Dr. Jacqueline Velez cares for patients at Spoonwood Dental Partners’ Raynor Dental practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Miguel Velez III does the same at the Raynor Dental office in Keene, New Hampshire. This couple is fulfilling a shared dream they first had when they met as teens in the dental assisting program at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
Dr. Jackie says, “We started dating 10 years ago, and have maintained our relationship even when going to different colleges. We didn’t think we would get to work together after dental school. When I was graduating from dental school and looking for opportunities, I knew I wanted to be close to family back in MA, and Miguel and I had spent time hiking in southern NH. A contact told us about a husband and wife team running a practice in NH, Doctors Jay and Stephanie Raynor. When I interviewed with Raynor, I knew instantly that what their dental practice aligned with my interests. For me it was the family-oriented culture, a safe place to practice dentistry, mentorship and the importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Any associate would be lucky to be here.”
Dr. Miguel says that while scheduling flexibility is a hallmark of Raynor Dental, both he and Dr. Jackie have chosen to start out working 5 days a week. He explains, “I’m gaining incredible experience with that fifth day each week. There are a lot of long days right now, and I’m learning a lot on the job, with Dr. Dan and Dr. John available to mentor me. I can see the progress I’m making, and the confidence I’m gaining. During our weekends off, we try to get out and do as much as possible, although the pandemic right now makes that challenging.”
Dr. Jackie adds, “I would tell someone starting out in dentistry, looking for a practice, to make sure that you find a practice that aligns with your vision. Raynor Dental is a group practice, with a team of extremely capable dentists and support staff. If that seems right for you, and you’re willing to be coached in order to become better, this is a great fit. There’s always the opportunity here to grow and learn.”
The mentoring provided by experienced dentists is invaluable, says Dr. Miguel. “I work with dentists who have anywhere from 2 to 11 years of experience. While I’m working independently, they’re always available for a consult.” For her part, Dr. Jackie says, “In my location, Dr. Jay is available to answer questions within minutes, 95% of the time; it makes it feel safe to practice.” They say that Spoonwood Dental Partners is looking for long-term partners who want to grow their careers here. Dr. Jackie explains, “They work with you to identify your unique professional interests, and they work to accommodate peoples’ strengths and desires.”
As they develop in their careers as dentists, appreciative of the mentoring they’re receiving, the Velezes are mindful of where they came from. Dr. Miguel says, “I look at my own family—like Jackie, we have family roots in Puerto Rico, and we’re the first dentists or doctors in our families. I have cousins who are now A+ students, one who wants to be a doctor, and Jackie and I get used as an example to them. You can see the generational progression, achieving the American Dream through hard work.” Right now, they’re giving their patients the best of their abilities as valued members of Spoonwood’s Raynor Dental team.