How becoming a mom made me a better practitioner

When I was ready to have kids, I worried about how it would affect my ability to work as a practitioner.  As I sit here and reflect on this with my 5-year-old and 2-year-old, I’ve realized it’s made me better!  I would never have guessed that back then.  Why do I think it made me better?   As a mom, I understand the juggle of being a parent, I treat kids how I would want me own to be treated, I respect when parents question what we are doing as they only want what’s best for their kids, and I do my best to provide a safe and friendly environment to our families.

First, the juggling act of being a parent!  I remember after I returned from maternity leave with my first in 2016, I was scheduled to leave a few minutes early one day and I had a mom tell the office they should find a new doctor to replace me.  I already had so much guilt at that time. I was a new mom and trying to find a balance and felt like I was letting down families and my own daughter.  Looking back, I realize that my leaving a few minutes early on one day wasn’t making or breaking anything.  In the end, that situation gave me the ability to see things through a different lens.  First, I don’t fault that mom.  Maybe she was in a job that didn’t allow her the flexibility to get her daughter to her appointment by a certain time on a certain day.  I luckily have an amazing partner who supports me, and we share pick up and drop off and appointments, but we still have days where we are scrambling.  I relate to parents in the quest to work, get your kids to appointments, not miss too much school.  It’s tough!

Beyond that, I see myself through the lens of a parent daily when I make treatment plans.  What would I want for my child? THE BEST!  A caring provider that listens, spends time with my family, is compassionate, is data driven and up to date on the latest in healthcare ideas and technology.  They do not over treat or offer treatment that is not needed just to make more money.  This is exactly what drove me to open CD Orthodontics and provide the care that I know every family deserves!

I can relate to parents questioning treatment or coming in with concerns that they want addressed.  As parents, we can tell a practitioner something is wrong, they may tell us it isn’t, but we can still feel it’s wrong, and maybe seek a second opinion.  As orthodontists (same with physicians) we were trained in school, but research and data changes over the years.  I am constantly trying to stay on target with new research and never minimize parents’ concerns.  While I don’t feel like doctors need to be trained in every single area, we need to be open to referring to a specialist when appropriate. Instead of saying that’s not a thing, don’t worry about it.

I remember when I was in residency thinking, I can’t have kids right now, I need to be in school and finish my program and then graduating and getting a job and still worrying.  I wish I could go back and tell myself how being a mom would make me a BETTER practitioner and person.  I own my own practice where I provide the type of care that I feel families and patients deserve.  And if someone feels that I cannot offer what they are looking for, there are many other practices in the area that have multiple doctors and locations.  For me, I love the one-on-one care I provide to each family.

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