Sometimes all you’ll ever need is right in front of you; it just takes the right person to help you see it’s there. Dr. Frank Spear strives to help others realize their full potential as the founder and director of Spear Education and owner of Spear Aesthetics, both in Seattle.
As a young child, Dr. Spear lived in a small town where his mom was a school teacher and his dad was the owner of a mechanic shop. After working for his father as a teenager, he realized he wanted something different for himself and hoped the next step would be college football star and eventual football coach. When that dream fell short, he enrolled at Pacific Lutheran University—his parents’ alma mater. There, he struggled to engage with his studies until he took an anatomy course taught by the passionate and engaging Ruth Sorenson.
Professor Sorenson noticed his natural comfort with subject material and asked, “What will you do with your life?” “When we met, Ruth said to me there’s so much potential in you—more than you know,” Dr. Spear recalls. She then walked him to the pre-med/pre-dentist advisor’s office, where within 15 minutes he had decided to pursue a career in dentistry. In 1979, Dr. Spear graduated from the University of Washington at the top of his class, and then pursued and graduated with an advanced degree in Periodontal Prosthodontics in 1982.
“I’ve spent the past 30+ years of life hoping that I’m inspiring someone in the same way that Ruth inspired me,” Dr. Spear admits. “I hope I can help them see what they didn’t know was there.”
Today, as a premier educator in esthetic and restorative dentistry and provider of myriad dental education tools (including online continuing education, patient education, study clubs, workshops and practice solutions), Dr. Spear says that even with all this, the best feeling on Earth is to witness someone put together the pieces he or she hadn’t before seen. “When someone goes, WOW! That is what keeps me motivated.”
These small but monumental moments of motivation through inspiration are what mean most to Dr. Spear. As he explains in this Pursuing Purpose episode, to witness others experience a moment of enlightenment and gain a greater understanding of advanced dentistry continues to flame his passion for dentistry.