Tigard Dentist News
Tigard dentist news article appeared in a Beaverton Oregon newspaper back in 1986. It was titled, “Doctor Dentist Duo One Of A Kind”.
Call it fate. Luck, if you will. It certainly wasn’t planning that brought together the only woman doctor and the only woman dentist in the city of Beaverton. But Sr. Susan Weinberg, D.M.D. and Dr. Myrna Casono, M.D., have been happy with the steadily improving health of their growing practices since the pair began sharing medical office space last November.
It had to be planned, right? No, Weinberg insists, “it was just luck” that brought the two together in the fall.
She joined forces with Casono after Weinberg took over the Beaverton dental practice of Dr. Perry Fiscus. Casono, a doctor of internal medicine, had never met Weinberg. A native of the Philippines, Casono had been building up her practice out of her Washington Street office for a year and a half before a business broker told Weinberg about the Beaverton dental practice. She was surprised to find a woman as an office partner.
Though it was never planned, both women immediately liked the idea of sharing professional quarters.
“It’s worked out great” Weinberg says. “If my patients have a medical problem, I can send them over to Myrna. If I need to get the advice or prescriptions, she’s right across the hall.” Casono says the arrangement works well the other way too.
This isn’t the first time that luck has steered Weinberg in the right direction, she admits. Although she is the daughter of a dentist, she had no intention of following in her father’s footsteps. When she went to college at UCLA, she majored in linguistics, about as far from dentistry as one can get, she says.
But one night fate introduced her to the idea of becoming a dentist when she bumped into an arrogant young man at a college party. He was about to enter dental school and his attitude about women in the profession made Weinberg angry. She made a $10.00 wager with him that she too could get into dental school.
After graduating with her degree in linguistics, she had to go back and take all of the science courses she missed, such as chemistry, physics, and biology in order to prepare for the dental courses. Those science courses were never required for a linguistics major.
After taking a year off and living on an Israeli kibbutz, she applied at the University of Oregon, was accepted and spent four years learning how to become a dentist. She was one of 15 women in the class of 1980. She graduated in 1983. She never did see the young man to collect the bet that she had won.
After graduation, she worked for a while for other dentists in Bend and Portland OR. And at the public health clinic before taking over the Beaverton practice.
Casono moved to Beaverton from Chicago after completing medical residency there in 1983. She arrived in Chicago two weeks after finishing her medical degree at the University of the Philippines near Manila.
Unlike Weinberg’s class in the United States, Casono’s medical class had a majority of women. “I think it was about 55% females,” she said. That has been common since the middle the to late ’70s in the Philippines, she says.
She moved to Beaverton because relatives lived here. Also, she says she could not get used to Chicago’s cold winters. “I hate six months of snow. The rain I don’t mind. I am used to that from the Philippines,” She said.
She took over a medical practice from an older doctor whose practice was dwindling when she came to Beaverton. She’s worked to build it up since she moved into the office in the fall of 1984.
Casono has added a number of women patients since taking over the practice. A lot of women seem to feel more comfortable with a woman doctor, she feels. Because of the increase in female patients, she is considering asking a gynecologist to join her in her practice. But she says she has no intention of running it like a woman’s clinic. She wants to maintain it as a general family practice.
Weinberg feels the same way about her practice, although she admits she likes the reputation that women dentists seem to have. Many people still dread going to the dentist, thinking it will be a painful, unpleasant experience. Seeing a woman as a dentist sometimes calms those fears.
“I think people think women dentists are gentler. They tell me I am real gentle when I give novocaine shots, and that is real important,” she adds. The fact that she enjoys talking with people also seems to relax her patients. Sometimes when she has has really nervous patients, they leave surprised at how easily the work was finished.
Her techniques seem to be working. Families have been coming into the office, one of the oldest dental practices in the Beaverton area, since 1940 and they are still coming.
In fact, the pair have remodeled parts of their offices, and have plans for further additions. Weinberg is considering asking another woman dentist to join her practice and making more Tigard dentist news.
For the time being, the two enjoy their camaraderie. “It was pure accident that brought us together, but it’s worked real well,” Weinberg says.