Having had the good fortune to grow up in Salem, Dr. McDonald attended South Salem High School, picked strawberries in the summer, and became an Eagle Scout. While growing up, he worked with his father, Dr. Terry McDonald, in the lab of McDonald Orthodontics, trimming plaster models and learning the trade from the ground up. Dr. McDonald always knew that helping people improve the way they look and function by creating beautiful smiles was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
Dr. McDonald attended Colorado College and Oregon State University before earning his Doctorate of Dental Medicine at Oregon Health and Sciences University in 1988. He then honed his dental skills as an officer in the US Army, first completing a 1 year advanced dental training residency and then going on to serve overseas in Korea (Camp Stanley in Uijeongbu) and in Germany (Heilbronn and Heidelberg) . In Germany, he commanded a large dental clinic and also led the local Boy Scout Troop as their Scoutmaster while also training as a member of the US Army Triathlon team.
Dr. McDonald began his civilian dental career practicing general dentistry in Salem and Portland. He was then accepted to the orthodontic program at the University of Pennsylvania under the dynamic leadership of chairman Dr. Robert VanArsdall. After graduation, Dr. McDonald returned to Salem and joined his father as a partner in McDonald Orthodontics. Dr. John and Dr. Terry practiced together until 2009, when Dr. Terry retired from the practice to focus on teaching orthodontic residents at OHSU, as well as fishing, windsurfing, and traveling. (Note, 2017 marks the 50 year anniversary of McDonald Orthodontics serving the patients of Salem, Keizer and the Willamette Valley.)
Because Both John and Terry were often in the office together, the staff and patients began to refer to them as “Dr John” and “Dr Terry” to keep them separate.
As one of the few board certified members of The American Board of Orthodontics in the Willamette Valley, Dr. John is committed to providing patients with the highest level of care. To become board certified, Dr McDonald completed hundreds of additional hours of preparation and testing to demonstrate his highest quality of work with his case submissions and exams. Dr. John is also a member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontics, as well as a member and past president of the Marion Polk Dental Society. He is in demand as a speaker on the most effective techniques for straightening teeth and caring for patients at both local study groups and orthodontic gatherings across the country. He lectures regularly on orthodontic diagnosis and technique and is a consultant and advisor to the Orthodontic branch of the 3M Company’s Dental Care Division, the world’s largest manufacturer of orthodontic brackets and wires.
Dr John has been married for 21 years to his wife Meredith, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and early learning specialist who is currently working for the Oregon Department of Education early learning division. Meredith is from Pennsylvania and they met while they were both attending graduate school at University of Pennsylvania. They have 2 children, Claire age 15 is a freshman at West Salem High School, and Isaac, Age 12 is a 6th grader at Walker Middle School. Both children are proud members of the dual language Spanish immersion program in West Salem. When not attending dance recitals, soccer games, track meets or baseball games, the family enjoys camping, skiing and reading. dual language Spanish immersion program in West Salem. When not attending dance recitals, soccer games, track meets or baseball games, the family enjoys camping, skiing and reading. Dr. John also plays in an adult ice hockey league at the Sherwood Ice Arena.