Oral & Facial Health 4/4/2017: Giving thanks

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By Dr. Rushi Patel

These words reflect a small token of my thoughts and gratitude.

I have so much to be thankful for. I don’t believe I have accomplished much, especially not in comparison to those who have sacrificed more than just their time and energy, those who sacrificed their futures, to fight for our country and defend our very ideals and our freedoms. So many veterans live in our community and I just want to say thank you. Thank you for your service and for leading by example. In the hierarchy of heroes, I cannot think of anyone else who belongs on the same level as our veterans. 

Likewise, I want to give thanks to all the teachers that serve to constantly give their time, efforts and love to their students. Without them, Citrus County would not produce the many successful individuals it has. For example, our three high schools’ graduation rates are significantly higher than the state average; Citrus County’s ACT scores are higher than the state and national averages and according to US News & World Report, our high schools are considered in America’s Top Tier. These statistics are a direct result of the dedicated and compassionate teachers we have in our county. On behalf of all of us who were educated here, we want to thank you for your service. 

I am thankful to this county for helping inspire me and giving me the opportunity to serve and welcoming me back home with open arms. I am grateful to all our patients. So often I see and treat influential people from my past; previous soccer colleagues I played with over 25 years ago, teachers who taught and mentored me, and my neighbors and friends who have been instrumental in my life over the past 30 years.  

My family and friends are the greatest attribute I have. My parents are angels and a godsend. I have said before I was born to parents that I’ve never deserved and I mean that wholeheartedly.

My brother and sister-in-law are simply amazing and loving. Finally, I’m so lucky to be with such a sweet soul as my wife and love every ounce of her. I’m appreciative to my staff at our office, as they make our job fun. Going to work each day is not too different from my younger days, when I used to go to the playground and meet interesting people, rebuilding or repairing things and having a good time with my friends.

The direction I chose careerwise to do what I consider one of my greatest hobbies is due to my close friend, mentor and business partner, Dr. Robert L. Brockett. He has been a gift and I can’t begin to explain my appreciation for him. 

Like I said in the beginning, I don’t think I have accomplished much. Not yet, at least. But I plan to and I can bring it all back to my educational background, which is the product of this sacred place which has raised me.


Rushi S. Patel, DDS, Ph.D., with Citrus Oral and Facial Surgery, is a graduate of Lecanto High School and is honored to have returned home to treat those in need in Citrus County. Website: http://www.citrusofs.com/