Richard Schoonmaker, DMD

Tell us about yourself 

My family includes my three children. Amelia, my oldest, works in the dental field and also with Physicians CareConnection. My son, Nikolas is a third year vet student and Nathan, my youngest, is a US Army artillery officer in Alaska. I am single as I lost my wife of 26 years to cancer in 2004. I presently live on 41 beautiful acres of farmland in Chillicothe along with chickens, turkeys, lots of deer, a forest, an orchard, and one big black farm cat. I spend equal parts of time at my practice, on a tractor, or on a 4-wheeler on my farm. I also recently completed a Scuba diving training course with my daughter and we are excited about the upcoming adventures we have planned.

What is your educational background?

B.S. in Microbiology and Biochemistry; California State University, Sacramento, 1977; D.M.D, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1982; General Practice Residency, US Air Force, Sheppard Air Force Base, TX 1982-1983; General practice of dentistry, USAF, Brindisi, Italy 1983-1986; Oral Surgery/Anesthesia Residency, USAF, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX, 1986-1990

Tell us about your career path

Staff Oral Surgeon, USAF, Andrews Air Force Base, Washington D.C.; Residency Training Officer for GPR program, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.; Deployed to USAF hospitals during Panama Conflict and Desert Storm/Persian Gulf War.
Advanced training in forensic odontology/mass casualty identification, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Washington, D.C. Worked with multiple mass casualty I.D incidents, USAF; Ended my career with the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel, 1992

Moved to Chillicothe, OH for private practice with my young family and wife. We wanted to raise our family in a small town and grow roots for our children away from military deployments and the city. I have been in solo private practice since 1992 and own/operate a general dental practice with three associate dentists and a dental lab with two lab technicians. As a businessman and dentist, I have focused my practice and career in Chillicothe on serving those who need dental care the most. I am proud of the fact that we manage to run a very successful business while at the same time, treating people who otherwise would not have access to quality dental care with compassion and understanding.

How did you come to be at the clinic?

My daughter, Amelia, who started volunteering when the dental clinic first started in 2012 talked to me about getting involved and I have been involved for about a year and a half now. My only regret is that I did not start sooner.

A story that you want to share that had an impact on you education/career/clinic path. 

I have done a multitude of medical/dental/charitable missions to multiple foreign countries I find it to be the most rewarding thing I do. The most important part of those missions and my volunteer work at the Monday night clinic is seeing the students I am teaching have that moment of clarity when they understand what it is to help another person. For some, it is a life changing event and I take great pride in helping to set them on a path to true humanity. That is what the Physicians CareConnection clinic is about to me. This is how I give back to those who helped me all those years ago.