Hi my name is Michael Lynn Gurney. Those that know me well call me Lynn, as that is what I grew up going by. My father’s name is Michael and my mom decided that if there were two Michaels in the family I should go by my middle name.
I was born and raised in Idaho. Boise, Idaho is the city in which I was born. I was born to Michael and Brenda Gurney. Both of which were born and raised in Idaho. I’ve lived in Fruitland, Caldwell, Emmett, Rexburg, Pocatello, and Nampa. Most of my childhood and teenage years was spent growing up in Caldwell. My family moved to Emmett, Idaho when I was 15. I graduated from Emmett High School in 1998. I did well in school but most of my focus was on my love for sports. I wasn’t the biggest kid, but I was very determined and athletic. Thankfully, my favorite sport, wresting, fit my size limitations and I did very well in that sport. I didn’t let my size limit what I was able to do. I also played football and ran track. Wrestling was my passion. Sports helped shape me into who I am today. It was in sports that I learned the value of working hard and mental toughness that led me to see how success is attained.
All of us learn lessons that help shape our lives. It is from the sport of wrestling that I learned one of those lesson that has shaped my approach to life. One of my club team coaches, Rick Russell, pulled me aside one day during practice and said to me, “Lynn, there is always someone working harder than you.” His words often enter my head and have meant different things at different times in my life. He helped me know that I an always work harder and do more to improve my abilities.
Wrestling was the avenue that helped me get into school. I was accepted to Rick College in Rexburg, Idaho. I wrestled with wrestling team for the first year of my college education. I had always had a dream of becoming a physician. I was the first in my family to attend college. I was very naive with respect to what a college education would require. I learned very quickly that only the best of students were accepted to medical school. I also learned that the classes required to apply to medical school were difficult. I made the realization that I needed to turn the dedication to sports toward school and learning. I made school my sport and became extremely dedicated to learning. While attending Rick’s College I learned another very important life lesson that has shaped me into who I am. The lesson was taught from the school president, David Bednar, during one or many of his devotionals. During one of his lectures, he challenged the student body with eh following idea or concept. Paraphrasing he challenged… “Don’t take the easy teacher to get an A. Seek out the hard teachers that challenge you and strive to learn the material. I know those that learn the material and get a C in the hard teacher’s class will learn more than those that take the easy teachers class and get an A.” When I first heard him teach this, I understood what he was trying to say, but I was afraid to try it for fear of not having the grades to enter medical school. However, I was sitting in one of those “weed-out” biology classes and there was a student that sat in the front row and he seemed to know everything. He seemed to know as much the professor and would ask him incredible questions. He was the only student in the class that earned a solid A in the class. I met up with him and asked him how he did it. He stated he did everything he could to learn the material. He read the textbooks and took notes before coming to class. He truly learned the material. At that point I realized I needed to really learn the information in each class and took the challenge of taking the hardest professors and trying to learn the course information. I realized that it was my duty to learn the material to the best of my ability as someday the professors that were teaching me would retire and they would need a new generation to replace them. I wanted to be that generations.
I took a short leave of absence from college to serve a religious mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. I lived in the state of Parana, Brazil for 2 years. I served the people there with all my heart. It was an amazing experience to learn how to be more selfless and love people. One of my mission presidents, John Morrison – a post career advisor at the University of Utah, taught me another one of those lessons that helped shape my life. He said to me one day while traveling through the mission; paraphrasing, “If you want to learn how to be successful, then find those people you feel are successful and learn from them what they do. You will learn how they have achieved success and can strive to apply similar principles to your life.” I have met a lot of successful people in the course of my life and from them learned so many principles of success that I’ve been able to apply to my life and subsequently seen how they have helped lead me to success.
After completing the mission, I returned to Rexburg, Idaho to finish my college education. During the time I spent on my mission the school had grown to a four-year university and changed it’s name to Brigham Young University – Idaho. I learned how to really study and excel in my classes. I completed a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry. I learned to really love school. My grades and experience reflected it as well. I believe my overall GPA was 3.8 and I had hours of experience working at the VA hospital in Boise on their cancer chemotherapeutics research team. During my pre-med preparation I learned that my passion was best met in the field of Dentistry. Dentistry seemed to fit my personality better. I was artistic and good with my hands. Both of which are large part of what dentistry requires.
