For Dr. Jason Jones, the feeling that he’s finally finished with six years of medical school hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
The Permian grad is happy to be at the end of a long road that included four years of undergraduate studies, four years of dental school and six years of medical school. He is even happier to be back in the Permian Basin.
Jones, who now works as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Permian Basin Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center, made his return to Odessa along with his wife Izbel Jones and three kids Daniel, 7, David, 5, and Samuel, 2.
The Joneses moved back to Odessa last weekend as Jason has now wrapped up his first week on the job at Permian Basin Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center.
Jones finished his residency on June 25.
“The moving was probably a month-long process because I was finishing my residency and I was doing a rotation in El Paso and so I was in El Paso and my wife and kids were in San Antonio. We were going back and forth between there and Odessa for the last three to four weeks of residency. We moved in officially on July 3rd weekend.”
A 2008 graduate of Permian, who played at center for the Panther football team, Jones stayed close to home for his undergrad, graduating from the University of Texas Permian Basin in 2012.
After that, Jones spent the next four years at UTHSCSA Dental School before graduating in May 2016.
He then went to UT Health San Antonio where he graduated in 2019 and then spent the next three years on residency.
“It’s still a little surreal I guess,” Jones said about his first week on the job here in Odessa. “We were working with patients early on and we’ve been working with patients since dental school but the fact that now I’m doing it semi on my own … it still feels odd. It doesn’t feel real yet.”
Jones’ fascination with being an oral surgeon began back when he was in high school where his friend’s dad was also an oral maxillofacial surgeon.
“My best friend at the time, Garrett Porter, we played football together at Permian,” Jones said. “We became great friends. I started hanging around his family and his dad was an oral maxillofacial surgeon here in town. That was my first introduction to it. He let me shadow him a couple of times. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know what I was going to do. My family had been working in the oilfield. It was all I knew but it opened a window for me into a different career path. I never looked back. I stuck with this career path.”
At the end of Jones’ sophomore year at Permian, he had already been moved up to the varsity team. He was a starter both his junior and senior years and was one of the team captains in his final season.
Jones said he’s learned lessons from playing football at Permian that have stayed with him throughout dental and medical school.
“It certainly has its level of hype considering that it’s the ‘Friday Night Lights’ school,” Jones said. “But I certainly feel that a lot of lessons I learned from my coaches and teammates have been in the back of my head throughout residency because residency, you work long hours and a lot of it is meetings-based. We bounce around between medicine and dentistry throughout residency so I learned a lot from playing football and I’m sure anyone who has played football or any team sport has had the same experience where they learn how to interact with people and being a team player.”
He’s been thankful for the support from his family throughout his school days.
“It really is a unique career path to become an oral surgeon,” Jones said. “The way we weave in and out of medicine and dentistry is kind of odd and unique to our field…. That said, my family and wife’s family were very supportive of us and would come visit us. We’re blessed to have family support us.”
He’s also excited to be back home in Odessa.
“I’m happy to be back and I feel like I’m in a good place and I’m happy with what I’m doing,” Jones said.