For Tim Geraci ’58, being a periodontist has always been about the patients. After all, they’re the ones who make his practice special.
“You have to be interested in people and making them better,” says Geraci, who has a longtime periodontal practice in Oakland, Calif. “A good doctor is more interested in the well-being of the patient than himself.”
That attitude has brought Geraci a devoted clientele where some patients have remained loyal clients for as long as 30 years. They know his family, and he knows theirs. That meaningful doctor-patient relationship is most gratifying of all for Geraci. After all, the individuals he treats inspire the care he brings to his work, where procedures typically last between one and three hours.
“It takes concentration on everything you’re doing,” says Geraci, who went to Western Reserve for dental school and, after two years in the U.S. Navy, earned his graduate degree from Boston University Graduate School of Dentistry. “It has to be right the first time. Your dental assistant also has to concentrate, because she sees the side of the surgery that you don’t see from a different angle.”
While trying to save a tooth tends to be most challenging, no procedure is easy. “As soon as you think, ‘This one’s easy,’ all of a sudden it’s a mess,” Geraci laughs. “So every procedure is challenging.”
Geraci’s wife of 50 years, Betsy, has helped out in the office for years. Like him, she has a great rapport with patients. “From the first moment I met her I liked her,” Geraci says. “She’s probably the reason I’m successful.” The couple’s longevity comes despite the challenges of their first date, when Geraci’s dog continually sat between them.
With the couple celebrating their 50th anniversary this July and Geraci planning to retire by year’s end, 2017 is full of milestone celebrations for them. They will celebrate with sons Tim and John, daughters-in-law Rosario and Amanda, and their grandkids.
“Betsy and I are equal opportunity grandparents,” Geraci says. “We share equal time with them all. Being a grandparent is God’s way of giving you a second chance. They’re great to be with.”