Sarika Shah shares her journey from childhood in Kenya to becoming the principal of a successful Docklands-based practice.

She discusses her transition to the UK for education, her decision to pursue dentistry, and the highs and lows of practice growth.

Sarika explores the importance of patient care, team management, and overcoming obstacles, with insight into the unique challenges faced by women in dentistry. 


In This Episode

02.25 – Backstory

08.20 – Discovering dentistry

11.35 – University

18.20 – Professional journey 

31.30 – Practice ownership and growth

42.35 – Women in dentistry

51.35 – Parenting and leadership

01.00.50 – Blackbox thinking

01.07.15 – Last days and legacy

01.08.00 – Fantasy dinner party


About Sarika Shah

Sarika Shah graduated from the University of Manchester in 2006 and completed a Master’s degree in Restorative Dentistry at the Eastman Dental Institute, UCL. Sarika established Platinum Dental Care in Canary Wharf in 2017.

Speaker1: Mindset and mindset shift, which is a huge part of self leadership. You’ve [00:00:05] got to be able to understand that, because a lot of what the habits that are already set in us is [00:00:10] from experience and from previous beliefs, right? And the good thing [00:00:15] is the brain is mouldable and that there are strategies on how you can change [00:00:20] that mindset and make that shift. But look, I mean payment, you have [00:00:25] to realise that you want the change first, right? You have to realise, [00:00:30] you know, where is it you want to go, what kind of life do you really want to live? [00:00:35] Right? And once you have that set in stone, then you’re ready [00:00:40] to then use all the strategies from self leadership, create that mindset change. [00:00:45] And then it’s all about intentionality, accountability, responsibility [00:00:50] and then moving on from there.

Speaker2: This [00:00:55] is Dental Leaders, the [00:01:00] podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. [00:01:05] Your hosts Payman [00:01:10] Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to [00:01:15] welcome Doctor Sarika Shah onto the podcast. Sarika is the principal at [00:01:20] platinum Dental care, which is one of the most beautiful practices I’ve ever been to. [00:01:25] But not not only from the way it looks, but from the way it runs. A happy team, [00:01:30] lots of patients. Very, very impressive place in the Docklands. [00:01:35] Sarika is also now on a journey of self-development. [00:01:40] And looking at your poster, you guys, I see they’re becoming more and more inspirational [00:01:45] as as we go, and I’m really keen to get into that story as well. Welcome to the podcast. [00:01:50]

Speaker1: Thank you so much and it’s such a pleasure to be here today. So thank you for having me. [00:01:55]

Speaker4: Welcome to Rekha. And certainly from my point of view, I guess because my head’s in that [00:02:00] space, right? And it goes in and out of that space. Right. This personal development, self-help, wanting [00:02:05] to be the best version of you. And then, you know, whenever I come across [00:02:10] your stories or your posts and things like that, you’re definitely putting out there [00:02:15] a lot of positivity. But before we get into that, I want to [00:02:20] take us right back to the beginning. Your childhood, your upbringing, where you were born, [00:02:25] what that was like parents strict, not non strict. We were [00:02:30] really, really studious person to take us. Take us back to your upbringing. Give us your earliest [00:02:35] memories of what childhood was like.

Speaker1: Brilliant. Well, I [00:02:40] was very privileged to have grown up in Kenya with a very [00:02:45] stable family background, and it was just such a wonderful [00:02:50] place to grow up, you know, great weather, a lot of outdoors and a close knit [00:02:55] family. And I would also say that I think I’m very grateful [00:03:00] for the privileged upbringing that I’ve had as well. I have a lot of happy [00:03:05] childhood memories from my education, from my school days, as well [00:03:10] as being at home. And in terms of my upbringing, I’d say that [00:03:15] my parents weren’t very strict. I mean, they created boundaries [00:03:20] at home, and they ensured that we grew up with really good values [00:03:25] and that, you know, especially valuing our education. I think that was [00:03:30] really important to them because they worked so hard to be able to give us our education. [00:03:35] And I remember my dad saying to me that, you know, out of everything in this world, [00:03:40] the one thing I can give you is your education. So [00:03:45] had a fantastic childhood until the age of 16 when I finished my GCSEs, [00:03:50] and then I moved to the UK and I spent my last two years of [00:03:55] sixth form in a boarding school in Kent, which was [00:04:00] very interesting because it was so different. I was completely ripped away from [00:04:05] my comfort zone, and I was suddenly forced to be in an environment [00:04:10] where I had to grow up really quickly. This was a country that I [00:04:15] never. I’d been to England once in my life before, so it was in a country that I’d lived in [00:04:20] before. The weather was so different and I was almost forced to [00:04:25] make new friendships, new relationships. And I’d probably say [00:04:30] that that was the first time I remember being or starting [00:04:35] my self-development journey. And that was from the age of 16, because I was put [00:04:40] in this position where I had to really learn and grow up [00:04:45] at such a fast pace and become independent.

Speaker4: Any siblings? Sarika, did [00:04:50] you did you come with brother or sister or anything like that? Were you only child? What was the.

Speaker1: Yeah [00:04:55] so.

Speaker4: Situation. I have a younger brother.

Speaker1: There’s about a five and a half years difference [00:05:00] between us. Um, but when I moved to the UK, I was I was on my own. I [00:05:05] didn’t have a lot of close family in London, so it was. It was completely starting [00:05:10] from scratch for me. It was a new phase of my life and one that I am so [00:05:15] appreciative of because I feel that that was when I started [00:05:20] really learning who I was and, you know, understanding [00:05:25] a sense of self. And I think it really began if I reflect, that’s how it began that early on for me. [00:05:30]

Speaker4: And and can you remember the time that your parents said, [00:05:35] we’re going to send you to the UK? Like, like, how did that come about? And [00:05:40] what was your what was going through your mind at the time or, or was it always going [00:05:45] to happen anyway?

Speaker1: Yeah. You know, I think my parents are quite intuitive in that sense because [00:05:50] they saw that, almost saw that I wanted and needed more [00:05:55] from what my education and what my environment was giving me then. And [00:06:00] my uncle had been to the school many, many years ago. Uh, and my mum said [00:06:05] to me, I remember her having a conversation. She said. Well, you know, this is an option for you. And at [00:06:10] that time, I was actually instead of A levels that my school was providing, I was actually looking at [00:06:15] doing the International Baccalaureate. And, and I remember my mom saying to me that, you [00:06:20] know, this could be fantastic and would you be up for this? And I just thought, [00:06:25] so scary, but yet so exciting. And I will never forget that [00:06:30] emotion and the feeling that I had sitting at that dining table is such a distinct memory in my life [00:06:35] and thinking that, wow, like what a huge opportunity this could, [00:06:40] this could be so incredible for me. I’m so I’m so [00:06:45] happy that I made that choice. And I’m so I’m so over the moon at that time. I think looking [00:06:50] back, I’m so happy that my parents supported me through that as well, you know, and [00:06:55] sent me and allowed me to go through this next phase of my life at that point.

Speaker3: Circa [00:07:00] as a as a person of your stature, let’s say, in Kenya, [00:07:05] if, let’s say in that sliding doors moment, you hadn’t decided to go, have [00:07:10] you reflected on where you would be now and who you would be? And.

Speaker1: Uh, [00:07:15] I feel that. I feel that whatever has [00:07:20] happened in terms of my life journey and who I am would [00:07:25] still have happened, but maybe not have happened as quickly, because I think [00:07:30] that by going abroad at such a young age, when I was 16 [00:07:35] and really coming out of my comfort zone, everything I had known wasn’t [00:07:40] had disappeared. And and like I said, it made [00:07:45] me grow up really quickly. But I think that, you know, I’ve always been someone that [00:07:50] is a little bit spiritual that wants to learn and grow and had [00:07:55] ambition and wanted to just take on all these challenges. [00:08:00] I think that’s within me, you know? So I think that if [00:08:05] the situation had been the other way around and I’d stayed in Kenya, my life would have been different [00:08:10] and I think I would have just been on this path. But a little bit later.

Speaker3: Do [00:08:15] you remember dentistry coming into the equation? At what age that was?

Speaker1: Absolutely. [00:08:20] So do you know that, um, dentistry [00:08:25] for me was probably one of the first autonomous [00:08:30] decisions that I made in my life, and I’ve never regretted [00:08:35] it when I was in boarding school. You know, all my family, they’ve all [00:08:40] got a business background. So it was almost like. It was almost like it was [00:08:45] expected of me to go in that direction. And then I realised when I was, [00:08:50] you know, when I was choosing my subjects and when I was sitting my exams, that I started to understand [00:08:55] and reflect on what I was good at and what I wasn’t good at. And I remember [00:09:00] having a conversation with my teachers and my parents. Remember, this was this was like 25 years [00:09:05] ago, right? There was, um, there was no WhatsApp. There was this calling scratch card [00:09:10] in, in the telephone booth. Um, and, you know, my parents weren’t there, [00:09:15] so I wasn’t really influenced in that sense directly, you know, by [00:09:20] by them and what they thought about career choices at the time. So [00:09:25] at this time I thought, well, great, I’ve got the opportunity to choose exactly what [00:09:30] I wanted to do. And it suddenly transitioned from moving from [00:09:35] like, almost like a business management, that type of degree to then me having a conversation. [00:09:40] Well, I’m really good at science and I’m a trained Indian classical dancer. I [00:09:45] was a really good artist and I thought, well, I’ve got the dexterity skills, so what could I [00:09:50] what could I do that where I could use my skills? And [00:09:55] really kind of, you know, move in that direction where [00:10:00] I could really, you know, use them to kind of be the best person [00:10:05] or have the best career and be happy and fulfilled.

Speaker1: So I was almost thinking like this, [00:10:10] um, around that time and, you know, it transitioned from, I don’t want to do [00:10:15] medicine to, you know, what about optometry or pharmacy as as typical Asian parents [00:10:20] might think at the time. And then, um, and then I said, well, do you know what? Well, [00:10:25] what about dentistry? And I knew of two girls that I knew from, from Kenya who were in [00:10:30] their fourth year of dentistry. And I thought, well, that would be a fantastic career. And I [00:10:35] looked into it a little bit more work shadowed at the dentists on the high street. And I remember, [00:10:40] you know, going to my parents well, right. I’ve decided I want to do dentistry. And I remember [00:10:45] that they said, well, it’s really difficult. Do you think you’re going to be able to do it? [00:10:50] It’s a really it’s a really hard degree, like almost like they didn’t believe that I [00:10:55] was smart enough, um, to do dentistry, but I stuck by it. [00:11:00] I changed my Ucas form right at, you know, at the last minute. And [00:11:05] I’m really proud. I’ve never regretted it in my life. And I’m really proud because I’m so passionate about [00:11:10] dentistry.

Speaker3: What did you change it from? What were you doing just before dentistry?

Speaker1: It was like [00:11:15] a business.

Speaker3: Things.

Speaker1: Business studies and business management, that type of degree. And then you know [00:11:20] that that initial phase of of choosing. But there was so much confusion and I’m glad [00:11:25] that I self reflected, understood what my strengths were, and then [00:11:30] made a decision based on that.

Speaker3: And then you studied in Manchester?

Speaker1: I did, [00:11:35] I went to the University of Manchester. And which was [00:11:40] absolutely brilliant. And it’s such a great mix of a city and a campus university [00:11:45] and made some fantastic friends. And we were such a small cohort. And I think [00:11:50] that that made a huge difference, um, where being a small cohort, each [00:11:55] of us had the opportunity to shine in our own way. And that was fantastic [00:12:00] for confidence building. But not only that, we had a lot of attention, you know, [00:12:05] from our tutors, it was also a problem based learning at the time. I remember that it was a new [00:12:10] system that they had introduced. Um, and I’d obviously come from the International Baccalaureate, [00:12:15] um, sixth form. So I was used to kind of going and a lot [00:12:20] of self-study and understanding, well, this is a problem and how do we solve it? And I thought [00:12:25] that it’s just a nice way to transition from International Baccalaureate to problem [00:12:30] based learning was the system I understood. But again, looking back like what fantastic [00:12:35] life skills that gives you as well that this is a problem, let’s analyse it. And now [00:12:40] let’s treatment plan or let’s just plan what the outcome has to be, or strategize [00:12:45] how we need to go from here. So not only did that really help when I, [00:12:50] um, started working as a dentist, but it also helped in life in general.

Speaker3: What [00:12:55] were you like in Manchester?

Speaker1: Oh, you’re gonna have to. I can’t give you all my secrets. [00:13:00] Um. Come on. But, um, you know, the two [00:13:05] years of independence from being at boarding school, I. I had the confidence, um, [00:13:10] I came in, and I was just ready to live life. I think I’m a [00:13:15] work hard, party hard girl, and I don’t think that’s ever died. I think that’s still there. That’s [00:13:20] the way you have to live life, you know? Um, make every moment count. [00:13:25] Uh, so, um, loved my social life at Manchester. Um, loved [00:13:30] to go out. But at the same time, I really, really enjoyed my [00:13:35] course. I enjoyed all the biological aspects of all of it, that biology side [00:13:40] and the first two years. And then I was so excited to get into the clinical years as well. So [00:13:45] it was almost like.

Speaker3: It’s not a common story. Uh, it’s [00:13:50] like it’s a lot of people are overwhelmed by the course.

