After 2 years of determined effort to get the ADA to provide help to those of us who have had the misfortune to encounter an unplanned disabling event, we have come to the conclusion that you are essentially on your own. This is good news from the standpoint of status , for it opens numerous possibilities for you to concentrate your efforts on. It seems that organized dentistry would much rather spend the vast majority of their efforts on economic issues. This is understandable, but not forgivable. We will continue to make strong efforts on our own for now to lift up those who are ill or injured and in need of real help. Our lobbying program will continue on your behalf. For now our efforts will concentrate on helping one dentist at a time. Remember we are just volunteers who for the most part are now home with the desire to help others in dire straits.
We get frequent inquires and respond to them will real life advice to survive. These common sense steps have been elaborated on in detail over the past few years on this site. Please take the time to review our previous posts for sound suggestions in many areas that pertain to survival and recovery after a severe injury or illness. As we have stated before, even a small injury or brief illness can profoundly effect the life of a dental practitioner.
Do not give up hope. By understanding that help from organized dentistry is lacking, take advantage of those who you know will be there to help you. Your family, your friends, your colleagues, and your church are a solid foundation for recovery and survival. And yes, we we talking survival here. The immediate effect of disabling event is tragic and sad, we know that your transition to the next phase of your life will be confusing. You don’t have to get everything done immediately. Take a short break and look at the situation analytically. Look at what works and will work; not what is broken and irreparable.
This site was developed as a transition to a national program. Now it will have to stand on its own two legs and fight for you. We have researched the problem, and have the personal insight into what it is like to have your world crushed. By viewing you situation as an extension of our own dilemma, we believe we can really help. If not by having you read the posts on this site, then by personally speaking with you or getting you in direct contact with those experts who have the resources/skills to get you and your family back.
That is an understatement. In this world of pandemic, fear, and uncertainty; being an unfortunate dentist with cancer, addiction issues, or injures from a severe accident could easily be brushed aside. Now is the time for you to look at your situation like a survivor episode. See what you have, take stock of your resources, and make a plan. You may be on your own from a professional standpoint, but you have a tremendous pool of talent behind you from a personal standpoint. Most people don’t know what to say to an ill/injured dentist, beyond they are “sorry for the loss” and “get well soon”. They want to help and you need to ask for it. Ask questions. Many questions. Ask for help and you will get it. Maybe not all at once and that might be a good thing. Fear of the unknown is destroyed by knowledge. Write things down. Keep a log. Dentists are details individuals and use that to you advantage.
We will continue to lobby the ADA presidents, the ADA executive director, the ADA Council chairmen and state dental societies to get a national program in place. Our primary efforts have been and always will be the individual dentist who often just needs a shoulder to lean on.
Please contact us directly and use information from all of our posts. We would be happy to personally speak to you or you family. As just a group of volunteer recovering ill dentists we have learned how to survive and thrive.