Tips for balancing life with career, family, friends and self.
This article was submitted to the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry to keep the membership abreast of what’s happening in the world of credentialing. I am far from an authority of life management but I do work on this daily and have found the following bullet points useful. These ideas are intended to assist dentists who wish to improve their cosmetic dentistry skills by pursuing accreditation in the AACD, but I think the general principles apply to most of us. Hopefully you will too!
Keeping Life Balanced During Your Accreditation Journey!
Submitted by: Julie Gillis, DDS, AAACD
So, you have made the awesome decision to become a better cosmetic dentist by pursuing accreditation in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Great idea! The personal and professional rewards gained will make this process worth all of the effort you expend. But first a word about keeping your sanity and your sense of fun!
Cardiologists Friedman and Roseman noted that some people in their waiting room – aka reception room in most dental offices – were unable to sit relaxed as they were waiting for their appointments. Instead, this subset of patients waited impatiently sitting on the edges of their seats and standing up frequently. The chairs wore down on the edges rather than the seat area as expected. The doctors labeled this type of behavior as a ‘Type A personality.’ Research shows that people with this personality type run a higher risk of hypertension and heart disease. I want to minimize this!
Most dentists have type A personality and the process of accreditation in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) may occur during an especially stressful and busy time in a dentist’s career. That’s okay! You can do this! Based on a web search, people with type A behavior pattern tend to be competitive with themselves and with other dentists. They also tend to be self-critical. They strive toward goals without feeling a sense of joy in their efforts or accomplishments. This may be related to a life imbalance. There is no question that it is a juggle and possibly a struggle to manage a successful business, offer care, love, and support for a spouse and children, make time for family and friends, as well as having time and energy for personnel, spiritual and mental health.
I am certainly not an authority at life management. In fact, I work at this on a daily basis. I will share the things that have made and continue to make a difference for me in the hopes that these ideas might be useful to others. Balancing life is especially difficult during times when you are challenged to push yourself to achieve the best possible results on a deadline as happens during the rewarding journey towards accreditation in the AACD!
- Tackle the accreditation process in small portions and set reasonable goals.
When I became accredited, you were required to present all five cases at the same time in front of a group of accredited dentists/examiners at the AACD annual meeting. And we had to use slides! Imagine not knowing until the next day how your photos turned out! The process is much more friendly, doable, and streamlined now. Just pick your favorite case type or the ideal one that walks in your front door and work on getting just that one case documented and submitted. Just do it! Use your mentor and all the useful guides available through the AACD. Your second, third, fourth, and fifth cases will be easier. Really, they will! If is okay to fail – like continuing education, the learning process improves your skills. Someone very cool once said, “If you take risk out of life, then you take opportunity out of life.”
- Enjoy a positive attitude.
You really do have control of your attitude and having a positive attitude will make your life better and the accreditation process easier! Accreditation in the AACD is a time consuming yet fun process – not hard and stressful! It is a simple matter of attitude! i.e., Weeding the garden – fun, why? It will be like exercise, there is the potential of a suntan, the garden will look better, and I can pick the goods for dinner!