I am proud to announce the publication of my latest book, The Complete Dentist: Positive Leadership and Communication Skills for Success in Dentistry.
While writing this book I went through many emotional ups and downs. My past books were about specific procedures like the examination and case presentation. This book was borne out of the thought of “what really matters” for a career in dentistry.
I wanted it to be relevant for today’s younger dentists. My own career path was a very bumpy road, and I practiced at a time before the professional landscape became so difficult to practice with a sense of autonomy. I began practice before insurance, before HMOs, PPOs, advertising and corporate influence.
I wanted to write a book that could work in any environment. One that focused more on the overall well-being of the dentist. I wanted to write a book that didn’t focus on technical dentistry or dental marketing or ways to “get new patients.”
Looking over my 45 years in dental practice I realized that dentistry was less about the technology of the day and more about making it work so that I could sleep at night, knowing I did my very best and spend time building a thriving practice and life.
Those who know me personally know that I spent a lot of time studying positive psychology. I found that the answers to the “big questions” that young dentists want to know, lie in positive leadership and communication. Along the way we want to do excellent dentistry.
Our culture rewards mediocrity. The word mediocre actually means “halfway up the mountain.” My feeling is that if we are going to take a journey up the mountain we might as well go all the way to the top…not just halfway. This books explains how to get to the top.
After reading this book I hope you will agree, that in today’s professional environment, our dental education does not equip young dentists to adequately deal with the leadership and communication skills necessary to practice truly excellent dentistry...dentistry that is not only satisfying for the patient but meaningful. Dentistry that is part of the bigger overall healthcare of our patients. This is not today’s dentistry.
Third parties and the forces outside of the profession have taken over how dentists practice. As I said I had some low points while writing the book…even I, while writing a book about positive leadership, sometimes heard a voice in my head saying, “what’s the use?”
In re-reading my own book I became even more inspired because leaders are never satisfied with the status quo (mediocrity?)—leaders are always about change. The status quo in the dental profession right now is at its lowest levels. It’s up to dentists to take on more of a leadership role—this die has not been cast.
If you read my book- and I hope you do—I would love to open up an ongoing conversation. If you feel the desire to share–please do. The book and the ideas are important.