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Becoming a Dentist: Deciding On a College

    The path to becoming a dentist typically involves obtaining a Bachelor's degree from a 4-year university, followed by a 4-year Doctoral degree from a dental school.  Dental schools admit students from many undergraduate universities, so the question arises, does it matter where you go to college?  Well, colleges want you to think so, and they have representatives prepared to make their case when recruiting prospective students.

    So as a high school senior, already decided that I wanted to be a dentist, I embarked on the college search process.  Low on my initial list of potential schools was Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.  While on a scouting visit ...

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Anniversary of Risk and Opportunity

Before the month of February comes to a close it would be appropriate to note that this is not just any February, but a significant anniversary.  In February of 1987 we opened our current dental office facility.  This month then marks 30 years of operations in our building.  Looking back it could be said that exuberance won out over good judgment.  A proverbial young man in a hurry, I was 27 years old when I committed to this project, barely a year out of dental school, and was not moving an established practice into the facility.  How did we (my wife and I) do it?  Using a farmer's approach, we ...

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Becoming a Dentist: The Idea

Yogi Berra once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you might not get there".  That very much resonates with me.  I am a planner, a list person.  I set a goal, map the steps, account for the contingencies, and pursue the plan with precision and dogged determination; I've been that way since I was very young.  For my friends that know I am a boater, I will confess that if I plan a cruise to the San Juans and it takes 9 hours underway to reach Deception Pass, if I miss the timing of slack current at the Pass by more than 2 or 3 minutes, I'm ...

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Honored to be Honored

Picking up on the earning your reputation theme of the previous post, it appears word of mouth recommendations have been replaced by the online review.  Seems we don't talk face-to-face as much anymore, and communicating through our devices has become de rigueur.  Thus, Yelp, Angie's List, and the like is our new confidant in weeding through the products and services we seek to obtain.  However, when it comes to online reviews, I am suspicious of ballot box stuffing.  Peer review, especially when you cannot vote for yourself, is critiquing on a different level.  Seattle Met magazine has contracted with usatopdentists.com to survey dentists in the King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap ...

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To Blog or Not To Blog

In the era I attended dental school, advertising by professionals, whether attorneys, physicians, or dentists, was considered unethical. Your earned reputation in the community, conveyed word of mouth, would lead to whether you would sink or swim.  As decay rates went down and federally subsidized numbers of dental graduates went up, a few decided the prior standards were restrictive and began to push the envelope on advertising.  When professional associations undertook punitive disciplinary action, the Federal Trade Commission saw that as not in the best interests of the consumer and intervened. The genie was out of the bottle. No longer was the best dentist in town known as such, but ...

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