Alone, but not lonely

We recently held our annual national sales meeting for our field representatives. For this event, we brought all of our reps to St. Paul for three days of learning, training and sharing of best practices. It’s important to us because we know that working in the field can be isolating. And while we believe it is okay for reps to be alone, it’s not okay for them to be lonely. By bringing everyone together, we’re able to bring some fun and camaraderie to what is otherwise a one man or woman job.

When I speak with dentists in solo practice, I hear that some of you face the same challenges that field reps do. How do you fight isolation? Some of the approaches I’ve heard include joining study clubs, attending industry events and of course participating in online forums. I’m curious to know what else you do to bring some fun and socialization to your career.


7 comments so far

  1. Albert Waning on

    In Europe we are facing similar issues – the majority of practices is still of the one dentist variety. I think this is one of the reasons social media may become more important, but will never replace ‘live’ meetings and exhibitions for our profession- they are best excuse to go out and meet colleagues and friends…

    • 3M ESPE on

      With the IDS meeting in Colgne right around the corner, the European dentists will have just the opportunity you describe.
      Thanks for your post

  2. Babblepad on

    I enjoy reading your blog – you just state facts and inner thought and feeling of somebody in our field.

    San Francisco dentist

    • 3M ESPE on

      Thanks for your comments. I am glad you enjoy the posts.

  3. I am working with a couple of dentists and they seem to be very popular online, no end of patients but yes a small town dentist could feel isolated. The suicide rates in this profession are also very high. Could this have anything to do with the old fashioned notion that a trip to the dentist incites fear?

    • The “high suicide rate” of dentists is an urban legend. Absolutely not true… even though it has been repeated so many times, it’s believed as fact. Statistics show that suicide rates among dentists is the same as the average population at large.

      That said…. practicing in isolation has been made obsolete by online groups like In fact, has been around for about 12 years. Personally, I’ve been involved in online dental groups since 1991. I’ve learned more about dentistry by interacting with my colleagues online than I have in the over 2000 hours of CE I’ve done so far.

      • 3M ESPE on

        Hi Mike,
        Glad to hear that the high suicide rate among dentists is an urban legend. Now what about dentists living in Scandinavia ? 🙂
        Thanks for your post.

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