Feb / Mar 2008
6 • NUMBER 1
February / March 2008
By Katy Doyle
n the walls are framed images of a cloud-covered Mount Kilimanjaro and smiling African villagers. The tasteful furniture is a deep mahogany. The doors are adorned with decorative wainscoting. The light slants through the windows in a welcoming way. Where are you? In a travel agency? In an executive suite? In someone’s living room?
You’re in the six-month-old dental office of Dr. Clare Macaulay on Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia. The photos were taken in locations she has traveled to or lived in. The decorative touches are those she chose to convey a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. The sun is naturally occurring, but it’s one of the things that kept Dr. Macaulay in Southern California where she and her staff of three currently offer state-of-the-art, compassionate dental care to many Santa Clarita residents.
“This is my dream office,” says Dr. Macaulay, an admitted perfectionist who simultaneously completed dental school and a master’s in public health at UCLA. “This office is my seventh baby, and an investment in the future.” Dr. Macaulay practiced for 12 years just three miles away.
It seems that planning ahead is Dr. Macaulay’s forte. In high school, she made exhaustive lists of potential careers. Dentistry became a serious contender in college when she was impressed with a guest speaker. She job shadowed with him at his dental office and discovered that the profession would be an ideal way to be connected with, and make a contribution to the community.
“Dentistry had all of the features of my ideal job,” she says. “I could build long-term relationships, enjoy the fulfillment that comes with serving others and surround myself with wonderful staff and patients.”
UCLA offered her a scholarship, but, feeling an unshakable calling to join the Peace Corps, Dr. Macaulay became the first student ever to have asked that her spot be held for two years while she lived in West Africa. Her request was granted. Upon her return, she excelled at school and her options were limitless. Would she teach full-time? Would she practice dentistry on a reservation? Ultimately, she chose to settle near her family, where her exceptional skills were best suited. Ever the pragmatist, she temped in several communities before deciding on Santa Clarita.
“The valley is growing, has good schools, is family-oriented and has low crime. My parents are an hour away. Plus, the scenery is so inviting — look at the mountains that surround us.”
Mountaineering and running have both been an integral part of Dr. Macaulay’s life. In fact, she met her husband, Lou, on the summit of Mt. Whitney. She and Lou, an engineer and fellow outdoor enthusiast, often hit the trails and paseos with their triple-wide joggers to accommodate their six children, now ages seven, six, four, three, two, one.
Outside the office, Dr. Macaulay delights in her role as Mrs. Lintereur. “I’m at the office a fair amount, but I love being home with my children,” she beams. And does she brush their teeth? “Of course! I line them up and floss them all. People ask me how long I’ll keep it up and I tell them, ‘‘til they’re legal adults.’ There’s a direct relationship between great home care and healthy teeth.”
Just as she encourages healthy dental habits on the home front, Dr. Macaulay really enjoys focusing on the health of her patients’ teeth and their overall health. “It is my privilege and responsibility to honor the trust they give me with their healthcare.” Her respect and appreciation for her patients is evident in her punctuality at work, her persistence with detail and her genuine enthusiasm about dentistry. She plans to continue making an impact on people’s health, one person at a time, and looks forward to meeting yet the next generation among her patients’ families, whom she has grown to appreciate as an extended family rather than merely patients.
To contact Dr. Macaulay, please visit www.drclaredentist.com or call 661-259-7272.