Not too long ago, it was far less common to see or be a woman in dentistry. Modernizing norms and improvements to social equity have changed the game for women in a variety of careers. Not only are women choosing male-dominated professions, they’re also staying in them over a lifetime.
In the 80s and 90s, it was a different story.
Dr. Glenda Owen graduated from dental school in the early 80s. In her last blog, she related the challenges she faced while receiving an education. Below, she details the drastic change in percentage of women dentists and how women have influenced the model of a dental career …
Being a Woman in Dentistry: Then and Now
The percentage of women dentists has also changed dramatically. When I graduated in 1981, 3% of practicing dentists were women. Today, that percentage has swelled to 30%. Nationwide, 50% of dental school classes are female.
My class, which was actually pretty progressive, had 20% women. Admittedly, not all of them are still practicing 36 years later, but neither are the men. Among those who are still in practice, many, like me, are practice owners.
There are a multitude of ways women have influenced the model of a dental practice and the definition of success. It is not enough to be technically excellent or to earn a comfortable income.
Many of us want to find satisfaction in our relationships with patients and our teams. We want to go home at the end of the day feeling that we have made a difference in someone’s life. We want to leave the office with enough energy to enjoy our families, friends, hobbies, and volunteer activities. Burnout is deadly and usually avoidable.
To be continued …
How do you create an ideal practice environment that supports your desired lifestyle? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!