Friday, May 31, 2013

Spousal Support

Before committing to a long term personal relationship or proposing for marriage, we, as dentists, should be very open with our future life partners about some of the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of our profession. Without our spouses’ support, the practice of dentistry would be much more challenging.

The Good
1. Dentistry is very rewarding in many aspects, and we are generally satisfied with our accomplishments.
2. Dentistry is not a vanishing profession and dentists are irreplaceable. Machines can mill crowns, but dentists will always be the biologic gatekeepers.
3. We can support ourselves and our families if our spouses elect to take a break.
4. We are real doctors and we do not have the highest suicide rate.
5. Dental conferences are held in fun places. When a conference brochure advertises for shopping, dining, and golfing along with dental courses, it is actually addressing our spouses.

The Bad
1. Five “dental” never last five minutes; they could run over an hour.
2. Lunch dates with our spouses could become a rarity, as we do not always have a full hour for lunch.
3. There a no spur-of-the-moment weeklong vacations. We need to plan at least six months in advance and we arelucky if we can take two weeks off at a time.
4. We are not always able to attend our kids’ activities at school during the week.
5. Although we do not perform life saving surgeries, emergencies come up in the evenings and over the weekends. We sometimes have to leave family events and attend to our patients’ needs.

The Ugly
We really need peaceful time at home so we can wake up energized, and this puts lots of pressure on our spouses. A typical day in a dentist’s office can sometimes be full of unpleasant surprises. A team member might call in sick or a lab case might not arrive on time. The dentist may run behind and the computers might not work. And the list goes on…

Let’s all have a great weekend; our families deserve it.This weekend, my wife and I are celebrating our anniversary.

Samer S. Alassaad, DDS


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