Friday, December 12, 2008

Giving it away III

Okay back on track.
By the way How I Met Your Mother is getting so funny.
This season it started slow but the last couple of episodes I have laughed myself off the couch.
If you are not watching it, you are missing a very funny show.

I am reading Jane Eyre right now.
Everyone who I talked to loved this book. I have never read it. And now I know why.
Okay here is the deal with old books (Jane Eyre's copyright is like 1847) they are written for smart people.
There, I said it. I am not very smart.
I am on page 7 and I haven't known about 50 words.
So I am sure in high school I picked this up and read the first page and said, "Hmm, NO"
I think I am going to like it but it is not like any other books that I like. For example, The Firm. You pick up the book and it is action from the first word (and by the way you recognize the words) but this kind of book is different. It actually makes you think. And it is weird I think it may make me smarter.
I was in dental school and my friend, who was very smart, said one of his favorite books was Dante's Inferno. I said, "Let me give if a try."
Anyone every read this? I didn't make it past page 5.
So now I am in a dilemma and it has to do with my kids. Do I make my kids read a book that is challenging and hard to read and eventually make them smarter (but may make them hate reading) or do I let them read a books that are fun and not challenge them?
Parenting...the hardest job on earth.

Remember I told you that this world is going to Hell in a hand basket...well now I am convinced. There is a sign on our major highway in Orlando that shows a guy in a business suit slipping and all the sign says is . I am not kidding (and don't you dare go to this site).

Now...the topic...
About the young lady week. None of you commented on it. BIG HELP YOU WERE.
I did however talk to everyone I could about it. Dental people and non dental people. What would you do?
Would you just get her out of pain or would you give her the full monty?
Well overwhelmingly, "all the way" was the answer.
In this case I have infinite amount of resources but what if I didn't. What if too many needs came to my office?
Would that change people's opinion?
The girl came in this week. I took care of all her operative (fillings) needs. Her teeth are cleaned and then I picked up the phone and talked to me orthodontist. He graciously agreed to help her. So probably before Christmas this young lady will have begun orthodontics.

I also heard from the pastor that originally called me. He didn't know what to say. He talked about how awesome it is to see how God works. That this young lady is being transformed physically, emotionally and spiritually, before his eyes. He calls it a blessing to be able to sit on the sideline observe.
To me, I can't tell you how it blesses me to be able to bless others. Ido get a good feeling when I help someone (like with a simple extraction or something) but when I see someone's life changed because of me...I can really feel God's pleasure. I know he is pleased when I use the talents he gave me.

I was asked to do an interview about giving dentistry away and here are the questions the interviewer gave me to prepare...

1) Please explain the type of practice you have.
2) How does treating low-income/indigent patients fit into your business plan, in terms of time, money, human resources, etc.?
3) What are the most common dental problems such patients present, if there is such a category of problems?
4) Beyond providing dental care, do you provide any kind of education or other effort meant to help the patient beyond the dental office, and if so, what does that involve?
5) What are the benefits to the patient and to you?

Wow, these are great questions.
I mean this is what we have been talking about the last two blogs.
But I want to talk to you about question #2. How does this fit into your business model?
Isn't this a funny question?
I know it is important but where does it ever say in the Bible..."When I was naked, you clothed me and you did it all within your business model."
Yes, we are business people. Yes, we can't just give with reckless abandon. Or can we?
I have been doing it for 12 years.
I don't budget for it. I don't set a limit.

I think as someone settles into his or her profession, he or she will let it become their identity or part of their identity. There is a big difference.
Tim Tebow was given a humanitarian award last light and he claims it is his greatest accomplishment. This is young man that is not defined by football. He is a young man that is person before he is a football player. He uses football for means to get out their.
This is a young man who in the next couple of weeks win (God willing) his second Heisman trophy and his second National Championship (God willing) and this is only second to what he does outside of football.
He wants to defined by what he does off the field.
Like I want to be defined by what I do "off the field" (see how I just compared myself to Tim Tebow...nice).

I am a person before I am a dentist. I don't mean this to be condescending to anyone. If you don't give anything away, I am not saying you are not a person.
Being a dentist is so awesome but it is not all I have. I don't want to work to retire and then realize I don't have any other interest. I don't want to "die in the chair".
I may be doing dentistry until I die but it is surely not going to be in my office trying to finish paying off my mortgage.
I don't want dentistry to be all I have. I want dentistry to be a means to something bigger and greater.
But that something bigger might be doing dentistry for free. It might mean doing dentistry in a poor country. Or in a clinic in poor part of town.

It might be to teach. Oh, Lordy he did not go there.

Okay, this is getting long for a Friday.
This may be over but I may say some final words on Monday.
I do covet your comments. What do you think?
Have a great weekend,


Anonymous said...

Hi John, I am an italian dental student and I found your blog a few week ago surfing for "John Kanka and Dental Adhesives". I really enjoy it and reading your posts make me think a lot. I hope I'll become a dentist and a person like you in my future profession, even if I know it's gonna be difficult. I really admire your dedication to treat patient with financial needs, this really makes a big difference. Thanks a lot, Michele
P.S. Sorry for my English!

gatordmd said...

Thank you so much for your comment. You made my week.
I am glad you are liking the blog and I hope you comment in the future.
You can write me anytime at

By the way, your english was perfect.


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