Expectations in dentistry

Peter Lynch, one of the best investors of our time said : “if you’re terrific in this business, you’re right 6 times out of 10”. 

This sentence started to rumble in my mind. . cause I started to think about our expectations. . and how they have to be adjusted to the field we are working.  

If you re driving a plane for example you must be perfect every time. . and that is what in that field they achieved. . one accident every 1,4 million of flights.  

This ratio of course shapes your expectations. 

But there are other fields like investing for example where as Peter Lynch said you get a huge number of mistakes. . so your expectations in this case, even if high, have to be adjusted to the reality of your field.  

There are also other fields ,we can say, where you can be at least pretty good nearly all the time.  A restaurant chef, let’s say. 

And where is dentistry and medicine in this puzzle ? 

Statistics say that we are really far from perfection, the number of medical mistakes is scary. 

The problem our case is the gap between our expectations and world’s expectations. 

Science in the last century has surged to the ultimate authority.  Sort of error-free … so doing errors in this field you will find scarce understanding…. much easier you will be blamed. 

Often the first who will blame is yourself . 

Our expectations elevated to the impossible level of perfection in a field where perfection doesn’t exists. 

We have to change our mindset. 

We are much similar to a restaurant chef. 

We have to be pretty good nearly all the time.  

I work everyday in a private practice and I work with patients, ON patients, I work with my staff, other dentists and yes…despite my 20 years of dentistry i always find small imperfections in my cases. Do I like them ? NO, Do I accept them ?  finally yes. 

But we have another problem…

The problem is that we are surrounded by a multitude of perfect cases.  …you go to courses and congresses, you open your mobile on facebook and instagram. 

Perfect cases everywhere, complex cases solved in an exquisite way.  

Flawless.  Period.  

The biggest fraud of our time.  

Cherry picking the top 1% of dental practice and show it as a “normal routine”.  

It’s not the cherry picking itself the problem…. many famous comic actors test their jokes in small clubs before doing their great show in TV for example.  

They test their 1000 jokes in order to select the best 20 for doing a great show.  

But nobody will argue about this …indeed people will approve this behavior. 

So it’s not being against cherry picking. . it’s about the underlying meaning. 

In dentistry we show our finest selection pretending it’s daily routine.  

In dentistry we learn protocols and procedures with the claim they can control all the clinical situations. 

So you come back from your last course and you find the old patient, with many drugs and medications, anxious, small opening, financial limitations and all your “science “ disappears. . 

We have to be realistic about our field and build correct expectations. 

We are not in the aviation sector.  

We are like the restaurant chef. 

We have to be pretty good nearly all the time. 

So much better to learn things raising our technical’s level from 6 maybe to 8 that learning something with a 10 yet applicable in selected cases. 

There is why in the last 20 years of work I moved a lot in my dentistry.  

Being competitive and results oriented by nature in the past I ve been running for years the wrong race looking for the “ best “ cases with the most fascinating techniques. 

After I stopped. 

I started simplifying procedures and trying to make them applicable in the daily routine as much as possible cause that is what I really care. . to improve my daily life and not the single day when you do the perfect case. 

Because now it’s clear what I do …clear my expectations: to be at least pretty good nearly all the time. 

If you like these articles follow my blog on educational.studiomaiolino.com , subscribe to my mailing list and have a look at my videocourses and hands on.. the distillate of my 20 years experience. 

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