Focus on Faculty

Posted on: Thursday, 04/25/2019

Interview with Dr. Alan Felsenfeld

Link to BIO

Dr. Alan FelsenfeldDear Krebsbach - How long have you been associated with UCLA Dentistry?

Dr. Felsenfeld - I have worked at UCLA for a long time…the first 17 years I taught part-time, and I have been a full-time professor for the last 24 years – you do the math!

Dear Krebsbach - My calculation comes to 41 years at UCLA. Was this your first job?

Dr. Felsenfeld - Oh, no! This was my third job. I earned a master’s degree in hospital and health administration and worked for three years in that field before realizing that being an administrator was not the best fit for me. As I was trying to decide what I wanted to do when I grew up, I discovered oral and maxillofacial surgery and that seemed exciting to me. I went to UCLA for dental school and completed my surgical residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. I started a private practice in Covina, CA and then started volunteering at UCLA. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Dear Krebsbach - Tell us something about your outside of work activities.

Dr. Felsenfeld - I am a pilot with instrument rating. That means I can legally fly through the clouds. I have been flying airplanes for over 30 years. I received a flight lesson for my 42nd birthday present, and I have been hooked ever since. I try to fly once a week, and I have taken over 450 guests up in the clouds with me.

Dear Krebsbach - I’m trying as hard as I can to resist a “head in the clouds” comment about you. That’s quite a career you put together. What are your requirements for job number four?

Dr. Felsenfeld - No neck ties, no homework, and limited e-mails from the dean!

Dear Krebsbach - Touché! Actually most people probably don’t know you were on your college fencing team. Any last thoughts?

Dr. Felsenfeld - Yes. I am grateful to UCLA for providing me the opportunity to have some impact on the lives of so many students and residents who have gone on to wonderful careers taking care of the health of our communities.

Dean Krebsbach - Thank you for 41 impactful years. I hope we will share a few more.