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Childhood Braces Inspire Career Choice for Dr. Bryce Gabler '07
12.04.12 |
Though his uncle, Dr. Bruce Albert (LVC Class of 1970), takes credit for influencing Bryce Gabler’s ’07 career and college choices, it was actually an orthodontist who influenced Bryce’s career choice and his sister, Lauren Gabler Freeland ’04, who influenced his college choice.

Now a doctor himself after graduating from the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University in 2011, Gabler said “I went to LVC because my sister was studying biology there, and it would make things easier on our parents.” He added “I knew going into college that I wanted to be an orthodontist and would need an education from an institution known for its sciences and LVC had a great reputation for that.” He earned a degree in biology from LVC and added a minor in chemistry, graduating cum laude.

While at LVC, Gabler found time to be involved in a number of activities despite the heavy academic load. None had a more profound influence on his life, though, than being a resident assistant. “Outside the classroom, the best education I received was serving as a resident assistant,” Gabler said. “I learned so much about myself and others. I became a stronger person, developed greater self-confidence, and became a leader.” This undoubtedly helped him succeed in the brutally competitive experience of dental school.

Gabler’s interest in becoming an orthodontist first developed as a youth when he got braces. “I had braces for about three years, and after having such a positive experience, I started to become interested in the field or orthodontics. Dentistry was a stepping stone to orthodontics.”

After being accepted to only one of the 10 dentistry schools to which he applied, Gabler proved the other institutions had made a mistake by being inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon national honor society of dentistry and graduating from Temple summa cum laude. He followed these impressive accomplishments by receiving an ultra-competitive Orthodontic Residency at St. Louis University (SLU).

At SLU, Gabler is one of just 14 residents in the 30-month Center of Advanced Dental Education program. “While taking several classes the first year, we also started seeing patients a few months into the program,” he said. “I have about 50 cases and each one we treat is overseen by a faculty member; we basically do what an outside orthodontist would do but under the supervision of a certified orthodontist.”

In addition to taking classes, seeing patients, and contemplating a thesis topic for part of the master of science degree requirements that is earned through the orthodontic residency, Gabler continues to be involved in service; an interest he first developed in high school. “I had great experiences as a member of Servants of Christ (SOC) and Student Government while attending LVC. Servants of Christ was an amazing church group that kept me grounded and close to my faith,” Gabler said. “I was also able to participate in an Appalachian Service Project with SOC; something I had done twice through my hometown church while in high school.”

Today, Gabler continues volunteering to help others. At SLU, residents provide monthly dental care to underserved children through the local Boys and Girls Club, and host kids from around the city at the school’s clinic through the Give Kids a Smile program. He is also involved with the Cleft Lip and Palate Fellowship at the Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. “I am able to interact and learn from a team of specialists including orthodontists, pediatric dentists, plastic surgeons, speech therapists, and psychologists.”

After four years of dental school and almost three years in an orthodontic residency, the recently engaged Gabler is looking to the future. “My fiancee, Heather Morgan, was a year behind me at Temple and is now specializing in pediatric dentistry. We hope to go back to her hometown in Pittsburgh to work for her father’s practice for a while,” he said. “After paying off some student loans, we eventually want to move to North Carolina where I would like to open a solo practice.”

Did LVC help him on the path to his career goals? “LVC’s Pre-Health Professions Committee set me on the path they thought necessary to enable me to achieve my goals. They helped me have a sense of urgency, set goals each year, and wrote letters of recommendation,” Gabler said. “I knew that I needed a sound education in the sciences, particularly biology, and a good name on my diploma to even be considered to get into a dental school.”

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