Adam Naughton is one of the thousands of dental students whose academic life was rudely interrupted by the COVID pandemic.
In his fourth year of study, he’s yet to get hands-on with impressions, crowns, root canal and other treatments.
But that hasn’t stopped Andrew from putting his name out there and finding his niche on social media early on. His Positive Smile Club Instagram channel pitches five questions on dentistry, mindset and self-development to both new and established names in the profession.
Adam chats about dental school, his Instagram channel and hopes for the future, and reveals his own answers to Positive Smile Club’s five questions.
In This Episode
02.38 – Being a dental student
07.14 – COVID
10.19 – Backstory
14.29 – Instagram
16.03 – Why dentistry
19.22 – Content creation
25.25 – Mindset and self-development
27.27 – Five questions
38.11 – Soft skills
42.28 – Black box thinking
46.44 – Dental school
55.01 – Positive Smile Club
01.00.57 – Inspiration and specialisation
01.08.46 – Last days and legacy
01.11.45 – Fantasy dinner party
01.14.17 – TikTok
About Andrew Naughton
Andrew Naughton is a fourth-year dental student at the University of Leeds’ School of Dentistry. He runs the Positive Smile Club Instagram channel.
[00:00:00] And I think for me as a student now and obviously for even for the next ten years, I’m a young dentist and longer than that. But the amount that it’s opened my eyes to the world outside the dental school and bonded on days and by or by dentistry and just like it’s it’s absolutely ridiculous. And even just the little hints and tips you get, like inverting the rubber dam how to do a floss, floss tie. Like, you know, I just love it and all these things, you know, because it’s not that dental school doesn’t teach you dentistry. Well, I think for a little while I was kind of in that mindset that like the dental school doesn’t know what they’re doing and obviously they obviously do. But there’s just stuff that happens in the real world that dental school you can’t do or it doesn’t happen. And it’s nice to just have an appreciation and an understanding of that to prepare yourself for when you do get that.
[00:00:57] This is dental Leaders the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
[00:01:15] It gives me great pleasure to welcome Adam Lawson onto the podcast. Adam has the questionable honour of being the first ever Dental student on this podcast. Hopefully we’ll get some more going later on. Adam’s come on to my radar because of his positive small club content that he puts on Instagram where he’s actually been interviewing some of the top people around himself. But what I really love about his content and your content, Adam, is, you know, it’s very sort of bite size. It kind of hits the questions, kind of the opposite of this show of where where were you born or whatever it goes and gets right to the point, you know. And it’s actually it’s one of my favourite pages. I actually go to it whenever whenever I see it, I definitely pay attention to it. So I just want to talk to you about that, but also about what it’s like to be a dental student today, particularly with COVID as well. Another another another angle on it. Welcome to the show. But, you.
[00:02:20] Know, thank you so much for having and I really appreciate that that feedback and the idea I have masses of I guess imposter syndrome right now being the first student but also really excited. And you know, as I said, I listen to this podcast religiously, so to be to be on it is amazing. So thank you for the invite.
[00:02:38] My pleasure. Really. My pleasure. So tell me about. I know we normally start with where were you born and all that, but what’s it like right now to be a dental student? What’s what’s what what are some of what’s what’s on your radar? I know you’re not a typical dental student because you seem connected to a lot of dentists already. But what was going through your head?
[00:02:59] It’s difficult. I mean, I’m in my fourth year now and I speak to the rest of the people on my. Yeah. And we’re all kind of of the opinion that we’re behind where previous fourth years would be. I mean if I give myself as an example, I’ve taken no impressions on patients, I’ve never done a crown, I’ve never done a root canal, I’ve done no dentures, I’ve done three fillings. So, you know, I think we’re all feeling fairly behind and we’re all expecting a very difficult and intense final year because, you know, the usual three or four years of clinical experience that you get are all being squeezed into that final year. And the uni kind of like shoving you out the door and then you’re the the PhD practises problem and I can’t say that for every dental student in every university, but I have, I do speak to some of the students at other universities and they are also experiencing similar things.
[00:03:50] Is the university got a plan in place for giving you more experience in the final year or not? You an idea?
[00:03:58] I mean, because we start outreach soon. Yeah. I mean, it’s hard to be too difficult on them because they are in a difficult situation. But, you know, we haven’t you know, we haven’t got afternoon or evening clinics or weekend clinics and we haven’t been told. But yeah, I think for the for the yeah. Below me they’ve actually started on clinic and some of them in the, some of the people in the block kind of getting ahead of people in our Yeah. That people are getting a little bit miffed about but I think, I guess they have to get it back to normal at some point. And I think I guess our year and the year above really the years that have been the worst affected.
[00:04:32] Yeah. So exactly how much did you miss. I mean talk me through it. Tell me through when, when, when lockdown happened, you guys went home. Was the university equipped? Obviously was wasn’t equipped to give you online lectures yet, was it or did it do that straight away?
[00:04:49] No. Yeah, of course. The outside, they were fairly quick to act, I think. So. Obviously, lockdown hit in March and that may be March to the end of that year to July. We didn’t do a hell of a lot, but Pulse starts in third year and we were back in Leeds, I was back based in uni and we were going in for labs. We had maybe one or two half days of labs a week and then we were given online lectures, online exercises. But I guess the main thing is the examinations have been different, so we haven’t had an in-person exam since first year and now in fourth year. And I think, you know, you can imagine the differences between an in-person exam where it’s being invigorated and one at home where no one’s watching. You can use your notes and the uni knows that we’re using our notes. So I think the level of understanding as well and the kind of exams and the stress of that for sure to learn.
[00:05:39] So what happens? They send you the paper and you can in your own time do I think we’ve just answer it without any of.
[00:05:46] The usually time the usually time time limit it assessment so it’s it’s an hour or two but up to now, all of them, it’s kind of been fair play to to use all the resources. So, you know, I think you kind of know for your own sanity going forward that if you’ve coasted all the way up till now, you’re going to have a really difficult fifth final, which you’re going to be on your arse a little bit, but it’s definitely possible to have done that.
[00:06:11] Uh, is anyone feeling as if you are passing?
[00:06:15] I think that. Well, well, it’s been very difficult to fail so far, but I think in the next year for finals, obviously finals have to be invigorated. You have to be up to a certain standard. Yeah, that’s what we’re all not kind of worried about. But it’s yeah, it’s definitely there’s definitely concern that people are not reaching the totals. People, if they are reaching the totals or maybe not feeling confident in themselves to go out and be a good PhD. And you know, but I guess the more I speak to PhDs and graduate dentist is kind of the thing that people say about passing your driving test is that you learn to drive once you’ve passed your driving test.
[00:06:51] So it’s true, but it’s true it over worry yourself. You worry yourself because you know, in the first month of PhD, you end up one ends up doing more clinical dentistry than the five years before. So it’s the same it was that, that that feeling was there for all of us. I get why you’ve got a bigger problem than the rest of us who didn’t have COVID. Tell me while we’re on the subject of COVID. Socially. What’s it meant? I mean, I’ve been thinking this question quite a lot. Yeah. Like who’s been worst affected socially and clearly your group. I mean, I remember thinking, God damn, if I was in Union Year one or two or three, it would just break my heart.
[00:07:36] Yeah. No, I mean my year. Luckily we so we kicked off towards the end of second year. So we had a full freshers year. We had quite a lot of second year. But I think the main thing it’s kind of done is really kind of when I was at the dental school, when I first started, it felt like the whole dental school was together the first years, the fifth year, second year everyone knew each other. And now because basically the first year and the second year is, you know, some of them. I mean, I think they have some of them haven’t even stepped foot in the dental school because if you’re not in if you’re not in labs and you’re not in clinic, there’s no lectures anymore. No one kind of knows each other. And I think that’s been the main impact is that and also it leads what used to happen is the second year is used to assist the fourth years, the third year used to assist the fifth year. So everyone knew each other through that as well. So I think that is kind of sad and obviously then it affects the social element in terms of like when you go out over the years kind of stick to each other because people know less people in the other years.