Speaker1: Do you know what? [00:13:55]

Speaker3: Do you not feel that? Um.

Speaker1: I wouldn’t say overwhelmed because I think that, [00:14:00] you know, I’d been in a really competitive school, you know, until GCSEs. Then [00:14:05] I went into another competitive school on, on my own. So I guess in that sense, I wasn’t [00:14:10] overwhelmed. You know, I’d left home already. I’d already started to experience that. So [00:14:15] for me, it was. Yes, it’s another challenge. Um, bring it on. And yes, [00:14:20] you know what? Plus plus that Kenyan upbringing.

Speaker3: Right. That Kenyan upbringing [00:14:25] is like gold. I mean, when I think about the number of people who’ve sat here in front of us, I mean, [00:14:30] Prav your family as well, right? But from East Africa. Yeah. Drew [00:14:35] Vishal Shah, my favourite, my favourite episode of them all, by the way. So many, so [00:14:40] many people. That Kenyan upbringing is different. It’s something about that Kenyan upbringing can do part [00:14:45] of it and the community part of it.

Speaker1: Yeah, absolutely. Um, I think community [00:14:50] friends, the environment that you’re growing up in is, I think very [00:14:55] different. And I think environment is not people that always impact you. It’s also the environment [00:15:00] as well. And I think that moulds you, that moulds your mindset and the experiences that you have moulds your mindset. [00:15:05]

Speaker4: Sarika, I’m curious about um, so you just spoke about like you go from [00:15:10] boarding school to uni and now you can let your hair down, right? And let’s call it freedom. [00:15:15] Let’s, let’s call the word freedom. Right. But you went from Kenya to Kent and from [00:15:20] Kenya to Kent. They must have been a degree of right I can let loose now. Right. [00:15:25] Because I’m not under my parents watch or whatever, or it’s different. Or [00:15:30] the other thing is that, you know, I don’t know what your life was like in Kenya, but I’m guessing because [00:15:35] your family could afford to send you to Kent, that you had a pretty good life in Kenya, right? That [00:15:40] everything was taken care of, things were done for you, etc., etc. then you moved to [00:15:45] Kent and now it’s, hey, I’ve got to fend for myself, right? I’ve got to grow up. And when [00:15:50] you said that, that sort of reminded me of me going to uni for the first time and having to do [00:15:55] my own thing, right. So you grew up a lot quicker than I did exactly [00:16:00] at the point in your life, if that makes sense, because we’re forced to do that, right? [00:16:05] Yeah. But then there was another level of growing up when you went to went to what was just just talk me [00:16:10] through, like what was going through your mind then at that point when you moved from Kenya [00:16:15] to Kent, maybe the difference in culture or whatever and the growing up you did, [00:16:20] but then what was holding you back in Kent that allowed you to let loose in Manchester? What [00:16:25] what what.

Speaker3: Being a teenager?

Speaker1: Well, this is it, right? I think that growing up in [00:16:30] Kenya, um, it was a privilege. Also a sheltered upbringing. [00:16:35] Right. And I think, again, being in a boarding school. Environment. You’re still [00:16:40] sheltered, right? Um, but really, when you go to university, [00:16:45] you’re truly independent. You’re truly independent. There are certain expectations. [00:16:50] They definitely were for me because I was an international student in terms of education [00:16:55] and grades. But at the same time, it was the time where I started [00:17:00] to think, well, this is my life now. I get to make the decisions. [00:17:05] I get to choose, uh, and I can, I will, I can, [00:17:10] I’ll probably make mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. And I also had some [00:17:15] wonderful times and incredible memories. And I feel that what [00:17:20] happens is that from the age of from the time you’re born until you’re 20 and [00:17:25] is the time when you don’t, you know, you don’t have that. You’re not born with a sense of self that normally [00:17:30] starts from the age of 0 to 3, and then until the age of 20 is when people. [00:17:35] So the people closest to you can influence and [00:17:40] impact the way you are and the way you think and the decisions you make from [00:17:45] the age of 20 onwards is when you start [00:17:50] to take control of your life, or can decide if you want to start taking control of your, you know you’re [00:17:55] under, you’re less under the influence of other people. And that’s when you start to [00:18:00] truly become independent. That’s when you start to take more responsibilities. [00:18:05] That’s when you have to start taking accountability for your actions. And [00:18:10] that’s when you know you really have the power of choice. It’s in your hands [00:18:15] on how you dictate your life and where you want to go from there.

Speaker3: Take us through the professional journey [00:18:20] after that. So you qualified. Where did you work first and then when did you get [00:18:25] into the idea of, you know, private dentistry okay. Quality.

Speaker1: So what a story here, [00:18:30] right. So I was an international student and that meant that [00:18:35] I really, really had to fight for a job. And at this time I didn’t want to go back to Kenya. [00:18:40] I wanted to stay in the UK and get my experience. So I don’t know if you remember Payman, [00:18:45] but at the time it was all it was about job shops, right? The country was was all split up into [00:18:50] deaneries and and every deanery had a job shop. So all the trainers would come [00:18:55] to this job shop and it was an opportunity for you to meet them. They might do a little mini interview at the [00:19:00] time, and I think I applied to every single deanery. And [00:19:05] I remember like printing all these CVS and cover letters, um, [00:19:10] for, oh my gosh, I think I applied to over 100, 120 jobs [00:19:15] at the time. And this is two months before my final exams. Right? And I remember [00:19:20] gallivanting around the country trying to go for interviews, and it was really [00:19:25] it was so chaotic. It was it was the first time I think I really felt stressed because, [00:19:30] you know, passing your exams is one thing. Uh, it’s kind of in my control. [00:19:35] But getting a job was partially in my control. And, and at the time, I think it’s a lot [00:19:40] fairer. I think the system now is, is a lot fairer. But at the time, you know, trainers, they [00:19:45] kind of already knew in their mind who they wanted, but they almost had to like interview people [00:19:50] just to show they were interviewing people.

Speaker1: Um, I remember going for, you know, travelling [00:19:55] from Manchester all the way down to the, to the, to the south coast. And it took me eight [00:20:00] hours. Um, and it cost, it cost me money. I only had a budget like a strict budget [00:20:05] then spent. So it cost me money going all the way down there. But wow, what a life lesson. [00:20:10] And I basically just ended up in East Anglia. Um, I was at the job [00:20:15] shop then, uh, tired because I was wearing like five inch heels, [00:20:20] which I was known for at the time, and I just took a rest and I thought, okay, I’m just going to go [00:20:25] to the bar and have a drink. And there was a man there having a beer, and we just [00:20:30] started talking and he said, well, yeah, I’m actually, um, a partner of a practice, [00:20:35] um, in Norwich, and I’m looking for a VC. [00:20:40] And we ended up just chatting, connecting, and he invited me to come and have a look at [00:20:45] the practice a few days later. And that was it. We signed, uh, the what was it, the [00:20:50] letter of intent at the time in a pub. And that’s how it happened. That’s how I [00:20:55] got my job.

Speaker3: Why was it more difficult for a foreign student [00:21:00] to get a job? Was it just a I mean, yeah, you feel like [00:21:05] that people thought that you can’t do the communication piece as well?

Speaker1: No. Um, [00:21:10] at the time, the rule was that the priority has to go to, uh, UK [00:21:15] born citizen.

Speaker3: Right? Oh I see, yes yes yes yes yes.

Speaker1: So we weren’t prioritised.

Speaker3: Okay. [00:21:20] So then that practice was mixed or what must be.

Speaker1: So it [00:21:25] was it was mostly an NHS practice. Um, it was um, it was [00:21:30] a group of practices that was owned by four partners, and there was a primary [00:21:35] partner and then three other partners, and they had 13 practices in and around Norwich. [00:21:40] Wow. Yeah. And then that transition. So it was all NHS. And then [00:21:45] what they did was they opened up later on. I think I was there for seven years by the way. [00:21:50] Um, but probably later on when I was kind of done my four years, they’d [00:21:55] opened up a few private practices, which I then had the opportunity to work in because I was doing my Masters [00:22:00] in restorative at the same time. So they allowed me to work in their private practice as well, which was great experience. [00:22:05]

Speaker3: So I can imagine the clinical lessons you were learning at these [00:22:10] times. Because, you know, the early days, we all go through those, you know, slow and then speed up, [00:22:15] make some mistakes, can’t talk all the things that people people suffer. But what about [00:22:20] the sort of business lessons you learned there? Because there must have been a load.

Speaker1: Yeah, absolutely. [00:22:25] So do you know what let’s let’s talk about, [00:22:30] you know, business and finance because everyone. It’s something you hear so [00:22:35] commonly that we’re taught how to be dentists and be good clinically, [00:22:40] but we’re not actually taught the business or the finance skills at university. Right? [00:22:45] Um, so. When I came into, [00:22:50] you know, after I’d done my bit and I was an associate again, it was like being at the [00:22:55] deep end when it came to business and understanding hourly rate. I remember [00:23:00] that was the first time that, uh, my trainer, who was then mentoring me as well, [00:23:05] spoke about, okay, you’ve got to start thinking of your hourly rates and, you know, you’ve got to start, [00:23:10] you know, you’ve got to hire an accountant. And it’s suddenly about taxes and, you [00:23:15] know, savings and pension fund and, and all these things that I’d never heard of before. [00:23:20] And. I think that the dialogue [00:23:25] that I’d had in my head until then was that this is really overwhelming, [00:23:30] because I’m not good with money. Okay. And if I look at my [00:23:35] relationship with money prior to that is that I had actually grown up in [00:23:40] a household where my father was a primary earner. [00:23:45] And he managed most of the money in the family. [00:23:50] So talking and discussing about managing money was never really [00:23:55] done when I was young. And then when I left for boarding school, I remember [00:24:00] him, you know, they were dropping me off and they said, oh gosh, we need to open a bank account for you. Remember [00:24:05] walking into HSBC and them opening a bank account, giving me a bank card? And again, it was like almost [00:24:10] given to me.

Speaker1: And here are some cheques. You just need to, you know, deposit a check every [00:24:15] month and that’s your budget. And again, you know, and I don’t think it was their intention, [00:24:20] um, not to teach me this, but it was almost like I [00:24:25] had to learn about managing money on my own. So [00:24:30] in terms of business skills, at the practice that I worked in, I got [00:24:35] to see how multiple practices were being run. I got [00:24:40] to see how staff were being managed, and I got to see how [00:24:45] budgets were used. Um, in terms of buying stock and, you know, how [00:24:50] equipment was managed because a lot of us dentists, we were working in 2 or 3 different practices [00:24:55] within the group. So we were carrying all our equipment. And we also had like a little tool [00:25:00] kit in case something broke down. We were given training on how to fix, you know, the little [00:25:05] thing here or there. Yeah, it was fantastic. Um, and I’ll never forget that because [00:25:10] I remember then transitioning to become an associate. And if something broke down, I wouldn’t [00:25:15] be like, oh my gosh, help me. I don’t know what’s going on here. I’d almost want to, you know, [00:25:20] try to figure out what was happening, um, and try to fix it myself if I could, [00:25:25] you know, at the time. So. I think that in terms of business [00:25:30] skills, I learned quite a few things. On reflection.

Speaker4: Sarika. [00:25:35] A lot of, um, a lot of, shall we say, associate associates [00:25:40] approached me and say, hey, Prav, I want to open my own practice now. Yeah. [00:25:45] And there’s two main reasons that they cite, and it’s really interesting that they say that [00:25:50] you’ll be able to speak from the lens of a practice owner now, but they say I’m giving away [00:25:55] 55% of my income to the practice. Right? [00:26:00] I want to keep 100% of my income. So reason one why they want to open a practice, [00:26:05] right? And reason two, which comes up a lot, is the patient journey [00:26:10] is not how I would like to treat patients. They do this wrong, [00:26:15] they do this wrong. And and I’m restricted with respect to how I can treat the patient [00:26:20] or what the journey is. And they want to create this new journey for the patient and [00:26:25] from a, from a blank canvas. And so practice ownership becomes the only thing [00:26:30] to do. Yeah. Out of curiosity in that experience, in your associate experience, [00:26:35] was there anything patient journey related where you thought, do you know what I want [00:26:40] to do this different? And what were those things?

Speaker1: Absolutely. I [00:26:45] think everyone has different experiences when they work as an associates. And [00:26:50] you come at some point, you come to this realisation of what [00:26:55] kind of dentist do you want to want to be? And I think it starts off from there. [00:27:00] Okay. What kind of dentist do you want to be? And I think that’s really powerful, by the way, [00:27:05] when someone does get to that point, and when I was working [00:27:10] as an associate, there were so many things that I saw in terms of management, [00:27:15] in terms of patient journey, in terms of the care that I wanted to give patients. Right. [00:27:20] And and that, you know, Interlinks with the type of clinical dentistry that I was doing as [00:27:25] well. But you’re so naive at that time because you don’t actually you’re [00:27:30] not actually managing your staff. You’re not actually paying for things. You don’t actually [00:27:35] know the costs of things right at the time. You have all these hopes and dreams [00:27:40] and desires and you think, well, okay, in order to get from A to B and really [00:27:45] kind of practice the dentistry, I want to practice and give that patient journey and the patient care that I [00:27:50] want to give, the only way forward is to open a practice. But [00:27:55] then the hard lessons are in front of you, and they’re the challenges that you then have to face [00:28:00] that it’s not it’s not that easy. It’s not that easy to develop [00:28:05] a patient journey that’s flawless. It’s not that easy to give 100% patient care every [00:28:10] single time because the entire team is involved, not just you, and you have to manage everyone [00:28:15] else around it. And then of course, things cost money. So if you want your patients [00:28:20] to experience a really good journey. And you know you want your staff to be happy. [00:28:25] Um, yes. You have to bring things like create the culture and the value. [00:28:30] Uh, you know, values and things like that, which I’m very pro, by the way, and I love doing with [00:28:35] my team. But at the same time, it costs money. It takes time. [00:28:40] And, you know, it’s it’s a big learning curve, a steep learning curve.

