Noobie dentist podcast ep 8

Why Your Network and Friends Matter in Dentistry

Why Your Network and Friends Matter in Dentistry

This week, I want to center the discussion around a quote by Jim Rohn, which reads – “You are the average of the five people you hang out with the most.”  As fresh graduates who’ve just finished dental school and entered clinical practice,  it’s quite easy to become disconnected from friends and colleagues, and isolate ourselves with work.  I want to highlight the importance of having a supportive group of friends or mentors in your life, to help you get to where you want, in your clinical career or just life in general. 

The first time I heard this quote by Jim Rohn, it definitely struck a chord with me because it makes a lot of sense that the people around you can either motivate you to do better things, learn and grow; or they can hinder you with their negative energy and keep you stagnant because of their own lack of interest in advancing in their professional or personal lives. An analogy of a famous wrestling coach in the book “Ego is Enemy” by Ryan Holiday, seems to fit into this discussion very aptly, and I want to use it here to make my point.

So this wrestling coach, in his training program for his trainees, set up a three tiered system. Any given wrestler would be paired up with three individuals; (1) somebody better than him – who could teach him and mentor him, (2) somebody at his level – whom he could compare and compete with, and (3) somebody junior to him – whom he would teach or provide some mentorship. I think this is a brilliant example of the kind of support system you need to surround yourself with within dentistry or any other aspects of your life. 

Types of People To Surround Yourself With

There are three types of people you should include in your close friend or mentor group, to climb the ladder of success in dentistry. Firstly, you should have somebody you can look up to clinically and professionally; somebody more experienced than you, and who can guide you and mentor you on your journey to achieve the things that you want. Secondly, it would be nice to have a peer or a classmate with whom you can compete, grow and learn with; maybe someone you graduated or went to dental school with, or an associate at your practice. It’s a foolproof method to stay motivated when you have somebody keeping you on your toes. Thirdly, to reinforce your learning, it would be great to have a junior that you can teach or mentor yourself. Only when you can teach a theory, concept or procedure to somebody, will you know if you have fully grasped it or understood it yourself.   

If you don’t have this three tier system in your current group of friends or circles, then networking is a great tool you must employ. I’m a big believer in networking because I think it’s important to reach out to diverse populations, and bring new people into your lives so you can experience a lot of different things and grow.

In conclusion, be conscious of who you surround yourself with. Find people who are like minded, and equally ambitious or conscientious as yourself. Don’t surround yourself with negative people who hold you back from becoming better versions of yourself. Spend enough time fostering good relationships and support systems and watch yourself scale new heights. That’s the lesson for today. 

“You are the average of the five people you hang out with the most.”

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