[00:08:29] And obviously you learn from each other as well.
[00:08:31] You haven’t been able to go out as much. Right. And uni, that’s a big factor in your life where you want to. You know, it’s funny because it’s not. Yeah, it’s not, it’s not only about going out and getting drunk and all of that, you know, you find yourself in those, in those moments, right? I mean if you if you put your mind back to when you were 15 year old and then when you were a 17 year old, and then when you’re a 19 year old, there’s re-invention happening in each of those moves. And the one at uni is almost the most important one, isn’t it? Because you can literally reinvent to whoever else, whoever you want it to be, but if you haven’t had the opportunity, that’s tough, man. It’s tough. That said, difficult. That said, I was talking to different people. I was thinking about my parents. You know, the end of their life they’ve got every day is super precious. And yet two years have been taken away. And I was wondering about this question and you know, who’s worse off? And we’re all valley of whatever. And I spoke to one of my customers and she said she’s got a two year old baby. And she said, oh, he’s ever known his covered from the day he’s been born. He’s seen masks, you know, and you think, what’s that going to do to to to that baby?
[00:09:48] Of course. Yeah, 100%. And almost, you know, we almost kind of felt a little bit privileged as as dental students. And the fact that during COVID, we were still able to go into the building they still put on, you know, the older years were in clinics. We were still in labs. We were still able to see maybe 15 to 20 people. Some of our friends, as everyone else at the uni was told to go home, don’t come in. And all of that work was online. So, you know, we were hit, but, you know, we were a little bit lucky in some ways as well.
[00:10:19] Tell me about Buddy. Take me back to childhood. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? What kind of kid?
[00:10:24] We so I grew up in Bury North Manchester. I had, you know, and obviously I had to fill in this this question was coming from less than. But, you know, I did I had a really loving, supportive childhood. I think I was quite a gifted child. And I think in my own head was growing up a little bit more because I didn’t go to the best schools. So, you know, there wasn’t many kids who academically or, you know, picking things up were at the same level as me, who had the same aspirations of me. So, you know, I think it gave me actually gave me a lot of confidence in terms of like if I put my mind to something, I can do it and, you know, have big aspirations and, you know, you’re kind of more able than the other kid. So, you know, you can do stuff and do do something with your life. So, you know, I didn’t see it as a particularly bad thing.
[00:11:11] Wow. How young were you when you first thought that? Thought probably like.
[00:11:16] I can imagine. I can remember. Sorry, in like year one, like knowing like my whatever two or three times tables quicker than the other kids. And we used to like play games against each other. Who can get the answer fastest? And I think really I did clock like, you know. Yeah.
[00:11:30] And which kid are you? Are you the oldest faster. The youngest. Youngest. So did you get like.
[00:11:36] Yes, I’ve got I’ve got one sister.
[00:11:38] Did you get like positive feedback from your parents? Like, you know, with with parents, you sort of you start pigeonholing your kids, you say, oh, he’s the clever one. And then the kid sees that and then, you know, decides it’s going to be more clever and try harder. As you say, she’s the funny one or he’s the sporty one. Did your parents support that? Was it did it go on the agenda? He’s an achiever.
[00:12:01] I think possibly. I think that that could be the case. I mean, my sister, she just she qualified as a dentist. Oh, really? But she was more the hard worker. So we both ended up really getting the same grades in the end. But I was always the smart one and she was the one who had to absolutely graft and. Like You cannot teach us. But the teachers loved her. She did her homework. She spent hours up in a room doing work while I was kind of stuck playing on my X-Box. But yeah, I think it could definitely you could have bought into that.
[00:12:28] So how is it you both ended up in dentistry? Do you have family? Connexions?
[00:12:33] Yeah, I mean, that’s the question. When I tell everyone, that’s the question I get all the time. And now we don’t we don’t really have anyone medically related in the family. I think my grandfather was an optician, but and the thing was that even like although we both ended up doing well in education, my, my mom is like it was education was like, you must do this. You must do a certain profession. It was kind of like, do what you want. And you know, even if I kind of didn’t do my homework, my mom wasn’t like, you need to do this. You need to do this. I think, you know, and we were quite lucky that both of us kind of applied ourselves and wanted to work hard and do well.
[00:13:09] And you like what you’re saying. Your parents didn’t push you hard, like this normal story we hear on this podcast.
[00:13:17] No, no, I love that. Not at all. Obviously, like.
[00:13:20] Yeah, it was good. Tell me then explain it to you. Just what happened, did you decided yourself you were going to try and be really good? I love that.
[00:13:30] Yeah, I think for me, I think I think part of it was probably validation from the other kids. Like, I wanted to impress the kids, I wanted to impress my teachers. And I also I wanted to, you know, do do something impressive myself. And I think, you know, that’s where it came from. And I’m not saying my parents I wouldn’t say my parents were pushy, but they also were very supportive. Like, for example, my sister used to play football for Man United as a kid. I was a squash academy in Manchester and they they and my parents and the rest of the family kind of drove us all up and down the country, watching us, taking us to training three or four times a week. So, you know, we had a lot of support, but we were never pushed to do sports, never pushed to do well academically.
[00:14:13] What would your parents do?
[00:14:15] My mom does not control. I think they make a company, they make firemen’s uniforms. And my dad is an office manager at a law firm.
[00:14:29] Oh. So, listen, man, when looking at your content that you put out on on on Instagram, you’ve got an obvious fascination with self improvement. And, you know, that whole genre and there are books and there’s, you know, I guess you’re brought up on YouTube or whatever it was. Yeah. When when did that start? Was that in childhood? Was that before university? Was that was that during is that very recent thing?
[00:14:56] No, it’s difficult to say. It definitely was early on. I think I always wanted to improve myself. And as you say, I think not that I never fit in, but I think I always had this feeling that like and it maybe it may be due to a wanting kind of validation from other people, but just wanting to improve myself, wanting to be able to do better. And it kind of ties into the reason I wanted to. I ended up choosing to do dentistry and obviously my sister did it and she said, Oh, I’m enjoying the course and it’s a good profession. But like I wasn’t anyway the most naturally extroverted person. I’m actually not very naturally good with my hands and I was very aware of that before going into dentistry. But you know, I wanted to have that growth and I wanted to challenge myself.
[00:15:39] I bet you didn’t say that in your dentistry interviewed you?
[00:15:43] No, I didn’t know. But, you know, it’s like, yeah, I just waffle wheel full of heart. I mean, we had there was an origami station at my dental school interview and and it was at Leeds and I have no idea how I got in because it just ended up as a massive spoonful ball of paper and it was meant to be a penguin. So I thought that was clearly obvious as well.
[00:16:03] So was it that your sister had gone into? She was happy. Was that the reason why you picked dentistry? What were you thinking of? Something else.
[00:16:10] I mean. So, yeah, I don’t think I would have considered dentistry if my sister hadn’t gone and done it. And, you know, she looked like she was enjoying it. But, you know, it was it literally was. And I remember thinking at the time, like, I was fairly confident that I’d be able to get the grades that I wanted. And with that, I could do anything I wanted. And I wasn’t being pushed by my parents to go in a certain career direction. I could choose one. I remember really deeply thinking about what I want to do with my life, because this next decision was really going to determine where my life went. And as I grew up, I was always told, No, you’re really good at maths, you should do something to do with maths. And you know, as I thought about, I realised that if I did the maths thing I don’t feel like I’d have fulfilled my potential as a person. You know, the people you kind of get on a maths degree is very different to the type of people you go on and then instead of going into it like that, I’d have become and stayed that kind of more reserved nerdy guy if I’d gone down that degree. And I think also I and I also kind of realised in my job I wanted to directly contribute to something. I mean I looked at like maybe doing a stock, being a stockbroker or an actuary, but like I didn’t in 20, 30, 40 years time, you know, what have I actually contributed to? And, you know, who were who I hoped. And that that for me, I think also was a big factor in kind of going like, you know, doing that it should be would be really cool.
