growth mentorship

How having a mentor gave me my ‘best year yet’

“Lead. Live. Laugh. Love. Learn … Leave a legacy.”

These are the words hand-printed and signed by Dr. David Maloley on the inside cover of his 2018 book, “Titans of Dentistry: How the Top Performers Think and Act Differently,” co-authored by Dr. Justin Short. The book includes interviews with 39 “titans” in dentistry, providing the reader with insight into how they think and behave differently from the average practitioner.

The power of mentorship in advocacy

April 2018. I ventured to Washington, D.C., for ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day. The first day prepared nearly 1,100 dentists and dental students for the congressional meetings that followed. While sitting in the grand ballroom of our host hotel, I listened to questions and comments about our legislative issues. Some issues were simpler to understand as a first-year dental student. Others, such as those regarding insurance and its marketplace, seemed more complicated. It was then that I realized my lack of understanding on the intricacies of some legislative issues. I knew that to better understand the issues, to feel confident advocating and to further my advocacy involvement after lobby day, I needed a mentor.

How to build a long-lasting relationship with faculty members

Idea and teamwork concept You know how every chef movie has an aspiring sous chef who admires the head chef, but the head chef either doesn’t have the desire or can’t seem to find time to mentor the sous chef? In this regard, the dental profession is no different from the food preparation profession.

Everyone talks about mentor relationships. Some people have them, but would like more. Some people would like to find just one. No matter how you slice it, if you’d like a mentor, you will probably have to do something to initiate the relationship. So how do you go about creating a mentor relationship with a faculty or senior colleague?

Mentoring is a two-way street

While I was studying at a coffee shop, I happened to meet a dentist. After chatting for a bit about his experiences in private practice and public health, I asked him if he had any advice for a current dental student. Without hesitation, he said, “It’s important to have a mentor who is willing to teach and guide you.”

Out of the many relationships that are created and maintained in the dental world, I believe that mentorship is one of the most vital and rewarding relationships. A mentor can teach and provide insight to the mentee that isn’t found in the classroom or a group setting. Having someone who is already doing what you’re working toward is beneficial throughout your journey. This one-on-one relationship allows the mentor to provide personalized advice for their specific questions or worries.

Finding your superheroes

drwehking
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton
My interest in organized dentistry began during my undergraduate years at the University of Central Florida where a local dentist, Dr. Pete Lemieux, took special interest in my pre-dental club. As a nerdy science major, that dentist was a superhero in my eyes. I remember being absolutely star-struck when he invited our club to an event to socialize with real life dentists. That night I shared a glass of wine with that dentist who spoke so openly about his journey through dental school and his trials with different associateships. I remember thinking, “Wow, I can actually do this.”