Springfield, MO

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2011 Men of the Year Honoree: Dr. Gary Buzbee

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If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Dr. Gary Buzbee has plenty to feel flattered about.

As the founder of Buzbee Dental in 1977, he says he is most proud that his brother and two sons have followed him into dentistry.

“I am proud that I was a role model for them to consider our profession,” Buzbee says. “I am proud that they share my enthusiasm for our profession. I am proud that they share my sense of community, and we are able to use our clinic as a way to give back to our community.”

Each member of the family-owned practice uses a team-oriented approach, bringing individual skill sets into the mix to improve the business, Buzbee says.

“I enjoy leading our team in marketing and community outreach,” he adds. “I have always felt very fortunate to have partners who pushed my leadership by encouraging me to stay abreast of new technologies and techniques.”

During his career, Buzbee has held leadership positions in several community organizations, serving on the boards of directors of such groups as Ozarks Regional YMCA, Springfield Little Theatre, Springfield Ballet and the Junior League of Springfield. He also served on the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education, and notes that his work with the school board and YMCA helped develop the Prime Time program in the district, providing before- and after-school care for local children.

Buzbee also lends his dental skills to help those in need, providing emergency dental care to referrals from nonprofit organization The Kitchen Inc. and to students in Springfield Public Schools.

“If there was a specialty in dentistry called ‘esteem building,’ I would want to practice that,” Buzbee says. “Helping patients who have esteem issues because of their dental appearance is extremely important to me,” he adds. “Making sure a teenager can attend school without embarrassment or allowing an adult to gain confidence after years of neglect is of utmost importance to me.”

Buzbee has been a member of the American Dental Society, the Missouri Dental Society and the Greater Springfield Dental Society for more than 30 years. He also supports the field of dentistry by sharing what he’s learned through the years with newcomers, allowing prospective dental assistants and dental students to complete internships at his practice.

“By mentoring these prospective dental colleagues, honestly answering their questions and giving them a look at dentistry from the inside, I feel I have influenced many of their lives and careers,” Buzbee says.

From 2011 Men of the Year
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