Dentistry is a
rewarding and satisfying profession, but what makes dental school graduates
Exercising good judgment means exhibiting humility. Accept that you don’t
know everything, and when you make a mistake, for example, in choosing a
staff member that’s not the right fit for your patients or practice, learn
from it by promptly correcting it, reflecting on how you would handle it
differently in the future, and then move on.
Being organized is a skill that’s important in every aspect of your life,
and particularly so in your career. When you’ve established a clear set of
goals for yourself and your business, you are less stressed, more
productive and, most importantly, you have the time to focus on providing
quality care to your patients.
Critical thinking—the art of using reason to analyze ideas and dig deeper
to get to our true potential—isn’t about thinking more or thinking harder, it’s about thinking better. It requires
discipline, motivation and the ability to take an honest look at a
particular situation, even when faced with an uncomfortable reality. It’s
about questioning your assumptions, adjusting your perspective and
understanding your own bias. It’s also about putting yourself in other
people’s shoes, understanding all of your options and being willing to
fail until you succeed. As a dentist dedicated to improving the level of
oral health care available to your patients and all of society, critical
thinking is an important skill to possess.
Maintaining a professional persona is critical to becoming a successful
dentist. You must be competent, reliable, honest, accountable for your
actions and be able to remain cool and calm under pressure.
Being a skilled negotiator is critical in most professions and dentistry
is no different. Whether it is managing expectations around employee
salaries or discussing fees with insurance companies, being an active
listener, maintaining emotional control and upholding your ethics are
vital to successfully negotiating any situation.
To build up your reputation, credibility and, ultimately, your client base
and practice, dentists must be comfortable engaging in different
networking opportunities and situations, keeping in mind that the most
effective networking is not solely about you and your needs. Successful
networking involves asking someone else what they need and connecting them
with someone you know and trust. Most importantly, networking is about
giving first, without the expectation of something in return. It’s true what
they say—those who give, get.
Superior eye-hand coordination as a dentist is critical to ensuring the
safety of your patients and the integrity of the profession.
- Maintain continuing
As a dentist, you must be committed to constantly expanding your knowledge base
and skills, and in turn, passing along that newly discovered wisdom to other
colleagues to advance the profession of dentistry. The best way to enhance
patient care is to dedicate yourself to evolving your own understanding of the
profession and the needs of your community.