We have awesome jobs. We see multiple publications touting “dentist” as one the best jobs in America, year in and year out. We really do have awesome jobs, and we work our butts off.
But we couldn’t do it without a lot of people. No matter how frustrated you get at an assistant, hygienist, or patient care coordinator, our lives would be miserable if we didn’t have these teammates. And not to mention the warm bodies who fill our chairs. Holy cow, do we need to give thanks to our patients who entrust to us their oral health and emotional well-being and sometimes dip into life savings to get that Invisalign or those veneers they’ve always dreamed of.
Too often, we (I) go through our (my) day without thanking those around us who make it all possible. My days in dental school trying to do four-handed dentistry by myself—asking the patient to hold the suction at times—is not something I want to return to anytime soon. And I certainly don’t want to be practicing dentistry on myself to make money. Seriously, have any of you watched the YouTube videos of foreign dentists anesthetizing themselves and extracting their own wisdom teeth?! Seriously, if you haven’t, stop reading this blog post right now and look it up on YouTube. You won’t be disappointed!
Back to my story…
We (I) can get so entranced in the grind that is our daily routine of crown placement, hygiene checks, treatment planning, and shaking hands with new patients that we (I) sometimes just forget to stop and give thanks. I got to thinking about this topic when I was writing Christmas cards for our staff last night and realized that I can’t remember the last time I sincerely complimented or thanked some of them for their efforts. To say it made me feel empty and depressed is an understatement. What kind of person am I?! These individuals drop their kids off at school, make it to work with a smile on their faces, and are dedicated, hardworking, eager-to-learn team players. And usually when I speak directly to them outside of the doctor-patient-assistant conversations we all take part in, it is to correct them or offer stern advice on how they should do something that they’re currently doing differently.
Well, I’m off—headed to our staff Christmas party. I will enjoy the company, laugh, and chat, but most of all, I plan to give thanks. Thanks to the ones who make my job easier and more enjoyable. And who make it all possible. Won’t you join me?
Donald Murry III, DMD