UW School of Dentistry

Dr. Ryan O’Connor takes reins of GPR program

Dr. Ryan O’Connor of Seattle has been named the new Program Director of the School of Dentistry’s General Practice Residency (GPR) program and will also direct the school’s Advanced General Dentistry clinic, Dean Joel Berg has announced.

Ryan O'ConnorThe appointment took effect Nov. 1. Dr. O’Connor succeeds Dr. Robert Nieman, who is departing the school after leading the GPR program since December 2010 and serving on the faculty since 1980.

The GPR program, a one-year residency with an optional second year, trains general dentists to treat medically complex adult and child patients in a hospital setting. It also further refines the skills acquired during the first four years of dental education leading to a DDS degree.

Dr. O’Connor, who graduated from the program in 2010, also received his DDS from the University of Washington, in 2009. Since 2010, he has practiced privately in Everett and Seattle and also served as a part-time and affiliate instructor in the school’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery since 2011.

The department is home to the GPR program and the Advanced General Dentistry Clinic, which offers a full range of dental services such as crowns, bridges, dentures and implants, and esthetic dentistry. It also provides dental clearance for pre-transplant patients and others with medical issues.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Ryan O’Connor as the new program director of the General Practice Residency,” said Dr. Thomas Dodson, Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

“It took a long time and many interviews to find the right fit, because there are large shoes to fill. Dr. Nieman is a special person, and it took finding just the right individual to step into the program directorship.”

“As Dr. O’Connor takes over our GPR program, I also want to express my gratitude to Dr. Nieman for his steady, capable leadership over the years,” said Dean Berg. “He has guided GPR through challenging times and kept it on course, and we owe him a great deal for his outstanding service.”

“Now we have an outstanding successor in Dr. O’Connor, and I fully expect our GPR program to continue  its tradition of excellence under his direction,” Dean Berg said.

Dr. O’Connor also holds appointments as an attending staff member at Harborview Medical Center, the University of Washington Medical Center, and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

“I hope to maintain and expand GPR program’s strong tradition in training,” Dr. O’Connor said. “Our residents come fresh out of dental school and leave the program poised for a successful dental career.  We have had excellent leadership with Dr. Nieman and I hope to continue that.”