The following is brought to you as part of a series supported by Patterson Dental.
In elementary school, I started telling my mother I wanted to be a dentist when I grew up. I’m from a family of 5 active kids so I also dreamed of having kids and being an involved parent at their sporting events. Being the planner that I am, as I grew older, I couldn’t help but imagine the perfect career. I knew I wanted to have a dental practice of my own that would allow me to have my kids there and to set my own hours so I could be present in all their activities.
When I got out of dental school, I worked in a fast-paced, predominantly Medicaid office. It allowed me to gain experience on procedures I didn’t see a lot of in dental school and increase my speed. During that first year, I stayed active with ADA, TDA, and GHDS which enabled me to have many mentors and network with more experienced doctors. This is where I was offered the best associateship I could dream of.
I spent the next 2 years working as an associate for an excellent dentist at a well-run, fee-for-service practice. At this practice, I learned how a practice should be managed, namely that patients should be treated like royalty. I also had my mentor on standby if I got into cases that were above my head.
About 2 years after dental school, I got pregnant and my “childhood plans” started replaying in my head. I loved my current job, but I commuted 45 minutes each way and worked 10-hour days. I came to the realization that my current associateship was not going to work for me after having a baby. I was extremely involved in the New Dentist Committee and met several vendors at meetings and conferences which gave me the pathway to building a practice.
My husband and I did a lot of research and found the perfect location to raise a family and open a practice. I started building the practice a month before I had my son, and I was so excited to design a floor plan that could accommodate a nursery. I got to spend the next 3 months with him at home while building my dream practice. He came to all the construction meetings, the staff interviews, and the open house. And once the office was open, he came to work with me every day.
I just finished my first year of practicing and everyday I am so thankful I went the route I did. Having my little boy to play with in between patients is the absolute best. My patients love that he is in the office and most ask to meet him during their appointments. He is now known as our little office mascot. It just amazes me how great life can be where everyday I get to wake up and work in my dream job while being a mommy!
~Laura J. Schott, DDS, ASDA alumna
Dr. Laura Schott grew up in Katy, Texas. She attended undergrad at Texas A&M University and dental school at UT School of Dentistry in Houston. She currently serves on the board of the Houston Academy of General Dentists and serves as chair of the New Dentist Committee for the Greater Houston Dental Society. She was nominated for New Dentist of the Year in 2014.
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