I love what I do for a number of reasons. I like the combination of engineering, biology, physics, and art that goes into restoring teeth and smiles. I like that we can eliminate a patient’s pain, usually in a single visit. And, I like that our efforts can literally change lives for the better.
I’m always touched when a patient takes the TIME to go that “extra mile” in showing his or her appreciation for what we do. They pay us for our services, of course. And, that should be enough, right? But, some patients are compelled to go further and thank us in a number of ways. Sometimes it’s baked goods. Sometimes it’s a hug. Sometimes it’s a nice card. And, sometimes they even take the time to write their heart-felt thoughts. I got this card and letter this week:
This family has gone out of their way to thank us before. Before I remade her Maryland Bridge, I did some bonding. I blogged about it previously. Here is a sequence of photos demonstrating the new Maryland bridge:
What can we learn from her letter? Patients want a doctor who LISTENS. It has taken me years to learn to do that, and I’m still learning. Many of us (myself very much included) are quick to interject our “expert” opinion at every opportunity. Learning to “shut up” is a valuable skill! And, in this case, I listened to both the mom and my patient, her 13 y.o. daughter. When I did speak, I made sure to address the daughter, as well.
A note like this from a patient really provides perspective and makes all the effort worthwhile. To borrow from Mel Brooks’ “History of the World”…. It’s good to be the dentist.
Update 2/4/21: There were some folks (see comments) that felt this was inappropriate treatment… it wouldn’t last. The patient was in my office earlier this week. The cantilevered Zirconia Maryland Bridge is still there. It has not debonded once, in nearly 6 years. Hopefully, I have not jinxed myself by writing this!