Speaker4: And [00:28:45] so what part specifically of the patient journey during your [00:28:50] time as a say a non principal or non practice owner. [00:28:55] Were you passionate about that you wanted to change. Do you know what that [00:29:00] weren’t right. And have you put them right now or have you struck. It sounds like you’ve [00:29:05] struggled to put them right as everyone does because we paint this ideal of what it should be. But then [00:29:10] the reality kicks in of team management and all the rest of it. You’ve alluded to [00:29:15] but but what specifically? I’m really curious about that, because the dentist who I speak to have [00:29:20] different ideals and they’re not always the same. So I’m just wondering what yours yours were.

Speaker1: Yeah, [00:29:25] absolutely. And to be honest with you, it was part of my business plan was to have [00:29:30] that that full flow from beginning to end of the patient journey. [00:29:35] And I think that when there is a break in that, then that’s when [00:29:40] it starts to affect patient journey and patient care. So what I realised, my experience is working as an associate, [00:29:45] was that often receptionists would pick up the phone and adhere their, their tone [00:29:50] and the way they were speaking to patients wasn’t very welcoming. I would then do everything [00:29:55] I could bend over backwards to give them the best care, and sometimes then there wasn’t great [00:30:00] aftercare, you know? Again, phone call, check out, check in. You know, all [00:30:05] of that just wasn’t done the way I, I thought it should be done. And [00:30:10] so was actually part of my business plan is patient journey and patient care is is at the core [00:30:15] of everything that I want my practice to be about. Um, and therefore everyone [00:30:20] is trained on that from day dot. Right. And there is continuous [00:30:25] training on that as we move forward. It’s always something that we talk about. It’s always [00:30:30] something that we prioritise as almost being the USP [00:30:35] in our practice as well. And honestly, our practice has grown organically. [00:30:40]

Speaker1: You know, we’ve hardly had to do huge amounts of marketing and marketing, um, huge [00:30:45] amounts of advertisement. And it’s down to building our reputation, you know, it’s just [00:30:50] down to trying to understand what is it that patients want, what is it they need? And incorporating it in the patient [00:30:55] journey. People think patient journey is just a line from A to B. It’s not. It’s so [00:31:00] much more complex than that. There’s so much more that you have to add along the way. So [00:31:05] then and then you have to refine everything as you’re going along the way, right? And you have to [00:31:10] almost be accountable for everything, um, along the way as well. And then do that constant training. So [00:31:15] not only is it being sustained, you’re getting better and better and better [00:31:20] at it. Right. Um, and it’s again down to systems and processes in the practice. [00:31:25] It’s um, it’s down to having, uh, certain standards. So standardising [00:31:30] that if someone came to see me and I give them a particular [00:31:35] service, if they went to see one of my associates, they’re getting exactly the same service. It’s not like I went to see the principal [00:31:40] of the practice. It’s like I went to see someone at this practice, and it was an incredible. [00:31:45]

Speaker4: And then at what point did Rishi come in? At what point did. Because [00:31:50] Rishi, for those who don’t know, Rishi is your your your husband and your, shall [00:31:55] we say, business partner, but he runs the business with you and um. Yeah, I’ve had the I’ve had the privilege [00:32:00] of obviously working with you guys and having lengthy conversations both with Rishi and yourself. [00:32:05] And I think certainly for me, that the more successful [00:32:10] practices that I work with are those that have family involved, right? [00:32:15] It can also cause problems as well. I’ve seen I’ve seen that too. Right. But actually having [00:32:20] that person on board that you can give 100% trust to and you’ve both got the same [00:32:25] vision. So tell us about when Rishi came into your life. Um, and then [00:32:30] how that evolved in, in the, in the practice. Did you, did you buy it together? [00:32:35] Did he come along later? What was the chronology of all of that? And what does Rishi do in [00:32:40] the practice? Sure.

Speaker1: So when I was an associate and I was reflecting back and I [00:32:45] wanted to buy the practice that that seed was planted, okay, I knew that I wanted to go in a different direction. [00:32:50] My brother, who’s five years younger than me, was also a dentist, and [00:32:55] I remember having a conversation. He said, look, you know, we’re both dentists. It only makes sense that we do this together. [00:33:00] My brother lived in Manchester at the time, okay, and we lived in London, [00:33:05] so there was obviously that distance and we started the journey. We started looking at practices [00:33:10] and Rishi was very much involved in looking at the financial [00:33:15] side because that’s Rishi’s background. Okay. He was in finance. He was still working in finance [00:33:20] at the time. So we kind of leveraged his, you know, on his knowledge and [00:33:25] his skills. Um, and, you know, we just thought, well, here he can contribute really well here. And [00:33:30] we learned things along the way as well. Um, you know, about some of the profitability, finances, [00:33:35] you know, accounts in that side of things. And in the end, it didn’t work out with my brother because they [00:33:40] decided to stay in the Midlands. Um, and then so, you [00:33:45] know, I said, well, I still want to go down this route. Are you happy to help me? And she said, yeah, absolutely. So we were still looking [00:33:50] at practices and then he started getting more and more interested in it. And, [00:33:55] and then he said to me, do you know, one day he said, darling, would it be [00:34:00] okay if we if we did this together? Um, and you know, we’ve got, we’ve [00:34:05] got fantastic.

Speaker1: You know, we’ve got skills on, on either end. You’ve got you can be the kind of clinical [00:34:10] director in that side of it and take control of that. And I can help with the whole, um, [00:34:15] you know, financial side of it, the marketing, um, you know, and, [00:34:20] you know, also help with like, management of staff and, but take over the entire [00:34:25] finance side of it. And it just worked out really well because we’ve got completely different [00:34:30] skill sets. But there are two strong skill sets that you need to run [00:34:35] a practice really efficiently. And yeah, we [00:34:40] started our journey. So basically when we bought the practice where she was still working in banking, [00:34:45] um, we wanted to kind of we’d invested a lot of money, we’d taken a lot of risk. [00:34:50] Um, and just a few years prior, we’d bought our first property as well. So, um, [00:34:55] he just said that. Look, until the finances, you know, work out, personal finances work out, I’ll [00:35:00] continue to work. So he was working two jobs, I remember, you know, working very late at night, [00:35:05] both of us, you know, um, so the first few years were really tough, and then he transitioned [00:35:10] into working full time. And yeah, we’re we’re a 5050 partnership in the practice.

Speaker3: Tell [00:35:15] us the the steps you went through to actually conceive the practice. I mean, were you thinking [00:35:20] squat? Were you thinking buyer practice? Were both things in your head? And [00:35:25] then something shifted you one way or the other?

Speaker1: Yeah, absolutely. Um, it was, it was looking [00:35:30] at both. And I think you have to look at both options. Uh, it’s just about the opportunity [00:35:35] that came our way. I mean, Payman, you’ve been to our practice, right? Like, what’s not to love [00:35:40] about that building? It is just we. I just fell in love with it. [00:35:45]

Speaker3: Was it existing or did you was existing. Did you start it yourself? You started yourself? No, [00:35:50] I was existing practice.

Speaker1: Yeah, but it was a very small, slow two surgery practice [00:35:55] and we just saw opportunity. I mean, she’s I remember him coming home and saying [00:36:00] I’ve found this fancy practice and you’re going to love it. I know you’re going to love it. And [00:36:05] you know, we both just fell in love with it. Him because of the financial [00:36:10] possibility of what he could achieve from that side. And, and for me, about [00:36:15] what I could create and what I could do and the building and the vibe and the energy [00:36:20] and all of that, like, you know, was was just so in sync with who I was. So [00:36:25] it was a great synergy.

Speaker3: Were you sure it was going to be in Docklands? Did you know that already before? [00:36:30] You know, was that the only place you were looking?

Speaker1: No, not at all. And it was we were living literally on the other side of the river, [00:36:35] so we can see the building from our where we lived in our apartment and where we lived. But absolutely [00:36:40] not. I think when you’re when you’re looking for a practice, you’ve got to explore [00:36:45] all options. You’ve. Go to explore squat practice. You’ve got to explore [00:36:50] an existing practice. And you know, of course, you [00:36:55] know, we wanted it to be, you know, somewhere that was close ish for us to get to because [00:37:00] we know that we have to spend a lot of time there. So that was important. Um, but at the same [00:37:05] time, we were willing to move for the right practice as well. You know, we were we didn’t we didn’t have any children at the time. [00:37:10] So in that sense, we had the flexibility. But it was about the [00:37:15] right practice. And I think it’s a really important, um, that [00:37:20] you know exactly what you want and then you take your time [00:37:25] to look for it if you’re going to invest in something like that.

Speaker3: So [00:37:30] what what were your you know, we’ve got lots of moving parts when you buy a practice. Right. Should it be, [00:37:35] you know, leasehold, freehold. How big how many people potential for for growth. [00:37:40] What what what were your sort of red lines. What were you saying. Were you saying I definitely want a place that [00:37:45] I can do up and grow, or were you saying it has to be fully [00:37:50] private or what were the what were the parameters that you were looking in?

Speaker1: Yeah, absolutely. [00:37:55] And I think it’s important that you have parameters. Right. So again, really understanding what you [00:38:00] want. So definitely at the time I the type of dentistry I was doing, I was already [00:38:05] working in, you know, a private practice and I wanted it to be fully private. And it was an [00:38:10] existing private practice that we bought in terms of leasehold freehold to us. We were [00:38:15] exploring all options, but we definitely wanted a site where we [00:38:20] could grow in. So in terms of the the layout and the space and looking [00:38:25] at that, I mean, this was AA2 surgery practice that turned into a very vibrant and busy [00:38:30] four surgery practice. Right? So we were able to do that over two refurbishments. And [00:38:35] yeah, you always want the potential for growth.

Speaker3: So how many people was it when [00:38:40] you how many people was it when you bought it and how many people you know.

Speaker1: Gosh, there was seven people, [00:38:45] including everybody. And now we both are lead a team of [00:38:50] 25.

Speaker3: Wow. Since 2017.

Speaker1: Oh, it’s seven years. [00:38:55]

Speaker3: Oh excellent.

Speaker4: So when you when you bought the practice, [00:39:00] um, a lot of people say to me that, um, after buying the practice, they uncover some skeletons, [00:39:05] right, that they didn’t know about when they, when they signed on the dotted line. [00:39:10] And was there anything like that that came any kind of surprises or shocks during the early days where you [00:39:15] thought, oh, crap, I’ve got to deal with this now? And what were the what were the most challenging things [00:39:20] in the in the early days of, um, buying an existing practice? Okay.

Speaker1: So [00:39:25] I’d say the first thing that comes to memory is, is staff. Okay. You come [00:39:30] in with all these different ideas about how you want your team to be, but [00:39:35] you’re taking over an existing team that is run and managed very, very differently. So [00:39:40] you can bring in all your ideas and, you [00:39:45] know, and again, they’re they’ve been sat in a comfort zone. So you’re going to come in with all these different changes. [00:39:50] And some staff will be excited by that and some just won’t be. And I think you’ve got to be quite thick skinned [00:39:55] about that. Um, and you’ve got to start learning about recruitment [00:40:00] and how to recruit. So I’d say that was the number one challenge that [00:40:05] we faced when we first bought the practice. And then the second thing was probably [00:40:10] just structural, structural things like in terms of, you know, when you it’s like going to buy [00:40:15] a house, right? It’s exactly the same thing. You get like a really short opportunity to go in [00:40:20] and, and, and see, it’s not like a test drive that you get to like work in it or live in [00:40:25] it. I mean, some people, you know, may have the privilege to do that, but, you know, we just had a quick, you know, look [00:40:30] at the practice and and then that was it.

Speaker1: Make a decision because there’s [00:40:35] people competing, you know, against this in this buying process. So we had to be quite quick. [00:40:40] Um, so structurally for sure, I remember our deacon room and how everything [00:40:45] was just literally breaking down. And I was thinking, oh my goodness, how did we not see this when we when, [00:40:50] when when we walked around? How could we, you know, miss miss these things. But but that was [00:40:55] it, to be honest with you. And then it was just about clearing up and the mess [00:41:00] and, and you know, all the paperwork and the boxes and all this kind of stuff. And I’m [00:41:05] a very organised person. So thank God for that skill because, um, I spent many, [00:41:10] many Saturdays and Sundays, you know, with, with my marigolds on and, you know, like [00:41:15] going through all these boxes and, and, you know, going through all this mess. So [00:41:20] I think just be prepared potentially for that. But it depends on the type of practice you’re buying. Right. [00:41:25] Sure.

