YOU’VE GOT TO LOVE IT
Judging from the buzz on Facebook, this blog post entitled 10 Reasons Your Dentist Probably Hates You Too, has really struck a chord with a lot of dentists. It’s written by a (now former) dentist who decided to leave the profession, but before she did, she ran down her list of pet peeves she had with patients.
I can understand why many of you would relate to her catalogue of frustrations (what is there to like about patients who habitually cancel at the last minute?), but I think the real reason she gave up on the profession is right there in her introduction, where she writes “I am a dentist who really didn’t love being a dentist.”
I’m sure her point is that if she didn’t have all these issues with patients, she would love being a dentist. But I think you have to turn it around. I think you have to start from a mindset of loving what you do, and that is what gives you the motivation to deal with these issues in a positive way. That’s what gives you the patience to deal with the recurring nuisance problems, and that’s what gives you the inspiration and energy to tackle the bigger value-creation issues that we see in her list. If you truly love what you do, these problems are not deal-breakers.
The mindset of the successful dentist has to be similar to the mindset of a parent. Not that you should treat your patients like children, you just have to remind yourself that any relationship that’s worthwhile comes with challenges. Raising kids can seem like a never-ending series of challenges, complaints, frustrations, anxieties, sacrifices…and yet most parents will tell you their children are their greatest joy in life. And they’re not lying. It’s just that when it comes to their kids, they’re not tallying up a balance sheet of pros and cons – they’re starting from a place of immense love, and that makes all the difference in the world.
Any profession worth being a part of is going to come with its own set of challenges, as I suspect this former dentist is going to find with her next endeavor. As I always say, wherever you go, you take yourself with you. And if you start the journey with a mindset of love – and a mind open to possibilities – you’ll find yourself engaging with the inevitable challenges in a positive and empowering way.