David Clow is a writer based in Los Angeles. His book “A Few Words from the Chair” is the first book written for dentists by a patient, and it has become recommended reading for students at leading schools as well as unique resource for dental professionals.”
David’s favorite quotes and why:
“Are Dentists losing their status as professionals?” – Anonymous doctor at American Dental Association
“Are dentist being thought of as professionals by their patients?” – Anonymous doctor at American Dental Association
“Are we being viewed as a glorified trade’s people?” – Anonymous doctor at American Dental Association
The thought of a new dentist, becoming increasingly concerned by what it means to be a Dental Professional, being lost in the eyes of the public & the vendors and consultants moved David.
David further recalls a Doctor sitting with his patient with the office radio turned on where a commercial about carpet cleaners was being aired. The dentist frankly asked his patient, “Do you feel we are a trade’s people?” The patient replied, “Well I suppose you go to school longer & are higher on the professional scale but don’t tell that to the carpet cleaner.
What David does to help the dental profession:
David never forgets that he is a patient and dentists are not necessarily asking him to be their collaborator or their counselor and he approaches his book with all due humility and as one more laymen. But he did intend to want better engagements with all the dental professionals.
He wanted to make sure that he was getting everything from dentistry that any patient would deserve. David sincerely feels that the dental profession at the moment is an underutilized resource in the whole American healthcare picture.
David’s personal story and how he wrote the book:
David spent his career mostly in technical writing and wrote for engineering type cultures. Having written for telecommunication, software and most recently electricity business he noticed a pattern that they all have a problem communicating their value.
In the sense, dentists and engineers are alike in their systematic thinking and no patient will not try to pursue any of the technical details as to what made dentistry possible. Hence, David wanted to bridge this communication gap and specifically wanted a relationship with the dentist that says something more than just materials.
He envisioned that patients could look up to dentists as someone who could change their life, which is more than performing a filling or any other function on their teeth.
David further had his best experience in the University of PA which had a beautiful dental school and as part of the community David got himself treated by dental students for deep discounts and witnessed lot of insider knowledge and discussions between mentors and doctors. This primarily prompted him to write his book.
Up and coming thing in dentistry that excites David:
David believes the up side is enormous, as new technologies are always coming in and getting better all the time. The possibility of a patient to go to a dental clinic and go through a pain free highly productive meaning full session is only getting better.
The downside is that unless the patient is engaged, then all the potential will never really be leveraged. It’s time to do justice to the potential of the new technologies with simply good communication.
All the technology in the world is not a substitute for 60 seconds of warmth and care from the dentist to the patient sitting in the chair.
The best advice David can give us as dentists and dental professionals:
David believes doctors should sincerely put effort in making their patient feel valued as a person.
If a patient is not in good emotional health his mouth is going to show that. Dentists need to keep in mind that they are not just treating the effects here and rather going after the causes.
What is the best response a dentist can give, before they take a look into the patient’s mouth, because the patient is very embarrassed?
The dentist should first acknowledge that the patient is embarrassed but also confirm that are in plenty of company, and that this happens a lot and it’s fixable and they can do something about it that is going to make it better.
Can you give us one pearl of wisdom today?
David believes in the ultimate value of the work done and wants dentists to choose how they would like to have themselves remembered, as a brilliant technician or a good healer? Ideally dentist should be able to point back to the 100’s, the 1000’s patients in their practice and say “I gave them my best.”
What technology or procedure is exciting you right now?
David sees a great new trend emerging in patient centric dentistry which Dr. Lynn Carlisle and his colleagues are leading. He has taken a look at some of the materials coming in from Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry led by Dr. Bill Wathen.
These are seasoned senior professionals, statesman in their profession and they are putting this down into the school.
David’s book recommendations:
- A Few Words from the Chair – David Clow. Paperback copy can be found on Amazon here.Also available at – McKenzie Management here.
David’s technology / web / app resource:
- David strongly recommends Dr. Lynn Carlisle’s website “In a Spirit of Caring” here. – www.spiritofcaring.com
David’s advice to those who are about to start or start over:
Value – Dentist should always remember why they chose dentistry & never let themselves get to a position in life where they ask themselves if they were a trade’s person. David would recommend dentists to sit down and assess the things about dentistry that excited them in the first place. The techniques, the medical end of it, the designs – what was it that was particularly exciting and go from there?
Other things David shared with us:
David is literally honored that dentist are paying any kind of attention to him and it’s been a great privilege to be listened to by the likes of Dr. Carlisle, Dr. Saib, Bill Wathem & it has been an extremely fulfilling experience.
David can be reached at:
- eMail: David.firstname.lastname@example.org