Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Selling Out

Hey all,

Hope you all had a great weekend. I sure as heck did with the Fighting Gators beating up on the Tennessee Volunteers. Not that we are overlooking the Kentucky Wildcats (who lost to Western Kentucky at home), but we have a date with destiny in two weeks when we play LSU!

I am so pumped about this game that I looked up an old video that gets me going every time. I laugh every time I watch this video. "Can't Wait" went absolutely viral after this video. There were billboards, T-shirts, the whole 9 yards. I love it.

I went to the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry meeting this weekend. I really like this meeting. It is small, but they always have very good speakers and very good dentists and labs there. This year they brought over two guys from Italy. I missed the first guy, but the second guy was really good. He was really polished, his slides were awesome, and his pictures were crazy good. His slide transitions were perfect.

As a pseudo-presenter, I look at that stuff and wonder how he does it. He must either be some sort of computer genius or hire this stuff out. So while I was listening to the content of the lecture, I was also marveling at the quality of the whole presentation.

I was milling around the exhibit hall during a break. I turned around and speaker was hanging out right behind me. I have no problem asking people about anything, so I started the inquisition by telling him how much I was enjoying his lecture. I told him how well the thing was put together. I told him I am a budding presenter and that looking at his stuff tells me how much work I have to do.

I asked if he has a company that helps him with his lecture and was shocked when he told me that he does it all himself. How does he do it? He works from 8 a.m. until about 5 p.m. Then he starts working at his computer and gets home at about 9 p.m. He has dinner and then works again until midnight.

I asked him if he is married because this wouldn't fly at my house. He is married. Well he must not have any children, right? Wrong. He has three children, ages 14, 16 and 18. I work until 4 p.m. Then I take off my dentist hat and put on my dad/coach/carpool driver/wrestler hat. He doesn’t do any of that. He implied that his wife is not really happy with his schedule.

I was really shocked. He is husband and a father but he is totally selling out to dentistry. I am going to tell you how I feel about this stuff. It may sound very different than how you feel. I value your opinion and would love to hear how you feel about this.

I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for his wife his kids. My primary job in life is being a dad and doing the best I can to raise my children. A close second is being a great husband. The kids are all going to go away (16 long years from now) and all my wife and I are going to have is each other. Coming in third place is dentistry.

Look, I love my job. I love people. I love teeth and fixing teeth and giving people the smile they have always dreamed of. I totally jump out of bed because I can't wait to go to work (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration). But it pales in comparison to job one and job two.

I always talk about perspective. I think a well-rounded dentist is a great dentist. I can relate to my patients who have families. I can relate to my patients who have small businesses. I can relate to my patients that coach or are involved in church. I can relate to them in so many ways because I do all of that.

It is a shame that we can't be great at everything. Being great takes a lot of time. And because there isn't enough time to be great at all things, you almost have to choose. I think you can be great at a couple of things. I mean, I think I am a great dentist and a great blogger. Don't you think that? I would say my kids think I am a great dad and I think my wife would say I am a pretty good husband. Do I screw up sometimes? Yes. Do I overbook my schedule? Yes. Do I feel like my head is spinning most of the time? Yes. But if we have to choose, what are you going to choose? Is it going to be teeth over your kids? I hope not.

Is this what we want as professionals? Do we care about our speaker’s family life? Do we really want our teachers to hole themselves up in a computer room and work on their presentation all night? Do we really want them neglect everything else? I don’t think they can relate to me if they do dentistry 75 hours a week without any family responsibilities.

I want a guy that struggles with time management too. I want a guy that has tons of work to do but goes home anyway because his son has a T-ball game or his daughter’s dance recital that he can't miss. I don't know. I want the person teaching me to be smart and knowledgeable, but I want them to be like me, too.

I was sitting next to a friend at lunch talking about this. He said that he wants a guy that has sold out for dentistry. I think is a cop-out. I think the guy can do both. He can be a good dad and a good husband and still be awesome at teaching. It can be done. And if it can't be done, then I think the guy made the wrong choice.

I guess I am struggling with this one. Let me know what you think.

Talk to you Friday.



Anonymous said...

No struggle at all! You definitely have your priorities straight.

St. Louis cosmetic dentistry said...

i think you have right views working whole day is not the right choice Its a great struggle and responsibility to to do all work along with our job . If your priorities and schedule is right then you have no problem .


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