Dominate your field

Editor’s Note: Dr. Elizabeth Mueller, a pediatric dentist in Cincinnati, is the ODA Annual Session 2018 general chairman. Throughout the year, she will be sharing details on some of her favorite CE programs being offered during the ODA’s 152nd Annual Session, Sept. 13-16, 2018 in Columbus.

I am reading the book “All Buts Stink! How to Live Your Best Life and Eliminate Excuses” by Walter Bond, a former NBA player and motivational speaker. Walter talks about how to get on the next level of success. He says the key to promotion is your current situation. You are not entitled to more until you have maximized what you already have. If you dominate where you are now, the next level will be right around the corner. You must be AWESOME at your current responsibilities. Not only should you think you’re awesome, the rest of the dental team must think you’re awesome.

So what is the game plan for becoming awesome in dentistry? First of all, you need to master the clinical information. Endeavor to become an expert in this field. I received maybe 20 percent of my dental knowledge in dental school. 80 percent came from my commitment to continuing dental education, networking and learning from practitioners more experienced than I, and trying/adopting/discarding new techniques. This can take a lifetime, and if you are lucky, you’ll enjoy it for a lifetime.

Secondly, you must respect and understand all the other skills required to be an outstanding practitioner. Relationship building abilities with patients and staff rivals the need to acquire clinical skills. Understanding the business of dentistry, and liking it, will also enable you to dominate in your current position.

Thirdly, you must participate, with passion, in maintaining dentistry as one of the most trustworthy and honorable of professions. The next level of success in dentistry requires participation in the organization, governance and public perception of our chosen field. Most key opinion leaders that I know in dentistry are part of the ADA, ODA and local dental societies.

This road to dominance starts in Columbus, Ohio, September 13-16, 2018. The Ohio Dental Association Annual Session can be your first step on the path to awesomeness, the next level of success.

But, I don’t have the time.

But, I don’t have the money.

But, I don’t have the energy.

But, I don’t know anybody who is going.