Dr. Diego Hurtado is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center of Santa Fe. During his third year of dental school, he discovered how much he enjoyed performing oral surgery procedures such as tooth extraction. His favorite part of being an oral surgeon is interacting with his patients and guiding them through extensive surgeries.
Hi, my name is Diego Hurtado, and I'm an oral and maxillofacial surgeon here in our office, the Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center of Santa Fe. The point I decided to work as an oral surgeon actually goes back to when I was an undergrad. I actually wanted to become a physician first. And I ended up going to the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. I was actually there for a year and a half. And I had a couple buddies of mine who are already finished with dental school, and they were practicing. And so we were just talking and actually, a good friend of mine invited me to his practice and we we're just talking and he said, "This you what I do."
And so I went and actually shadowed him while I was in medical school. And I ended up saying, "Hey, I really liked your lifestyle." I saw that he had an extra day off. He was, you know, really involved with his family, which was very important to me. So I said, "Well, I'm really interested in dental school." So I ended up applying and actually left University of New Mexico School of Medicine and ended up at Baylor College of Dentistry. And I was just thinking about becoming a general dentist, you know, coming out and being a general dentist, but it wasn't until my third year of dental school when I started taking out teeth and I said, "Man, I want to do this every day, and I really enjoyed this."
What I like most about working as an oral surgeon actually is my patient interaction. Obviously, like I said, previously, I really enjoy taking out teeth or that's kind of the impetus or what drew me to oral surgery. But, you know, the more I was involved with dental school and patients, I really found that, you know, we get to spend a lot more time than some of, you know, my colleagues do in the physician world. I get to spend time with my patients. Obviously, they're awake while I'm working with them. They're there. I see them for follow-ups and especially in some of our patients that require more extensive surgery and we tend to see them for a lot more follow-ups. I get to really build a rapport.
So my favorite thing, especially here in Santa Fe, is getting to meet different people from all walks of life because, you know, doing dentistry or oral surgery I feel very competent there. But I really do enjoy, just enjoy speaking with my patients and spending time with them and getting to know, you know, the different people that walk through our door.