Speaker4: Of course. Um, sureka. Let’s let’s move on now [00:41:30] to, um, your journey today, which is very different from, well, obviously, [00:41:35] whatever, whatever you do in the past shapes your future. Right? But a [00:41:40] lot of the content that you seem to be putting out right now is, is more, um, inspirational, aspirational. [00:41:45] Motivational in terms of its, um, vibe and, [00:41:50] um, what sort of instigated that? What was the what was the driving force [00:41:55] behind that? And then, um, you know, I remember speaking to you a few [00:42:00] months ago and you said to me, Prav, you know what? I really want to do something [00:42:05] different for women in dentistry. I feel they’re underrepresented. [00:42:10] I feel that there’s so much more we can do [00:42:15] for them. And I want to help. So I want to put a course together to [00:42:20] help women in dentistry. So I think my first question is, what is it specifically [00:42:25] about women in dentistry that is is different and more more difficult, [00:42:30] should we say for you guys? And then what is it that drove that [00:42:35] motivation.

Speaker1: Yeah, absolutely. So look, I think since I’ve [00:42:40] graduated I’ve noticed a huge progression, right, in [00:42:45] dentistry, but not just on the clinical side of the profession, but in the industry as, [00:42:50] as a whole. Okay. And for most of my career so far, I’ve been really passionate about [00:42:55] dentistry. However, I think that I have definitely [00:43:00] faced obstacles and I’ve definitely faced challenges, um, in [00:43:05] my career so far. And it’s been on reflection of some of the barriers that [00:43:10] I face and that I’ve experienced. And then, you know, over the last, I’d say [00:43:15] 7 or 8 years, I’ve been having countless conversations with women in [00:43:20] dentistry, not just clinical side of dentistry, but also the industry side [00:43:25] of dentistry. And and I’ve started to notice that there’s a trend that [00:43:30] a lot of us are facing similar barriers, and maybe not all the ones that I’ve [00:43:35] experienced, but a lot of women are facing the same barriers. And I started to, you know, I started to discuss [00:43:40] it with my husband and my friends and other dentists. That why why are we not discussing this more? [00:43:45] Why is there not more kind of education around how women can [00:43:50] overcome barriers, um, in dentistry? And look, if you look at the statistics [00:43:55] of how things are now, you know, 50% or more of graduates are female, [00:44:00] right? So then I started to question, well, in this profession [00:44:05] that I love, what is the future of dentistry actually look like? Right. If many of us are are [00:44:10] facing barriers such as potentially lack of confidence or management of [00:44:15] time or our relationship with money and all these common, you know, these, these common [00:44:20] beliefs that we have, then what is the future of dentistry actually look like? Last [00:44:25] year I climbed Kilimanjaro, and part of that climb was for me to find [00:44:30] my purpose and to get clarity on my purpose. And I feel [00:44:35] like it’s almost like a mission for me now to really [00:44:40] reach out to women, inspire them, motivate them, and, [00:44:45] you know, for them to feel like they are extremely strong leaders in [00:44:50] the dental field.

Speaker4: Sarika, what are the most common barriers? You mentioned a [00:44:55] few barriers there, and a couple of them, um, you mentioned would be barriers that are, you know, [00:45:00] um, experienced by both men and women, right? So for example, relationship with money or finances [00:45:05] and things like that. So I want to dig into more specifically the sort of things [00:45:10] that, you know, women in dentistry have reached out to you about and maybe some of your own barriers that [00:45:15] you’ve faced. Um, as a female in dentistry, you know, whether it revolves [00:45:20] around being a wife, a mother and a business owner all at once and trying to manage [00:45:25] that juggle, that juggling act. What are some of the most common barriers [00:45:30] that you’ve heard about or experienced yourself? Sure.

Speaker1: So I think when I first [00:45:35] started off as a young dentist, um, in that practice that I worked in, it was a very male dominated [00:45:40] profession. And at the time, and on [00:45:45] a social level, I would say there was a lack of. And [00:45:50] socially what what what the practice did for other women. There was lots of social [00:45:55] events that were planned for men, but very little for women. So not not only [00:46:00] were the men kind of had the opportunity to connect, and the opportunities for women [00:46:05] to connect were only happening at work and not outside of work. And I also thought that [00:46:10] there was a lack of female to female support. I only [00:46:15] ever went to my, my, um, my male, um, dentist, [00:46:20] you know, dentist friends for help, for support and for mentorship, but very little. There was [00:46:25] very little female to female support. I also think, relatively speaking, that dentistry [00:46:30] is quite a daunting to career to work in, especially in the initial years. You’re [00:46:35] expected to competently work on your own from day one, and [00:46:40] not only is that challenging on so many levels, but it can be really isolating and [00:46:45] confidence. I think it’s important for us to talk about confidence, you know, two huge [00:46:50] qualities that are correlated in dentistry and in today’s world [00:46:55] are confidence and effective communication. So what [00:47:00] I realised with myself and countless conversations that I’ve had with women on this topic, [00:47:05] is that women often have the competence, but they don’t have the confidence [00:47:10] in many situations. And it’s almost the opposite for men sometimes [00:47:15] I think. But, but, but you know, when, when [00:47:20] and I mean that very respectfully.

Speaker1: But, um, when we talk about confidence [00:47:25] in particular, I think that there are two types of confidence that people have. And it’s important to talk about [00:47:30] this. There’s an outer confidence on how you behave in your environment [00:47:35] and rely on what other people think of us. And then there is an inner confidence [00:47:40] in how you accept and trust yourself and almost have a sense of control in [00:47:45] your life. So personally, I would say that for most of my life, [00:47:50] though I had portrayed outer confidence, I didn’t have much inner confidence. Uh, [00:47:55] and because of that, I suffered with a lot of stress, anxiety, imposter [00:48:00] thoughts, fear, self-judgment, and perfectionism. And [00:48:05] not just in relation to my clinical dentistry, but in other aspects of my life, too. So, [00:48:10] you know, we should identify that confidence or a lack of confidence. [00:48:15] It’s a very gender neutral concept, and everyone will be confident and not confident about [00:48:20] something. But and I think there’s a big debate around stereotyping that [00:48:25] outcomes and of decisions that women make are due to a lack of self confidence. [00:48:30] And I don’t think we should go into that because it’s more important to discuss why [00:48:35] some women suffer with a lack of confidence. And if I may continue, [00:48:40] I think in my opinion, this comes down to two things. So [00:48:45] the first is our environment and what we see as [00:48:50] women. We’ve grown up and we still live and work in quite a male dominated environment. [00:48:55] Yes, things are changing, but it’s definitely not happening at the magnitude and speed at which [00:49:00] we think it’s changing.

Speaker1: And, you know, we’ve started to see that shift in the last [00:49:05] few years in dentistry where women are not only showcasing incredible [00:49:10] clinical skills, but they’re more involved in teaching and lecturing. [00:49:15] They’re building and developing more businesses and clinics and [00:49:20] taking on bigger leadership roles. And I just want to maybe take this opportunity right now to acknowledge [00:49:25] and commend those serious female powerhouses that are out there, although worldwide, [00:49:30] we have noticed that, like I said, there’s that huge movement [00:49:35] in female empowerment, but the speed at which it’s happening is, is [00:49:40] not at what we think it is, especially because some of the choices [00:49:45] and opportunities that women have had have only really happened within the last hundred years or so, [00:49:50] many of which have happened in the last 50 years. So for the majority [00:49:55] of women in our life, we’ve been influenced by a male dominated world. You know, we’ve we’ve [00:50:00] lived in patriarchy for so long, and for those women that are already making it, they’ve had to [00:50:05] overcome some pretty big biases and challenges. And again, you know, just [00:50:10] to let you both know, this is a really common conversation, a topic of conversation, [00:50:15] um, amongst women. And I think the second reason behind a lack of self-confidence [00:50:20] sometimes is our upbringing to some degree, um, namely cultures and beliefs. [00:50:25] And I’d like to maybe discuss one aspect of this, and it’s called the [00:50:30] The Good Girl syndrome. Have either of you heard of this? The good girl syndrome? Yeah, yeah. [00:50:35] Um, be a.

Speaker3: Good girl and do the.

Speaker1: Exactly. Um, and, you know, [00:50:40] it’s often used in our childhood by our caregivers. So the good girl syndrome is basically just [00:50:45] the manifestation of traits valued and praised amongst little girls, [00:50:50] and how deviating from those traits makes them feel guilty or fearful of [00:50:55] being judged, constantly seeking validation from others and the need [00:51:00] to excel in everything that they do. So they’re setting themselves really, really high standards all the time [00:51:05] and almost being perfect. And this inability to say no, um, and [00:51:10] being afraid of upsetting others. So it’s no wonder, with this kind of conditioning, [00:51:15] that many women develop scripts, mindset, beliefs that [00:51:20] lead to them suffering with fear, self-doubt, impostor thoughts, perfectionism, [00:51:25] people pleasing um, and a lack of deep inner confidence. [00:51:30]

Speaker4: I’ve got a question. I’ve got a question related to that, which is, um, it relates [00:51:35] to children, actually, because, um, what you just brought up there is, is [00:51:40] be a be a good girl in that. So, so you actually it’s almost like [00:51:45] you get this definition of what being a good girl is, and then you don’t want to be a [00:51:50] bad girl. So you you behave in that certain way and you become conditioned, right? Absolutely. [00:51:55] But boy or girl with our with our children. Right. We can say things to [00:52:00] our kids, right? Oh, you’re a really good girl. You’re a good boy, you’re a good kid, blah blah, [00:52:05] blah, blah, blah. And unknowingly, we could be conditioning them into [00:52:10] what is good or bad. And on the whole, I believe we should teach our teach [00:52:15] our kids, um, you know, how to behave and set examples for them and stuff. But [00:52:20] has that impacted the way you, you interact with, with your kids and what you say and how you communicate [00:52:25] with them? Our curiosity.

Speaker1: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that [00:52:30] you’re right. We we use we use that phrase quite a bit. Right. Like be a good boy [00:52:35] and do this. Or if you’re not going to be a good boy, you’re going to be naughty. You won’t get that. But yeah, [00:52:40] you know, we’ve got to be careful on how we use that phrase. I think it’s [00:52:45] really important. And I think modern parenting, there is a bit more awareness around [00:52:50] how we use that phrase, uh, phrase. Because, you know, we recognise that, [00:52:55] especially me as a woman. I feel that I’ve recognised through my upbringing how much it’s affected [00:53:00] me. And I have memories of, you know, being the older sibling as well that, [00:53:05] you know, I’d be playing with, with with my with my brother. Um, he’s [00:53:10] trying to snatch a toy from me. And this happens over and over again. He’s trying to snatch a toy from me. And my parents would say, [00:53:15] do you know what? I’ll give it to your brother. You’re such a good girl, you know? And everything was. You’re such a good girl. You’re [00:53:20] such a good girl. And for such a long time, you know, we I had that fear [00:53:25] of judgement from people, you know, for so long.

Speaker1: And it’s crazy how powerful that is, because [00:53:30] it really stops you from moving forward and achieving [00:53:35] goals, or trying something new and taking on a new challenge and also constantly [00:53:40] seeking validation. You know, it was it was only, you know. I’d say maybe ten years [00:53:45] ago, where I looked at myself and I thought, gosh, I’m so proud of myself for [00:53:50] achieving what I’ve achieved because I’ve been through a lot. And, you know, I don’t talk about enough. But how [00:53:55] often do we say that we’re proud of ourselves and what we’ve achieved? Right. And I [00:54:00] think we came from a generation where parents didn’t necessarily tell you that. And I think, [00:54:05] I think my parents told me that, you know, they were proud of me for me just a few years ago. You [00:54:10] know, they look back at my life. I was so proud of you. And I’m like, thanks. I’ve never heard you say that before. [00:54:15] And again, not intentionally right. But I think that culturally it [00:54:20] wasn’t just we weren’t given, you know, that that validation.

Speaker3: So does your [00:54:25] course cover this aspect as well?

Speaker1: Absolutely. Okay. So I guess [00:54:30] let’s talk about the course okay. The course is around self leadership [00:54:35] for for women in dentistry. And I think that there is a difference [00:54:40] between leadership and self leadership. And we should understand what that what that difference is. [00:54:45] And I’d like to bring some clarity around that. So leadership is defined as the ability [00:54:50] to lead other people. So there’s an external motivation. However [00:54:55] the more common leadership training um that will [00:55:00] teach elements of self leadership like having certain thoughts, behaviours and attributes. So [00:55:05] if you both visualise a beautiful tree, we’ll call it the leadership [00:55:10] tree. And this tree has roots, a tree trunk and branches. The [00:55:15] self leadership is the roots and the skills of self. Leadership is the roots. The [00:55:20] trunk is is macro or external leadership skills and [00:55:25] the branches are the different types of leadership roles and styles. So [00:55:30] self leadership the rules, the roots, sorry [00:55:35] is the fundamental base of any leadership. It’s [00:55:40] having a true sense of who you really are, the potential of what you can [00:55:45] do. So the power of choice and have full clarity on your goals [00:55:50] where you’re going, coupled with the ability to be able to intentionally [00:55:55] with full control influence your thinking, your feelings, and your actions on the way to getting there. [00:56:00] So with Self-leadership skills, you’re able to successfully [00:56:05] navigate, thrive, and succeed through life’s challenges. Master [00:56:10] self-awareness. Self-confidence. Self-management. Make time work for you. [00:56:15] Decrease stress and overwhelm. Be resilient in the face of adversity. [00:56:20] Find meaning and purpose in your greater.