[00:17:32] Were you the kind of guy who then then went and did the due diligence and talk to dental students? Because for me, what I thought it was going to be compared to what it actually was completely different. I’m sure, you know, it’s a shock for everyone. It’s a surprise for everyone to to some extent. But it was nothing like what I thought. I had a brother in medical school, so he mentioned dissection and anatomy and these sort of things. But how different was it for you? I mean, as an expectation? I mean, it’s such a first thought. I thought university was going to be a whole different story, like something out of the movies, cool kids with cool orange cars and guitars and, you know, just a childish view of what that was going to be like. And then when I got to uni to dental school itself, it was like 50 times harder than I thought. Yeah. How was that for you? What was your expectation and what did it end up?
[00:18:28] So yeah, I mean, you know, as I was saying, it’s easy for me to have the idea that, you know, I’m going to be a dentist and I’m going to get all this personal growth. And, you know, I’m going to be a great communicator and I’m going to then become fantastic at working with my hands and all of this. And yeah, no, I stepped into labs in second year and I was the worst person. Yeah. In the laboratory every single week. And, but also, you know, that did actually start to really affect me. It affected my confidence. I’d be like really stressing if I’m going to pass these tests, if I’m actually in the end, if dentistry is for me and if I’ve made the right decision and you know, really it lockdown came for me as obviously all the terrible things that’s happened, but it kind of came as a blessing and kind of pulling me away from from that pressure and that environment and giving me time to learn more about dentistry and figure out my space and dentistry. And that was really important for me.
[00:19:22] So when was it that you first thought you’re going to start putting content out? I think like in.
[00:19:29] Me, I’ve always like like at school, like at school, even though I was quite quiet, I had like the lead roles in the school play. So I’ve always kind of liked like doing stuff and like making things and people kind of watching what I’m doing. But it was kind of, it was in that time of being in them labs and struggling and stressing and thinking, you know, there’s dentists out there who might have been in the same position as me and I’m not currently managing my stress very well. But, you know, there are dentists doing the job now who have similar, if not more stress levels than me. How are they managing their stress? Who do they listen to? Who do they look up to? You know, what books that they read? What is their advice, mindset advice. So that was really the the beginning of it and you know what as ended up becoming five questions with them positives Marg club was really just something that I wanted to know the answer to and then me realising that, you know, there might be other people in a similar situation and this stuff is actually valuable, valuable stuff to be shared.
[00:20:26] Yeah, but did you not worry about what people would think about you?
[00:20:30] Yeah, massively. And that’s why it took me from March 20 to like well before March 2020 to to be having these ideas and then all the way till I didn’t start the page till November and I didn’t tell. I think I spoke to one person about doing the page. I didn’t tell any of my friends. I just popped up saying, Look, this is my page and this is the first video and that’s it. And I didn’t tell anybody because even I think to some of my closest friends, they didn’t know I was that into like the mindset stuff and the psychology. And, you know, I’d say I’m pretty not a closed book, but I know I’m not that open with that many people.
[00:21:08] Yeah, by the way. Would you agree with me that it’s a lot harder answering the questions than asking them?
[00:21:14] Oh, 100%, yeah. No, I mean, especially with me. I’ve got I’ve got I’ve got five, five questions to remember and then, you know, a few others that I think of. Yeah, this is a different experience, but I’m enjoying it.
[00:21:25] Whatever, whatever I’ve been on, I’ve been a guest on the podcast at the end of it, I’ve been so tired and I properly like what the hell. That was really hard. But it’s honest I think, because you can say whatever can eat your head. So that’s interesting. You’re saying you’re you’re an introvert in one way, but an extrovert in another way. That combination is interesting. I mean, I find we do this composite course, by the way, you should come, come and watch or whatever. Actually let students come and watch. We’ll be in Manchester next weekend. Do we do this composite course and we ask them there’s this bit, there’s this marketing bit, and you say, Oh, who’s got a Dental Instagram page? And I know some people are shy to put their hands up here, but most of the time it’s like out of the 30 people in the class, it’s like maybe five at the most we’ve got one. And then I scratch my head and think, Well, most of the guys on our on our course of younger dentists, you know, they’re maybe 5 to 10 years out of out of dental school. And I think, wait a minute, these guys have grown up with it and yet they’re not doing it. And then when later on we’re having a few drinks or whatever, and I asked them, you know, what’s going on, man? I mean, it must be something you should do. Everyone worries about what people will think of their work, what people will think of the way they come across. And by the way, I totally get it. I mean, I hate cameras myself. The reason why I’m doing a podcast is because somehow I can be myself with audio, but as soon as there’s a camera, it I’m rabbit in headlights. So the fear of actually doing it is the thing that stops people from doing it. What’s your advice, dude? You think you must you must have you’ve grappled with this yourself. But my advice generally is that no one’s paying attention. Just. Just do it.
[00:23:26] Yeah, I think that’s I think that is a really important part. I think at that time I was kind of reading a lot of like kind of like positive. And I think that’s why I ended up going positive smartly. But I didn’t a lot of like positive psychology books and like, you know, you got to believe all that like, really, like believe in yourself and like, you know, like think victory and succeed and all this type stuff. And it, you know, it’s kind of like I kind of also got to the point where I saw this as, you know, as an opportunity not just to answer these questions, but also to, you know, for my career’s future career prospects and, you know, the good it could do in terms of that as well. And also for myself to grow. And you know, that was I think one of the main drivers for me is that, you know, I’m in dental school. I can’t go into dental school. I can either, you know, the exams. I don’t really have to do that much work to pass them. To be honest. I can either sit on my arse and and do nothing or I can chase that growth. I actually wanted to go into dental school for the in the first place to do so. You know, I think you got to step outside your comfort zone and and do it, I guess. And, you know, the longer way the you know, it’s one of the best things. But yeah.
[00:24:35] But you could have could have you could have gone and become the best badminton player in the world or something, you know what I mean? You could have you could have done a lot with your time, but you decide to go down, down, down this tree. It was. Did it surprise any of your friends?
[00:24:50] I’ve not really had that conversation directly with them, but I’m sure it did in some ways, because I also don’t think they were aware of like I think I’ve got quite an obsessive personality, but how much over before lockdown, I wasn’t enjoying my dentistry and over lockdown I came across, you know, tubules this podcast, the Jazz Jazz Colitis podcast, all these incredible people. And I started developing this passion for dentistry that I don’t think I’d really shared with many people. So I don’t I don’t also think they were aware of how much I don’t want it on my model for dentistry.
[00:25:25] The thing is, look, there’s a moment when that happens for a lot of people. Yeah. Like for me it was in, I think that that moment happened for me that I suddenly went from the guy who was just going to scrape through to the guy who wanted to be really good at stuff and wanted to find out what’s going on. And, and for me actually, it coincided with reading my first personal improvement sort of book, which is, you know, Seven Habits, Stephen Covey. That really resonated. If you asked me that question, that’s that’s the answer I would have given that my favourite book because it was the first one I think, I think I had some. Yeah. So so was what was the first was the first self-development sort of book or video or thing that inspired you in self development?
[00:26:14] And I mean, I think.
[00:26:16] To be honest, I.
[00:26:17] Do remember like watching a lot of YouTube videos. It was like there was a page called like Charisma on Command and stuff like that. And he had really kind of useful videos about just kind of communication and you know, like how to talk and how to, I guess, be be more charismatic. But I guess the first one is pretty standard. One is Dale Carnegie, and the name of the book Just Lost My Mind. But it’s the one.
[00:26:40] How to win.
[00:26:41] Friends. How to win friends. Yeah. Of course, that was I think I can’t remember how old how old I was when I read that. But I think also my mom is similarly I think she’s quite into the the mindset type of stuff. I remember just picking up a book off the bookshelf once and it was all about having a growth mindset. And I kind of read it and was like, Oh, I already had like, this. Is this not obvious? Like if you try, you can get the other things like, but I think How to Win Friends was, was the first one. I remember thinking, oh, like, I can use this in, in life. And it’s, you know, it’s a really practical, useful book.
