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 a little disappointed with myself.  Ironically then, no planning went into getting the idea of trying to become a dentist.  It sort of dropped into my lap.  As a high school senior I took Physics.  One day we had a guest lecturer who was a part-time math teacher at the high school.  The rest of the time he was the local orthodontist.  He gave a one-hour lecture titled "The Physics of the Mouth", where he presented how orthodontists use physics - forces more specifically - to move teeth.  That was it.  Not orthodontics necessarily, but dentistry.  I was a good science student but knew I didn't want to spend the rest of my life watching things boil in test tubes.  The knowledge base needed, the medical application of it, the type of people interaction, the independence of the solo practice approach - it all seemed a perfect fit to me.  Forty one years after that epiphany, I am even more convinced I am in the right field.  CK

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