Recently Dr Warr and I were talking about the office and in our conversation, we hit on a topic that I found to be quite fascinating. We ended up talking about the things that mean the most to people. What are their emotional treasures? Humans make decisions based on what they feel is right. Hopefully, there is some measure of truth guiding that decision, but sometimes we do things because we just have that gut feeling or instinct maybe. Neither of us are psychologists though so naturally, our discussion was about dentistry.
Specifically, what do patients really value most at the office? Is it the relationship with the staff or the providers? Could it be the experience of the providers? Maybe, the level of care they receive? Is it the technology we use? How about the kind of crowns or implants or the gooey impression material that gets used? Is it the gentle way the doc gives a shot? Is it the cost of treatment?
Maybe it’s an amalgamation (we don’t use silver amalgams anymore, but the word was cool, so I threw it in for a little dental comic relief) of all or some of the above. I think it’s something intangible.
I think it’s how you feel when you are here.
I could be totally wrong about this, but hear me out:
When patients come into our office there is a different feeling in the air. We genuinely like being there. We are happy. That may be the core of why we do what we do. To make people happy. Every patient encounter, I hope, is a great one. I hope we talk, we laugh, and ultimately at the end of your treatment you are happy. You feel confident in that smile of yours and you take pride in your oral health. But most of all, I hope you feel that we respected you, met you where you were, and helped elevate your being.
What means the most to me? Well to answer that question, I had to ask myself what do I hate the most? What situation can I completely and terribly refuse to be in? The answer took time, but it finally occurred to me. I hate when someone else is sad, especially when there is something I could have done to make them happy. Sure, there are times when grief is needed. I’m not talking about those times. I’m talking about when someone CAN be happy IF you engage and help them.
So that’s it!! I love helping other people to be happy. That’s what matters most to me. I realize that I’ve picked an awful difficult profession to make other people happy, but maybe that’s because that’s where it’s needed the most.