Interview with Dr. Holtzen

  • Who are you?

Dr. John Holtzen, I am the owner and oral surgeon at Alpine Oral and Facial Surgery. We have an office in Hamilton and Missoula.

  • What are your 3 best qualities?

I would say my 3 best qualities are that I’m compassionate, detail orientated, and I have a great sense of humor.

  • If you could have any superpower what would it be?

The first one that comes to my mind is x-ray vision but that’s not what I would want. I would probably go with the ability to hear other people’s thoughts.

  • When you were a kid, what was your dream job and why?

When you are in school, you rotate with all different specialties and I fit in the best with the other surgeons. I really like doing things with immediate results, which surgery provides. I like to see a problem and be able to immediately fix it. I love working with my hands and fixing things that are broken, and surgery allows me to use my gifts in that sort of area.

  • What do you do when you aren’t working?

I spend most of my free time with my wife and kids. We are usually playing on our hobby farm with our pigs, horses, sheep, chickens, goats, dogs, and cats. The pigs are my favorite of the animals.

  • Why did you become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?

When you are in school, you rotate with all different specialties and I fit in the best with the other surgeons. I really like doing things with immediate results, which surgery provides. I like to see a problem and be able to immediately fix it. I love working with my hands and fixing things that are broken, and surgery allows me to use my gifts in that sort of area.

  • What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is helping people get out of pain. Surgery often provides instant relief to pain or issues people may have been having. My favorite procedure to do is orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery). It really changes people’s lives, it changes how they feel about themselves, how they look, and how they function with everyday tasks like eating and talking.

  • What qualities do you look for when referring to another doctor?

When I am referring out to other doctors, I first want to know that the doctor is competent. The second most important thing to me is that the doctor shares my values. If I’m sending someone to another doctor, I want to know that the doctor will care for them like I do.

  • What would be the perfect day at work?

I really like to stay busy, so my perfect day at work is a full one. I prefer when the schedule is full and everything goes how it should. I also enjoy doing cases that will change our patients’ lives.

  • What do you hope your patients take away from visiting your office?

I believe that excellent quality of care should be a minimum expectation from your doctor. In our practice, my team and I set our goal much higher than that. I want every patient to leave us feeling amazed at the quality of the total experience, from the first phone call to the last goodbye. I want every patient to feel like they would not want their friends and family to see anyone but us when the need and oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

  • What advice would you give to any future dentist or doctors?

I would tell anyone who is wanting to become a dentist or a physician, to know it’s important that you are getting into this profession for the right reasons. It’s cliché to say this, but you really need to love helping people. You need to love it so much that you are willing to work constantly for the continued privilege of doing this job. You also must be certain that you find a way to help people that meshes with your gifts and talents. I would also highly suggest getting a great office manager.

  • Where do you see you or your practice in 5 and 10 years?

Over the next 5 years, we will to continue to grow our practice. I want to keep cultivating our great reputation within the community and grow our referral base by continuing to be the best at what we do. Within that period of time I fully expect we will need to add other doctors and expand our service other locations in this area.

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