Skip To The Main Content
member-thumb2

Words of Wisdom

Advice GDA dentists would give to their younger selves.

Words of Wisdom

In honor of our dental school graduates this month, we asked GDA members to share advice they would give to their younger selves. Below are their responses.

"Patience and ethics are always rewarded.”
Kumar J. Patel DMD, MS
 
"Don't live life thinking life will be better/easier/less stressful, etc. when I...’ It won’t be. There is always another hurdle, always another thing to stress you out, so make the most of what you have, when you have it.”
Heather Colson, DDS
(Quoted directly from Dean Connie Drisko)

 
“Do not get sucked into the bright lights of Atlanta or the comfort of trying to stay in Augusta. Georgia is a big state with tremendous opportunities in other metro areas and the rural South. Look at where you will do the most good and get a quick start. I live and practiced in a very rural area and retired at 70 because I wanted to work until then. Jacksonville is only 1.5 hours away, about the commute time from one side of Atlanta to the other during rush hour. We go to Atlanta regularly without issues when we want to visit. We are 1.5 hours from two beautiful beach resorts and life is good. Don’t make rash decisions that leads only to Atlanta unless you have amazing opportunities there. Good luck to all of you new grads and advise your underclassmen to start looking for post graduate opportunities now.”
Guy Moorman, DDS

"Never be ashamed of the fees you charge. Don't let patients guilt you with sayings like, 'Gee, I’m helping pay for your Mercedes.’ You worked hard, and will continue to do so, to get where you are. At Baskin-Robbins they post this quote, attributed to John Ruskin: ‘There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey.’ You will always have a competitor who can undersell you; resist the urge and maintain your quality.”
Stephen Arthur, DDS

“When face with tough treatment decisions, ask yourself what would you do and recommend if the patient was a family member or loved one.”
Cara DeLeon Graham, DMD

“After 46 years of general practice in rural South Georgia there are plentiful topics to serve as fodder for advice. To organize advice with so many patient encounters
I begin with a dental school premise, do everything in the patient’s best interest and follow that wherever it goes. It will take you on an exciting, fulfilling career. The
first stop is organized dentistry. The GDA,with all its intricacies, gives a foundation to the profession that leads to continuing education, political advocacy, social interaction along with other organizations with similar goals such as the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, the Georgia Academy of Dental Practice and others. When the focus of the dental life is on the patient, challenges likestudent and start up debts, practice format and location will all become manageable. Establishing a practice where there is a need has equal weight in my advice. Dentistry is stressful so peace of mind through patient advocacy goes a long way in personal and family involvement in the dental lifestyle.”
Wayne Maris, DDS

“Our community of dentists is more than willing to help out. Do not be afraid to ask!”
Ryan M. Vaughn, DMD
 
“Become involved in your local district activities. Get to know your neighbors and colleagues. Work together on community issues you feel are important. Find a mentor in your district. We’re here to help!”
Carol Wolff, DDS
 

“Don’t hesitate to hire a practice management consultant. It may seem like a large expense, but hiring a professional could prevent making costly business decisions.”
Becky Weinman, DDS

Join organized dentistry and learn as much as you can from members around you. Don't try to figure everything out on your own. It will be much more rewarding to have reliable dental friends around you for advice and also fellowship.”
Dr. Tom Broderick, DDS
 
“No matter what type of practice you choose, corporate, group, or solo your success is dependent on your being comfortable with way you deliver patient care. You have to do
your best to provide quality, ethical care and be fairly compensated for it. There is one easy way to know when you are achieving this. Just ask yourself how you are sleeping at night. Are you feeling guilty about your practice? Is it keeping you awake? If you can come home from work knowing you did you best and you know you provided your patients a good service you will sleep like a baby. You won’t dread going to work
and a long career in dentistry will sound like a good idea!”
Richard Weinman, DMD

“Never forget what business you are in. You are NOT in the tooth business—you
are in the people business. Teeth are connected to people! Always give your patients a ‘little more than they expect’ like not charging your regular patients for every little thing. Save 5% of every dollar you make from day one!!! Buy a nice oral digital camera. Take photos of your interesting cases. You will be glad you did!”
George Mason, DDS

“There are a few truths you can ‘take to the bank’ no matter what stage you are in with your career or where your passion lies. Never be driven by ‘the money.’ Be driven by ‘the difference’ you can make in a person’s life. Educate your patients to desire what they need and help them achieve their goals. You may need patience with that from time to time, but never give up. Surround yourself with a great staff. You cannot do this alone! If you don’t have a great staff… develop a great staff. It’s worth the effort. Don’t let yourself get too caught up in comparing yourself to ‘your competition.’ There will always be others who appear more successful if you measure success by the size of your house, the car you drive or size of your bank account. Simply strive to be a better you tomorrow than you were today… and pray for a lot of tomorrows. Find a mentor who you can trust to share your thoughts with and bounce ideas around with, someone who will encourage you to grow, to learn, to have faith in your abilities and perhaps even to be friends with. Trust me, you have much to share with him or her as well. If you do nothing else as you move into life after dental school find balance. Lastly… pray every day for wisdom and listen for the answer.”
John Vollenweider, DMD
(Read Dr. Vollenwedier’s complete article at
gadental.org/advice2017.)
"State":"GA"