The nice thing about dentistry is that you have the opportunity to choose your own culture based on your own set of values. I am fond of the expression by Boston Philharmonic maestro, Ben Zander: “It’s all invented anyway.” In his book The Art of Possibility, he describes the meaning of that expression:
“The frames our minds create define — and confine — what we perceive to be possible. Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear. This practice we refer to by the catch-phrase, it’s all invented, is the most fundamental of all the practices we present in this book. When you bring to mind it’s all invented, you remember that it’s all a story you tell — not just some of it, but all of it. And remember, too, that every story you tell is founded on a network of hidden assumptions. If you learn to notice and distinguish these stories, you will be able to break through the barriers of any “box” that contains unwanted conditions and create other conditions or narratives that support the life you envision for yourself and those around you. We do not mean that you can just make anything up and have it magically appear. We mean that you can shift the framework to one whose underlying assumptions allow for the conditions you desire. Let your thoughts and actions spring from the new framework and see what happens.”
What type of practice do you want? I see so many dentists these days struggling with defining their practices. They have family practices, cosmetic practices, insurance driven practices, preventive practices, holistic practices, and my favorite, the spa practice. I wonder how many dentists actually thought about defining their practices based on their values? I chose to have a comprehensive care practice based not only on my values but also on my personal concept of health.