Surviving a life in dentistry
When you’re starting out, advancing your career in dentistry might mean many things to you. Your goals could take the form of monetary value, a certain lifestyle, a particular set of letters after your name, but do they include these three essential factors?
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a life in dentistry.
For me it seems a very short journey from June 1994 when I found out I’d passed my finals in dentistry to now where I’ve been practising for well over twenty years as a dentist.
But if I had any advice to give to anyone qualifying now about happily surviving a career in dentistry
(at least for this long) the advice is listed below.
None of this advice is based on evidence or proven by scientists, it is merely a reflection of my own meandering experience but will hopefully be useful to someone.
Do What You Love or Love What You Do
Steve Jobs was famous for encouraging people to do what they loved but was then infamous for then outsourcing production of his beautiful products to people in China in extremely questionable working conditions. The flip side of Jobs’ philosophy is to work on the prospect of loving what you do and for me that is understanding, practising, reflecting and improving. Whatever route you take in dentistry immerse yourself in it. Understand it, practice it, record it and discuss it. Over time it will become part of you and part of what you do on a day-to-day basis and without it you will be lost and therefore be in love. It’s nice to pick something that you love, it’s also nice to love something that you pick – you can come at that from either angle or even come at it from both.
Make Lifetime Friends in the Subjects That You Enjoy
Becoming involved with a group of people who have the same philosophies and understanding of your work is one of the happiest ways to pass through your working existence. Implant dentistry has a close community of people who you will come across time and time again; familiar faces of happy people it’s nice to meet, both at conferences, lectures and events and people in long term positions in supply companies that you can get to know.
For my 20+ years journey in implant dentistry I have made some fantastic friends in work who have helped me through the rough times and who have been a pleasure to see in the good times. Making friends with people that you work with is not a happy coincidence or a side effect; it’s perhaps the most important thing about going to work.
At The Campbell Clinic we have been able to create a tribe of people who have the same philosophical understanding that we have, who we’re happy to see time and time again at course and events.
People continue to come back, not only as delegates but also as speakers at different events and it’s one of the greatest pleasures we’ve had in setting up the business.
Try to be Good
If you start out in your career trying to be good you may well become good and, as a consequence of that, may well become rich (whatever that may mean)
If you start out with the motive of trying to be financially rich it’s unlikely that you’ll be rich and good.
Good first...rich later
The understanding of what rich is changes after you become good.
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