I decided to become a dentist as a high school student. I had a window washing company and some of our customers were medical and dental practices. One building had a dentist named Dr. Arnold Rabin. Dr. Rabin was a great guy. He always seemed so relaxed, and I could tell that he truly loved his job.
I have been a dentist since 1990. I went to University of Toronto for my Undergraduate degree, and also attended the University of Toronto Dental School. At the time you were able to get into dental school with only 2 years of undergraduate work, as long as your grades were high enough. On one hand, I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to practice at the young age of 23. However, I did encounter some issues with patients thinking I was far too young. Fortunately this problem was quickly solved with a little time.
I really love what I do. It it’s a great job, and my patients play a significant role in that. Oakville is amazing place to practice, filled with great people. Of course our incredible staff is also a major contributor to this positive environment.
One of the biggest highlights of my career would be the day we opened in Oakville, June 1993. Another highlight is being able to treat multiple generations from the same family. Recently I saw 4 generations from the same family in one morning! A family that I have treated for 20 years.
My biggest role model is my father. He was a chartered accountant and had the same 4 partners for 40 years. They never once had a disagreement, and he formed great friendships with all of his clients. He enjoyed helping people, and was instrumental in teaching me good values, and judgment.
Dentistry is really about the people. When I was in school it was obviously very technical, and science oriented. However, once I began to practice I was surprised at how many quality relationships I made, relationships that have stayed with me throughout my career.
Time issues are certainly one of the most challenging things we run into on a day-to-day basis. We schedule our day based on an estimated completion time, but no two patients are the same. In maintaining our high standard of quality sometimes we run behind.
Another challenge is when patients are left with poor options. This usually occurs when patients neglect their dental health and come to us too late, regardless, it’s never easy to be the bearer of bad news.
If I could change one thing about our field, I would increase government funding for underprivileged families, with an emphasis on children. I think government funding should go beyond cleaning and checkups, and also support orthodontic care for children. A great smile can have incredible effects on an adolescent’s self esteem.
Within my field I always admired Dr.Victor Moncarz. Dr. Moncarz is a true professional. He would donate one year’s salary to charity every seven years, and put a strong emphasis on remembering every patient’s name. He’s an amazing oral surgeon, and just a really great guy.
I honestly can’t picture myself doing anything else. I consider myself extremely lucky to already have my dream job. If I had to choose, maybe an accountant like my father, or a surgeon like my brother. I also have a sister who is a lawyer… who knows! I was really good at ping pong so maybe that!
Great final question. I have three teenage kids and I enjoy every minute with them… Now I just have to get them to want to spend more time with my wife and me!