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A Great Profession

By David Campbell, DDS | April 04, 2017

by David Campbell, DDS

What a great profession! As an older dentist, I was reminiscing the other day, thinking back to before composites, when our wonderful services scarred a tooth with a black filling. I remember a friend who did an acrylic filling with white acrylic on his wife in 1970. It was a front tooth and lasted her entire life. It was just a denture repair acrylic and had no bond, but what an interesting experimental service.

We are much further along now as a profession. We don't experiment with our family members. Or do we? How often are we tempted to try the latest and greatest inventions on our family members? The profession of dentistry has a vibrant community of research and development. We are constantly bombarded with clever shortcuts and solutions that promise to revolutionize our practice. Likewise, the temptation to incorporate the latest practice management is constant and enticing with promises. We each have our unique personalities that make this more relevant to some in our Christian community and not a problem for others.

As a Christian community of dentists, it's great to see our brethren succeed and flourish. Likewise, we need to sympathize and come alongside those who are struggling. Where are we going with this discussion? I have communicated in the past in these posts about the unique paths dentists can explore in the profession. We often take paths that are connected with innovative technology or practice management innovations. I'd like to focus on these as expressions of our faith. Our professional service is our expression of our love for our patients. As we review our services and look for ways of improvement, prayer should be a part of the process. Wise counsel should be part of the process. God's word should be part of the process. We often separate our professional growth from our spiritual growth, but our professional growth done from a biblical perspective is foundational to the concept of exercising our love for others. Finding Godly counsel, using prayer and searching for wisdom from the Scriptures is our professional responsibility as Christians.

My colleague who experimented on his wife was, in fact, way ahead of his time. The profession has improved on his technique, yet really has only equaled his success. Here at CMDA, we provide wise counselors in the healthcare profession to create excellent opportunities for practicing as Christians. We have resources that are the products of extremely wise counsel from those who have searched the Scriptures and prayed for wisdom in leading the expression of their faith in their professional services. I have delved in a complex practice environment with multiple practices and inter-generational transition. Without the focus of CMDA in my life, I would not have found the joy in practicing that I have right now. Toward the end of my professional career, with colleagues retiring and many wondering about purpose in their last years, I still have joy in practicing. I am not doing as much in complexity of technique, but the practice management and the charity world of federally funded health center leadership is still stretching my capabilities. I credit the unique blessing of CMDA’s focus on my professional growth for the satisfaction I have in the profession. I encourage young professionals to pursue CMDA resources. Apply the advice of CMDA resources. Get to know your regional leaders. The decisions you make may be wrong from other's points of view, because I have had to close some practices and leave some communities along the way. But, like my colleague's experiment, you can only match the results, in terms of practice satisfaction and ultimate success in glorifying God with the dedication of our lives.

 Praise God.

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