April is not fooling around
Wow. What a month.
March came in like a lion and never let up. In fact, the hungry lion pride arrived in the form of the COVID-19 crisis, and personal and business lives have been completely upended ever since.
Though April will likely bring more of the same, we’re slowly grasping what we need to do to adapt to the stay-at-home orders, the business closures and the suspension of non-essential treatments for dentists. It is by no means easy, but we are accepting the limitations. We have to for the sake of public safety.
For younger dentists – those associates out there who have been furloughed, those who banked everything on opening their own practice, those students and residents who look out at a very uncertain future – times look especially tremulous. When will this end? Will I be able to pick up the pieces? Will I find a job?
The questions are many right now; answers, few. The pat answer: give it some time. Let things shake out for a few weeks and then assess the landscape. But that seems entirely inadequate. It is natural to worry – a human weakness – about the unknown, the uncertainty in our lives. When your professional future appears to hang in the balance, allowing still more time is agonizing.
Yet we must. Our focus should be on staying safe and healthy and helping others to stay that way too. What we can do is channel our apprehensions in a productive way; for dentists, the opportunity to help boost the state’s healthcare provider corps by volunteering through Illinoishelps.gov is a great step. The Chicago Dental Society has donated thousands of PPE to Chicagoland hospitals and individual CDS branches have jumped in to conduct PPE donation drives as well.
This outlet to use your knowledge and skills in a meaningful, impactful way will lessen the focus on “me” and put it on those who truly need your talents at this vulnerable time. The possibility that our healthcare system might be overwhelmed – and staffers along with it – makes it incumbent that all who can step up and play a part in helping our communities.
I am not a dentist. But I am in awe of those who selflessly pursue their calling to help heal. There has never been a greater need – and time – for your mission.
CDS presents Front Desk, a column addressing issues facing dentists and staff members experience in the office.
Front Desk is prepared by Stephanie Sisk, Assistant Director of Communications for the Chicago Dental Society.
Photo by Willowpix / istockphoto.com
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