It’s coming to the end of 2018. The beginning of the year feels like a long time ago. I was still at university, at the beginning of my fifth and final year – the beginning of the end – an end that was never near enough in sight.
But now as I approach the new year, year 2019, I realised how much has changed over the year – and more; recently – three months ago since starting my first job as a foundation dentist and moving to a whole new city and starting a new life you could say, here.
The real job of being a dentist and seeing a lot more patients, having the responsibility and pressure to make all the decisions has made me consider the profession differently. Very recently I have felt the importance, value and impact being a dentist can have, which isn’t often for me (surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly to you). Things I appreciate about the profession is that you can alleviate people’s’ pain, you are a healthcare professional with a very specific set of skills; that is necessary but not often seen as important to the public, until pain is in question. That is when you realise your job, the skills you have is actually important. This occured to me today, and it was a good realization, making me thankful I am able to provide this service for my patients. There are good things about Dentistry; apart from the very specific skill of being about to alleviate, to treat pain; like thankful patients who genuinely express gratitude that they’ve had a good experience with you, and that does feel good, like your job has some value, or for example when you feel like you’ve made an impact and that your patients have taken on your advice and you see the results – that is good, rewarding, refreshing (like today I was pleasantly surprised my patient had taken my advice and I could see such dramatic improvement and progress, I was quite pleasantly surprised and happy even if I was feeling ill and crappy!).
Working in real life as dentist has changed my perspective of dentistry, there is more freedom, more avenues, to make it into the profession I want it to be for me, which is encouraging and liberating for me. Specialising is freedom, freedom to pursue what you what, to make Dentistry your own; something that I could of not comprehended in my university years. But having spoken to experienced dentists, my colleagues, I have much more encouragement that things can only get better from here. I have been very lucky in that I got a job in such a pleasant practice – the team, the patients, they are all good. I got lucky. My experiences have exceeded my expectations, and I’m just thankful to have had such a positive start, which is quite a 180 turn from my previous disposition to Dentistry.
So for now, I continue. Dentistry, I can accept as part (and a significant part) of my life, that I can say is important and doing good for people, it is good enough for me now, where I am. It does not define me, but is part of my life I can’t dismiss. I still continue to follow my other creative and artistic pursuits and broaden my mind and life.
I leave the old year behind and embrace the new; with dissolution, resolution and evolution in all areas of my life. And hope 2019 brings more growth, more compassion, love and joy.
Happy new year, have a blessed year
— z.b. x