Dr. Michelle Olson grew up on a farm outside Stoughton, Wisconsin. She attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Dr. Olson worked in a molecular genetics lab at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for a year before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota School Of Dentistry. She graduated in 2006. Following dental school, Dr. Olson was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a Captain and served on active duty for four years. During her first year, Dr. Olson completed a 1-year Advanced General Dentistry Residency at Fort Lewis, Washington. She was then stationed in Grafenwoehr, Germany with the 561st Medical Co (Dental Services).
Dr. Olson was in Germany for about 9 months before being deployed to Iraq with the 464th Medical Co (Dental Services), a sister unit to the 561st in Germany that was short of dentists. Dr. Olson spent 15 months in Taji, Iraq. She was the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the Taji Dental Clinic at FOB Taji, which served a base population of about 18,000 soldiers and contractors. Taji, Iraq is about 20 miles northwest of Baghdad. Dr. Olson and her fellow dentists were kept very busy providing comprehensive dental care to the soldiers and contractors in the area. Following her deployment, Dr. Olson returned to Germany for a year. She loved having the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe. Following her time with the Army, Dr. Olson moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia for a year. During this time, Dr. Olson was an associate at two dental offices.