This week, actually TODAY, June 27th, I celebrate 40 years in private practice. I can hardly believe how quickly it’s gone by.
And a special shout out to Janet, who was a patient on my first day of practice and still sees me regularly. How’s that for a long-term relationship?
I’ve learned quite a bit through “practice.” I guess when I get it right, I’ll stop. Until then…you’re stuck with ‘ol doc Michael.’
Here’s some of what I’ve learned.
- Some of what they taught me in school worked.
- Some did not.
- What I learned in dental school, while important, was not what made me successful. It was my thirst for knowledge, passion and ability to adapt to change that did.
- Most of what I learned has changed.
- Change has been a constant
- Most of my colleagues in academics and practice are resistant to change.
- I started out thinking conformity would lead to success. I found out that being an outlier was more important.
- If money is your motivation, healthcare isn’t the place for you.
- Seeing long-term results is more satisfying to me than a short-term success, but I need both.
- Teaching may not pay well, but it has helped me learn.
- Real estate in Manhattan is not a game for the meek nor the shallow-pocketed.
- Giving back gives me purpose and great joy.
- Cloning myself is not an option
- Having a great team is a necessity of practicing at the highest level.
- Having a healthy family and social life supports a healthy practice.
- Time away from the practice actually supports it.
- I’ve learned as much from my patients as I’ve given them; perhaps more!
- I truly feel honored to be trusted with people’s health. No amount of money can buy that feeling. But winning the lottery would be nice.
- Why retire when you love what you do and can still do it well?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help you, your family, your friends and colleagues. Thanks to those who have followed me around Manhattan in my various offices. Thanks to all who have shared their stories. Thanks to all who I now call friend instead of patient. I hope I’ve justified your trust and I hope to do so for many more years to come.
Finally, I learned one more thing.
20. Being a Dentist has never been about ME. It’s always been about YOU.
To many more years of providing excellent health and wellness,