WDeJ Cover Highlight — Kathy L. French, DDS, FAGD

Oct. 20, 2008
WDeJ Editor Dr. Sheri Doniger interviews Kathy L. French, DDS, FAGD, a general dentist in Itasca, a suburb northwest of Chicago, Illinois. Read on to get to know her better ...

WDeJ Editor Dr. Sheri Doniger interviews Kathy L. French, DDS, FAGD, a general dentist in Itasca, a suburb northwest of Chicago, Illinois. Read on to get to know her better ...

Kathy L. French, DDS, FAGD

What decade were you born in?

The 1950s

Which state were you born in?


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Detroit and Troy, Michigan

Tell me about your family.

I have been married to Greg for 22 years. We have three children: Tom (19), Katie (17), and JP (13).

Where do you live?

We live in Inverness, Illinois.

Did you work during high school, and what did you do?

I did work during high school. During the school year, I worked in retail as a salesclerk at Bonwit Teller and Saks. In the summer, I was a lifeguard.

Where did you go for undergrad, and what was your major?

I attended the University of Michigan for my undergrad work. My major was in communications.

Where did you attend dental school?

I attended the University of Michigan Dental School.

When did you graduate?

I graduated from dental school in 1985.

Do you specialize?

I did not specialize in dental school. However, I currently limit my practice to adults — operative, restorative, implants, and esthetic dentistry.

Why did you become a dentist?

I became a dentist because I liked the combination of patient contact and communication along with the technical aspects of engineering, science, and esthetics. I also became a dentist because I wanted a profession that would allow me the flexibility to have a family, work a limited week, and have a rewarding career at the same time.

How did you begin your dental career?

I began my career at my current office as an associate. I am now the majority partner.

Describe your office setting?

My practice is located in a large office complex in Itasca, a suburb northwest of Chicago.

My team: front row (from left): Kristy, Madge, Terry. Middle row: Barb, Dr. Dan, Dr. Kathy, Kristin. Back row: Jessica, Nicole, Cathie

Do you own or lease your office?

I lease our space.

How big is it in square feet?

Our office is approximately 2,200 square feet.

How are you involved in dental leadership?

My involvement in dental leadership is by teaching at the L. D. Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Are you involved in your community?

My community involvement has been with "Give Back A Smile." It is a national program of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and AACD Charitable Foundation, which provides help to victims of domestic violence. Many victims receive dental-related injuries. The GBAS program provides treatment to restore the smiles of these individuals at no cost. I have also started providing athletic mouthguards to the sports teams at my children's schools.

What is your most prized accomplishment?

To be honest, my family is my most prized accomplishment.

What are your goals?

My goals have changed over the years. My professional goals at this time are to develop systems in our office to "set us up" for the next 20 years of growth. (I have a partner who is 10 years my junior.) I also want to expand my current knowledge of implants and esthetics. I have been restoring implants for 20 years — it's quite an evolution of knowledge and systems.

What are you known for (in general or dental-related)?

Professionally, I think I am known for comprehensive care.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

Do I ever have advice for new graduates! New grads should surround themselves with the BEST practitioners and specialists in their area. Learn from them! New grads should also seek out quality continuing education in their fields of interest. Research your choices well! I highly recommend the Pankey Institute if you are interested in comprehensive restorative care. Lastly, get into a study club and never stop learning.

Are you especially fond of certain dental equipment?

I love the intraoral camera and the digital camera. Both are wonderful for patient education and treatment planning.

If you were a dental instrument, what kind would you be and why?

I would probably be a digital camera — just because it stores a wealth of information with a single "click."

What do you do for fun?

For fun, I love doing anything with my family. My kids are involved in many sports and I enjoy their events and cheering them on.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies include snow skiing, golf, rollerblading, water skiing, and biking.

If you wrote a book, what would be your short, three-line biography inside the book jacket?

My biography would read as follows: Kathy is a daughter, mom, wife, and dentist. Kathy has been blessed with a very rewarding profession and family. Kathy is very appreciative.

Tell me three things about yourself that might surprise people.

Three things that people would be surprised to know about me would be: 1. Deep down I am really shy. 2. I enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal. 3. Salad is my favorite food.

What book are you currently reading?

The book I am reading now is "The Price of Privilege." It is about raising children in today's society.

What is your favorite Web site?

I don't really have a favorite Web site, but maybe MSN News.

Where do you go to get your information?

I get my information from meetings, study clubs, and colleagues.

What is your favorite comfort food?

My favorite comfort food is ice cream.

Where is your favorite restaurant in your town, and what is your meal of choice?

My favorite restaurant is Nomi in Park Hyatt. I love everything.

If you were to interview one person, who would it be and why?

I would have loved to interview Pope Paul II because I believe he was a living saint.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

My favorite vacation is spring skiing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Where do you go to escape?

I go out to lunch to escape.

Are you a fan of online blogging?

NO blogging!

Contact information for Kathy L. French, DDS ...

Office address:

Hamilton Lakes Dentistry, 500 Park Blvd, Suite 180C, Itasca, IL 60143

Phone: (630) 773-6966

Fax: (630) 773-6971

E-mail:[email protected]