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Episode #242: 2 Very Powerful Ideas for Better Work/Life Balance as a Dentist
Episode 24222nd October 2020 • The Best Practices Show • ACT Dental
00:00:00 01:00:33

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Dr. Bill Robbins - General Dentist in San Antonio, Texas that has a "very rich life" that has still had his fair share of challenges. He has published over 80 articles, abstracts, and chapters on a wide range of dental subjects and has coauthored a textbook, Fundamentals of Operative Dentistry – A Contemporary Approach. He recently co-authored a new textbook, Global Diagnosis – A New Vision of Dental Diagnosis and Treatment Planning.

Contacts:, Global Diagnosis Study Club - (Meeting almost every Friday from 9-11 am EST)

Dr. Kevin Groth - General Dentist in Detroit, Michigan who considers both Kirk and Dr. Robbins as mentors as leaders that have guided his life over the past number of months during these COVID challenges. His favorite part of being a dentist is that every day and every patient is different.


The "WHY" in the conversation is "about the journey". Not about where you end up at the end but how you get there. The "Pankey Cross" involves a Center that indicates "Happiness" with arms on the cross that say: Love, Work, Play, and Worship. The more you can live your life in balance with these 4 concepts, the more happiness you can enjoy.

The pathway we take may not always be the pathway we originally planned on taking, but that doesn't mean it is the wrong path. As we go through the journey, we may find that our original plans were not in our best interest. But be sure that as the journey goes on, you don't forget the things that need to be considered the most important. As Dr. Robbins was receiving a major award, he discusses the moment of realizing his journey had led him to be a highly respected and amazing dentist and teacher, but a lousy husband and father - which is one of the most important moments in his life. He decided to take off a half a day off to be with his family. When he did that one thing, it completely changed the dynamic as his wife was able to see he was making a sacrifice to set his priorities in order. His happiness now is not associated with the successes of his practice but how he lives his life.

The left brain is the Executive part of the brain that makes the decisions and helps us to know where and what to do while the right brain is the Intuitive side of the brain or the "feeling side". Dr. Robbins discusses how the shutting down of the left side of the brain can allow for the kind and blissful right side of the brain to show through.

You need to be in tune enough to recognize those special times that arise and "be there" when those moments happen. Be aware enough to understand that when you say "yes" to something, it means you are saying "no" to something else.


- We were created to be happy.

- If you are a young dentist and are involved in a lot of debt, living your life in balance is difficult to do and may not be appropriate as we go through certain passages in our lives and we have to sacrifice in some areas.

- If you look at 100 dentists in the US, 2% are masters, 8% are adept, 36% are students, and 54% are indifferent.

- The happiest person I know is my dog Lulu who is happy all the time.

- "You owe it to yourself to be the absolute best dentist you can be" was the old guidance. Although that still holds somewhat true, the guidance is now "Being a good dentist is one part of a great big picture".

- Dentistry is important but it may not be that important, but Family is WAY important!

- If you want to talk about balance, the Family has to be a top priority.

- If you default to your "normal life" it is going to be a left brain life. Unless you do something to keep that from happening, that is your default.

- Have some way in your life to pay attention to your right brain and listen to it. It can only function in the present time.

- Stay out of the future and live in the moment.

- "I make the rules, I can change this, I control this..."

- Simplicity is not easy. It is a constant battle. Complexity is the enemy.

- There are some liabilities with the drive that you have. Having a great family and a great business competes for time, energy and resources. You need to be your own referee to understand what is going on.

- With technology, it is even harder to "be present".

- It's not so much what you say, but what you do.

- We need to give our energy to the things that matter most.

- You learn by continuation and accountability


(5:10) - The Pankey Cross

(6:45) - The Breakdown of Dentists

(16:46) - The Issue of Happiness

(18:42) - Jill Bolte Taylor (Neuroscientist) and how her stroke allowed her to see the way the brain can guide your happiness. Book: "My Stroke of Insight - A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey".

(34:33) - The Concept of Simplicity

(40:38) - The Ability to Say "No"

(50:50) - Global Diagnosis