When we first started our quest to let the dental community know that new resources are now available for disabled dentists, our view of the problem was a little narrow. Our goal to get disability programs started in all 50 states and at the national level with the ADA is in progress. By the miracle of social media, we now understand that this is a global issue and will make every effort to help dentists worldwide.
Whether you are in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or Africa, it doesn’t matter. The issues and challenges that every dentist encounters when faced with a disabling illness or accident are the same. No matter what language you speak or what country you practice in, our backgrounds are the same. We have spent years in school in training and have a strong devotion to excellent patient care. Every one of us wants to contribute and be a part of the dental team. Even if we cannot practice clinical dentistry, we are still a valuable resource to healthcare and society as a whole.
We will continue to outline the critical steps that you can take to combat disability. By thinking carefully, you can develop a plan that works for you personally. No two of us are exactly the same, but the actions and choices we need to take are exactly the same no matter where we live. It is very important to understand that you are not alone. There are thousands of disabled dentists and you need to know that we can help one another. A very high percentage of disabled professionals will quietly withdraw from their fields and hide at home with the unfortunate idea that they have no worth anymore. They could not be more wrong.
The you need to make up your mind that you have value. Your whole life has been devoted to an honorable cause. The time will come when you realize that your next step is transitioning to the next phase of your service to others. Take advantage of your situation and get moving. If you can go back to practice at some point, we congratulate you on your efforts in rehabilitation and recovery. If you cannot return to practice, adapt you your new reality. Transition to a new field that interests you, either teaching, research, motivational speaking, consulting, sales-there is no limit to your options. YOUR IMAGINATION IS THE ONLY THING HOLDING YOU BACK.
Take up the flag and continue the quest for great care of disabled dentist in your own country. This may be informal with formation of dental support groups or use social media as we have done. Contact your national dental organizations and get them to implement sound protocols to help disabled dental members. Use this as motivation to ensure that no other dentists in your country ever has to be alone and forgotten. We are a team. We fight for each other and will not stop. Please contact us at our website at disableddentist.org for ideas on how to get started. Your input only makes us stronger and will ultimately help you personally. WE ARE DENTISTS AND WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.