EIOH Resident Spotlight - Dr. Darren Morgan

Jun. 22, 2023
Dr. Morgan in front of sign
Dr. Darren Morgan

Q. Where are you from?
A. West Orange, New Jersey. It is a small town in Northern New Jersey that is esthetically very similar to Rochester, NY.

Q.  At what age did you know you wanted to be a dentist?
A.  I knew early on that I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, however, it wasn’t until high school when I had the opportunity to shadow different professions in the medical field that I 100% knew I wanted to be a dentist.

Q.  Who is your role model?
A.  I have many different role models. In my personal life, I look up to great men such as my father, Muhammed Ali, and Frederick Douglass, who exemplify good character, leadership, and selflessness. Professionally, my role models include my mentors, past professors, and friends who motivate me and continue to push me to become the best version of myself.

Q.  What is the best part of dentistry to you?
A.  I like all aspects of dentistry, but my favorite part has to be working with young patients. Not too long ago, I was that young kid who dared to become a doctor. I remember feeling like the task would be unachievable because I couldn’t see myself in any physician or dentist I had ever had. I didn’t quite fit “the mold”. I try to keep that in mind when I am working with kids today. I have found that when I am able to relate to them in one aspect or another, they are more trusting, their compliance increases, and if they are anything like I was, they now see that they can become a doctor, too.

Morgan web three
Dr. Morgan with his wife

Q. In what way did your EIOH experience allow you to grow professionally?
A. My experience at EIOH has tremendously helped me to grow professionally. From a clinical standpoint, I have become better at communicating with my patients, I have improved my treatment efficiency, and I have overall become a more confident provider.

Q. In what way did your EIOH experience all you to grow personally?
A. My experiences here have allowed me to see, first-hand, the impact that orthodontic treatment has on the lives of our patients. It changes you as a person when you realize how big of a difference your clinical abilities can make in the life and self-esteem of a person. I would say that as a result of this, I have improved my attention to details in treatment, I have become a better listener, and I have become a more empathetic person overall.

Q. What’s the best advice you ever received?
A. “It costs nothing to be nice.” Although short and sweet, I believe that this phrase speaks volumes. To me, it is a reminder to treat people how you would like to be treated. The truth is we all have things we deal with in our personal lives. This fact, however, is NOT an excuse to treat people poorly, or to take out our frustrations on others. We should instead be intentional about being kind and treating others with respect.

Q.  Most embarrassing moment? 
A.  Wow, how many do you want? I have a whole laundry-list of embarrassing moments lol. Keeping it to dentistry, I remember in dental school, I once went a whole half-day with my scrub pants on backwards haha. That was an interesting morning for sure.

Q.  What do you love about the Rochester area? 
A. There's so much to love about this city. The people, the summers, and the festivals are all top tier. Aside from the obvious, I really like the restaurant scene here. I grew up minutes from New York City, so I love when a restaurant has good food, good décor, good vibes, and is able to make you feel like the night will last forever. Rochester has a half-dozen (or more!) restaurants that are also able to capture this essence. That’s rare. 

Q.  Why did you want to do Ortho? How was your journey to get to where you are today?
A.  I chose to pursue orthodontics because I enjoy working with my hands (wire bending, fabricating/placing appliances, etc.), thinking outside the box, and talking a lot lol. On a more serious note, you really need a physics brain to appreciate/love biomechanics in orthodontics and I have that. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about my profession.

Dr Morgan with his dog

Q.  Favorite thing about EIOH (resident or faculty)
A.  I really appreciate that everyone here truly loves what they do. Every department is filled with talented, hard-working professionals and I think that is one of the major strengths of Eastman.

Q.  Describe yourself in three words. 
A.  Enthusiastic, Compassionate, Patient.

           Honorable mentions include: Kind, Resourceful, Responsible, Hard-working, and Creative.

Q. You’re having a bad day – what do you do to feel better?  
A.  Call my wife, who is currently in a residency program in Florida. She always knows what to say to turn my day around.

Q.  What was your most challenging time in dentistry or Ortho in particular? 
A.  Nothing out of the norm here, but if I had to pick something, I would say my first few months in residency. Orthodontics is like a different language that we don’t get much exposure to in dental school, so definitely learning the terminology, immersing myself in the literature, and feeling confident with treatment planning was a process in-and-of itself.

Q.  If you were to pick three important things in life, what would they be?
A.  Ah, great question. I would say keeping in touch with family and friends, giving my best effort in everything I do, and to keep my “purpose” bigger than me. There's a great Tupac quote that goes with this. He says, “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will.” I am a big believer that we should aim to leave the world better than when we found it.

Q.  Hobbies or talents?
A.  Playing basketball, hiking, bike riding, traveling, and hanging out with my dog Jersey.

Q.  Why did you pick EIOH?
A.  I chose EIOH because of its amazing history, the dedicated faculty and staff, the unity amongst residents and comradery amongst departments, and its location being in the Northeast and close to New Jersey (where I am from).

Q.  Best part of program?
A.  The memories made with my co-residents.

Q.  Favorite place in Rochester?
A.  Besides the seminar room in the orthodontics department? I would have to say taking my dog to Highland park!