March 6 was a day to celebrate National Dentist Day. I want to take the time to recognize and thank all of the dentists. Being a dentist is not an easy feat. Give yourself a pat on the shoulders. Thank you for being mentors to others and caring for your patients with compassion.
I was made aware of this day when my team surprised me with a frame filled with multiple images of my team and a “Thank you” card.
That inspired me to reciprocate and thank others who deserve so much credit.
Each day, my team teaches me to “Show up with my best self,” and they give me so much support to becoming a better dentist. So thank you, my work family for your time and feedback.
In the past, I have had numerous dentists email me, which I would like to thank you all for taking the time to do, and one dentist’s advice stood out to me: “There are better days than others, but the good outweighs the bad!”
I hope you know who you are, doctor, and I want to thank you for taking the time to share with me such encouraging quotes.
Then there are the patients.
Becoming a dentist took a lot time: For the majority, K-12, undergraduate degrees, and four years of a rigorous course with multiple exams both practical and written. I am sure there were numerous amounts of time and sacrifice. Was it all worth it? I can attest that, yes, it was! It is worth all those days that we sit in clinical lab to practice our hand skills, those late overnights to work on lab work, and to prepare for six exams in a week. What makes me keep going? The patients. With the support of my team, I can provide the dental services to care for my patients.
The most rewarding days always consist of connecting with my patient, take care of their chief concern that same day, and even educating a patient so they know how to take care of their oral health in the long run. I love taking the time to get to know my patients and make them laugh because patients want to know that you care about them.
I also commend all the dental students from all over the world. You are all fighting a new experience of unexpected changes. Hang in there and stay strong! Your dental path is worth it, and I am sure many more dentists can concur with me. When you are having a rough time, think about “what makes you keep going?” For me, I remember the time, effort, and sacrifices to matriculate into dental school. With that drive, I continued to push forward and know that you will never be done learning even after dental school. Continue to show gratitude, humility, and compassion – three important values that will help you succeed a dentist and a person.
So in honor of celebrating National Dentist Day, take a little time to say thank you.
Dr. Jessica Nguyen is a recent dental graduate from the University of Minnesota-School of Dentistry. Dr. Nguyen will be working as an associate general dentist in Forest Lake, Minnesota. She enjoys spending time with her family, singing, trying new foods with her friends, and playing sports. Dr. Nguyen connects with others by learning from their stories because she believes each person has a life lesson that one can learn from. She is passionate about volunteering and helping others by giving advice to pre-dental students, dental students, and sharing positive, uplifting, inspirational stories to guide others to become successful, achieve their dreams, and live life to the fullest. Any questions/comments and please reach her at: [email protected]