The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Apr. 12, 2024

Laing thanks Dr. John Eversman

A letter to Dr. John Eversman, his family, and his patients, 

For 93 years and over four generations, my family has provided dental care for community. And alongside of us, for 53 of those years, was the service and skill of Dr. John Eversman. 

I knew my whole life I wanted to be a dentist. I explored other careers- being a lawyer or a teacher, but I could never shake my drive to desire to be the fourth generation of my family to own and operate a business that’s dedicated to caring for a community. 

In order to apply for dental school, prospective students must spend at minimum, 200 hours shadowing a dentist. I spent over 100 hours over the span of three summers shadowing Dr. Eversman at his practice. He was the first dentist I ever saw practice, outside of my own father. 

Dr. Eversman was the first and greatest example to me of a dentist that knows that in order to be a good doctor, you have to be a dedicated scientist and a lifelong learner. 

Dr. Eversman had stacks of dental journals and textbooks from the floor to almost the ceiling of his private office. I remember asking him, “You’re not in school anymore. Why do you still have textbooks?” And he truly impressed upon me that in order to be a good doctor, learning can’t stop once you’re out of school. 

During my time spent shadowing Dr. Eversman, I got to see firsthand how an effective dental office runs. It was inspiring to see the efficiency and dedication to patients of Dr. Eversman and his staff, especially Karla. Karla was an unstoppable and inspiring force who worked with Dr. John for over 50 years! Even when she was forced to use a wheelchair, she still came in everyday to help patients! Getting to watch their teamwork was inspiring. 

Dr. Eversman had a truly impressive and amazing career as a clinician and a servant to the Van Wert community. As a dentist, he provided services that most general dentists don’t have the confidence or knowledge to provide including comprehensive orthodontics/braces, dental implants, and complex endodontic/root canal procedures. 

Over the past three years, I have spent months away from home and my practice and tens of thousands of dollars buying textbooks and attending continuing education courses on root canals, on Invisalign orthodontics, and on dental implants. Dr. Eversman was my inspiration to do this, showing me that it is possible for a small town dentist to provide patients with these much needed and high level specialty procedures. I am so glad I got to share with Dr. John over the phone a few times how much he inspired me to be committed to growing my clinical skills. 

He once walked me through step by step how to help one of his patients over the phone on Christmas Eve a couple years ago when I was able to go in but he couldn’t. He was a wonderful mentor. 

The stereotypical dentist can’t wait to work three days a week, own a boat, and golf in the afternoon. Dr. Eversman taught me that that isn’t what a dentist is. A dentist is a scientist, a lifelong learner, and an expert in their field. Dr. Eversman personified the quote, “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” 

I’m so sorry to see Dr. Eversman’s life and practice end so suddenly. Today I dedicate myself anew to honoring those principles of that he exhibited during his great career. Dedication to lifelong learning, excellence in dentistry, and service to staff, community, and patients. 

I can only hope that I shared that with him enough in the few times I got to speak with him over the past few years. 

Thank you to Dr. Eversman, to his family, and to his staff what you’ve done for me, for this community, and for your patients. He is, and will always be, an inspiration to me. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Robert W. Laing

POSTED: 01/11/24 at 7:43 am. FILED UNDER: Letters to the Editor