Why are you a Dentist?
It wasn’t too long ago (or maybe it was) that we applied for admission to dental school. At that time we had our reasons for becoming a dentist, and obviously convinced the admission committee to except us. Now, as licensed dentists, we have the opportunity and privilege to serve the needs of our patients, as well as determine our “likes and dislikes” of what we do with our clinical practice. So, I interviewed numerous dentists and asked them: Why are you a dentist? Here are some of the answers that are worthy of sharing:
- I like to melt wax, shape it, and polish it.
- I like the challenge of being a micro-architect and engineer.
- I like the independence of having my own practice and making my own decisions.
- I enjoy group practice because of the sharing of ideas, as well as the emergency call schedule.
- I like doing what I want to do and referring the rest out.
- I like the business part as well as clinical part.
- I love the long-term relationships with my patients and their families.
- I can take time off when I want to.
- It is a good life because I don’t have to work on weekends and I can spend the time I need with my family.
The point of all of this: We are fortunate to be dentists. But, guess what?…We are able to do what we do because there are other people that make our lives possible. Naturally, and of foremost importance, are our families, especially our spouses and significant others. Our “office families” are certainly essential as well. However, less appreciated and very essential to our profession are the many people that “look after us” within multiple venues. These topics range from continuing education, legislative issues, TSDBE interactions, as well as national policies that impact our practice and livelihoods. Organized dentistry is the supportive foundation that enables us. We pay dues every year to the ADA, TDA, local societies, and to political action committees that support our interests as dentists. Without the hard working individuals within these organizations we would succumb to incredible expenses too numerous to list here. The dues we pay are a great value.
Let’s rephrase the question: Why are you able to be a dentist? It is because organized dentistry looks after us! Get involved!
By Dale M. Gallagher, DDS, PA
CADS President, 2018-2019