Mental Health: 7 Warning Signs If You Should Quit Being A Dentist
IS IT TIME FOR YOU TO QUIT AS A DENTIST AND CLOSE YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE?
Ever since CoVid-19 pandemic broke out a lot of us are asking the question whether we should quit our dental practice or not. Should we quit and find another business? Should we just retire and enjoy already the fruits of our labor that we have done after years of practice? Should we already sell our practice while it still has value? All these questions are born out of fear, the fear of contracting the virus and as time passes by, for some dentists, seeing the financial losses in their practice.
All of these questions are all but natural to ask with or without CoVid. There comes a time that we will need to ask these questions. Even when we try to avoid asking them and masking them with infusion of positivity, how long will it lasts? Recently, depression, anxiety and loneliness are in the up rise to many people, why? Because the things we generally try to ignore to face was masked by the busyness where we try to hide, but, this pandemic forced us all to have time to pause and reflect. Do you know that 9 out of 10 people don't like what they do? Thus, it is important to discuss out in the open as part of having a good mental health to address if your depression or anxiety is caused by not really wanting to be in this profession. So, here are the 7 warning signs that will allow you to assess if it’s time for you to quit and find something else you do have passion for and love to do.
If you find yourself complaining about your dental practice every single day and finding fault to almost everything at the end of the day bringing a lot of negativity when you get home, then, maybe it is about time you have to ask the big question.
FEELING DREAD GOING TO YOUR CLINIC EVERYDAY
When you wake up in the morning, are you excited going to your dental practice or do you long to just stay at home and do something else? Are you looking forward all the time for the coming of your day off? Do you feel more excited for your day off rather than seeing new patients or doing a new case or even finishing a successful dental treatment? So, do you live for your day off and dread your working days?
LESS PRODUCTIVITY IN YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE
Instead of trying to find ways to increase your number of patients and find ways to market your dental clinic, you rather browse on your Facebook or other social media account or watch YouTube or Netflix? Do you feel elated that a patient cancelled on you, so, now you can do something else that's more interesting to you? Do you rush your treatments and do shortcuts just so you can just finish the treatment you are doing ASAP? Do your mind wonder more often to other things while you’re working rather than fully concentrated on the work at hand? Do you feel that you don’t need anymore to improve your skills and knowledge and attend webinars or trainings just for the sake of getting CPD units? If these are the emotions you often feel majority of the time while working, then, chances are even without CoVid, you may need to find another source of income or just retire, your patient are better off having another dentist.
YOU KNOW YOU WILL END UP LOSING YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE
Do you have this nagging feeling that you are failing as a dentist? Do you feel that your work is not good enough that sooner or later your patients will find another dentist or not refer you? Do you feel that you charge your patients more than your worth? Or, do you suddenly remember that you didn’t really want to become a dentist and just got into this because you will inherit your parent’s practice or your parents force you into it? Do you see your future with the number of patients shrinking rather than increasing? Visions of these in one's head generally becomes a self-prophecy.
YOU FEEL STUCK AND HOPELESS
Whatever industry or job or business one is in, one of the basic needs of human beings for mental health is the need to grow. As the saying goes, “If You’re Not Growing, You Are Dying”. Do you feel that you already hit that glass ceiling and there’s no room anymore for improvement? Do you feel just happy with whatever you know in the way you do your dental treatments and not anymore interested in learning new techniques and technology to do them? Are you just okay with a mediocre practice as long as it’s earning and providing you income but have no interest anymore for growth as a dental practitioner? And, the look of the future of your dental practice becomes blurry? If you are feeling this way, then, maybe it is time to get unstuck and find something that gives you the passion and excitement in doing that work.
YOU FEEL NOT TREATED AS A PROFESSIONAL
Maybe the clinic you work for look at you as just an extra hand to do its dental services or your patients look at you as a pair of hands to just eradicate their toothache or you feel you don’t deserve to properly charge your patients according to your value because you feel you don’t have one. Are you getting positive or even constructive negative feedback from your patients? These are important for us to grow as a dental practitioner and learn to become even better dentists.
YOU FEEL COMPLACENT
Do you feel that you are okay that your dental practice is just giving you a means to survive? Do you feel too comfortable with what you have that you already have no urge or inclination to expand and move higher? Do you feel lazy in making plans for the growth of your dental profession or your dental business? If you are working for another dentist, are you just satisfied to be just an associate for the rest of your life and more interested in doing some other things? Is your dental practice or profession just a means to an end? Complacency is generally born out of fear to try and fail, so, we stay in our comfort zone. However, it needs to be said that our comfort zone is equals to our income zone. Thus, if you become too complacent with not much to show for in building your stable comfort zone, then, maybe it is time you choose another career path.
So, how many of these warning signs do you have? If you are experiencing 5 or more or all of them, then, chances are it’s time to move on and decide your future of doing something else. If you are afraid to move on because you have obligations like family to feed or people you love have high expectations of you, or other critical reasons that you simply can’t risk it, I must say I do feel and understand you. However, it has to be said that let not these reasons stop you from achieving your fullest potential of being someone else and being happy on what you do in the long run. Getting stuck due to fear and not doing anything about it is such a waste of your life. Speaking from a place who went through it, life is simply too short to have “what ifs”. If you try and fail, it doesn’t make you less of a dentist or even a person. Only if you stay down when you fail makes you one. Have the courage to do what is right for you and take that leap of faith for your own mental well-being.
Dr. Mary Jean Villanueva - Writer | Editor
1. Psychology Today