Navigating Dental Transitions
Reflection and advice on the before and after aspects of life and dentistry
What is your most important job in life . . . parent, spouse, dentist, friend, wine drinker? I think it is the last one!
Two nice dental students gave Mrs. Nacho and I a compliment about our parenting. Obviously everyone strives to be the best parents they can, and often we feel as if we aren’t doing enough or could be doing more despite our best efforts.
I put myself in their shoes where I once was before, a young, exhausted dental student. I wondered about where I was now, where they would soon find themselves. A medium-aged exhausted dentist. How can I best prepare them for that? What would I do if I could go back to being that exhausted dental student, to shake the exhausted dentist in me, to allow room for the exhausted parent?
Dentisting and life transitions are really difficult, but a lot is learned through them and we can together avoid some pitfalls.
Excuse me. Let me get prepared to deliver this speech. (I get out pipe and sit on high stool. The moderator’s high chair will have to do. Also, I put on a jacket with elbow patches over this tank top that says “Born to Dentist” to truly get in the role of being a mentor. Just wanted to get the visual right.)
I enjoyed not being married, but enjoy being married more. I enjoyed not having children, but enjoy having children more. In closing, the next time you sleep late after a night of drinking, remember the wise words of your mentor- enjoy it while you can!
Enjoy it while you can – literally the worst thing you can say to another human essentially ruining the experience they are having by worrying them about the future.
You might be a seasoned dentist about to sell your practice, or a dentist looking to purchase a practice, or a new dentist looking for an associateship. These transitions will bring change to your life, just as getting married or having children did, but they also bring excitement and opportunity.
So enjoy things while you can, but look forward to the enjoyment that lies ahead and I will take care of the transitions for you, providing you with a material filled with personal anecdotes, real world examples and best practices.
Your dentisting friend,
Paul “Dr. Nacho” Goodman – Dentist, Mentor, Dad, Husband and high-level breakdancer