[00:27:14] And you’ve got a six part, six part post on, on, on how to win friends and influence people on your pages. So it sums it up, right? So turn that into bite size as well. Actually, for those who don’t know, we should go through what is it? What are the five questions that you ask people go on and I want I want you to do is I want you to answer them as well.
[00:27:36] Oh, gosh. Okay. So the first question is life changing book for me. And again, the name the name of the book is Just Lost Me. But it came at that time of of lockdown. And there’s also the Tony Robbins Tony Robbins book. It’s like The Power Within or something. Awaken the Giant Within. Awakened the Giant Within. That’s it. Yeah.
[00:28:02] That was one of my I read the book once.
[00:28:04] I read that, that book and this book and I start when I was mentioning like a proper American style, like, you know, you need to believe in yourself. There’s no difference between you and that other man down the road, except he believes in himself more. And, you know, but all of that. But that was after like coming out of a time where I was failing and failing a hell of a lot, that that was kind of what I needed and that kind of like positivity and, you know, to kind of rebuild my self belief in myself. And so that then two books, if I can find the name, I’ll let you know. But they were really the life changing books.
[00:28:38] Then what’s the second? First, the first question is life changing, but what’s the second question? Yeah.
[00:28:42] A favourite quote or motto. Gosh, that is a difficult one. Things I used to have.
[00:28:48] Have you never been asked these questions before?
[00:28:51] I have not. You know, I used to have a lot of quotes that I that I had. And I’d like some some of them I’d like read like read every morning. And it’s not even very probably positive can do attitude. I think.
[00:29:07] It kind of puts you in that state way you know if if you know for example even being invited on this podcast, you know, I could have gone, no, I’m not ready. I’m a student, you know, I’m not sure I’d be able to do it. And what again, what would people think of me? But, you know, I think just being I can do it and just being positive and, you know, taking that, it kind of helps you take that step outside of your comfort zone where you might go, no. And show up and you know, you can kind of move forward with that. So I think that will be my answer for that.
[00:29:35] So that sentiment.
[00:29:36] Yeah, that sentiment. The next one is the next one’s. What is inspirational figure?
[00:29:42] That’s a difficult one. So who inspires me? I mean, the standard answer I get is, is family. And, you know, my family are great and they love, you know, I love them a lot and they give me a lot of support. But I don’t know. I get inspired by a lot of people, even a lot like I know you had Zayn Rizvi on this on your head recently and even just seeing other young dentists who are absolutely pushing the boundaries, the doctor one day people who are going out there and you know I think if the people like Dr. you one day didn’t go and they were kind of the first people to do it then you know there’s me and there’s plenty of other now dental students with platforms and who make content. But you know, I do find them on a just in terms of what I did. They they do inspire me to kind of do things that I haven’t done before by dental students.
[00:30:35] Nice. What’s next?
[00:30:36] The next one is mindset advice. And I guess the the positive. Yeah, the positive stuff works. I think, you know, recently and this is very recently, I’ve kind of got a lot more into meditation and being present and you know, not getting too because I think I am someone who definitely overthink things and analyses things. And you know, I’ve done that ever since being a young child and really, you know, my brain’s going like a million miles an hour. And I think I’ve found a lot of benefit from being present and just, you know, being rather than always being being on the go. So I think that would be that would be if no one’s kind of discovered meditation yet or gotten into it or giving it a go, you know, I’m trying I’m doing it like two or three times a day now and I think I’m really enjoying it and finding benefit.
[00:31:25] How did you how did you get started on it?
[00:31:27] I listened to a podcast with Jay Shetty. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him. He’s like the guy who used to be a monk and he was on a Stephen Bartlett podcast and he was talking about recently Benefits of meditation. Yeah, recently. That’s how recent. And I just downloaded Calm the app and just like tried it out and you know, before I have tried meditation before, but it just never clicked in this time I felt I just felt something change and I’ve just felt a lot calmer recently. So yeah, it’s been good.
[00:31:58] It’s crazy how it just I mean, I’ve tried meditation here and there and you try and put your finger on what is it? And I know. And in the end. It’s breathing. It is. It’s amazing how important breathing is. Yeah.
[00:32:17] I I’ve just bought a book about breathing.
[00:32:19] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s it’s it’s so important, because if you sit there and breathe for 30 seconds, breathe properly, it changes a lot. And I remember people telling me this before I even tried it, and I’m thinking, Well, what are they talking about? Yeah, but. But it’s real. But you know what? I found that the thing that got me deeper than anything else was a float tank. Have you ever tried that?
[00:32:46] I have. No.
[00:32:47] It’s I don’t know if that’s still allowed post-COVID, but it’s like this. It’s this, like massive bath full of, like, a very salty water that you float on. And then it’s at it’s a body temperature and there’s a cover over the top of it. So it’s totally pitch black. And in this one hour session here, I was floating in space upside down, like by just lying there because, you know, you just you just and and so sometimes in meditation, I’ve gotten maybe one quarter of the way to what happened in that floating where I didn’t even realise that’s what was supposed to be for, you know, someone bought it for me or something.
[00:33:29] I’m going to have to I’m going to have to source.
[00:33:31] One last question was question.
[00:33:33] The last question is, most of all on social media page or person.
[00:33:38] I’d say also if there’s any I mean, obviously they’re listening to this podcast, but only then shooting out though is listen to this. And I’m not just saying that cause I’m on it because I’ve found the insight and people’s stories incredibly useful. And more people should be listening to this show. Yeah, this show.
[00:33:53] Yeah, this show.
[00:33:56] I think I like a lot of what Stephen Bartlett puts out. I always I always listen to his podcast.
[00:34:01] Me too.
[00:34:03] Huberman lab I’ve gotten to recently. He’s like a neuroscience guy, I think at Stanford. Huberman Lab is the name of his podcast, and he’s like a neuroscience guy at Stanford. It’s he covers a lot of things, but I think brain health is probably underrated and I’ve learnt quite a lot of interesting things from him about that. So I think he had no science was something I considered rather than at the time because because of this kind of thing about mindset and development and all of that. But yeah, he chose dentistry instead.
[00:34:35] What about dental pages that you follow.
[00:34:38] Oh, so many. I mean, I think the, the, the biomimetic guys in terms of education, the like, they’re opening eyes. I do like to follow like some deft people just, just to like just to see their standard. And then also there’s some people at DFT who like producing and like, like Zane Rosevear. I think he’s a few years past that now. But, you know, the standard of work through, you know, the education on Instagram and even podcasts like this and the amount of resources available now. And, and I remember you said design like 20, 30 years ago, it would not be possible, but, you know, it’s it’s super inspired and, you know, really good to see the quality of these people’s work, you know, even two years ahead of me.
[00:35:20] Yeah. You know, you’re right. We were talking with Sane about how much you can learn from Instagram, which did I don’t know before. I mean, you won’t remember this, but five years ago, if you told people that people, dentists or dental students or dentists are learning from something like Instagram, people would have shot you down. People would have shot you down for even suggesting that that’s a possibility. But I remember seeing the first time I saw beautiful dentistry or whatever it were, I might have been at a conference in America, you know, like I had to get on a plane and go somewhere to see it for the first time, think, Wow, that looks amazing to get inspired that we were talking about. What inspires you? Yeah, to get inspired to say, hey, it’s possible to do a composite that’s that’s invisible. You know, you can’t tell it’s a composite. Yeah. Something as simple as that. That said that said there is a downside to you kind of feel like you’re not good enough all the time, you know, in the same way some some pretty girl might think she’s not thin enough or whatever, you know, because that whole that whole thing. Do you reckon that’s the thing? Because I’m not practising anymore. But if I was practising, I’d worry, man. So I see all the all the rubber time and beautiful work and, you know, output the output of the work. I was I was with Adam Burgin, the CORNISH dentist. Do you know him? Yeah. Yeah. At the weekend we were first I never met him. And I was I was saying to him, you know, the amount of output of having to post and all of that can bring on stress in itself. No.
