DAUGHTER JOINS DAD’S DENTAL OFFICE IN NORWOOD
Dana Mandel has a new job working for her dad, and she knows the drill.
A 2002 graduate of Tufts Dental School, Dana is joining her father John’s practice in Norwood. John graduated from the school in 1967.
John said throughout school he always was interested in science and health, as well as doing things with his hands, so it seemed only natural to combine his interests and become a dentist.
John, originally from New York, met his wife in Massachusetts and decided to settle down.
“I was looking to open an office, and naturally I looked for different areas that had a need. I didn’t know anyone here, but I decided to settle in Norwood” John said of his decision to open the practice in 1969.
He said he later found Norwood to be a pleasant place to practice, while making Walpole the family home base.
“Norwood is nice. There is a good cross section of people, it is not cookie cutter. There are people who work in Boston and commute and people who work locally.”
John describes his daughter Dana, the youngest of three, as his last chance to get one of his children into his field. “My whole life I saw it was something my dad did and enjoyed, but I didn’t know it was something I wanted to do,“ Dana said.
Dana majored in biology and then took a research position at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, while trying to find her niche.
“I watched him do things with his hands, and knew it was something I wanted to do,” she said.
After completing dental school and a one year residency in Connecticut, Dana has been practicing general dentistry with her father since July 2.
The office is now decorated in light blues and soft colors, with photography by John.
“It is nice to have someone to share the workload with, especially my daughter,” John said.
Dana said one of the biggest adjustments has been patient confusion because both are referred to as Dr. Mandel. She also said another challenge has been not calling John, “dad” in the office.
Despite the challenges, both have said the transition has been smooth.
“Patients like the fact that I’m his daughter,” Dana said. “Patients are used to my dad, since he has been here for 30 years. Because we are related, it makes things easier. Our philosophies are similar.”
John agreed. “It makes her a lot easier for them to accept, it is not as if I have hired some stranger,” he said.
By Danielle De Pari – News Correspondent, The Daily News Transcript
IN THEIR FATHERS’ FOOTSTEPS
ALUMNI MAGAZINE, TUFTS UNIVERSITY OF DENTAL MEDICINE
Life is full of coincidences. Just ask Ann Kennon, D02, and Dana Mandel, D02, who became friends during dental school orientation week. They have a lot in common-both are athletes, enjoy many of the same activities and will join the dental practices of their fathers-who, by the way, were friends and classmates at Tufts 35 years ago. Through the years, Dr. Irwin Kennon, D67, and John Mandel, D67, had lost contact, but now are back in touch due to their daughters, who enjoy teasing their dads. One daughter describes her dad as the “absent-minded professor,” while the other recounts a story about mis-matched shoes, making it clear that the daughters delight in their fathers’ quirky similarities.
Kennon and Mandel both have siblings but are the only ones who follow in their fathers’ footsteps in a profession whose challenges were not known until they entered dental school. “I didn’t know how hard [dentistry] would be,” reflects Kennon. “I took what my father did for granted.” Mandel also notes a newfound respect for her father. And although these classmates are clearly enthusiastic about entering the professional world, it is their fathers who cannot contain their excitement. “My father loves to have someone to talk to,” says Mandel. Kennon confirms: “Both get carried away talking about dentistry.” And then she and her friend both laugh.
The staff at Mandel Family Dental participates in Norwood Day every year, an annual street festival held in the Fall. Shown above Drs. Ginsburg & Mandel with hygienist Kelly French providing oral health education in the community.