGA, and joined his father this summer. "I am so excited Cross decided to join me in the practice of dentistry!" Freeman says. "I've been looking forward to this for the past four years while he was in dental school."
As a boy, Freeman always thought he'd join his father in the car business, Lawrence-Doster. But when he told this to Dr. Swanson, his chemistry teacher at Baylor, the teacher scoffed and said he doubted we would even be using cars that far in the future. This exchange occurred during the gas shortage of the mid seventies, when there was both panic and speculation about the gasoline supply. When his father agreed his teacher had a valid point, Freeman began to consider his options. "My brother Stokely was in dental school at the time, and I went for a long visit and decided dentistry was the field for me. And making the grades to get into dental school became my goal," he says.
Cross knew he wanted to be a dentist, but says his father didn't try to talk him into pursuing dentistry. "But he didn't try to talk him out of it either," Cross says.
In practice for himself for three decades, Freeman is grateful to have a partner, but especially glad to have that partner be his own son. "Having him there really takes a load off, and it's great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and corroborate with over patient treatment," Freeman says.
The main difference between the two of them seems to be that Freeman is right-handed, and Cross is left-handed. "The office is set up with right-handed equipment, so we had to do some pretty extensive remodeling to set up half of the office for Cross," Freeman says.
Clearly pleased with his new partner, Freeman credits his son with having a winning way with patients immediately. "He has such a nice way about him, and excellent people skills," Freeman says. "He's building a great rapport with the patients, and they are all very receptive to him." Freeman self-effacingly suggests Cross is able to explain things to patients in a way he is unable to, but truly both of them are as nice as they are approachable.
"My dad is the perfect dentist for me to learn from," Cross says. "He is a perfectionist and an outstanding dentist. He treats each patient with honesty and care, as if they were his own family member, ant there's not a better mentor for me to work alongside."
Corinne Doster, Freeman's wife and Cross's mother, is a regular at the practice as well. She's been filling in for absent employees for years, and welcomes everyone to the office in a warm, friendly way.
"Having Cross is proving to be a really good fit because we're combining his fresh knowledge and ideas and state-of-the art training with my thirty years of experience," Freeman says. "We intend on increasing our ability to give excellent service to our patients."
A dream come true for any dad, this father and son get to spend every day together. "I really enjoy having him there. It's great if we get a chance to go grab lunch together and talk," says Freeman.
As much as this family is immersed in wrestling, there is one thing they never struggle with: their commitment to their dental practice. And the excitement they exude is contagious.