[00:37:00] Hundred percent. And I think that’s.
[00:37:01] The crazy.
[00:37:02] Thing. I’m lucky in the sense that as a dental student now, there isn’t a pressure on me to create a portfolio and to post any work that I’m doing. You know, you don’t you don’t have to post work, but it’s it’s it’s a it’s a nice thing to do. But I think for me as a student now and for even for the next ten years, I’m a young dentist and longer than that. But the amount the it’s opened my eyes to the world outside the dental school and, you know, bonded on those and bio bio in dentistry and just like it’s it’s absolutely ridiculous. And even just the little hints and tips you get like invert and the rubber how to do a floss, floss tie. Like, you know, I just love it and you know, all these things, you know, because it’s not the dental school doesn’t teach you dentistry. Well, I think for a little while I was kind of in that mindset that like the dental school doesn’t know what they’re doing and obviously they obviously do. But like there’s just like stuff that happens in the real world that dental school you can’t do or it doesn’t happen. And it’s nice to just have an appreciation and an understanding of that, to prepare yourself for when you do get the.
[00:38:11] Definitely, dude. I mean, dental school does what dental school does. Right. There’s no we should talk about what it should do better, though. I mean, that’s that’s a worthwhile conversation, you know, because. Definitely could do better, I think. But one thing you shouldn’t forget as well as you as you’re going forward and you know, first you’ll learn the basics of rubber dam, then you might do that one to dentistry. Then as it goes on and on and on. Don’t forget the soft skills. Yeah, the communication skills. I mean, probably just as important as the hand and eye skills and brain skills are the communication skills because it’s you’re too young to have had loads of medical problems or had to go to doctors when you’re under that stress of a medical problem. But as you get older, you start meeting a few more doctors for friends and family and all of that. And in in that moment that you have a problem, a medical problem. Yeah. Crazily, the guy’s reputation, the guy’s, you know, or what he’s achieved in his career. And obviously we’re in the field. If I if I need an eye surgeon, I can talk to my brother to find an eye surgeon or whatever. All of that stuff becomes secondary to, Did I get on with him or not? And in dentistry where it’s not, you know, it’s not exactly life and death. Yeah. The do I get on with him becomes the most important thing. And a lot of that comes down to kindness, empathy, these words that are never going to come up in your in your dental exams, you know, but you know, learning those. Yeah, I think there’s some of that which is innate for sure. But, you know, if I were you, I, I guess how to win friends and influence people. Is that is that. Yeah.
[00:40:06] And I for a while I became really obsessed with like someone like Barry Elton. Do you know.
[00:40:11] Barry? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:40:13] Yeah, yeah. So like, I interviewed him for the page and I’ve watched a lot of his lectures. I got the opportunity to go onto his course as well. And you know, that really kind of cool. My kind of interesting, kind of even just like flipping it onto the, you know, the patient wants, needs, hopes, dreams for the next 20, 25 years. And yeah, dental school doesn’t never mention that. It’s kind of like prescriptive treatment. Like you have to have this because you need this and it’s kind of like, oh, so you know the patients, you know how they think and what they want and that, you know, that really matters.
[00:40:48] Definitely, man. Definitely. And, you know, different people translate that in different ways. And I don’t know if it goes down to what you Dental experience you had as as when you were a patient. You know, what your dentist was like with you. But I’ve had friends, you know who I thought, I know them really, really well. And then we’ve had some sort of interaction where we don’t know. We worked in the same practise because he was visiting and the doctors or whatever it was and watching him talk to patients. Completely different person to the one that I know. And I don’t know why he thought, oh, maybe it’s the right thing to do for all I know, dude. But he thought the right thing to be as the end. Adonis is the expert and to sort of have that sort of a barrier between him and what we’re telling the patient. And when I was a dentist, my position was completely different and I didn’t realise my position was different to someone like him, you know. So, you know, we need to have this conversation in the profession because I’ll tell you one thing, but when I talk to my big users, the big, big private dentists, the ones who’ve got multiple clinics and everyone at your stage, not your stage above your stage is saying, how do I get a private job? How do I get a private job? All of them all of them prioritise communication above everything else. You know, almost like that can’t be taught, so everything else can be taught with that card, you know, I think it can be taught. But my point is, while you’re busying yourself with rubber dam ties. Yeah, don’t forget that side. You know that that’s even more important in many ways. You know, let’s move on to darker days. Yeah. You must have heard this part of the podcast before. Of course. Of course. What would you say is your biggest weakness? For.
[00:42:45] What would I say is my biggest weakness? I. I think I think I’m definitely an overthinker and I think that that can hamper me. I think sometimes I think I like to have my own way. I think definitely I don’t tend to get on with authority very well. I did as a child up to a point. And then I guess I don’t always like getting told what to do and how to do it and can think I know better, which I guess isn’t isn’t always, always ideal. So yeah, I’d say that probably the.
[00:43:21] Overthinker and problem with authority. Tell me about the overthink of it. What does that mean? Like. You don’t take things on face value. You try and find other explanations for why. Some things?
[00:43:33] No, I wouldn’t say that. I think.
[00:43:35] I guess.
[00:43:37] I think I do have, as I said, a little bit of an obsessive personality. And just like that, even every interaction I have in the day and like everything, you know, I’m just always thinking. And I think that’s why the meditation has been so helpful, because I’ve actually sat and just realised like, you know, you don’t have to be thinking about everything all the time, you know? So it’s that type of thing.
[00:43:58] What about feeling? Do you do you feel stuff as well?
[00:44:01] No. Yeah, no, I think so. Yeah. I think, you know, I do sometimes get probably more anxious maybe than other people. But, you know, I think as I’ve got older, I think when I was younger I didn’t manage it as well as I as I do now.
[00:44:15] So when you when you think about the world, you think about the world as it’s really quite funny or do you feel about the world? Like It’s really quite tragic.
[00:44:23] I’d say quite funny. Generally, yeah. I like to laugh most things.
[00:44:29] Because they say there’s a phrase it says For those who think the world is funny or for those who feel the world is tragic.
[00:44:37] What are those? Well, I mean, it’s a joke point. No joke. I don’t know how real it is.
[00:44:43] So that makes sense.
[00:44:45] So what would you say is your darkest day in dental school?
[00:44:49] It will have been like just before COVID was hitting and it was when I was considering, you know, I was considering whether I was going to quit dentistry and like, oh, I’d have to go and ask for more support because, you know, at the time I was I was just fading labs week after week and I think they were letting me through. But there was a kind of shared understanding the you know, this wasn’t good enough. My composite look terrible. I was hitting all the teeth, like and you know, mentally as well, you know, I couldn’t keep phantom hair. Yeah, yeah, phantom head. But, you know, I couldn’t I couldn’t keep keep up like that because I, I wasn’t a high achiever in everything, you know, in squash. I was good. But at the level I was at, I was probably one of the worst players. So I was used to losing and failing and dealing with that. But I was also then obsessed kind of thing with how am I going to deal with this? And at the time I was quite into stoicism and I was racking my brain and how, you know what, you know how to manage the stress and you know, what can I do? And I was kind of coming to a loss and that’s when I was like, right, like, what do I do now? So I think, you know, without the lockdown, I probably would have asked for more support and who knows what would have happened then. But luckily I am not not luckily, but you know, lockdown came and I was I was pulled out of that situation.
[00:46:09] And then why did lockdown help? Just because you had time?
[00:46:11] Yeah, I had time. I wasn’t going into labs every week. And, you know, I mean, what can dental school do better? I think we were getting examined like from the first week on our composites and our on our. And I covet your prayers. And it was always it was straight in the mouth from like the first day. And I was just like completely thrown off. So I feel like they could have taken it a bit slower with those. But at the same time, there was maybe a few of the people who have in similar problems to me and you know, not not everyone was. So. Yeah.
[00:46:44] So. Right, let’s let’s talk about the Dental course. Okay. That’s one thing you’re saying, right? You’re saying it was too intense, too quick. Yeah.
