Dr. Baxter earned his dental degree from University of Louisville in 1965. After a one-year internship in Gainesville, he entered the Navy and was stationed at NAS Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Fla. He started private practice in 1968. Over the next few years, he attended courses emphasizing complex restorative dentistry given at the Pankey Institute, Peter Dawson, Alvin Filastre and others. Chairman David Granger invited him to teach part time in the Department of Operative Dentistry in the 80s. His last several years of practice were mostly concentrated on implant restorative dentistry. Dr. Baxter came to UF College of Dentistry part time in the Department of Prosthodontics and now joins the faculty full time as a Team Leader.
Where were you born?
I was born and grew up in Kentucky. I met and married my wife Judy my junior year in school. After graduating from University of Louisville College of Dentistry, I accepted a one-year internship in Gainesville at Sunland Training Center (now Tacachale). It did not take long to know I loved living in Gainesville. I served two years in the Navy in Jacksonville and came back here in 1968 to start a private practice.
What made you decide to go into dentistry or into your current field?
At a very young age, my family dentist was a very influential person in my life. He was very good and always took time to explain what he was doing. Next to my Dad, he was the man I respected most. At a young age I said I wanted to become a dentist and never changed my mind.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Building a successful practice and a good reputation as a restorative dentist and having most of my patients as good friends.
If you could live anywhere on earth (and money was no issue), where would you choose to live?
I enjoyed growing up in Kentucky but after moving to Gainesville, I’ve never known any place I like better.
How do you most like to spend your free time?
It used to be golf, but back surgery in 2004 changed that. I like anything on the water so I spend a lot of free time at our beach place.
What was the last book you read?
Down Hill Lie by Carl Hiaasen.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My Dad and my mentor in dentistry, the late Dr. Frank Scott from Jacksonville, a superb dentist/ periodontist.
What is your motto ( favorite saying) ?
“If you think you can’t, you are probably right.”
Anything else you’d like to share?
After back surgery ended my ability to continue working as a private practitioner, I am grateful for the opportunity to stay in dentistry and hopefully assist some students in their career.