Six team members accompanied me to the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting this past week. This meeting was important to me for a couple reasons. First of all, it has been my goal to get to this meeting since breaking my leg and dislocating my ankle on November 20th. After 2 surgeries, several hours of physical therapy, and lots of support from my family, co-workers and friends, I walked on to the train last Wednesday on my own two feet. Although I didn’t walk and explore as much as usual, I was able to attend classes, walk around the exhibit floor and have a great 3 days in Chicago.
The second reason this meeting was important to me is that it was the 25th Midwinter Meeting I have attended since 1988. (Yes, that is 25 meetings in 25 years.) In those 25 years a lot has changed. The meeting has been in three different venues. I have stayed in 9 different hotels. I have attended on my own (once) and have brought my entire team (many times). I have moved my practice location, gotten married, had 2 children, and have watched them and 2 step children grow up and move on. I’ve been through many employee changes and countless changes in equipment, techniques, technology and practice philosophies. One thing hasn’t changed, and that is the quality of the employees I am surrounded by and their dedication to dentistry.
All five of our hygienists and our office coordinator took time off from family duties and responsibilities to travel to Chicago and learn more about their profession. They did it out of desire to learn and grow. They did it to make our practice run better. Mostly they did it in order to create the best possible atmosphere for you the patient!
This month I was going to write about all the classes we took (20), and all the class hours we had (65+). I was going to pass on what I learned in my classes. But thinking back I learned more from my team than I did from my teachers. I learned what a great group of people I am surrounded by. The interest they showed in the material they were presented. The effort they made to find things to bring back to the practice and share with the rest of the team. The eagerness they displayed in searching out products and materials that could better our patient experience. And the compassion they showed me when my ankle got sore. Picking restaurants that were close and helping me with my bags. Standing in lines to get me lunch and making sure I was comfortable. This is a group of caring individuals who should be proud of themselves. The effort they put forth every single day for every single patient is sometimes lost. But it comes shinning through when you spend a few days watching their dedication to their profession, their patients and their boss.
So next time you are in our office, step back and admire the job my team does. Realize how hard they are working to make your dental visit as pleasant as it can be. And think about the efforts they put forth when you are not there in order to be the best they can be when you are there. Finally, take the time to thank Diane, Carrie, Elizabeth, Heather, Jill and Rachel for continually going above and beyond for each one of us.
Thanks for Reading,