[00:46:53] Possibly. I know what you’re saying. Yeah, possibly. I think, you know, we should be we should get more practical experience through funding, through funding heads, through patients and clinic. And obviously, COVID has affected that. But, you know, for example, and I’m not the only student who’s ever said this and I’m sure most of my friends, but like having access to the phantom headroom when you’re not meant to be in there, like go in and at lunch or going in in an afternoon when you’re not allowed, you’re not meant to be in. That would just that would just be so, so helpful. But the uni just so against the.
[00:47:24] Neck is going to make a mess.
[00:47:25] And all that. Yeah. I mean I went in one week to do so. We have a grounds test. I went in to do a grounds to to pass my grounds test and then I went in said, oh, can I just do an extra, an extra crown to practise doing a crown prep? And the guy was like, oh no, you’re wasting uni resources and I’ve got other students to deal with, go home. And you know, I’d gone in, I’d got changed and he got ready and he’s like, Oh no, you know, you’re going to coat one plastic tooth and that’s too much resources. And I was just like, you know, I stayed and I did the crown.
[00:47:55] But did you? Yeah. So then you’ve gone through some of the course. Now you’ve got you’re in your fourth year. Mm hmm. Is there something that you wish they were teaching you that they’re not? I mean, let me give you an example for me. I mean, the basics of running a business. Someone should there should have been a week on that in dental school. Right. It’s the very basics of recruitment, finance, marketing operations. Yes. Because the vast majority of that class are going to be eventually either working in or running it, running a business, a small business, and it’s not acknowledged at all.
[00:48:39] So, yeah, 100%. 100%. I mean, there’s just there’s obviously the stuff on on money. And obviously as young people, we do graduate and we do end up earning a, you know, a fair sum of money and managing that taxes or all of that. Yeah. Yeah. Could be covered in a lot more detail.
[00:48:58] Even school, man. I mean, imagine all those hours you spent in school doing differential equations, and no one ever once said, Yeah, this is how you get a mortgage or, I don’t know, save more than you spend or more on careers in school. Like more. Right. But in dental school, I think hopefully by your time it’s changed a bit. But we had one day where the guys talked about what can you do afterwards as a dentist? What are the different, different avenues you could go down? Did you have any more of that or is that next year or you don’t know?
[00:49:38] I think that I think the fifth is maybe get one lecture, someone from the BDA comes in. But I think nowadays and probably in your day as well, it’s kind of a find out for yourself and or attend certain conferences. Like if you go to the BCD conference, if you go we have the PDSA, so if you go to them, you get all these different talks from all these different people. But if you if you’re not attending these conferences, then, you know, I don’t think you are getting as much insight.
[00:50:08] Has anyone mentioned teeth whitening in university.
[00:50:11] Please? Very briefly, not a lot, obviously. It’s obviously it’s not not on the NHS, but yeah, no, I don’t think we’re giving lectures about it. We’re definitely about.
[00:50:22] Digital. Scanners.
[00:50:26] Yeah. It’s mentioned in passing. Typical answer is you’re aware of it, but you don’t. It leads anyway. You don’t get any experience of it or how it can be used or why it might be better or worse than taking a lab impression and stuff like that.
[00:50:46] And is there a scanner on the on the clinic at all? Or no.
[00:50:50] No, not as far as I’m aware.
[00:50:52] So that’s interesting that there must be one, right? They must use it for postcards only.
[00:50:59] Yeah, I guess, you know. Yeah, we’re not told anything about.
[00:51:04] What about what about ortho? What’s your awareness of ortho?
[00:51:09] It’s it’s ortho digital with P. So it’s kind of like the IL ten. And when the different teeth come through and obviously stuff about occlusion that kind of ties in but there’s nothing on aligners or even even brackets and orthodontics. I think it’s a fairly poorly understood subject as taught an undergraduate level.
[00:51:39] And what about things like composite anterior composite veneers, these sort of things that aesthetic composites does that? Yeah. To be fair to.
[00:51:51] Leads like we have in this show, actually over just in January, we’re in the labs and it’s called Complex Adult Dentistry. And we did a composite build up with all the different layers, like the dentine shades and the translucent, oh, nice incisal edge. So, you know, to be fair, you know, we did actually do a nice composite build up and, you know, they were kind of teaching us about that type of thing. So I can’t I can’t complain in that regard.
[00:52:17] What about amalgam to use amalgam at all?
[00:52:20] Yeah, we do. We were taught it in labs. I’ve yet to find a tutor to tell anyone to do it. I actually have placed it amalgam, but I don’t. We don’t use it often to be honest. I think it’s yeah. If you can place a composite and you can get moisture controlled and then do that and if not JIC.
[00:52:39] And what about Ramadan?
[00:52:41] Yeah, it’s it’s encouraged. And I’d say.
[00:52:47] So if you’re doing it, if you’re doing an MOT on the clinic, you’ve got to use a rubber dam or it’s encouraged to use the rubber down.
[00:52:54] It’s encouraged in terms of I think I’d encourage it. But yeah, I think to be fair, if you tell if you’d spoke to the tutor and said, I don’t want to use your arm, I’m going to use cotton wool. I don’t think they’d have a problem with it, to be fair, even if you didn’t even try to clamp on the tooth. Yeah. Not. Not. Not for photography. I think, to be fair, I’m not in outreach yet, so I think when you’re in the so we have we do not hold on Bradford and other places when you’re in them clinics, you take the photos yourself and you do learn. But within the hospital you take to photography, you warm the mirror up and then the. But yeah, we’re not taught like how and that is the different. Every dentist I speak to is like as soon as you can, as soon as you graduate, buy a camera, learn how to take photos, reflect on your work, build a portfolio. So, you know, it’s something that should be should be mentioned more for sure.
[00:53:53] Yeah. I mean, the thing with photography, I had someone asked me this weekend, you know, she was saying, I want to move to London, I want to get a good job. What do you think? What should I do? And for that purpose, definitely photography. But yeah, just to teach yourself, just to show your patience. And there’s so many reasons why you need to learn photography. What about occlusion?
[00:54:16] I think occlusion is fairly well taught. I think it’s such a difficult subject that I think it may be well taught, but still, you know, understanding my understanding and isn’t isn’t great. I’ve even done lectures outside of uni on occlusion. I’ll hopefully spend my weekends watching, including lectures, and I still don’t really understand exactly what it’s meant to be or how it’s meant to be. But yeah, I don’t think that, you know. Yeah.
[00:54:49] It’s not like no, it’s not that no one does. But there’s plenty of people ten years out of school, 20 years out of dental school who don’t know. So I wouldn’t worry yourself. I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it. It’s interesting. But so let’s let’s get onto what’s been the reaction of the audience to your to your content, to your positive smile club? Have you had people tell you tell you that it’s inspired them to do something or to follow someone or get a job or anything? Because it always surprises me when when you said when you said you listen to this podcast, it just surprised me. It’s always surprised me when someone says they listen. How does that make you feel?
[00:55:30] Well, when someone tells me that they listen to mine.
[00:55:32] Yeah, yeah, it’s.
[00:55:35] Yeah, it’s, it’s class and you know, to be far I’ve I’ve been now to a few student events like, like PDSA and all the things and you know.
[00:55:44] Getting recognised, not.
[00:55:45] Being right but being recognised and like obviously you know, speaking to other people who are doing similar things and there are, you know, there are a fair few other people now who read their own pages and kind of just. Networking and just meeting them. And, you know, it’s a really nice atmosphere. God, I like what you’re doing and I’ll say what I’m doing. And, you know, but yeah, you know, it is when people have also engaged with the content and listened and gone, Oh, like that episode with Richard Porter. Like that was Richard Porter also.
[00:56:14] That was good.