While at BYU-Idaho I met my wife, Erin (Belcher) Gurney. While in our last year of school we added to our family by having our first son, (Michael) Porter Gurney. Yes, I made him go by his middle name too. We applied to many dental schools. My top choice was Creighton University School of Dentistry as Idaho has a scholarship program to support 8 students from Idaho to attend their dental school. It was a known as a great dental school and very difficult to get into as an Idaho resident due to the competition for the 8 seats. I soon as I was accepted to the school we committed to attend. As part of the program, we spent the first year in Pocatello, Idaho in the Idaho Dental Education Program. After the first year was completed, we moved our family to Omaha, Nebraska to meet up with the rest of my class at Creighton to complete three more years of dental school. I learned to love learning. I found a passion for learning and teaching. I began to learn the material so well that I had many opportunities to help my fellow classmates. I found that I absolutely loved being able to help my fellow students with questions or concerns related to our courses. I found that when I studied well enough to be able to teach someone else, I learned even more. It was amazing. I become hungry to learn everything that I possibly could. As I did this, I proved my college president correct. The more I strived to learn the material the better my grades become. I ended up graduating with Summa Cum Laude and a 3.9 PGA. I also scored in the 90th percentile on the national dental board exams. I pushed myself to learn everything I could and do as many things as I possibly could. I didn’t want to waste any of my time while in dental school. I realized part way through my 3rd year that dental school did not prepare me for the more complicated aspects of dentistry. The complicated and more detailed aspects of dentistry were always taught and performed by the dental specialists at the school. I made the decision I needed to become a Prosthodontist, a specialist in complex and advanced dental prosthetic reconstruction.
While in dental school my wife and I had one addition to our team, another son, Peyton Gurney. We decided to apply to several advanced Prosthodontic residency programs across the country. I was accepted to all the residency to which I applied. As a family we decided to attend The Advanced Prosthodontics Clinical Residency program at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Thus, we moved our little family to Columbus, Ohio during the summer of 2009 following my graduation from Creighton University Dental School.
The Prosthodontic residency was hard and labor intensive. It required much more time and energy when compared to dental school, which I thought wasn’t even possible. The residency was very clinically based allowing me many opportunities to work with the most advanced and complicated prosthodontic treatments. A large part of the residency was focused on the science and clinical aspects of dental implants and their possible dental restorative options. I was fortunate to head a clinical based research project that studied the effects of loading (using) of dental implants in the mouth. It helped me become an expert field of dental implants. I used the same determination for learning I developed in dental school toward my residency education. My director told me at the end of my residency that I was one of the best residents he had ever had the privilege to teach. He helped me find my opportunity to return to Idaho as he was friends with Dr. Braden Stauts. Dr. Stauts owned Boise Prosthodontics for 20+ years prior to my arrival. Erin and I felt very fortunate to be able to return to Idaho.
While in Ohio we added two more additions to our family. We were blessed to have Clara Gurney and Preston Gurney join our family while there.
On July 1st, 2012 we were able to purchase Boise Prosthodontics and the rest is history. Using the hard work I had grown up knowing and exhibiting, I was able to take Boise Prosthodontics and build an amazing team and develop it into what it is today. We now have a second Prosthodontist that works with our team. We focus our practice on the specialty of prosthodontics. We center our work on three core principles: always striving to provide our patients with the best experience possible, provide our referral sources with the best experience possible, and building and maintaining the best team possible. We really strive to develop and maintain a family centered work environment. I love what we do, I love the people we get to work with, and people we get to help.
As of this post I have been in Idaho working at Boise Prosthodontics for almost 9 years. I spend most of my time working on improving my knowledge and outcomes for our patients. I think I’m one of the most dedicated dental nerds in the area. I’m not sure there is anyone that works harder than I do. It’s my sport, I love the feeling of helping someone in need. The two things I love the most about my work is providing hope to those that feel they have none and then seeing the joy that comes to those that see their treatment accomplish what they are expecting. It is so rewarding. I look forward to helping anyone better understand what dentistry has to offer to help them achieve their goals and expectations with respect to comfort, function, and esthetics of their smile.