Speaker1: Why. Understand [00:56:25] from your individual strengths and how to leverage them. Experience [00:56:30] better relationships with others around you, at home and at work, and [00:56:35] beginning to live life with real intentionality and literally [00:56:40] be the most authentic version of yourself every single day. So [00:56:45] by practising and mastering self-leadership, you’re developing [00:56:50] your your inner game, okay? And your inner game consists of your mindset, which is intention, [00:56:55] self-awareness like your authenticity, self-confidence, self-belief, self-management, [00:57:00] which is self-motivation. And then with this and having more clarity around [00:57:05] it, your choices and decisions, you positively influence your outer game and [00:57:10] that’s your actions. So I believe that self leadership, through [00:57:15] my own experience, is the foundation for being an effective human [00:57:20] in the current contemporary world that that we live in. And [00:57:25] once you understand that, you can start to master your macro external leadership [00:57:30] skills and then move on to more niche leadership styles. So [00:57:35] a lot of people ask me that, you know, does does self leadership mean that [00:57:40] you’re going to suddenly transition in this world? Um, and [00:57:45] it’s not necessarily that. Um, so being a self leader doesn’t, [00:57:50] you know, doesn’t mean that you have to be a leader in the traditional traditional sense. Right? Not [00:57:55] everyone wants to lead. So the world needs both leaders and followers. And [00:58:00] I guess I truly believe that if you can’t effectively lead others [00:58:05] in any aspect of your life, then you [00:58:10] know you can’t effectively lead others in any aspect of your life if you can’t lead yourself first. And [00:58:15] that’s so important.

Speaker3: But the you know, it’s a bit like [00:58:20] asking, um, how do I lose weight? Well, you go to the gym and you eat good [00:58:25] food. The information, but the execution on it, [00:58:30] the mindset it takes to turn up for yourself. I find [00:58:35] that the real challenge because I’ll turn up for others. But for yourself, what’s [00:58:40] the what’s a hack you can use to take care of that?

Speaker1: So look, [00:58:45] mindset and mindset shift, which is a huge part of self leadership. You’ve [00:58:50] got to be able to understand that because a lot of what the habits that are already set in us [00:58:55] is from experience and from from, from previous beliefs. Right. And [00:59:00] the good thing is the brain is mouldable and that there are strategies on [00:59:05] how you can change that mindset and make that shift. But look, [00:59:10] I mean payment, you have to realise that you want the change first, right? [00:59:15] You have to realise, you know, where is it you want to go, what kind of life [00:59:20] do you really want to live? Right? And once you have that set [00:59:25] in stone, then you’re ready to then use all the strategies, um, from [00:59:30] self leadership, create that mindset change. And then it’s all about intentionality, [00:59:35] accountability, responsibility. And then moving on from there.

Speaker3: I know, but [00:59:40] I want to live a skinny life. That’s the life. Change. [00:59:45] It’s lovely. It’s lovely.

Speaker1: You know, I’ve been through that myself, you know, [00:59:50] I’m.

Speaker3: Sure you, you.

Speaker1: Know, and you know, I feel like I’m very age positive. [00:59:55] And I feel I’m in my 40s now, and I’m probably in terms of my fitness, [01:00:00] um, and my ability, my energy. I’m the best that I’ve been possibly [01:00:05] ever in my life. Really? Absolutely. And again, it was just down [01:00:10] to, first of all, understanding, why do I why do I want to change? [01:00:15] Why do I want to lose weight? Why do I want to be in this state of energy and and creating [01:00:20] that why? And then having a system put in place in terms of your diet [01:00:25] and your exercise and making them non-negotiables right in our life. And I think [01:00:30] Rishi and I have created such a great balance in our lives. And even when it comes to time management [01:00:35] for our business, what we do and our son, we’ve made all [01:00:40] our exercise in our health a non-negotiable. So it’s totally possible [01:00:45] to like that.

Speaker3: Let’s finish with the darker side. [01:00:50] When we on this pod, we like to look at errors. Mistakes in the hope that [01:00:55] we can all learn from them. When I when I say clinical mistakes, [01:01:00] what comes to mind?

Speaker1: Gosh. One one [01:01:05] dark, dark memory. So. At university, [01:01:10] we didn’t have a lot of clinical experience with molar endo. And [01:01:15] so I think I just done one more llorando when I graduated. Right. [01:01:20] And then in my VCE, that’s it. You’re you’re working in NHS practice. [01:01:25] You have to face it. Everything that comes in, you’re responsible for every single person [01:01:30] that comes through that door. And I remember seeing this molar endo that [01:01:35] that I had to do was really nervous about it. I was going through all my notes again. I was talking to, you [01:01:40] know, my friends, mentors, and basically I had [01:01:45] over extruded in, in all all the canals. And the smaller [01:01:50] endo had failed about a year on and another dentist [01:01:55] then took it out. I had the tooth had to be extracted, so extracted it and [01:02:00] you could see the little bit of GP at the end of the roots. And I remember a [01:02:05] nurse going around and having this tooth on the tissue and showing it to everyone and saying, look, [01:02:10] Sarika did this endo, you know, um, and that was a devastating. [01:02:15]

Speaker3: How did that happen?

Speaker1: Devastating for me.

Speaker3: How did that happen that [01:02:20] last piece.

Speaker1: Yeah. Gosh I mean this is it. Right. And [01:02:25] she was she was my nurse. She was my nurse in my PT. And you know, something I haven’t spoken about today was, [01:02:30] um, that I was bullied by her in, in my year, um, [01:02:35] and kind of had to face that challenge as well. So. It was just one of those [01:02:40] things. And I think you just have to know that as a dentist, [01:02:45] you have a huge responsibility, right? You’re building your experience with time, and you [01:02:50] have to be patient and kind to yourself. Um, as you progress through your career, you [01:02:55] have to own your mistakes and, you know, reflect on them, learn from [01:03:00] them, and just be better. Be better every single day. But, [01:03:05] you know, all of us know that it’s it’s experience comes with time. You’re always going to [01:03:10] have challenges, all different types of challenges, but it’s about facing them. And then, [01:03:15] you know, being able to make the right decisions and make the right choices [01:03:20] and then move on from there.

Speaker3: What about if we were to push the rewind button [01:03:25] on platinum? Back to the day you started. Now, knowing [01:03:30] what you know now, what different decisions would you make?

Speaker1: Gosh. [01:03:35] Um.

Speaker3: Would you do something earlier [01:03:40] or.

Speaker1: Do you know what? No. Because, um, that triggered you [01:03:45] won’t believe it. But that moment actually triggered my decision [01:03:50] to then do my mjff and then do my MSC in restorative [01:03:55] Easemon. I just, I told myself, and I don’t know, you know, I [01:04:00] guess that with every challenge we talk about resilience. With [01:04:05] that challenge, there’s there’s trauma attached to it. Right. And we’re not good about talking about that trauma. [01:04:10] So you can you know, a lot of people kind of react to that trauma. And I guess that [01:04:15] that was my reaction to the trauma. And I told myself that I wanted to be the best. [01:04:20] I would never let this ever, ever, ever happen again. I would take 100% responsibility. [01:04:25] And for every single treatment that came my way, I would just make sure that [01:04:30] I’d done my best. And if it was out of my skill set, I’m not going to be scared [01:04:35] about asking for help anymore. I’m not going to be scared just to kind of hit the [01:04:40] pause button and just be like, you know what? This is out of my skill set, and I just [01:04:45] need to think about this a little bit more. And what it did was it just took a bit [01:04:50] of bit of fear away. It really it was like a bit of a punch in the face, to be honest with you. [01:04:55] And it took a bit of the fear away, but it had a really positive impact.

Speaker3: Often [01:05:00] look at. Often the worst thing that happens to you in your life is ends up being the best [01:05:05] thing because of forms you, doesn’t it? That it changes changes who [01:05:10] you are. And you know when there’s a whole podcast called How to Fail. [01:05:15] It’s where they come in with their three biggest failures. And then and then they talk about how [01:05:20] brilliant it was for their lives. Yeah, we’re coming to the end of our time. Prav.

Speaker4: Um, [01:05:25] I guess that leaves us to tap into our final questions. [01:05:30] But just before we do that, Sarika, um, for those, um, out there listening [01:05:35] to this podcast, if they wanted to find out more information about your upcoming course that [01:05:40] you’re going to be running, how would they do that?

Speaker1: Okay. So they can access [01:05:45] my website, which is flourish as a, and [01:05:50] they can also DM me on my Instagram platform which is Doctor Sarika Shah. [01:05:55] So absolutely. And they can go and learn about everything about the course [01:06:00] on their.

Speaker4: And we will. We will put the link to your website in the [01:06:05] show notes as well, so people can just click straight through if they if they want to find that. Um, just to, just [01:06:10] to make it a little bit easier. Fantastic. But on to our final question, Sarika. Let’s say, [01:06:15] um, you get to the the it’s your final day on the planet, right? And, um, [01:06:20] you’ve got your loved ones around you, and you had to leave them with three [01:06:25] pieces of wisdom. What would they be?

Speaker1: So I’d say [01:06:30] the first would be always prioritise your well-being. The [01:06:35] second would be always be your authentic self [01:06:40] and never sacrifice anything you [01:06:45] sense you will regret later on in life. The [01:06:50] third would be to adopt a champions discipline in managing your [01:06:55] time. And if I had one tiny, tiny little breath left, if I may, [01:07:00] is I would say that trust yourself. And [01:07:05] know that you are resourceful enough to make your dreams come true.

Speaker4: Lovely. [01:07:10] Lovely. And, um, how would you like to be remembered?

Speaker1: I [01:07:15] think as someone who inspired [01:07:20] so many women in dentistry and created huge [01:07:25] impact, not just in the UK, but on a global level. By creating [01:07:30] such a big change in their lives and being able to really get them [01:07:35] to flourish and thrive, not just in their professional life, but in everything that they do. [01:07:40] And I want to be remembered for someone that is therefore created a big [01:07:45] impact in the future of dentistry.

Speaker4: Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. [01:07:50] Payman. Over to your party.

Speaker5: The [01:07:55] question is.

Speaker3: The question is a question about who you want to spend some time and talk to. So, fantasy dinner party. [01:08:00] Three guests, dead or alive. Who would you have?

Speaker1: So [01:08:05] my first one definitely would be Michelle Obama. The reason being is I [01:08:10] think that she has such a strong sense of self, and I think that even [01:08:15] before President Obama started his presidency, she [01:08:20] already had such a strong career and knew her goals is so much clarity. She’s just such [01:08:25] a strong human being, and I’d love to talk to her so much more about how [01:08:30] she continued to be herself and even more and still, [01:08:35] you know, and still be married to President Obama and still be able to support him. So I [01:08:40] think that her trying to understand where she got her sense of self from, for sure.

Speaker6: Hmm’hmm. [01:08:45]

Speaker3: It’s not the first time she’s. And who [01:08:50] would you have? Who else?

Speaker1: My second one would actually be Cleopatra. Um. [01:08:55] And I think she’s one of the. She’s an ancient queen. Right. [01:09:00] And again, in this, like, very patriarchal society [01:09:05] and how she used her intellect and [01:09:10] some of her female traits to be able to lead. And I’d love [01:09:15] to understand the challenges that she faced and how she overcame them, but how [01:09:20] she truly stayed true to herself right til the end, [01:09:25] right? She really fought for what she believed in. And I thought, that’s really inspiring. So definitely hard. [01:09:30]

Speaker5: And nice.

Speaker1: I guess my third one would be [01:09:35] Mahatma Gandhi, because once again, he has such an immense sense of [01:09:40] self and authenticity and he’s such an amazing communicator, [01:09:45] right? That was what was really interesting about him, that he was able to inspire and persuade [01:09:50] millions of people to create impact from an individual [01:09:55] level to a country to a global level. Right. And [01:10:00] he was able to combine this authenticity, his vision and his [01:10:05] purpose. And I guess, like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, he was [01:10:10] such an effective communicator using verbal and nonverbal communication. But also, [01:10:15] I think, again, he was true to himself. Being Jain. He focussed his actions [01:10:20] using the founding principle of Jainism, which is non-violence. And he led so many [01:10:25] passive rebellions and protests. So I’d love to tap into his mind and have a fantasy [01:10:30] dinner with him. Definitely.

Speaker5: Brilliant.

Speaker4: Wonderful.

Speaker3: Thank you so much [01:10:35] for doing this. Looking looking forward to seeing to seeing how how how the course goes [01:10:40] and how the practice goes as well. Hopefully we have you back in five years and there’s a chain of platinums. [01:10:45] And thank you. Let’s see how it goes. Lovely to have you. Thank [01:10:50] you.

Speaker4: Yeah I’m really interested to see how the course evolves. Really? And, um, you [01:10:55] become this leading light for female dentists, not only here, but I really like [01:11:00] the way you articulated your vision globally. I think that’s I think that’s lovely. So [01:11:05] thank thanks for sharing today, Sarika, and thanks for your time.

