Considered pursuing a career in the Healthcare field? This interview will take you through the ups and downs you can expect, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more.
I am a pediatric dentist and I work in the health care industry. I have been a pediatric dentist now for about 5 years.
A pediatric dentist is someone who specializes in a certain area of dentistry. I specialize in treating children. However, I also treat disabled and handicapped adults, too.
On a scale of 1 to 10, my job satisfaction is probably a 7. A few things would need to change to help me to unleash my full enthusiasm. I work in a practice that is owned by another dentist. I won't go into details, but I think my full job satisfaction could be unleashed by working in another practice, and I'm looking into other options.
Pediatric dentistry definitely moves my heart. When I was a kid, I had a really bad first experience with a dentist. I guess you could say that really motivated me to do what I'm doing today. I want to do my best to make sure that as many children as possible have a great experience at the dentist during their younger years. It is so sad to meet adults who are in pain and just are afraid to go to the dentist because of bad experiences that they have had. My goal in life is to do all I can to stop that from happening! I am, you could say, a man on a mission.
Sadly, I have learned a lot the hard way. I have learned that you cannot save the world. I have had to accept that fact and try to move on. One thing that is very difficult for me is to treat children that I suspect are being abused. It is very difficult to behave professionally around a parent that I suspect is harming a child. In one case, a little girl came into my practice and had signs of abuse. I did report the abuse, but the case did not come back founded. The child continued to come to my practice and I continued to treat her until her family moved.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me? I work with children all day – strange things happen several times an hour! However, I will tell you that all the strange things keep my life very interesting. There is never a dull moment when you work as a pediatric dentist. I actually enjoy that sort of thing. At least all the drama makes the day go faster!
I get up and go to work each day because I enjoy what I do. In fact, I work part time at a pediatric dental clinic for low-income people just because I enjoy what I do so much. One thing that made me feel really proud was when I worked with a family that was new to our practice. They had come from a rural area and apparently the quality of dental where they lived was pretty poor. The one child needed a lot of dental work done. We were able to get her teeth fixed and I called later in the day to see how the child was doing. The mother thanked me and said that they had never had such a positive experience at the dentist's office!
Most of my challenges come from areas unrelated to dentistry. Dealing with insurance companies, for example, can really make me want to pull my hair out. I'm lucky that there are staff that deal with the insurance companies directly. If I feel a patient needs x-rays for example, and the insurance company declines my request, it can be irritating, seeing as the healthcare companies are a big part of the dental industry as a whole.
I guess you could say that my job is moderately stressful. When I get off of work, I release stress by going to the gym. I actually like to go rock climbing at an indoor rock climbing gym. That really helps me to work off the stress. It also keeps me in pretty good physical condition.
I do take a good deal of vacation just because my wife's family does not live in the United States. Each summer, we take a month and go to Greece, where her family is from. We'll stay there and visit with her family. I consider myself lucky to be able to take that amount of time off of work, so I will not complain about vacation time!
Salary really varies. When I was in college, I helped out a dental clinic. Those dentists were barely scraping by. However, they loved what they did so the fact that they were making a really low salary didn't seem to bother them too much. I do some work with a dental clinic and I get paid by the hour. I get paid about $600 a day. Since I am working part time for the practice I am in now, I get paid an hourly rate. I am working there only about 32 hours a week right now. I make about $80,000 per year. Although that might sound like a lot, I still have student loans I am paying off, so it can be a little bit difficult. I hope to get a full time dentistry job sometime soon and increase my income.
If I could write my own ticket, in 5 years, I would own my own dental practice. We'll see how it all pans out though. I actually might be able to pull it off!
This is a true career story as told to DiversityJobs and is one of many interviews with doctors and nurses, among other careers.