Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The problem with perfect

I have a problem... I tend to get hung up on perfect.

Generally, I count my procedures by seconds.
I will shave off ten seconds from a procedure by placing the floss 10 cm closer.
I'll agonize over stuff like materials and methods at weird hours.

Why is this a problem?

For the patient, it may take too long.
Precious extra minutes spent fettling a filling may result in a parking ticket.
They may not care that my margins are buttery smooth.
They may wonder why I insist on an extra X ray for a different angle.

For me, it takes a very real toll.
The hours spent perfecting my art dig into my social life.
Sleep is lost lusting after different Continued Ed courses.
Lastly (if I'm not careful), it can lead to quicker burnout and depression.

Dental school was a rigorous affair with lots of criticism.
They teach you that you're generally not good enough.
However, patients don't really care.

My resolution for 2010 is to stop being hung up on perfect.

I'll still do my best.
Every time.
All the time.

However, if the patient is happy with it, I'll try to let it pass.

-Dr. Goodtooth

1 comment:

  1. That's just like me. I'm hung up on being perfect too. I'll redo an entire project or experiment if there's one tiny flaw in it, unless my classmates urge me otherwise. The only difference is, my professor actually catches every single little "mistake" made.