Speaker1: Thank you so much. Thank you both. Have a [01:11:10] lovely day.

Speaker2: This is Dental Leaders, the [01:11:15] podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. [01:11:20] Your hosts. Payman Langroudi [01:11:25] and Prav Solanki.

Speaker4: Thanks for listening, guys. If [01:11:30] you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay [01:11:35] for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say, [01:11:40] because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

Speaker3: If you did get some value out of it, think about [01:11:45] subscribing. And if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some [01:11:50] value out of it too. Thank you so so, so much for listening. Thanks.

Speaker4: And don’t forget our six star rating. [01:11:55]

Yolande Fisher shares her compelling journey from early childhood in Cameroon to successful practice in Bristol. 

Her story unfolds from her early education and influences to the challenges and revelations she faced within the NHS and her transition to private practice. 

Alongside her clinical pursuits, Yolande delves into the balance of motherhood, continuous learning, and the pursuit of personal fulfilment. amidst the evolving landscape of dentistry.


In This Episode

01.30 – Back story

06.00 – Discovering dentistry

21.40 – The NHS Experience

27.15 – Motherhood, moving to Bristol, and family life.

37.00 – Learning and leading

42.10 – Social media 

47.00 – Family

56:20 –  Privilege

01:11:20  – Black box thinking

01:24:00  – Continuous learning

01:19:40 – Practice ownership and partnerships

01.23.56 – Standout learning experiences

01.30.32 – Future

01.36.21 – Fantasy dinner party

01.40.16 – Last days and legacy


About Yolande Fisher

Yolande Fisher is a GDP practising at the Family Dental and Implant Centre in Bristol.

Speaker1: I don’t feel guilty about leaving the NHS at all. I think that as a system, [00:00:05] the the faster people leave it, the faster it will get restructured because I don’t think it’s a functioning system. [00:00:10] Personally, I think we should just all rebel against it because it doesn’t serve people [00:00:15] at all. It keeps people in ongoing maintenance that’s not [00:00:20] actually adequate for ideal dental health, you know. So I’m in [00:00:25] favour of this whole system being restructured. And I understand that absolutely. People out there who just do [00:00:30] not have the funds to do any better or to do anything else, and my opinion [00:00:35] anyway, is that it should be an urgent care system and it should then be [00:00:40] put into maybe insurance or something like that, which is more realistic, you know, where you get a better standard [00:00:45] of care, because as long as people are not fairly compensated for the hard, hard work they do, [00:00:50] people are always going to find ways to cut corners. And then that person deserves a good standard of care for [00:00:55] what they’re paying is that even though it may not be relatively a lot, but they are still taking what they have, [00:01:00] you know, and giving it to someone and not getting something that actually reflects a good quality [00:01:05] of care.

Speaker2: This [00:01:10] is Dental Leaders. The podcast where you [00:01:15] get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [00:01:20] hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav [00:01:25] Solanki.

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Doctor Yolanda Fisher [00:01:30] onto the podcast. Yolanda is a dentist in Bristol [00:01:35] who is just a really makes me feel like I want to know more about her. Just just [00:01:40] from just from her profile. Dentists. Do gooder. Bookworm. Businesswoman. Wonderful. [00:01:45] On a mission to thrive, not to survive. Yeah. Um, welcome [00:01:50] onto the pod. Yeah. How are you? You so.

Speaker1: Much. It’s great to be here. [00:01:55]

Speaker3: Um, this pod usually starts with the backstory. Um, where were you [00:02:00] born? What kind of kid were you? All the way to. Why? Why [00:02:05] did you choose dentistry?

Speaker1: My life is a bit convoluted and off the beaten track. [00:02:10] I was born in Cameroon, which is in West Africa. A lot of people are probably very [00:02:15] familiar with Nigeria because there’s lots of Nigerians in the UK. So Cameroon is its more [00:02:20] quiet neighbour. And my family, well, I and [00:02:25] my mother moved over when I was five to London because my mother at the time was studying law at University [00:02:30] College London. So that’s how I ended up in London and she ended up. So that was [00:02:35] actually her. Was it her first graduate degree or her undergraduate? I can’t remember which of the two, but she was ended up [00:02:40] being scouted by the UN and has ever since worked with the UN. And [00:02:45] I stayed in London for early childhood. But with the UN you [00:02:50] have family and non-family posts, so some places where you can take your family with you, some places where you can’t. [00:02:55] And a lot of her early posts were non-family posts. So I lived in London with my aunt, [00:03:00] actually her older sister, while she was in refugee camps and all sorts of things [00:03:05] advocating for refugees. And yes, I was in London for for a few years [00:03:10] until I was about 11.

Speaker3: So your mum was in other countries [00:03:15] for months at a time. And yeah, I see her years at a time. [00:03:20] Yeah. Wow. So how what’s your reflection [00:03:25] on that fact?

Speaker1: Um, I think most people ask me what it’s [00:03:30] like not growing up with my mother in the house. And to be honest, I don’t know any different, so I [00:03:35] can’t I don’t have anything to compare it to. So for me, that was just my standard baseline. [00:03:40] That was my life. So even though she was so far away, she was very present. So it’s not like she would just [00:03:45] went and I she didn’t know what was going on in my life. She still controlled every facet of my life. [00:03:50] You know what schools I went to, what I was doing, whether I went out with this [00:03:55] friend on this night, you know, my aunt would call her all the time, and she had a hand in everything that was [00:04:00] going on in my life, but just not physically present. So I still felt her presence, [00:04:05] but just not physically, I guess. So.

Speaker3: And where was your dad?

Speaker1: It was a different [00:04:10] time with my dad, so by this point my parents were separated, so they divorced when I [00:04:15] before we moved to the UK and my dad was training to be an architect and he his studies took [00:04:20] him to Italy. So he was in Italy at the time and then France. So that’s kind of he stayed on [00:04:25] that Italy France side and my mum ended up in the UK. So [00:04:30] uh, well for a short while.

Speaker3: And were you in the UK for the whole time or did you at all travel [00:04:35] with your mum?

Speaker1: So I was in the UK from five until around 11 or 12, I can’t remember exactly. [00:04:40] And then she got a family post in Kenya and I went to Kenya with her for three years and [00:04:45] that was really fun. I really enjoyed Kenya and when her time there was over, I actually said to her, just leave me here. You [00:04:50] go where you need to go. I’m fine here. I really like the country. It’s such a beautiful country, [00:04:55] beautiful people. I had a great life there and I really. Yeah, I wanted to stay in Kenya, but [00:05:00] obviously she didn’t. She didn’t have any family in Kenya, so she wasn’t comfortable leaving me there. So, [00:05:05] um, she was sent to another non-family post and I went [00:05:10] back to the UK.

Speaker3: Wow. What a what a childhood man. So [00:05:15] then how did. Then street. How did then street come into the equation?

Speaker1: I [00:05:20] had always been good at science. I really enjoyed health care, but I just actually not health care. [00:05:25] I enjoyed the human body and I thought it was fascinating, and my dad was really pushing me to be [00:05:30] a doctor because he thought, you know what? You’ve got the brains, you’ve got the skill, you’ve got the interest. But [00:05:35] I think you have to really look at yourself and look at your personality and what you are passionate. [00:05:40] And I think I felt like being a doctor is a calling. And I just did not have that calling at all. The [00:05:45] amount of work involved for what you get in return, you have to love it. And I [00:05:50] didn’t love it in the slightest bit. I’m not interested in people’s kidneys, their livers. I just don’t want to know, [00:05:55] you know, so I just yeah, I do want to know. So I went to UCL and I did a [00:06:00] degree in biomedical sciences, which obviously is just kind of like a general healthcare degree. And I did the [00:06:05] unaccredited version of the course. So it meant that I could just choose whatever modules I wanted. And I did all sorts of random [00:06:10] things. I did module in Spanish, I did philosophy of the mind, I did neuro neuroanatomy, whatever [00:06:15] I wanted.

Speaker1: At the end of it I thought, actually, dentistry is not bad because here I get [00:06:20] to still be interested in the body, but I can just focus on this one area and not have to deal with [00:06:25] people’s kidneys. That sounds great. And I went and [00:06:30] I spent. So this is when I was still at UCL. So this was my second year and I went to Gower [00:06:35] Street and I found I walked into the first dental practice I could find in Gower Street, asked if I could shadow, and [00:06:40] he was like, yeah, absolutely, really lovely guy, I wish I could remember his name. It was really lovely, man. And [00:06:45] I spent 3 or 4 days shadowing with him and I thought, yeah, this, this looks all right. I think I’ll do this. [00:06:50] And that’s how I got into dentistry. So from then I kind of started to gear [00:06:55] my work experience and my, my final year module. So I did bone physiology and my final [00:07:00] year to kind of support my dental applications and things like that. But I didn’t get in the first time round. [00:07:05]

Speaker3: So yeah, tell me about the process. Then tell me about the applications process [00:07:10] and what that meant to you.

Speaker1: And yeah, it was interesting. I um, because [00:07:15] of my weird upbringing and going back and forth in UK, I still [00:07:20] wasn’t a British citizen, so I was applying as an international student, even though I’d pretty much been [00:07:25] predominantly of my like the larger majority of my life in the UK. So they have specific [00:07:30] number of slots that they allocate international students versus home students, and then they also [00:07:35] assess whether or not they could. They think you can pay the fees. So some of [00:07:40] the universities just rejected me saying that they didn’t think I could pay the international fees, and [00:07:45] which was completely unfair because actually the UN fund a large portion of our [00:07:50] tuition. So that was quite unfair. But regardless, I thought, [00:07:55] never mind, this is not going to break me down. I took a short course in dental nursing, and in my gap year I [00:08:00] worked as a dental nurse for 6 or 7 months.

Speaker3: Wow.

Speaker1: To get like further insight into the [00:08:05] career. So yeah, six seven months I went to the dental nurse. So this was before you had to be registered or anything. I [00:08:10] literally did a two weeks course and I was straight into surgery. Um, and, and that gave me real [00:08:15] insight into like this was the old UDA contract and just the way it just. No sorry, this [00:08:20] is pre UDA because when I was doing my interviews, the UDA contract had just been released [00:08:25] like the draft of it. And I remember thinking, oh, I need to read this whole contract for my interview. And uh, [00:08:30] yeah, it was an interesting time, but I feel like it gave me real insight into what I was getting myself into and [00:08:35] kind of the conditions that people were working in because I was doing. I was working in Hackney [00:08:40] in the like, real belt of NHS work, you know, one in, one out, bash out [00:08:45] as many amalgams as you can in one hour and move them along, you know, so I [00:08:50] feel like I got a real reality. And to be fair, what I saw there [00:08:55] was what more what I was expecting compared to what I actually got when I [00:09:00] graduated. So I was actually a bit of a shock to me to go the other way. Yeah. And what I [00:09:05] experienced in London was not at all what it was like for me graduating, which [00:09:10] was an interesting difference, really.

Speaker3: So did you have more empathy [00:09:15] for the nurse’s role now? Oh yeah.

Speaker1: Absolutely. It’s really what’s the [00:09:20] word? It’s really they don’t get enough praise. Yeah. It’s really hard work [00:09:25] you know, because there’s a lot you don’t know but you’re expected just to understand. Well [00:09:30] maybe that was my perspective because I had done a short course. Yeah. Um, and I picked up quite a lot, but [00:09:35] there’s a lot of pressure and time and you can really make or break the dentist. Absolutely. [00:09:40] How how you work and also the relationship with the dentist is really important. [00:09:45] Unfortunately, the dentist I work for wasn’t the kindest, and he used to call me stupid in front of patients and [00:09:50] throw things at me. Yeah, just really horrendous man. I’ve always made it a point [00:09:55] to be just really patient and kind and kind of understanding with people because you don’t know what they’re coming with. And [00:10:00] I understand that. Obviously you want to do your best for your patient as a dentist, but also they are doing their [00:10:05] best. If they’re not meeting your standard, it’s not because for the large majority, it’s not because they’re not [00:10:10] doing their best. And you just need to have patience with people. So yeah it was horrendous man. [00:10:15] But you know made it out the other side.

Speaker3: It’s that sort of hierarchy. Key situation [00:10:20] that exists in dental practices generally. Right? You know, you’ve got the principal right at [00:10:25] the top of the tree and then it’s a nurse, isn’t it? It’s a junior nurse who’s at the bottom [00:10:30] of that tree and, and that sort of abuse that you’re talking about. [00:10:35] You can you can imagine even if it’s not verbal, there’s so much [00:10:40] of it, so much of it’s a mental abuse. Yeah. That I [00:10:45] think it’s human nature. Right. When one, when one person’s in charge of another, they can do that. [00:10:50] It’s a risk of it. But are you now so, so aware of that, that you’re, you’re [00:10:55] giving your, your team the best life possible? Like give me give me some more insight about it. Um. [00:11:00]

Speaker1: I try to be as patient as I can, and I [00:11:05] feel like I think most nurses say that they like to work with me just because I, like I said, because [00:11:10] I’ve been on the other side. I know what it’s like, for example, for a locum nurse coming into scenario and you just [00:11:15] don’t know what this person’s going to be like if you do one thing wrong, whether or not they’re just going [00:11:20] to have an absolute go at you if you hand them the wrong bond or something that you [00:11:25] have no chance of knowing. So I try to take my time and teach people things, [00:11:30] and that’s the other thing making them feel comfortable to ask questions. And yeah, ask [00:11:35] me what’s going on. Ask me what you’re doing. What would you like, Lex? Because there’s a lot of I hear a lot of nurses say that they [00:11:40] they they have a lot of dentists who won’t let them speak, essentially, you know, like they [00:11:45] are there just to service their needs. But they’re not actually people, you know, and I think, as [00:11:50] you said, with the hierarchy, it’s so easy to forget that these are people and they are here as well [00:11:55] for them, like I said, doing their best and coming to work to do their best. And if [00:12:00] you treat them with respect, they give you the same respect back. Really, they’re not your lackeys.

