DentistryPractice Management

Work Life Philosophy: Play Part 2

This blog is a continuation of an excerpt from Dr. Bill Davis’ upcoming Pankey Insider article. Here, Dr. Davis explores the concept of ‘play’ as a key facet of Pankey Philosophy:

Artistry, Dentistry, and Play

Anthropologist Ashley Montagu, in his book, Growing Young, lists what he calls “neotenous traits,” characteristics of a youthful attitude toward life. These include curiosity, love, friendship, taking pleasure in problem-solving, exploration, invention, imagination. All of these are facets of play.

Another dimension of play is that of creation. There is an element of artistry in dentistry itself, but many dentists also find pleasure and satisfaction in other forms of artistic creation, such as gardening, making stained glass windows, cabinet-making, restoring antique automobiles, sculpting.

Creativity can be therapeutic, as well as fun. A man in Michigan took up playing the bones when he was past 65 to try to reverse an arthritic condition in his hands. Today, he plays at folk festivals, concerts and other gatherings, and his hands are even more supple than ever. His spirit is supple as well.

Is there enough play in your life? Do you enjoy leisure activities with your family and friends? Or do you find yourself talking shop even while playing golf? When was the last time you asked a waitress or mail person if she or he had heard any good jokes? What activities do you do for the sheer pleasure of doing them?

Have you seen any good sunsets lately? Is there something creative that you’ve always wanted to do but “never had time?” Do you have an urge to ask your children to teach you skate-boarding or hacky sack? The longer you wait, the more you will miss.

What keeps you spirited and engaged in your dental career? Please share your insight with the Pankey community in the comments! 

Bill Davis

William J. Davis DDS, MS is practicing dentist and a Professor at the University of Toledo in the College Of Medicine. He has been directing a hospital based General Practice Residency for past 40 years. Formal education at Marquette, Sloan Kettering Michigan, the Pankey Institute and Northwestern. In 1987 he co-authored a book with Dr. L.D. Pankey, “A Philosophy of the Practice of Dentistry”. Bill has been married to his wife, Pamela, for 50 years. They have three adult sons and four grandchildren. When not practicing dentistry he teaches flying.

One thought on “Work Life Philosophy: Play Part 2

  • I’ve got the Dremel tools in the garage. Need to find the patient!


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