Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new?
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through…
–The Beach Boys
Let’s face it, dentistry can be tough. Marriage can be tough. However there are thousands of dental practices across the country in which spouses work together in some capacity. There are married dentist teams, dentist/hygienist teams, or in my case…dentist/business manager teams. We are all navigating this crazy world of dentistry and managing our closest human relationship at the same time. We must be crazy, or in love.
My name is Kevin Fryer and I am a dentist in a suburb of Cleveland Ohio. My wife Missy is the business manager. In the following months this column will be exploring the triumphs and tribulations of working in a dental office with your spouse. We will explore everything from dealing with staff, dealing with patients, dealing with family, how not to kill each other, communication, leveraging synergy, recreation, love, sex, and again…how not to kill each other.
I’ve heard many people say “I could never work with my spouse.” and to them I say “You’re probably right, I couldn’t work with your spouse either.” However, it works for me. I get to go to work every day with my best friend. Let me give you an example. Imagine for a moment a super busy day in your practice. Two hygienists have called you for an exam, you are trying to prep the distal margin on #15 on a large tongued gagger, and the front desk is trying to flag you down to discuss Mrs. Johnson, who called to complain about scent of the air fresheners in your waiting room.
In your head, the chaos is swirling. The stress is rising. You are contemplating which wall to punch and whether or not the damage to the wall, your hand, and your career is worth it. Suddenly, you look across the office and see the person you care about the most in the world, the reason you are working so hard, the person who knows you inside and out and better than anyone on the planet. She gives you a look. That look. That non verbal cue that says “Everything is going to be fine. I’ve got your back. We are in this together. I can help you. I love you.”
The chaos stops. Your mind clears. You get back to work. You don’t have to call a carpenter or orthopedic surgeon because the wall will live another day. You get through the day….together. That’s the benefit with working with your spouse. She gets it.
Next time we will discuss how to not lose staff members or patients when you are having a fight with your spouse in the office. See you then!