Thanksgiving is my favorite secular holiday because the word thanksgiving in its purest sense suggests a time to assess our blessings and express our gratitude. On a personal basis, we give thanks for our families, for our health, and for our general well-being, with all that it implies.
As dentists, we could make a long list of things we take for granted that we should feel grateful for instead. Let’s begin with improved local anesthetics, aesthetic composite materials, panoramic radiography, digital x-rays, and amazing computer technology (when it works).
And what about our loyal and trustworthy associates, partners, dental assistants, hygienists, and front office personnel whom we depend on each and every day? Isn’t Thanksgiving the perfect time to show our gratitude?
We also should be grateful to our colleagues who are so proactive in organized dentistry and who give so much of their time on our behalf, going to meetings and serving on committees to ensure that our profession remains strong and relevant.
As for our patients who have entrusted us with their dental health, have we done enough to warrant their confidence and trust? Do we realize how much faith they place in us? Do we remember that they are the reason for our professional existence?
Do we contemplate the good fortune of being part of a respected profession that provides us with the personal satisfaction that comes from serving our fellow human beings along with the financial stability we enjoy?
Finally, isn’t Thanksgiving the perfect time to reach out to others by donating some of our time and our dental expertise in the confines of our practices to treat some patients who are in financial difficulty and who desperately need treatment? Sharing our skills with no expectation of financial reward will make you feel good inside and is worth a price above rubies.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Dr. Berman is an internationally recognized pediatric dentist with a career as a successful practitioner and as a popular world-class lecturer spanning more than 5 decades. He has been an ambassador for dentistry as a health reporter on CBS (News Radio 78) and via media appearances as a consumer advisor for the ADA, the Chicago Dental Society, and the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and as co-author of Essentials of Modern Dental Practice. He has published numerous articles and is a member of many professional and service organizations including honorary membership in the Hinman Dental Society. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.