The best advice comes from people who have lived it, so we asked a few of our editorial board members to share their words of wisdom as you embark upon your dental career.
Bruce Pynn, MSc, DDS, FRCD (C), Thunder Bay, ON
Be compassionate to the patient and their family. Provide good comprehensive care and you will be rewarded both professionally and personally.
Marina Polonsky, DDS, MSc, Ottawa, ON
Take as much CE as you can. Start practising what you learned right away. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; that’s how we learn new skills and eventually become proficient.
Fay Goldstep, DDS, Richmond Hill, ON
Try your best, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve perfection. It does not exist! Do what you enjoy and are good at – filter out the rest. You will sleep better that way and will be excited to start your next day. Never ever stop learning! New knowledge and skills will keep you alive, refreshed, energized and in charge of your professional career. Good luck!
Peter C. Fritz, BSc, DDS, PhD., FRCD (C), MBA, LLM (candidate), Fonthill, ON
Never stop learning because the world around you never stops teaching. Given the choice between success and its eternal pursuit, take the pursuit. Your professional success is governed by information and relationships. Stay curious, keep challenging yourself to be a better dentist five years from now. Be a positive catalyst for constant improvement in your community by building and strengthening networks with your charm. A culture of perpetual learning and innovation is the key to the future.
Take care of your mind, body and soul. Dentistry can be a stressful, physical profession and you are the critical resource. Protect the critical resource by having a plan with respect to nutrition, exercise and mental health. The rate of change will never be as slow as it is today. Always be prepared to lead the people around you through unforeseen and complicated situations.
Never in history has today been so temporary. Our story today is our future history, so be as inspiring and kind as possible to the characters in your story. The future is incredibly bright, so always wear sunscreen.
Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, President and CEO Cellerant Consulting Group, Washington, DC
You graduate with a differentiator: You understand technology and digital workflow, and have an easier time with new technology and social media. Traditional dentists have more experience, of course, in clinical dentistry. This can be the perfect match instead of just a DSO pathway. Find a practitioner looking for an associate. He/she can grow you clinically while you grow the practice with the skill sets you have, and they need.
James Yacyshyn, BSc, DDS, MASc, Edmonton, AB
My advice would be to shadow as many clinicians as you can, in order to appreciate how varied our profession is. When you find a practice that appears to fit your ideal, figure out how you can learn from them, be mentored by them, coached by them. Never underestimate people’s willingness to support you. Students are the future of our profession, and anyone currently practicing should take an interest in those expressing interest in our profession.