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Many of our delegates want to talk about money. They, like you and me, often want more.  In fact, on reflection, I have never heard of a dentist complaining because they earn too much. I’m sure I never will. They start one of our diploma courses and, midway through, things are looking brighter. Their schedules go up. Their principals are more…

17

Nov

We say this to our patients every day. But you know, for now, they are ok. It’s you I’m asking. You may be fine. You may not need or want any help. How can someone like me possibly offer help to you? If that’s what you’re thinking, then stop reading, go do your hair, pout and take a selfie. Bye. But…

4

Nov

At the start of each Aspire season we put a lot of effort into getting to know the delegates. Many are shy, some are self-assured, but there are threads of commonality across all. Walking into a room full of relative strangers and talking about dentistry can be slightly uncomfortable for lots of people. It’s actually cathartic when they realise that all…

21

Oct

Many, if not most, important things in life are generated internally and not taken from the external. Things that satisfy your soul. Things that strengthen your family bonds, your community, your inner well being. These are all internally made. When interviewed about how he selects his senior executives, how he found his most successful staff, how he reliably predicts whether start-ups…

30

Jun

You are probably quite bad at setting goals. You probably haven’t thought the subject through and dedicated enough time and discussion to it. I’ll pressure you to come up with some significant and meaningful goals on the count of three: 1,2, 3 GO! Did you mumble vague clichés like ‘be happy’ ‘enjoy life and work’ ‘find love’ – all the gibber-jabber…

I do not know about you, but when I go to work as a GDP, I have goals I work towards. Now, for you, your goals may be slightly different but ultimately, I expect we are all after: 1. Happy and Healthy Patients 2. Successful Clinical Outcomes 3. Adequate Financial Remuneration (adequate will mean different things to different practitioners) 4. Healthy…

20

May

Paragone

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One of the driving forces behind the Italian Renaissance was a belief that to see and thence appreciate art’s real significance, you had to pit one creative talent against another. This idea had its own name: Paragone (painting vs. sculpture vs. architecture). Paragone began with social discussions about pieces of art but developed into open debate, and in the halls of…

10

May

I am a big fan of investing—investing in myself is what I mean. Whether through self-development books, courses or simply buying something that makes my life easier and less stressful is an investment worthwhile. Do you agree? Today I want to talk about dental investing. I attended countless useless lectures and seminars in my vocational training year. However, there was one…

6

May

How do you get a lot of people to read and share your blogs? How do you draw attention to them and get people talking? How to create the ‘buzz’ and media frenzy? The answer hasn’t changed much. If you want to gather people in the town square, put a corrupt politician in the stocks or publicly hang them. If you…

Or perhaps that should read: ‘Hating what you can’t do, but are forced to do if you want to get paid’? It may be a natural foible of the human condition that we dislike taking part in activities where we feel inadequate, weak or less able than our peers. Professional performance that leads to praise, adulation and contemporaries clicking the ‘like’…

21

Apr

We work in a profession, and indeed live in a world, where our flight/fight/fright response is continuously triggered. We are overwhelmed with stress complexity, bathed in neon blue lights, underexposed to the sun (working inside all day), consumers of sugars, carbs, alcohol, fake fats, maddened by our inability to grasp the enormity of an interconnected world (how much time do you…

15

Apr

Success and a perceived advantage will nearly always promote envy. Not from all. But always from some. The person feeling envy can be a friend, a virtual friend (social media only) a colleague or—for the purposes of this blog—a patient. In fact dentistry is rife with enviers. It provides the fuel for so much of the interpersonal acrimony and vociferous negativity…

8

Apr

It’s been interesting to receive feedback during the release of this blog series on ‘difficult personalities’. There has been a lot of gratitude, people recognising certain traits from patients they dread, laughs at the predictable and almost identical behaviour different patients exhibit to different dentists, and for me the most important part is people writing to say the blogs have helped…

The difference between neurotics and psychotics is to be understood by deciphering the picture. Neurotics live on the ground like you and me. But, whilst living alongside you, they can also see the castle in the sky. They also see real life, people, their dentist, their doctor, their Instagram feed, the cat and the dog. They can also see a flying…

25

Mar

The Pampered Prince/Princess: They will draw you in with their regal air. They are calm and ever so slightly imbued with a feeling of superiority. It is pleasant to meet people who appear confident and destined to wear a crown. But beware. They act superior because they consider you staff—hired help to answer their every need. You may have more sympathy…

15

Mar

The second type of potentially difficult person we will explore together is the Drama Magnet (DM). Something is always wrong. Always. And, of course, once a problem is in the past, another one emerges. When discussing their drama, the drama magnet is full of energy and can be initially compelling. However, they only want your sympathy and support – often not…

11

Mar

Their posts allow you to fleetingly marvel at a truly remarkable person. In their photos, they are always smiling and apparently having a fantastic time. They take trips to the most exciting exotic locales. They make a point of always supporting the best and latest causes because ‘it’s important to give back’ (and tell the whole world you are doing it)….

Zeus. King of all the Gods. His wife is a goddess; his many girlfriends are all 10/10s or other goddesses. He lives in a glowing palace on top of a mountain and is King of the Universe. All the other gods bow to him, every creature alive fears and respects him. He is the King. King of the Gods. Interestingly, the…

25

Feb

I was asked to provide some remedial training for a postgraduate student training at a major London teaching hospital around three years ago. He was in the final year of training, and as he approached his final exam to gain an MClinDent in Prosthodontics and get on the specialist list some cracks had started to show. A number of case study…

Imagine I ask you to write your name down on a piece of paper. You are completely competent to do this; indeed, you will be an expert. So if this were to be done in front of a peer or a panel of judges I doubt it would raise your heart rate significantly. There would be no sweat on your brow….

If you are struggling at work and what you are doing isn’t working, you must accept that you don’t really know what you are doing. This applies to your endodontics, your preparations, your adhesive bridges, your ability to make patients like and trust you, and almost any other aspect of your professional life. The dentists you admire don’t have magic hands….

18

Sep

Failure

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Our perceptions count here. A failure can ruin your month. It’s repercussions can last and last. It can introduce doubt and personal anxiety. It can make a patient’s name on the day list increase your heart rate and dread their arrival. Why did that endo fail? Am I the only one who this happens to? Everyone else just seems to get…

9

Aug

Have I done well enough? My Facebook feed is often full of £10k watches and AMGs and Michelin stars – and that’s just on dental groups. Principals with massive silver cars posting about which celebrity they are dining with. Associates placing their fiftieth implant that week before flying business class to a Greek island for the long weekend. Hashtags usually follow….