It Really Is A Fun Job

August 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Buck @ 3:51 pm

Yesterday I had a junior in high school ask if I enjoyed what I do and if I would become a dentist all over again. Without hesitation, I emphatically said yes. You see I was the cliche that said I wanted to go to college to become a doctor, more specifically an orthopedist (fixing broken things has always fascinated me). Well the more I discovered about medical school and the healthcare system from doctors I shadows at the local ER, the more I wasn’t so sure. I came from a family in which my dad was a factory worker and my mom was a teacher and while they were very supportive, I didn’t have any family members that could mentor me in a healthcare career. I enjoyed science/health classes and I enjoyed working with my hands through woodworking, model building, and playing sports so a family friend told me to check out dentistry. So I volunteered at a couple dental offices, went to school and the rest is history.
So back to the teenager from yesterday. He was interested in a dental career so we talked about some of the things that may help him move toward that goal. I thought posting them here might be helpful to others looking toward that career path. One thing we discussed is visiting or working at a local dental office. Gaining first hand experiences will always allow you to discover and learn about a future career. It also allows you to network and get the word out that you are interested in this field. This is especially important when you are applying for dental school or looking at associate dental positions after dental school. There are many dentists out there who know each other through continuing education, discussion boards, and study clubs. The other suggestion is an obvious one. You have to focus and be driven to do well in school. Take opportunities to take AP classes especially in math and the sciences. Separate yourself from your classmates by getting good grades and being active in extracurricular activities. In college, whenever I felt I lost focus to get into dental school, I would go shadow the local dentist. I would watch the cool stuff he did and he would tell me how he actually liked coming to work each day. That would give me the motivation to push forward and achieve my goals.
Some people say they hate coming to the dentist and to them the dentist represents pain and discomfort (our practice puts a huge focus on minimizing any pain or discomfort so hopefully our patients don’t feel quite as cynical). However, the ability to make people healthy and proud to smile is what drives me each day. I’m not saying that it’s all flowers and rainbows every minute of each work day. But I have an opportunity to provide for my family while going to work each day with the anticipation that I can help someone feel better or improve their quality of life. That is why I would do it all over again. And I hope to have a long, fulfilling career with challenges and successes. So if you know a young person who is interested in a dental career, have them contact us. My staff and I love what we do and are happy to show a perspective dentist, hygienist, or dental assistant a real world dental experience.