The Origin Story of PORTH Personalized Orthodontics
It all started with a name; Personalized Orthodontics (Porth). There was that before there was anything else, aside from the dream I had to start my own boutique ortho clinic. The name came to me before we had a space, and never I wavered from it, even though so many other things evolved over time. Because at the heart of it all, my vision was to create an experience for people. Straightening teeth is the main component of that experience , but like so very many things in today’s world, the Porth experience comes with a feel that is unique to each patient.
Early in my residency at the University of Washington my wife and I went for a hike east of Seattle. (Fun fact: she’s not that into hiking so I told her it was 4 miles roundtrip when it was, in fact, 4 miles each way. I’m waiting for her to get over it…any day now.) On the way home we stopped at Homegrown on 228th in Sammamish (how sad to see that go!) and I immediately felt something for this place. It had a small town feel, but with a diverse population and a strong sense that it was on the brink of change. This town is growing in leaps and bounds – with the construction to prove it – and I wanted to be a part of it. A few weeks later we were this way again and we drove up 228th where I saw a large construction site near Eastside Catholic and a TRF sign. A few seconds on google got me the name of the real estate broker, and the rest is history!
Well, it wasn’t quite that simple. Building a practice from the ground up is immensely involved. My wife and I often joke that we have two babies; our toddler Milo and Porth (Personalized Orthodontics). We were fortunate to work with a wonderful design and architecture firm and contractor, and we loved (almost) every step of the process. As tedious and time consuming as it was sometimes, I stayed firmly committed to my vision of an understated space that felt modern yet inviting, high-tech yet comfortable. The only way to see my vision through was to create it myself.
Along the way there were brief side-steps. I seriously considered purchasing two existing practices or taking other positions. There are definite pros and cons to all paths in this field but at every juncture I came back to what I initially set out to do, which was to create a practice where the patient was completely and 100% at the center of their treatment. I wanted to create my own systems of doing business and treating patients that valued interpersonal relationships, along with exceptional orthodontic care, as the utmost priorities. Creating this atmosphere meant that I had to create the physical space, the workflow, assemble the team and build the patient base on my own.