Dr. Gary R. Hartwell earned his D.D.S. from West Virginia University School of Dentistry in 1966. He graduated from the U.S. Army Dental Corps Endodontic Residency Program in 1973 and earned an M.S. in special studies (oral biology) the following year from George Washington University. In 1980 he completed the certification process and became a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. During his 20-year military career, he served as director of the Endodontic Residency programs at both Madigan Army Medical Center and Eisenhower Army Medical Center. He was the Consultant in Endodontics to the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army from 1983 to 1987.
Upon retirement from active military service in 1987 at the rank of colonel, Hartwell became a full-time faculty member in the Department of Endodontics at the VCU School of Dentistry. In 1992 he was promoted to associate professor with tenure and appointed chair of the Department of Endodontics. He was promoted to the rank of full professor with tenure in 1999. In 1996 he also assumed the position as director of the VCU Postgraduate Program in Endodontics. He then served in both positions until his retirement in 2003. At some point in time during his 16 years at VCU, he also served as course director for every predoctoral endodontic clinical, didactic and laboratory course.
In 2003, he was appointed professor and chair of the Department of Endodontics at the New Jersey Dental School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers School of Dental Medicine), Newark, N.J. At the time of his appointment, he also became director of the UMDNJ Postgraduate Program in Endodontics. He held both of these positions until his retirement from UMDNJ in January 2013.
He has authored or co-authored more than 100 manuscripts and abstracts in dental journals and seven chapters in three endodontic textbooks and has lectured extensively at the local, state, national and international levels. His honors include election to membership in the Order of Military Medical Merit, International College of Dentistry, American College of Dentistry, Pierre Fauchard Academy, Omicron Kappa Upsilon and as a Virginia Dental Association Fellow. He was selected as the 2009 recipient of the I. B. Bender Life-Time Educator Award given by the American Association of Endodontists and the 2012 recipient of the Dr. George Feldman Memorial Award for Endodontic Excellence given by District II of the American Association of Endodontists. In October 2012, a scholarship was named in his honor by UMDNJ. He was awarded professor emeritus status by both VCU and UMDNJ in 2013.
Other notable activities include: two-year terms as president for both the U.S. Army Association of Endodontists and the Virginia Academy of Endodontists; chair of the Section on Endodontics of the American Dental Education Association; president of the Richmond Dental Society; delegate to the Virginia Dental Association; two terms as a Consultant in Endodontics for the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation; six years as a director of the American Board of Endodontics (two years as secretary and one year as president); two terms as a trustee of the American Association of Endodontists Foundation; two three-year terms on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Endodontists (one term representing District I, which includes the commonwealth of Virginia and one term representing District II); 10 years as an Endodontic Specialty Examiner for the Northeast Regional Dental Testing Board; reviewer for the Journal of the American Dental Association and Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; more than 20 years of service on the editorial board and as an associate editor of the Journal of Endodontics and a reviewer and member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Journal of Endodontics. He served as vice president of the American Association of Endodontists for 2011 – 2012, president-elect from 2012 – 2013 and as president of the American Association of Endodontists for 2013 – 2014. He just recently completed a nine-month appointment as the acting executive director of the American Association of Endodontists. In October 2014, he was elected to serve a four-year term on the Appeals Board of the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the departments of endodontics at both the VCU School of Dentistry and the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine.