Focus On Faculty with Gerardo Romeo, MD, DDS

romeo_geraldGerardo Romeo, MD, DDS, is the newest faculty member in the division of oral and maxillofacial surgery, where he specializes in pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgery, cleft & craniofacial surgery, orthognathic surgery and facial trauma.

After obtaining his DDS at SUNY Stony Brook and his medical degree from Drexel University, he earned his certificate in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Hospital of Saint Raphae and Yale New Haven Hospitall in New Haven, Conn.

He came to the University of Cincinnati directly from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he completed a fellowship in pediatrics, specifically in cleft and craniofacial surgery and pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgery.

What is your focus within oral and maxillofacial surgery?

“My main interest is in cleft and craniofacial surgery and reconstruction, but I enjoy all phases of pediatric oral and craniomaxillofacial surgery.

“There are not a lot of people who focus their practice efforts in pediatrics specifically, who are oral and maxillofacial surgeons. There are pediatric dentists and oral surgeons who do a fine job caring for children, but not a lot of people who are  focusing specifically on the details of pediatric care in an effort to make advancements.

“In my practice, I like to take care of the sickest kids we find—it’s a population in which it’s hard to treat even the most routine things. Even the most basic care: extractions, wisdom teeth removal, the treatment of infections, craniofacial trauma become more complex when you are caring for sick children. There aren’t a lot of practicing surgeons in the community that  feel comfortable treating them.”

“I’m also on Children’s Craniofacial Abnormalities team, which is a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of. It’s a multidisciplinary team that meets on a regular basis to collaborate on patient care for children that are born with craniofacial anomalies.

“The kids are in various stages of development—some have been in the team’s care since birth, some have traveled to Children’s from different parents of the country. But they are all evaluated by team members from many specialties: cleft and craniofacial surgeons from multiple specialties, geneticists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, ENT specialists, audiologists, psychologists and speech pathologists.

“We’re really trying to optimize the care that these kids are getting, and doing it in a way that’s as convenient and comprehensive as possible. It’s a special thing to be a part of.”

Was Children’s a big draw for you, then?

“Yes, but the biggest draw was actually the UC faculty who are already here. We have a special program in the division of oral and maxillofacial surgery with both nationally and internationally known surgeons with impressive credentials and accomplishments.

“They have worked very hard to build a program that is both clinically strong and simultaneously focused on clinical research and academic endeavors and it is rare to find both in a single division.

“We’re quite strong (and very busy) in our clinical practice, but we have a lot of people passionate about the academic endeavor—it seemed like a good place for me to be. I never thought of myself as a clinician or simply an academic surgeon. Bridging the two is really key. That’s how you make meaningful advancements and contributions.”

What do you like to do when you’re not at UC or Children’s?

“I like to spend time with my wife and son. We enjoy playing golf and love the beach and surfing, but, unfortunately, there’s not a lot of surfing around here so we spend a lot of time outdoors and learning more about the area.”

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