20 Things I Have Learned In Dentistry In the Last 20 Years

27 Jul 20 Things I Have Learned In Dentistry In the Last 20 Years

20 Things I Have Learned About Work-Life Balance In Dentistry In the Last 20 Years

In May of 2018, I hit the twenty years mark for practicing dentistry. I graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1998 and walked out of Hill Auditorium with an incredible sense of relief. In the last twenty years, I have learned from my mistakes and from my successes. Here are my top twenty reflective thoughts as I look back on my career and on my personal life and my attempts at work-life balance.


  1. Graduating from dental school is still one of the things I am most proud of.
  2. Two of the many best days in my life were starting and ending dental school.
  3. The friends I had in dental school are still my friends today, even if I don’t get to talk with them or see them often. I can call any of them up, and they understand what I am going through, and they offer support because they are one of the few who can ever realize the difficulties or strife of what it takes to care for patients or run a dental practice.
  4. Some people would rather spend thousands of dollars on their cars, vacations, and homes rather than on their oral health.
  5. Some people would rather spend thousands of dollars on their mouths and oral health rather than on their homes, cars, and vacations.
  6. I get to choose how I react to those people mentioned in #5 or #6.
  7. My personal life does affect my professional life, and, therefore, my personal life needs as much C.E. and attention as my professional life does.
  8. By picking the right life partner, I have been able to accomplish personal and professional goals. Without his support and willingness to pitch in, I would have been limited in my professional life.
  9. Even by picking the right partner, marriage is difficult when owning a dental practice, and it requires compromises and constant nurturing to ensure it lasts.
  10. Getting counsel from others is necessary. No one can go it alone. Having an entire support network of personal and professional friends was and is crucial to my overall success.
  11. Firing certain friends, family members, colleagues, or co-workers is sometimes necessary and never easy.
  12. It’s better to be kind than to be clever.
  13. Creating new systems is an affective way to change behaviors.
  14. Getting angry with an employee is usually a lack of control on my part or a deficiency in my communication of expectations.
  15. Learning to manage my stress makes everyone’s life more pleasant and makes me less of a jerk.
  16. 20% of the people really do accomplish 80% of the work.
  17. If you can turn bad things into good things, or negative phrases into positive ones, it’s a much better world to live in.
  18. Once I learned to choose faith over fear, my stress levels decreased tremendously.
  19. Love is love, and everyone needs it—even if someone drives me crazy or offends me.
  20. Being a mom is one of the greatest gifts I could ever receive.

There is never really balance when it comes to work life and personal life. It’s always different and often lop-sided. Doing the best we can for the person right in front of us is all we can do. We can make adjustments when one part takes over our lives and we feel empty in one way or another. We have the ability to do almost anything.

Work-life balance is possible.

No Comments

Post A Comment