Cecil the lion

Someone hunted and killed a now world-famous lion in Zimbabwe. By now, unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you know about the dentist at the center of this controversial act. An avid hunter, he shot, stalked and beheaded this animal to be added to his collection of trophies.

The media had been all over this story. The dentist has closed his practice and gone into hiding. The Internet has been ablaze with stories, commentary and personal threats. I am not, in the least, sorry for this dentist, though I don’t think capital punishment is called for.

There has, unfortunately, also been some blowback against my profession . A Washington Post article titled “Why dentists are so darn rich?”, used the tragic story as a launching pad for a commentary on the high cost of dental care. After all, they claim, how else could a dentist afford over $50,000 for this adventure? I’ll give a possible explanation below.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about BIAS and the title of the WP article is a perfect example. The word “darn” is otherwise superfluous. It indicts all dentists as somehow being less deserving of being wealthy than others.

As you might imagine, I look at this story from a different perspective.

Is it important for you to know about your Doctors’ ethics and values?

My mother was famous for insisting that she “like” her doctors. She felt that a ‘connection’ was important. Studies actually support her. They show that a patient’s emotional connection to their physician actually results in better compliance and more positive treatment outcomes. “The Doctor-Patient relationship” is one of the cornerstones of modern medicine and is discussed in all medical ethics courses.

I think healthcare is all about relationships. It’s at the core of my crusade against what’s happening in healthcare today. You cannot put a value on a relationship. There’s no insurance code for it. Like all relationships, it takes time to develop and work to maintain. 

The better I know you, the better I can care for you too. It’s a 2-way street. 

Here’s a little secret!

I write these emails to you in an effort to maintain our relationship and let you know me better. If you know us better, you’ll appreciate our ethics, our integrity and our values. And, I get to know you too, as many of you respond to these emails. 

Ethics, Integrity and Values

Are they important to you? I believe they are. Since I believe that everyone has a bias, you might want to know that our overriding concern is for your long-term health and wellness.

These are so important to us, that we discuss them at our regular staff meetings. It ‘s important to me that everyone at Manhattan Dental Health have shared values and ethics. Integrity is a core value as well.

For me, letting you know as much about me as possible is important. It’s the least I can do to help you trust that your well being is foremost on my mind.

I won’t be shooting animals, other than with my camera.


(deer in my backyard)

To everyone’s health and wellness,


P.S. This hunter-dentist’s wife sold her share in her family’s business in 2012 for millions! You won’t find a story about that in the Washington Post.