[00:56:15] Yeah. Yeah, he’s he’s he’s a crazy guy. I also feel like, you know, to a lot of my friends, like I’ll and I’ll say to them, oh, you know, I’m interviewing, I don’t know Chris McConnell tonight. And they’ll be like, who’s who? Like, you know, you know, like Chris said. So I also feel like, you know, it’s kind of introducing people who might not be as into it as I am to these people and to potential career pathways or know, you know, and that’s this that’s what your your podcast does for me as well. It’s like this person’s had a career like this and they, you know, they’ve done this and this and this is, you know, this is a possibility of what I could do. And this is also like the work life balance. And this is, you know, how they see the kids and raise the kids and, you know, all that stuff I find really insightful. So I think, you know, I kind of feel for some of my friends and the people around me. I’m kind of introducing them to people I think are really cool. And, you know, they should also have a doctor as well.
[00:57:16] And what’s your process? How do you how do you approach these people? Just DM Simple as that.
[00:57:22] Yeah, yeah. The emblematic of the start. I have to give a massive shout out to, you know, these people, especially at the time I had, you know, I’d never done anything on camera, I’d not done video edit in the page at the time. I had like 150 followers or something. And I think I’m just guilty. I’m Drew Short and, you know, just out of the blue and, you know, the nicest people in the world, aren’t they? But, you know, they came back, I think Charles replied to me, replied to me like 3 minutes. And and I obviously explained the concept and how much I love their content as well and tubules and I genuinely do. And you know, just like love the concept that I think he was isolated at the time let’s do it tomorrow and then you know, I kind of put my pants a bit and it was like, oh, like tomorrow I’m speaking to jazz and I’ve got, you know, for what I’m doing. But yeah, and I think from once I had some more established names on it, obviously it gets easier and people kind of don’t go, Who’s this random kid messaging me? They can kind of see know this person’s been on, this person’s been on. You know, it’s the more likely to to want to get involved.
[00:58:27] I think Chaz Gulati is is. If you’re interested in teeth. Teeth themselves. My next guest calling if you’re if you’re interested in teeth themselves like you want to know about teeth. I think jazz glasses, content. Some of the best stuff ever, man. Some of the best stuff ever. And yeah, what I love about it, what I love about it is the enthusiasm of the guy. And he knows a lot about. A lot? Yeah. Or maybe he’s one of that. I don’t know if you saw him on this podcast. He was top of his class or whatever. And so maybe he does massive research before he gets someone on, but he adores teeth himself and it just comes through. And, you know, dude, I no longer need to pay attention to, you know, I don’t know what kind of splint to use in a TMJ surgery. It doesn’t it doesn’t affect my life anymore. I don’t have patients anymore that need to listen to that anymore. But his enthusiasm just it just is so infectious. And then in that one hour, the amount you learn. Compare that to to, you know, that’s what dental school needs a bit more of, doesn’t it? It needs that sort of punchy, enthusiastic, sort of, you know, and it’s so interesting because he’s only seven years out of dental school himself. And I know to you that must feel like a long time. It’s not a long time. It’s not a long time at all. Seven years out of dental school. And yet I’d say as far as influence goes, like influence on on education, he might be having more influence than some professor of whatever. You know, I really admire him, Andrew. I think of Jews like the Jesus Christ of 10 million. Yeah. The guy who sacrificed himself for the profession, you know?
[01:00:24] You know? And I can’t speak with.
[01:00:25] A halo or something.
[01:00:27] Yeah. Yeah. And I was lucky enough to go to the The Tubules Controls conference in Brighton this year and you know, just the amount of love that he has for people but also get shown back to him. And I was just so happy to see that because you know, I think tubules that that was one of the first things that he kind of turned it around for me like it’s such an amazing platform and he’s been really generous to me for through a lot of things. So yeah, I can’t speak highly enough of them.
[01:00:57] Yeah. Great guy. So when you’ve now now that you’ve had this, you know, you’ve you’ve you’ve been reading and watching content. Yeah. But now you’ve had the opportunity to directly speak to some of these people, like the likes of Richard Porter or, or Drew. You know, I saw who else you had, Simon Chard. I saw you had you talk you talk to these people. And you’ve listened to so many of the stories on on this show. What’s your view now that what’s going around your head about the kind of dentist you want to be? I mean, are you are you more inspired by I don’t know. Martin One day who’s a who’s amazing implant ologist? Or are you more inspired by Dev Patel, who wants to open 100 practises this time next year? Which which one? Which one, which one sort of making you interested?
[01:01:49] It’s difficult one, I think.
[01:01:50] I think the.
[01:01:52] I think I want to do high quality work. And that’s why the kind of the the biomimetic people kind of I think I really interested me in kind of the science behind that. But I think I like kind of like Dev Patel was saying, I’m quite interested in patient journey and I know it will be important as his whole thing is improving the patient journey and that’s always been something like like and he was saying it seems so obvious and I’m like it is so obvious like in from like being practise. Like there’s so much simple things I feel like could be improved. And so if I did have my practise that that would be something that I’d, I’d really want to focus on and just create a place where people want to come and that, you know, the patient journey is kind of is top notch. So I guess in that way, the kind of own in a practise is is appealing. But I also like it kind of like invisibly said, I kind of just want to be the best general dentist that I can be as well.
[01:02:48] For now. Sure. For now you should. For now. That is the main. The priority for now is to learn, right? Learn, learn. And for the next five years as well. You just learn and be good. Don’t forget the soft skills, like I said for sure. But I think you’re in a privileged position now. I guess you put yourself in that privilege. It’s the wrong word. You’ve put yourself in a in a strong position whereby you probably know more about what’s going on out there than most PhDs, let’s say. Yeah. And or your or you’re part of that conversation there. And I don’t know, people people always say the general advice they give younger dentists is, you know, just become a generalist first and then get good at everything first and then decide what you want to do after that. But if there was some aspect of dentistry that that got you excited for the sake of the argument you implant, if you were that cat. Yeah, then for me the sooner the better know. Because if you know, if you set your sights on implant ology and you now being you, you could give me a call and say, Hey, can I go and sit with Martin one day for two days? And him being him, you’ll say Yes you can, and suddenly you propel you in implants. And I get that thing about try a bit of everything. Yeah, but actually I think the sooner you decide, it doesn’t even matter what the thing is, it really doesn’t matter. You could say implants, you could say endo, you could say business opening 100 practises. You could say any of those things. Yeah, but the sooner you make your mind up about those things, the sooner you start to set goals and and get to those places. And I find a lot of time people worry about, what if I’m making the wrong decision? Don’t worry, man. It’ll it’ll it’ll show itself later on. It’ll be fine. It will be fine. Yeah. So I’m a bit concerned for you now. Go on, go on. Going on?
[01:04:55] No, that’s something I’ve always been interested in, is having dentist opinion on that. Like, should you specialise? When should you specialise? Like, if you should specialise at all, like when? When do you choose what you want to do? How many years before you can go to private practise? How what’s the transition to private practitioner that you do mixed and then this know it’s.
[01:05:15] There’s no right or wrong way there’s no right or wrong.
[01:05:17] Way. Yeah you get a million different you get a million different opinions. Pretty much start where you ended up. I end up where you started.
[01:05:24] I mean, I was I was interested in patient journey because not because I was said I was interested in medicine, but I turned up to my job and I just couldn’t believe it. I could not believe that’s what it was. You know, dentistry is this. And by the way, I had a great boss. He was a very forward thinking boss. But I don’t know. It just wasn’t the way. It wasn’t anything like the dentist I used to go to when I was a kid. And then. Then you’ve got two choices, right? Your choice is fit in and do do whatever you do or this thing about actually make a change and make things better. I don’t know. If you listen to the Robbie Hughes episode, that’s a good.
[01:06:03] Idea for a guy who wants to.
[01:06:05] Change change the patient journey. But it is a little bit concerning with you do dear, because of what you said about what Covid’s done to your experience. What’s the consensus like? Are you guys all saying the same thing that it’ll just work itself out in the wash? Are you going to try and get extra? You know, some somehow get some extra experience. What do you do?
[01:06:33] I mean. Yeah, for me, this is kind of my way of my way of dealing with it. You know, as I said, like lockdown and content, just. Yeah. Like speaking to people like you, speaking to the dentist, kind of getting my name out there, doing everything I can if I can’t be in clinic.
