~ Passion and purpose go hand in hand. When you discover your purpose, you will normally find it’s something you’re tremendously passionate about. ~Steve Pavlina
**I like to think that the majority of us do what ever we do in life out of passion and or neccessity. Right? Some of us are actually blessed enough to have careers that suits a portion of our 'purpose' in life and fits right along wiht some of our passions. For example, for as long as I can remeber, I've always said I wanted to be a doctor. As a kid, I never really cared what kind of doctor, but I just knew I wanted to help people. I agree that there are several jobs and careers that help people, but being a 'doctor' seemed grande to me. I set my plan into motion and years later I am just that!
**My personality is over all can be described as all of these descriptions 'helpful person', 'friendly', and 'passionate about life and people'. I AM a people person. I LOVE helping people when and how I can.
**When I started dental school, it wasn't easy at all. Several times I thought about giving up. I didn't though, because my desire to want to be a doctor to live out one of my purposes in life of helping people wouldn't die. So now that I've graduated, I'm really having a blast doing what I love!
**Every patient I've treated, I've done my very best at it. I'm not afraid to say sometimes 'you know what, I'm not very sure about this procedure, so you can give me a few days to read up on it, or I can try to find you another dentist who can get it done ASAP." Or I'm never afraid to ask for help when I need it. I feel like if asking for help and seeking 'team work' is best for my patient and would benefit them then I'm all for it. I've treated a variety of patients. Healthy ones. Little ones. Fat ones. Some with great teeth. Some with HORRIBLE teeth. Some with NO TEETH. Rich ones. Poor ones. Intelligent ones. Not-so intelligent ones. Deaf ones. Mentally retarded (MR) ones- and the list goes on. EACH patient, I treated just the same. With compassion and with a desire to address his or her dental concerns TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY! I didn't do a better job on the rich patient than I did on the poor patient just because of finances. I didn't give the MR patients inferior care and the intelligent one superior care. That's just not me.
**Now I've pretty much said all of this because of something that happened today. Fridays are our Operating Room procedure days. Today was no different. My co-residents and I prepare for the case. We take radiographs. A quick (re)exam. Scrub in. Get to work. Today was a little different in that we did composite restoration along with extractions. (Typically it's just a cleaning and extractions). Our patient today was a young 21 year old. He had a motercycle accident a year ago, which left him paralyzed from the shoulder area down. He couldn't talk. He was fed through a PEG tube (which means he didn't use his mouth to eat...) Well, this young guy had some dental issues going on prior to the accident, that had gotten worse afterwards. Our job today was to repair what needed to be repaired, and remove what needed to be removed (of course after consulting with his family). So there were 3 of us today. One resident was a runner, 2 of us scrubbed in for the procedure. One of us did the restorations and one of us did the extractions (me). Well, in the midst of the procedure, some things were said that are not resting very easy with me. My co-resident started doing some work (some work that was of a lesser quality than what I feel he's capable of doing). I don't like to 'question' a person's methods of work, but I will 'hint' or 'ask questions' if I feel something can be improved. (Example: Instead of saying: You should use this instrument. I'd say "Hey, do you want to try using this one?")
**Anyway. On a particular procedure (that I questioned), his (the operator) response was 'why, I mean he's paralyzed, he can't use his mouth, why should I ". THAT pissed me off! BUT he does have a weird sense of humor, so I brushed it off as such for a second...until it happened again 3 mintues later. At another procedure, someone else in the OR 'suggested' a method (because it should be done...not wrong to NOT, but more benificial TO do it..). The (the operator) responded: 'I mean seriously, does it really matter if I do this like this or not? I mean, he can't eat. His teeth are just 'THERE'. I mean this guy doesn't and can't use his teeth so why should I be so concerned about this"? ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! why should you be concerned?!?!? BECAUSE THAT IS YOUR JOB YOU MORON! Your job is to treat dental issues! YOU signed on for this! Your job is to RESTORE teeth to proper function and proper occlusion REGARDLESS of how the patient can or will use his/her teeth! I don't care if this young man can NEVER IN THE REST OF HIS LIFE put his teeth together again. I don't care if this young man is paralyzed. He is STILL a person. He is STILL a patient. I am still his dental care provider. I am to restore and repair! I just don't know if I can look at him (the operator) the same anymore...at least not right now. I mean those comments today made me feel like he has no passion for dental work. No passion for helping people with dental problems. Makes me wonder, is he really just in it for the money?!? Money is good, but I think I'd rather be at a job I enjoy, a job I'm passionate about and not make as much than make boatloads or money at a job I couldn't care less about. (sigh)