R.J. DeFilippo

R.J. DeFilippo
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Biography

I grew up in the "little Italy" section of Pittsburgh. I am the product of CHRISTIAN BROTHER education...graduating from Central Catholic High School sometime in the last century. I owe much of what I have accomplished in life to the good brothers and I take this opportunity here to thank them. If any of the good sisters of Divine Providence from Larimer Avenue are still living, I thank you as well...especially sister Barbara-Ann, who taught me that there is indeed life after the seventh grade...and if I would apply myself...the sky could be the limit. You were right of course, sister...and I thank you for your direction and encouragement...wherever you are!


I received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh where I found that creative writing courses could be a wonderful diversion from organic chemistry and micro-biology. Little did I know then, that they would provide a foundation for what has become one of the great passions in my life!


Having my first novel published has been no small thrill in my life. It would be a lie to say otherwise--and we all know what the good sisters would do if they caught you with a lie on your lips(Barbara-Ann excluded, of course). In fact, the prospect of being a published author ranks up there with the joy that I found on my wedding day, my acceptance into dental school and the birth of my four children--its a distant second to those events--but its in the same neighborhood.


I received my doctorate in dental medicine from Pitt in 1974. Besides the two years that I spent in training at the U.S. Public Health Hospital in Detroit and the two years that I served rural America in the National Health Service Corps, I have spent my entire life here in Pittsburgh. I love this city. It has a "big city" feel with a small town's warmth. There are big-league(and major college)sporting events, a nice cultural diversity, wonderful restaurants and a view of the downtown area from Mount Washington that still takes my breath away! Besides Poisitano, Italy, I don't think that I would want to live anywhere else.


I am a hybrid in my profession--an academician as well as a clinician. Although I have always maintained a private practice in the Pittsburgh suburb of Oakmont, I also served on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant professor of prosthodontics--teaching the pre-doctoral students as well as the post-doctoral residents. I was the course director in occlusion for the first year dental students and have lectured internationally, nationally and locally on occlusal disease treatment.


Last December,after more than twenty dedicated years, I resigned from my clinical teaching and course directorship responsibilities to concentrate more on my private practice and my writing. I still maintain visiting faculty status at the University as well as continuing to lecture to the maxillofacial prosthodontic residents in the treatment of myogenous TMD.


Speaking at dental conferences and lecturing is a passion of mine and a needed diversion from "spit-on-the-hands" dentistry, but it is with writing that I have found that missing part of the puzzle that has helped to define me. Sister Barbara-Ann was right all along. Application of the gifts that God has given to you not only defines you as a person...it completes you...in ways that the unfullfilled mind can never fully comprehend.
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