Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Spring 2021 - 24

People in Orthodontics

Portrait of a Professional

Dr. Straty Righellis

Dr. Jerry Nelson
Oakland, CA
PCSO Bulletin Contributor

Dr. Straty Righellis
Oakland, CA

Jerry Nelson (JN): It is a special opportunity for
me to host this Portrait of a Professional with Dr.
Straty Righellis from Oakland, California. Straty's
practice in the Montclair district of Oakland and
my Berkeley partnership practice with Dr. Michael
Meyer and Dr. Paul Kasrovi have enjoyed regular
collaboration while serving our Bay Area patients.
All four of us have served for decades as faculty
members of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Dental School.
JN: Straty, let us start with the story of your early
life.
Straty Righellis (SR): I was born in Bakersfield,
California, and grew up in the small agricultural
town of Arvin, California (population 5,000),
20 miles south of Bakersfield. My parents were
first-generation Americans whose parents came
from Sparta, Greece, and the Island of Mytilene,
Greece. My father was an optometrist, and my
mom worked with him in the office. Healthcare
was a family theme. High school was a bit unusual with 400 in my freshman high school class, but

only 180 graduated! Four of us went directly into
four-year colleges. I have a brother, Anthony, born
exactly seven years to the date after me.
JN: How did you decide on dentistry?
SR: I began thinking about dentistry when I
was in the sixth grade while I was receiving my
orthodontic treatment from Dr. Gordon Johnson. I
was his 32nd patient. While it was not advertised,
I did see #32 on my orthodontic models that he
brought out for each visit! It looked like he enjoyed his work while interacting with his patients.
JN: Tell us of your journey to become an orthodontist.
SR: After high school, I was accepted for undergraduate education at the University of the
Pacific, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in
biological sciences in 1967. I was accepted for dentistry at the University of California, Los Angeles
(UCLA) Dental School and graduated in 1971. I was
in the first full class of 96, and it was an incredi-

UCSF orthodontic residents, 1973

24	

PCSO Bulletin    Spring 2021



Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Spring 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Spring 2021

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