These AO CMF faculty members’ relationship is rooted in mutual passions
14 February 2021
AO CMF faculty members Marvis Allais and Paul Maurette share far more than a love for craniomaxillofacial surgery and research: They share a life. Today celebrating their 19th Valentine’s Day as a married couple, Allais and Maurette discuss their mutual passion for improving patients’ lives—and their secrets for healthy work-life balance.
Describing their first meeting in dental school 23 years ago as love at first sight, Allais and Maurette have been married for 18 years. Sharing a home and a family as well as a career in craniomaxillofacial (CMF) surgery, they say leaving work at the doorstep is the key to maintaining healthy work-life balance.
“We both had the same ‘true north’ in terms of what we wanted to study, among other things in common—love at first sight,” says Allais, who currently conducts research in dentistry, and oral, maxillofacial, and dental surgery at Universidad Santa María in Caracas, Venezuela. “I am lucky to have a colleague whom I admire very much and with whom I can talk about any clinical case at any time.”
“Finding someone who walks your way is a blessing and a complement,” adds Maurette, who works in the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Centro Médico Docente La Trinadad in Caracas.
“Since I first saw Marvis, I fell in love. I felt she was my other half and, as we had the same goals, everything became relatively easier. Our shared specialty gave us a chance to spend a lot of time together to explore the wonders of CMF surgery and discover that we enjoyed not only appointments in operating rooms but in restaurants or cinemas—all are special places for us.”
After meeting in 1998, Allais and Maurette went to Brazil to study oral and maxillofacial surgery and ended up pursuing their master’s degrees and doctorates before returning to Venezuela. Today, they have a 13-year-old son, Gabriel, and an eight-year-old daughter, Juliette, and last month celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary. Both Allais and Maurette say the rewards of working in the same field far outweigh the challenges.
“I have many friends and colleagues who find it very difficult for their wives to understand their profession: emergencies and lengthy surgeries can cause problems,” Maurette explains. “For me, it is rewarding to have a partner who perfectly understands what I am doing. I am proud to be able to share my knowledge and resolve my own doubts with Marvis.”
Allais echoed those sentiments: “In Paul, I have a friend with extensive knowledge, who I admire, and who is always willing to help me,” she says. “He understands perfectly my profession and how I must balance it with raising children.”
When they are at home, Allais and Maurette leave the work-related discussions at the door.
“We did make this a rule and it has been beneficial, because time at home is time to relax,” she says.
In addition to their shared passion for their family and their profession is the couple’s passion for AO CMF. Allais first encountered the AO as a participant in basic principles courses; today, she is a member of AO CMF Latin American regional faculty and the AO CMF women ambassadors' group. Maurette is AO CMF faculty and a member of the AO CMF Latin America Board.
“My AO CMF path started from scratch and has allowed me to learn, to meet wonderful professionals at a very high academic level, and to get to know incredible places,” Maurette says. “AO CMF has made me a better professional. It is one of the most complete and coordinated organizations that I know of; I am proud to belong to AO CMF.”
“AO CMF has a high level of professionalism, education, and active participation,” Allais adds. “Research is the basis of everything, and I think AO CMF’s greatest quality is constantly adopting the changes necessary to properly teach the younger generations without neglecting the growth of longtime members.”
When they aren’t at work, Allais and Maurette—both passionate athletes—enjoy running, bicycling, mountain trekking, traveling, and going to the beach. Valentine’s Day 2021 will find them celebrating their own way—together.
“That day will not be so different from any other Sunday with the family: We start the day very early, riding our bicycles around the city, and then have breakfast as a family,” Allais says. “In the afternoon, we will ride horses with our children in an area on the outskirts of Caracas.”