One of the gifts of dentistry is that we get to drive our vision and create the practice that engages and fulfills us. There are really very few professions with such limitless possibilities.
If you dream about working three days a week, you can create that. If you want to work from 7-3 or 3-10 you can. Do you love doing endo procedures? Then you can do them. If you dislike doing pediatric dentistry, then you can choose to refer it all out.
How to Practice Dentistry in a Way That Fulfills You
There is no one way to practice dentistry. This is an incredible gift and for me makes dentistry one of the best professions. Having this amount of choice also comes with some challenges and responsibilities.
The first challenge is accepting the gift of choice. Dentistry is full of outside pressures that can drive how we practice if we choose to let them. These pressures may come from other members of our team, other dentists we know, insurance carriers, or our own beliefs.
Along with choice comes the responsibility for choices, their execution, and their outcomes. Creating the practice you dream about may not happen overnight. It will require a thoughtful plan and the commitment to execute it, but it is within your reach.
The place to start is to allow yourself to dream and dream big. Walk on the beach, find a quiet space, and just let go of the constraints of how things are now. Imagine what it would look like to practice dentistry and LOVE it.
As you imagine this preferred future, tap into your emotions. If you find yourself excited, energized, and propelled to action, then this is the path to start to walk down. Refrain from asking yourself “How” you will create it.
Once you have a vision for how you want to practice, now it is time to ask the “how” question and remember anything is possible. The question is what will it take to create it. Begin with a timeline and ask yourself how long from now you want to have the practice you just dreamed about.
On the right hand side of the timeline is that preferred future. On the left hand side is today and how things look today. Then work backwards from the future and place milestones in time and change along the way.
Remember, for everything you want, there will be something to give up or some cost, but it is possible!
How have you designed or wanted to design your dream practice? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!