It’s that time of year again. After the festivities of the holidays just past, and before the celebration of the New Year to begin, that I indulge in my now thoroughly ingrained ritual of taking personal stock.
2015 was HISTORIC. It was unlike any year I have experienced since 1995 when I left Forest Hills after a long partnership and opened my practice in Manhattan. 2015 was simultaneously stimulating, thrilling, challenging, mind expanding, gratifying and…exhausting!
It also marked the beginning of a crescendo that has been building over these past two plus years during which time I went back to school in the NYU College of Dentistry’s Implant Program. I graduated from the two-year program in June (with great fanfare thanks to my wonderful staff) and in September I enrolled in the more advanced Third Year of study in Implant Dentistry and Advanced Bone Grafting techniques (SO COOL!!!)
Every Wednesday, I marched into school with an action packed schedule: lecture at 7:30am; clinic 8:30-11:30; lecture 12-1:30, lab session 1:30-4:00. Did I mention reading assignments and homework?
It’s been nothing short of EXHILARATING! So much so that when I’m in school I’m anything but inconspicuous. I know most of the answers to the lecturer’s questions and I don’t hide the fact. (Brown-noser? Show off? A little of both?) But hey, I’m 25 years older than most of my classmates!
All the while I have been in the office four FULL days each week doing what I’ve always loved: practicing dentistry. And somehow I appreciate it more than ever while simultaneously developing an implant practice (as in surgical placement – I’ve been restoring implants for over 25 years.)
2015 also heralded many innovative changes in my office IN ADDITION TO my continuing professional education and development.
My office manager, Sandra Rolon (who has been with us since mid-2014), spearheaded implementation of a new office computer system (despite my kicking and screaming) that has brought new technology into the treatment room and facilitated our record-keeping and insurance claim processes.
We have also instituted regular patient blood pressure screening and have even encouraged some of our unsuspecting, but otherwise healthy, patients to get their long overdue physicals.
And because I now need the additional treatment room, my longtime tenant Dr. Alter has relocated to another office in the building.
On top of it all, the entire staff has been working with a professional dental consultant to help us do what we do, but even better. We are all learning how to harness our individual and collective skills to better serve our growing “clientele” and maintain a low-stress environment.
In March I was invited to deliver a TED-style talk at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration, of which I have been a member since 1990. “How I Rediscovered The Bounce in My Step” is the story of how I rediscovered my passion for clinical practice by going back to school at age 57. It was amazingly well received.
And with all of this activity going on, I have still tried to maintain my stream of postings on The Dental & Incidental Blog. Some years ago, when I first started dispensing helpful dental pearls of wisdom along with my incidental observations, my friend Jeff asked me if it was hubris to think that anyone would deem my writing exercise worthy of the time it took to read. Well, Jeff, as it turns out many people have visited my website and found the information useful. In fact, my blog posts on average attract between 6,000 and 9,000 new visitors to my website every month.
This past July, Google used my blog post “7 Ways To Stop Brain Freeze” as part of their TV ad campaign. That post alone received 75,000 visits in three weeks and the You Tube video of the ad was watched nearly three million times.
My dental “newsletter” has evolved into a platform for readers to ask specific questions about common dental problems. It’s a kind of Ask Dr. Sinkin advice column.
Yes, I have been very busy and engaged this past year but I just never stopped to think about how busy and engaged I’ve been until I noticed how much I was looking forward to the school vacation and some time off for the holidays. This operating in overdrive has been fueled by excitement.
Now that 2015 is coming to a close, I am taking my foot off the gas pedal and coasting across the finish line. I look forward to 2016 with great anticipation, but for the next week or so I’m just going to chill out in California and a long overdue visit with my mom.
A happy and healthy new year to all and a most heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who allowed me into your lives: Dentally or Incidentally.
PS: The one New Year’s resolution that I don’t have to make (as I’ve had to for the past 20 years) is to lose weight. I joined Weight Watchers last January in 2015 I lost 40lbs.!