[01:06:50] You know, watch. Watch. Tubules lectures. I’ve watched. I have the thing in Australia, right? Global like content. Look on Instagram, learn, learn as much as I can. And you know, the, you know, obviously the, the biggest part of dentistry is seeing patients and doing that obviously with the soft skills as well, but doing the treatment, doing them to a high standard to get a good enough, you know, the best jobs, you know, you do have to to have a certain ability in doing these treatments. And if we’re not getting the experience as dental schools, you know, it is difficult. But I guess I’m trying to do as much as I can to to to kind of negate the fact that, you know, we’ve you know, the clinical experience I’ve had so far has been has been extremely little.
[01:07:42] You know, I don’t know if you listen to Kunal Patel, he studied in Czech Republic and he qualified dental school having done six fillings and he was saying qualifying Czech Republic made him not so worried about everything. Like people who qualified here, not worried about the GDC, not not worried about anything because they didn’t tell him to worry. And, and he said he’d sort of came and just started working and all that. And, you know, he’s now he’s about I don’t know if you follow him love teeth. He’s he has one super. Practise, one super duper practise. Yeah, but what he’s doing is he’s going from 1 to 7 in, in one year. He’s like, well and so and my, my point is he qualified with seven fillings. Yeah it’s a don’t worry. Don’t worry. But you do worry to the point of trying to, trying to do your best now. Right. That’s that’s all there is to it. All right, man, it’s been a real, real pleasure having you on. You know how we always end this year? Yeah, perhaps. Final question and my final question lately. Should we start with perhaps? Uh huh. Have you prepared?
[01:08:59] Yeah, whichever. Whichever. I’ve got some notes. Yeah. I doubt in.
[01:09:03] My deathbed it’s really difficult talking to a 12 year old about deathbed. Which year were you born?
[01:09:14] Oh, my God. I was five years old. Terrible deathbed. Nearest to see the three, three, three pieces of advice.
[01:09:30] So yeah, the first one I came up with was be kind and have good intentions and I think it’s fairly vague advice. But I remember I had a chat with my squash coach and I couldn’t have been I wasn’t, I was maybe like 13, 14 and it was kind of getting really deep with me about like what, you know, what I want from life and what I want it to be. And I kind of, I think the word that I came up with was good and not just like good as like, don’t be excellent, be good, but like just a good person who didn’t cause harm to anybody. And, you know, it wasn’t just like I did something good and positive to the world. So I think that would be the advice that I’d give as the first piece of advice. The next one would be to live your own life and kind of don’t let other people’s opinions. Or, you know, I guess if they were my family, like whatever my opinion was to stop them doing what they want to do because, you know, I feel like I didn’t have any choices forced on me, you know, growing up. Like, I wasn’t, you know, you have to do this. You have to work, work hard or do whatever. And, you know, I feel like everyone kind of should be free to kind of do do do what they want and it’s their life at the end of the day. And the last one, I guess also I felt as if I was kind of dying and I didn’t have long left. It would be to tell them to be grateful and be present for every day, every minute, you know, everything that they’ve everything that they’ve got. Because, you know, you know, and I’ve been thinking, you know, especially with some of the meditation recently, it’s like, you know, you live in so much anticipate in the future that, you know, you’re not present and you’re not enjoying the now and you’re not grateful for for what’s going on right now. So they’d be my my three things.
[01:11:06] Yeah it’s nice man I mean that that live for the now thing is a bit of a cliche everyone talks about but but living is actually quite hard is it.
[01:11:16] I get annoyed when people worry about the past quite a lot. Like an annoyed too strong man. But. But you know what I mean? Like, forget the past. But. But I. I do find myself constantly into the future and. And not in the now. Constantly imagining what if, what if, what if, what if, what if and and and you forget now as the only real thing is.
[01:11:41] Yeah, yeah, that’s it. Yeah. The future doesn’t exist. Like.
[01:11:45] Yeah, what about pace. Final question. Fantasy dinner party. Three guests, dead or alive.
[01:11:55] Yeah. So I’m really bad at this question. Anyway, I’ve, I’ve not that I get asked it all the time, but, you know, I just don’t know who to choose. The first person I chose is. Is Li Li Mark is you know Li. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t comedian. Yeah. I just love, I just love the guy. And, you know, I listen to Russell Howard’s podcast, not his podcast. He was on Stephen Butler’s podcast and I remember he called like LAUGHTER The Lubricant for Life. And, you know, it kind of just made me appreciate, like, you know, comedy and laughing and how how great he is. So Li makes me laugh more than than any other person. So, yeah, I love him. So. Yeah. Li Li Mark would be the first person.
[01:12:40] Cool after that.
[01:12:42] I was. I know he kind of got a bit more difficult for me, but I was going to say Kanye West. But I think recently he’s is kind of gone a little bit not not himself. But I was watching the genius documentary recently and like Kanye West 20 years ago, maybe I think, you know, he is is is a genius. So I’m not going to choose Kanye West then, but I’m going to choose Jay-Z because I think I’m not I’m not I am a big fan of rap music and grime music, but I’m not a massive Jay-Z fan. But I think the label that he’s built and I think he’s got like a marketing marketing company and just kind of the life he’s lived. I think he’d be a really interesting person to ask a lot of questions. And I think he’s, you know, he’s not just a rapper, he’s bigger than that. And he’s one of the most influential people of of of current times. So that’s why I chose Jay-Z. So one more and the other last person. Yeah, one more. The last person is kind of like a homage to my not not homage I present to my younger self. And that was John Cena, the WWE wrestler.
[01:13:50] John Oh.
[01:13:56] I used to love him going off on again, like he’s risen to the top of the profession as in his work ethic is maybe ridiculous and he seems also just seems like a very charismatic guy. And yeah, I think younger Adam would be very excited to meet John Cena globally.
[01:14:17] And one final thing I notice you’re not on Tik Tok. Yes, positive smile club. Why is that one?
[01:14:26] Mannix. I can’t.
[01:14:27] Dance. But you make an error. You make an error. You make an error in the same way as in the same way as my generation was making an error when we didn’t move to Instagram. Yeah, you’re making an error there because it’s it’s powerful. You must be on it. You run it yourself, right? Oh, no, I.
[01:14:50] Well, I try and avoid it just because I spend a lot. I actually have delete just delete it off my phone as well. But I used to my my phone time, which used to be like 8aa hours a day, like around like every day. So I’m trying to stay off it, obviously get work done, be more not necessarily productive, but do better things with my time. So I take it like on top of it it would have just been a catastrophe. But yeah, I think I guess, I guess dentistry. Dentistry tick tock is definitely a thing, but I still like still, I still feel like Instagram’s where a lot of the dental stuff happens, but, you know, I feel like, I guess I could use TikTok just to put content out there. And rather than actually taking in any content, I guess you’ve got to use the platform to understand what makes a good.
[01:15:33] Tik tok Yeah, I mean no one’s really worked it out so I can’t think of a tik tok page Dental tik tok page. That’s really amazing. But that in that is the opportunity itself. Yeah. And that is where the opportunity lies. Exciting. All right, man. Lovely. Really lovely.
[01:15:51] To think.
[01:15:51] About it. I’m sure we’re going to be seeing a lot more of you and let me know if you need something for sure right here. It’s been a real pleasure to have you. Check out Adam Naughton and Positive Smile Club. Right. If someone wants to to connect to send you a DM on their right, post a small club on Instagram.
[01:16:11] Yeah, 100% positive. Small club and. Yeah, no. Yeah. I’ve really, really enjoyed this and I think I’m going to listen back to it and kind of not. It’s going to feel very surreal to be on this podcast and just hearing my voice for once on the set of Every time I listen, I kind of think of what I’d say to these these questions. And yeah, it’s I’ve really enjoyed it. So thank you so much.
[01:16:33] You’ve been very buddy. You’ve been brilliant. Thank you so much.
[01:16:38] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman, Langroudi and Prav. Solanki.
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