It’s amazing how time flies. I have now been a clinical supervisor for a whole academic year. There was quite a feeling of achievement at the end of my last session with the year 3 students on bays 4 and 5 at the Exeter site who, after a well deserved summer break will be continuing their education journey in Truro. I was so touched by the gratitude (and very generous and unexpected gifts) given at my final session.
Anyway, onto the real reason for this post. I thought that with an extended summer break about to begin it might be a good idea to share some recommendations for books (or audiobooks) that are worth reading to help promote a good mindset or improve critical thinking or even just inspire and amaze. It doesn’t matter whether you have just finished your first year at dental school or are getting close to retirement, hopefully there will be something on this list that will be relevant for you.
Do you take enough holiday days? Do you even track how many days off you take per year? Prior to my recent move to Pinhoe my honest answer to both of those questions would be “No”. Being self employed and with a family to support it is easy to fall into the habit of allowing months to slip by and not take enough proper downtime, especially if you are like me and try to minimise the number of patients you rearrange unnecessarily. I don’t think I have taken an uninterrupted 2 weeks off since starting as an associate 7 years ago!
It’s always nice to hear patients being complementary about my work or manner or the practice as a whole. Yesterday I had a lady really genuinely enthusing that I was the best dentist she had ever found. It really made my morning.
All I did was a checkup but I guess the key is that I did a “proper checkup”, which for me means:
A few months ago a very insightful patient was watching my TV slideshow and asked an interesting question. Out of the blue he said “Are you training to be a Buddhist monk?” To be clear, I am not, but I have a lot of respect for their way of life and enjoy a lot of what others might call “monastic pastimes”. Meditation is a regular part of my morning routine as is Tai Chi. I have enrolled in an extended online course on Mindfulness and a lot of my teaching is really centred around the idea of self reflection. And even the changes in my diet to eliminate refined sugar, reduce the intake of unhealthy foods and consume organic food sustainably sourced fits into this picture. I think it is fascinating that a patient who has only spent a total of a few hours in my company can watch a slideshow of previous work and some motivational messages and see that connection between mindfulness and dentistry.
Dr Chris Harper