Speaker3: Essentially, [00:12:05] I noticed you wrote a piece on mental health in dentistry. Yeah. [00:12:10] About what? Was it, a year and a half ago or something? Yeah. And, you know, we’re [00:12:15] doing this mental health podcast as well about stress and all that and, you know, try and figure out what is it about [00:12:20] dentistry that causes so much stress. You know, why dentistry. Why not? You know, [00:12:25] um, brain surgeons, um, you know why. You know, okay. It’s [00:12:30] a it’s a pressure job. But I think part of that is to do with [00:12:35] the one room you, you and the nurse. Um, and [00:12:40] and of course, there’s many other things. There’s the live patient. Yeah. That, you know, I’ve [00:12:45] got a cousin who’s an eye surgeon, and he says the operations he does on local just [00:12:50] tire him out three times as much as the ones he does in general because of because of [00:12:55] the live patient, you know.

Speaker1: Yeah, the intensity of it.

Speaker3: The intensity. But but also [00:13:00] let’s imagine, you know, we know when, when, when things go wrong mental health wise, [00:13:05] it tends to be like concentric circles, like perfect storm of things going wrong. [00:13:10] And we see it in dentistry as well, don’t we. Like patient doesn’t quite open his mouth. [00:13:15] He’s nervous. Maybe you’ve got the wrong, wrong material [00:13:20] that day. Maybe it’s a locum nurse and the things come together for this perfect [00:13:25] storm. Um, but as far as mental health, perfect storm goes, you know, the relationship [00:13:30] between you and your nurse is massive.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: And, yeah, it’s so huge. [00:13:35] And for now, we’ve been talking about these tyrant dentists. But it doesn’t even have [00:13:40] to be that. It could be. You know, just the quality of that relationship can set, you [00:13:45] know, the rest of your life in or out of sync completely.

Speaker1: Yeah. [00:13:50] I’ve had unfortunately, a scenario where I haven’t gotten on with a nurse, which I thought, you [00:13:55] know, I thought it would never happen to me. And I was like, you know, I’m always going to be on the nurses side. It’s not [00:14:00] going to happen to me. Yeah, but it happened to me. And for me, it was more the fact that, um, [00:14:05] we didn’t have the same work ethic, you know, and not to say that I’m [00:14:10] the hardest working person in the world, there’s definitely more hard, but I feel like if you go here, you’ve got a job to do and [00:14:15] you need to do it, you know, and when somebody isn’t meeting me there, and I have been [00:14:20] patient and I have, you know, explained things and I have, you know, been like, you know, let me [00:14:25] show you how to do this. Let me help you improve. But they just have no desire to improve. And [00:14:30] as a consequence of them having no desire to improve my life is terrible. Yeah, I found that challenging. [00:14:35] And I think that was the most difficult relationship I’ve had with a dental nurse. [00:14:40] And that really made work a really uncomfortable environment [00:14:45] for me because like I said, I guess you almost get an image of yourself. I try to present [00:14:50] myself as the one who’s always good with nurses and who always kind of like is on is [00:14:55] for them, you know, and encouraging them and being like, you can do this, you can do whatever you want. And, [00:15:00] um, that one took a peg off my self image, I guess. [00:15:05] But to just made the whole working relationship really frosty. Yeah. [00:15:10] And uncomfortable when you don’t get along with them because it really does make or break your day. How you because it’s someone [00:15:15] you’re sat in a room with all day long.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

Speaker1: And and. And it kind [00:15:20] of wears you down mentally and emotionally. Absolutely.

Speaker3: I think it’s something that’s not talked enough about [00:15:25] enough. You know, I don’t I don’t remember any any teaching on it at all. I mean, no, [00:15:30] um, I studied in Cardiff. We had this thing, um, it [00:15:35] was it was like a close support nursing kind of four handed, four handed dentistry thing. Oh, [00:15:40] yeah. Um, but again, it had nothing to do with the, you know, the relationship between [00:15:45] you and you and the nurse and I, but I went to my job, my first job, [00:15:50] and I’d only done four handed dentistry for maybe three years before [00:15:55] because it turned out we were friends with the nurses who were taking care of that bit of the clinic. Yeah. And, um, so [00:16:00] I just sat down in my job and I just put my hands out, as you do with [00:16:05] four handed. And she just looked at me. She just she just looked at me. She said, what are you doing? [00:16:10] Yeah. Like, what’s this mean? Yeah. And I was like, you know, there’s a patient here. I was I was like looking [00:16:15] at her like as if give me the instruments. Right. You know, like that mirror and probe. That’s what that meant, right. Mirror and probe. [00:16:20] Yeah. And the patient left, and I said to her, well, what’s going on? How come you put the instruments [00:16:25] on this side? They should be on that side and bloody up my mic. And she got up. This [00:16:30] was the first nurse, first patient of it. She got up, she went to the boss and she quit her [00:16:35] job there and they’re no. Yeah. And and it turned out [00:16:40] like obviously the boss wasn’t happy. He came over to me. He said, what the hell did you do like for spaceship. [00:16:45] Yeah. But it turned out there was a history. You know, there was there was a history. And then she [00:16:50] came back and all that. He was sure.

Speaker1: That broke the camel’s back.

Speaker3: Yeah, [00:16:55] yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The other thing I’m interested in, the question I want to ask you, you said your PSC, you did all these cool [00:17:00] subjects like psychology or philosophy or whatever. I didn’t quite remember. But what did they give [00:17:05] you? Did did they give you something that the rest of us didn’t get that they would have [00:17:10] right?

Speaker1: To be honest, I don’t particularly believe so. No, I was just no, [00:17:15] I to be honest, I don’t particularly believe so because I did philosophy of the mind, which [00:17:20] is a lot of Rene Descartes. I think therefore I am type thing, and I can’t [00:17:25] think of a single instance where that has benefited me since, if [00:17:30] I’m completely honest. It’s funny you should say that.

Speaker3: It’s funny you say that because my previous guest [00:17:35] on this pod, it hasn’t come out yet. But Chris Tavares, he he based on [00:17:40] Descartes, he he stopped practising dentistry. Oh, really? And [00:17:45] for six years he went. He became like a Jesuit monk. Wow. [00:17:50]

Speaker1: So we had completely lost track of this whole thing.

Speaker3: He got [00:17:55] more out of it than you.

Speaker1: I got nothing from it at all. Like, [00:18:00] sorry, Descartes was not. Yeah, it was not for me. I think a lot of it. I found it, [00:18:05] too. Mind bending.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: And too many.

Speaker3: Words.

Speaker1: Yeah. [00:18:10] And I didn’t get this. I know a lot of. I remember when I started the course, they said half of you [00:18:15] will start this and think you know who you are. And by the end of it you’ll have no idea. And [00:18:20] I just remember leaving thinking, I have no idea what I’ve learned this whole time. And [00:18:25] the it was. But it was an interesting reading list. And, you know, I can [00:18:30] say that I learn about these interesting philosophers, but I haven’t thought about them since. [00:18:35] So the one I really did particularly enjoy was space medicine and extreme environment [00:18:40] physiology. Wow. Which was really good. And they get lectures from NASA [00:18:45] to come over. So it’s the only course in the UK that’s doing this. So they receive students [00:18:50] from other universities just to come and do this course at UCL. And that was really [00:18:55] interesting.

Speaker3: So so was that was there space dentistry as well?

Speaker1: Space toothbrushing there [00:19:00] wasn’t space dentistry actually, but I liked the bone physiology element of it because we [00:19:05] learned about what happened to the bone in space and as well as the whole body and not just space, [00:19:10] obviously. Extreme environment. So extreme cold, extreme heat, high altitude, deep sea. And it [00:19:15] was really, really interesting, fascinating, um, module to do. So I think that but that’s more like a party trick for me. [00:19:20] I start pulling out facts. You know, but in terms [00:19:25] of like my career and life, no, I just enjoyed my time at UCL. It’s a lovely university. So. [00:19:30]

Speaker3: So then you eventually got into dental school?

Speaker1: It did? Yes.

Speaker3: At the [00:19:35] Royal London.

Speaker1: Yes.

Speaker3: Tell me, what were you like as a dental student?

Speaker1: I [00:19:40] was overwhelmed, if I’m completely honest. We all were.

Speaker3: We all were.

Speaker1: Yeah. [00:19:45] I feel like there are people who who took it better than I did. Because undergraduate [00:19:50] for at UCL, it was an absolute walk in the park, [00:19:55] completely compared to dentistry. I think in my second year I had a summer holiday that was about four months [00:20:00] long. Wow. I and I went to America and I remember thinking, because this is when again, my parents were still [00:20:05] working for the UN and at this point they were based in New York. So I went to America for the summer, and I remember thinking, [00:20:10] I’m sure I’ve been here more than I’ve been at university. And, um, so I had really [00:20:15] long holidays. I used to have maybe 810. Hours of lectures a week [00:20:20] and the rest of self-directed study. So I was very self-motivated, but at the same time it was [00:20:25] not intense in the slightest. And coming to dentistry was an absolute shock to my [00:20:30] system. And I was like, what is this? I thought I had done university, I had not done university at all. So [00:20:35] I found that quite overwhelming. And I had quite an active social life [00:20:40] at UCL, but I felt like I was drowning in dentistry, so I just completely just stopped having [00:20:45] social life. I just felt like I had to study, study, study, study and, you know, above [00:20:50] average intelligence. But I’m not the most intelligent. So I just have to work hard essentially to get the [00:20:55] same place as other people do. And yeah, I was just constantly studying, [00:21:00] didn’t have a life. I was really overwhelmed. And I realised now I didn’t really have great study techniques as well because that’s another [00:21:05] thing that’s not really taught. I think study techniques are really important, but I really had nobody, [00:21:10] even though both my parents had gone to university. My dad has got PhD, nobody [00:21:15] taught me study techniques. And I realised and I look back now, I had really terrible study techniques, [00:21:20] just a lot of rote repetition, you know, reading, rewriting that was just not getting me anywhere [00:21:25] and just was based on loads of man hours. So I just yeah, [00:21:30] I spent most of Dental school feeling overwhelmed.

Speaker3: And which which aspect particularly overwhelmed [00:21:35] you? Was it the preclinical or clinical or both?

Speaker1: I think a bit of both, because [00:21:40] if you’re either reading a book or you’re doing it practically. So it’s not like a lot of other [00:21:45] courses where you can just learn the theory. It’s just like you have to do the theory, but you actually have to physically do it as [00:21:50] well. So there’s an added element that a lot of people just don’t grasp unless you have a practical, [00:21:55] unless you do a practical course like dentistry or obviously skills like carpentry and things like that, where you have [00:22:00] to physically do the thing. So it’s very akin to that. But I feel like the intensity [00:22:05] of what we learn on the theory side makes it harder as well, with the [00:22:10] additional high, detailed, physic like physical skill that you need as well.

Speaker3: Yeah. Of [00:22:15] course. And then so you okay. You I mean, I think as a, as [00:22:20] a graduate student, you’re in a way sort of more mature anyway, right? Yeah. You [00:22:25] know, we got into dental school 18 like a total child. Total child. And [00:22:30] um, I remember there were a couple of graduates on my, in my year and they were I felt [00:22:35] like they, they were studying more, more in an adult way as well. I’d never thought they were being [00:22:40] over, over, over. Maybe they were. Yeah. But okay. So so out [00:22:45] of dental school, how clear were you about what kind of dentist you wanted to be?

Speaker1: And because [00:22:50] of my experience working as a dental nurse, I thought I would just be an NHS dentist. I’m [00:22:55] very much, as I said on my profile, a do gooder. I’m all about doing good for people and [00:23:00] serving people, and I thought I would be the kind of dentist who just goes out there and meets [00:23:05] the needs of the people. So I just had a vision of working on the NHS for the entirety of my career. [00:23:10] But the difference of working is it dental nurse versus [00:23:15] when I actually started working, is that they just don’t actually meet up with. [00:23:20] The reality of serving the people well, is what I found in my experience of NHS dentistry. [00:23:25] My first year was obviously and I did that in Southampton and that was fine [00:23:30] because, you know, you don’t really have targets, you don’t really have goals. You’re just trying to like be surefooted [00:23:35] clinically and get comfortable with the environment. But my first year [00:23:40] post vet, I worked for a corporate which I won’t name the name, but it was not [00:23:45] a great experience and they had ridiculous targets, really ridiculous pressures. If I didn’t [00:23:50] do a band three on every child that came through my surgery, I got called in to the clinical, [00:23:55] the area manager’s office. Wow. They were giving me daily targets to refer [00:24:00] to the hygienist privately in a very NHS area. And I just thought, I [00:24:05] can’t force these people. They don’t have the money to do that, you know, and they’re entitled to this treatment on the NHS. [00:24:10] So this is not something I’m comfortable doing. So I was there to just meet the needs and I was put given [00:24:15] all these targets and expectations, which I thought were unethical. And I found it, I [00:24:20] found I really struggled there.

