As the year ticks over and the holidays progress it gives the chance for reflection.
Here are my four essential secrets for successful dentistry:
Focus on your strengths
There are some things that I'm great at (e.g. crowns) and some things I'm lousy at (e.g. kid's dentistry).
The more time per day you spend on your strengths and the less time you spend on your weaknesses, the more happy and successful you will be.
In 2017 think how you can get rid of the things you are bad at and fill up the free time created with things you are good at.
Do the things you enjoy
Fortunately, nothing says that you have to be all things to all people.
If you hate dentures, you don't have to do them. If a patient is pain in the neck who comes late, complains constantly and is aggressive to the staff send them elsewhere.
If you do things you enjoy on people who appreciate you, your life in dentistry will be much happier and more productive.
Getting paid less than what you deserve is a recipe for unhappiness.
Charge enough that you feel happy and well rewarded for your care skill and judgment. Don't forget to factor in equipment depreciation, CPD, holidays and retirement.
Nothing is worse than reaching 65 years of age with a sore back, nothing saved and an office full of worn out equipment.
You can always improve. No matter how good you are now there is always a new way of looking at things.
Are you constantly playing what-if games to see if you can get better?
Have a great 2017!
There they are — my four secrets to successful dentistry.
The Art of Case Acceptance, Melbourne Saturday 25 February. Get to do more of the dentistry you enjoy.