Find things in your work and your life that bring you joy!
My friend Dr. Barry Polansky wrote a blog post post with the premise: “I am producing a remake of the classic Dustin Hoffman film, The Graduate. The scene at the pool where Mr. McGuire tells young Ben, “One word, plastics.” It’s a classic line.
What one piece of advice would you give young Ben as he entered into the workforce, as a dentist in 2014. By the way—dental school left him with $375,000 in debt.”
I grew up around the profession of dentistry but I didn’t know the profession. I remember thinking in dental school that when I finished, I’d goto work, find a full schedule of patients(I had no idea where they come from, but just figured they’d show up), do my work(which would be productive and varied work) and then go home without a care in the world.
I have no idea where that fantasy came from!
I can remember coming to work one day early on and the receptionist had filled my schedule with patients I’d never met, to provide treatment on teeth I’d never seen. I hated it! I soon realized that my fantasy was just that, a fantasy. I wasn’t cut out to be a dentist that just showed up, worked and went home. I found out early on that I needed and wanted to part of the treatment planning process. I wanted more than the job of a tooth mechanic.
My advice to the new Dental School Graduate
Test your own pre-conceived ideas(or Fantasies) about the profession.
- How do you see yourself practicing dentistry?
- Do you want to show up, do your work and go home?
- Do you want to show up, find the work(treatment plan, present, “sell”), do your work and go home?
- Maybe there’s another model of practice that works for you!
- What activities outside of dentistry bring you joy?