Thoughts on Becoming Perfect: Part 2

Dental failure and being ‘perfect’ in patient care is a key stressor for dentists. In her first blog on this topic, Dr. Brummett talked about deciding to work toward perfection rather than feeling frustrated about not achieving it. Read on for the rest of her story:

Stop Trying to Be the Right Kind of Perfect

The next morning after my revelation about perfection, I woke up, had coffee, and realized the patient who had been the focus of my upset (over a mistake I made) had texted me. She wrote, “Good morning Dr. Brummett! I just wanted to let you know that I am doing well and have not had any pain.”

What? My patient was doing well, texting me to tell me how well, and she was thanking me?

A quest to provide myself with a new perspective and a reminder acronym began. This perspective would hopefully take shape so that I could share it with my team, my children, and anyone suffering from the punching match of perfection.

Perfection can be the root of depression and upset, which is why becoming perfect will be my focus and acceptance of the process my goal. Perfect will stand for seven perfect words:

P is for position, as it’s good to remain humble about one’s status.

E is for effort, not the result.

R is for resilience, as I will fall, get back up, and grow from the failures.           

F is for facing the fear, embracing the challenge, and striving in the face of fear.

E is for empathy, treating myself and others with compassion.

C is for courage, as though I might not have a cape, I can still use my whole heart.

T is for trust, because with perseverance I can trust that everything will work out.

Later that day, my patient contacted me again and wanted me to know one last thing. She said, “I forgot to thank you for your gentle touch.”

This acknowledgment really drove home the point to me. I will attempt to stop looking through my rearview mirror and look forward through the front window of my life. I will allow myself, and encourage others, to become.

I am thankful for Dr. Pankey’s courage to share his failures and for our patients that believe in us and show us gratitude and appreciation. Now, isn’t that perfect? 

Kelley Brummett DMD

Dr. Kelley D. Brummett was born and raised in Missouri. She attended the University of Kansas on a full-ride scholarship in springboard diving and received honors for being the Big Eight Diving Champion on the 1 meter springboard in 1988 and in 1992. Dr. Kelley received her BA in communication at the University of Kansas and went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After practicing nursing, Dr Kelley Brummett went on to earn a degree in Dentistry at the Medical College of Georgia. She has continued her education at the Pankey Institute to further her love of learning and her pursuit to provide quality individual care. Dr. Brummett is a Clinical Instructor at Georgia Regents University and is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Brummett and her husband Darin have two children, Sarah and Sam. They have made Newnan their home for the past 9 years. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and playing with her dogs. Dr. Brummett is an active member of the ADA, GDA, AGDA, and an alumni of the Pankey Institute.

Kelley Brummett DMD

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