A Divided Profession

19/12/2018 Audience: Other Dentists

I recently finished reading ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’ by Yuval Noah Harari. The book discusses the rise of Homo sapiens (humans) and how we have managed to rule the world in a way that no other species has managed to do before. This domination is primarily down to how we have learnt to cooperate and work together. These skills have enabled humans to be much more effective and efficient e.g. at hunting, finding food and resources, exploring and escaping danger. The ability to cooperate and work together has been essential in allowing humans to succeed.

I look at the dental profession and it’s sad what is happening. We are a divided profession. Social media has perhaps made this more obvious than ever, with different groups forming and criticising others. Even the British Dental Association, the ‘voice of dentists and dental students in the UK’, are regularly criticised by those that it aims to represent.

A low opinion of dentists from the public/media, harsh regulation, increased patient expectations and litigation make it an increasingly stressful profession to be a part of. To have the added stress and pressure from our own colleagues is both unhealthy and unnecessary. It is of little wonder why dentistry continues to rank highly for mental health problems and suicide across all occupations.

The dental profession will only be able to succeed in implementing positive change when its members finally come together.