Speaker3: What year was that?

Speaker1: That was in 2012. [00:24:25]

Speaker3: Yeah. I think, you know, the corporates back then [00:24:30] were really clueless.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker3: A very different now by the way, [00:24:35] very different. Now, I know I come across people who on purpose leave independent [00:24:40] practices and go to corporates, okay. Because they know what they’re going to get. You know, at [00:24:45] least with the corporate, you know, what you’re going to get. You can you can talk to other other people [00:24:50] in the corporate. And the other thing they’ve realised is losing a dentist is the most expensive thing that can happen [00:24:55] to a dental practice. And, you know, in the end, their businesses. It’s surprising [00:25:00] because I’ve heard so many terrible stories about corporates from back [00:25:05] in that time, you know, um, go on. What happened next?

Speaker1: So [00:25:10] I did that for just under a year. So I was the dentist who stayed the longest, as you said, [00:25:15] can’t keep losing dentists for a practice is very expensive. And I didn’t read the contract thoroughly, and I actually had [00:25:20] a leaving clause in there. If I left in less than a year, they took a few thousand from me, and [00:25:25] that’s exactly what they did. But at that point I was just beyond done. So I just thought, [00:25:30] take the money, I’m going to go. So I worked, moved on to an independent mixed practice, and [00:25:35] I was there for, you know, in Portsmouth. So I’d stayed in the area where I did my best. So [00:25:40] I worked there for a few years and yeah, I was that was fine. That was more what I was expecting. [00:25:45] I was there to just to meet the need and, you know, serve the people. And yeah, I had a good time [00:25:50] there and I really grew clinically. I think I left that role in the end just because I didn’t want to [00:25:55] be in Portsmouth anymore. And I wanted to move back to London.

Speaker1: Yeah. So eventually I moved back to London. [00:26:00] I worked in a lovely practice just outside of London, but then I found myself quite isolated because [00:26:05] by that point a lot of my friends had moved out of London. A lot of my family had moved out of London. So [00:26:10] I just thought, I don’t know what I’m doing here. And London is such a big city. It’s very hard to feel lonely. It’s very easy. [00:26:15] Sorry to to to get lonely there. And I my, like I said, because my family is so international. [00:26:20] My brothers had emigrated to America, my cousin emigrated to America. Everyone’s just all over the place. [00:26:25] So I felt quite isolated. So I decided to leave London again. And this time I went to Leeds because [00:26:30] I had a good one of my best friends from um, university, from my first degree actually, [00:26:35] who also ended up being a dentist. I convinced her to do dentistry. I told her that she’s away and [00:26:40] she ended up being a dentist, and her boyfriend ended up being a dentist as well.

Speaker4: How funny.

Speaker1: So [00:26:45] she said, Come to Leeds. It’s, you know, the pastures are green here. And so I [00:26:50] went to Leeds and I. And just as I went to Leeds, I started dating my husband [00:26:55] who I’d met in Portsmouth.

Speaker4: Okay.

Speaker1: So the timing was terrible. So we did the long [00:27:00] distance thing for a year and a bit and we thought, actually, this is not great long [00:27:05] terme. So I decided to move back to Portsmouth just because I already had friends there. He’d been there for a long time, [00:27:10] so I found myself back in Portsmouth.

Speaker3: So you didn’t actually go to Leeds?

Speaker1: I did, so I lived [00:27:15] in Leeds for a year and we did long.

Speaker4: Distance for one year.

Speaker1: And then yeah, he toyed with moving to [00:27:20] Leeds, but it made more sense for me to move back to Portsmouth because I already had a life there as well.

Speaker3: Is he a dentist [00:27:25] too?

Speaker1: He’s not. No, he is a recruitment consultant. And does property investing.

Speaker4: Okay okay [00:27:30] okay.

Speaker1: So then so then I ended up back in Portsmouth. I [00:27:35] worked went back to the the previous NHS practice that I was at. So we had a really good relationship. [00:27:40] I told him I was coming back and he said please come back. So I said okay and I went [00:27:45] back to that job. At the same time, I also decided to apply for a private job. So I started my first [00:27:50] private role part time and the loveliest little practice in Portsmouth. And [00:27:55] um, that was a really interesting position because six months after joining, the principal actually had a stroke, unfortunately. [00:28:00] Well, and it was run, it was, uh, just a two surgery practice. The principal, [00:28:05] his wife was the practice manager and an associate, and he had a stroke. So it became [00:28:10] completely associate led for about two years. So it was predominantly me. And then they hired another [00:28:15] associate just to help them keep it going until they sold it. Unfortunately, he couldn’t go back to work, [00:28:20] so but I had a yeah, a really nice relationship with them and they were really lovely team and [00:28:25] practice to work in.

Speaker3: So this thing you were saying about working in the NHS and [00:28:30] the judging part of that, by this time you’ve gotten over that notion.

Speaker1: I [00:28:35] had I still wanted to do good, but I realised I couldn’t do the good I wanted to do on the NHS. Unfortunately, [00:28:40] because your hands are tied in many aspects and [00:28:45] I didn’t want my hands to be tied, I wanted to offer the people what I thought was [00:28:50] the best and what I thought would be in their best interest, and not be worried about [00:28:55] limitations that the NHS puts on you essentially.

Speaker4: I mean.

Speaker3: Look, this question comes [00:29:00] up. We we had an episode on here called leaving the NHS and it was [00:29:05] the third most listened to episode. Oh really that we’ve done and [00:29:10] we’ve done, you know, 220 episodes. Right. Wow. And it wasn’t [00:29:15] you know, it’s not like the information in it was so amazing that people were passing it to each other. I don’t [00:29:20] think it’s just like it’s just such a hot topic. Right. Leaving the area and, and and you know, what [00:29:25] stops you from leaving the NHS and what you should think of this question that you’re bringing up, sort of the guilt [00:29:30] of leaving the NHS sort of thing. And am I doing good or [00:29:35] not? I think we need a sort of a frank conversation about that. What you just [00:29:40] said about, you know, you want to do good in the correct way without a third party [00:29:45] telling you what to do. Or, you know, I fully understand that. But I think also we [00:29:50] need to be clear that, you know, rich man’s toothache is just as painful [00:29:55] as a poor man’s toothache. Yeah. And then and then you can say, well, okay, [00:30:00] but the rich man’s got resources. He’ll find someone. I want to be there. I want to be there for the poor man. [00:30:05] Okay, good. You want to be there for the poor man? Go do your mum’s work. Yeah. [00:30:10] You know, your poorest patient is probably still in the top 2% of the world’s [00:30:15] sort of, you know.

Speaker4: Chloe. Yeah.

Speaker3: So, you know, I [00:30:20] think there’s a lot of sort of fooling ourselves about this question of, you know, [00:30:25] I don’t think we need to worry ourselves too much with guilt of leaving the NHS. [00:30:30] You know, you want to be the best dentist you can be for the community that you can serve, whoever [00:30:35] that community is. That community could be a 100 billionaires or it could be [00:30:40] whatever you. Everyone needs a dentist.

Speaker4: Yeah, [00:30:45] I don’t have.

Speaker1: I don’t feel guilty about leaving the NHS at all. I think that as [00:30:50] a system, the the faster people leave it, the faster it will get restructured. Because I [00:30:55] don’t think it’s a functioning system. Personally, I think we should just all rebel against it because [00:31:00] it doesn’t serve people at all. It keeps people in ongoing [00:31:05] maintenance that’s not actually adequate for ideal dental health, you know. So [00:31:10] I’m in favour of this whole system being restructured. And I understand that absolutely. [00:31:15] People out there who just do not have the funds to do any better.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Or to do anything else. [00:31:20] And my opinion anyway, is that it should be an urgent care system and it should [00:31:25] then be put into maybe insurance or something like that, which is more realistic, you know, [00:31:30] where you get a better standard of care, because as long as people are not fairly compensated for the [00:31:35] hard, hard work they do, people are always going to find ways to cut corners. And then that person deserves [00:31:40] a good standard of care for what they’re paying is that even though it may not be relatively a lot, but they are still [00:31:45] taking what they have, you know, and giving it to someone and not getting something that actually reflects [00:31:50] a good quality of care.

Speaker4: Mm hmm.

Speaker1: So I think [00:31:55] that, yeah, the whole system needs to be just broken down and redone, and I [00:32:00] feel like the faster people leave it and rebel against it, the faster it would happen. How long has the talk have been [00:32:05] about, you know, redoing the contract? Is it still even been talked about? I don’t know. I stopped [00:32:10] listening.

Speaker3: But you’re right, because the funny thing, when I was a vet in 1996, [00:32:15] my my boss, my boss was talking about let’s go [00:32:20] private first so that when the whole thing falls apart, we’re already private. And [00:32:25] you know, we can be the best private practice. And, you know, we we take it for granted that it would have fallen apart back [00:32:30] then, back then. And the conversations are still going on.

Speaker4: You’re going. Yeah. [00:32:35]

Speaker3: It’s mad. It’s mad. So. Okay, so. But you now live in Bristol. So how [00:32:40] did the story go from Portsmouth to Bristol?

Speaker1: So we lived in Portsmouth for a while. We got married, [00:32:45] we got pregnant and then the pandemic hit.

Speaker4: Okay.

Speaker1: And um, even [00:32:50] though we had both spent some time in Portsmouth and had built a life there, we didn’t have any family [00:32:55] there. And with a young child you realise that actually family is valuable, especially when you’re [00:33:00] hit with such a life changing thing. When you’re isolated and you become [00:33:05] more aware of the value of family and relationships and things like that. And because my family is so [00:33:10] widely dispersed, we leant towards going to where his family is. And he has a [00:33:15] sister in Bristol who has children the same age. So we thought that would be nice. And I grew [00:33:20] up in London with my cousins for a lot of my childhood, and I thought, it’s really nice to have cousins, and they [00:33:25] liked my siblings, so I thought I’d really like my children to grow up with their cousins and have them feel [00:33:30] like they’re siblings. So that’s how we ended up in Bristol. So we followed my sister in law. So she lives here. She’s a nurse [00:33:35] in the NHS. Good for her. And she’s, you know, fighting the good fight and the nursing side and [00:33:40] um, yeah. So her two children are similar ages so. Well, one [00:33:45] slightly older and her second is the same age as my first. So.

Speaker3: So you were actually pregnant during [00:33:50] Covid?

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker1: So I gave birth. So I was due to [00:33:55] have my baby shower the day that the stay at home orders were given and [00:34:00] I went on maternity leave a month early. So I was meant to start my maternity leave in April, [00:34:05] and I had to start in March. Um, because of. Yeah, because I was so far along [00:34:10] and they just thought, actually, it’s better if you just go home. So that’s what I did. And it’s really funny because my dad is a big [00:34:15] conspiracy theorist. And since from like.

Speaker4: December, take the.

Speaker3: Vaccine and you couldn’t [00:34:20] know.

Speaker1: From December 2019, he was telling me to stay at home.

Speaker4: Oh, really?

Speaker1: Yeah. [00:34:25] And because he’s such a conspiracy theorist, he’s always coming up with something. I just thought, no, no, no, dad, this is another [00:34:30] one of yours. And consistently from December, he’s like, no, you’re pregnant. You’re in a really high risk career. [00:34:35] You need to stay at home, stay at home, stay at home. Every week he would call me and say, you need to go home. And then in [00:34:40] March, I was like, oh yeah, you’re right, I need to go home. So he felt quite vindicated. But of [00:34:45] course he didn’t take the vaccine.

Speaker4: So did you. You. I did yeah.

Speaker3: I thought I thought pregnant women couldn’t [00:34:50] take it. No.

Speaker1: After I had the baby.

Speaker3: Aha. Yeah. So he actually turned out to be [00:34:55] right about the vaccine.

Speaker4: Anyway, [00:35:00] don’t tell him this.

Speaker3: It’s funny. Conspiracy theory is a [00:35:05] funny thing. Yeah, because you’ll find if you come from unstable places where real conspiracies happen. [00:35:10] Yeah. Then then you realise that. That you know what? What can [00:35:15] go down due to conspiracy and. You know, I’m not sure exactly about Cameroon, but [00:35:20] but West Africa in general, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of, uh, you know, conspiracies, [00:35:25] right.

Speaker4: There are there’s a lot going on.

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker3: What happens is you, [00:35:30] you if you really look into it, there are conspiracies here too. They’re just much more. They’re just [00:35:35] much more sort of ingrained in the system. They’re much more difficult to unravel. It’s not [00:35:40] like one guy taking one amount, putting, you know, state funds straight into his bank account [00:35:45] a bit more. It’s a bit more complicated than that.

Speaker4: Yeah, but.

Speaker1: The Cayman Islands first. [00:35:50] Yeah.

Speaker3: Exactly, exactly. So all right, so you [00:35:55] became you went to Bristol, you found a job. What kind of job?

Speaker1: Yeah. So I’m in a private practice. I [00:36:00] actually worked just outside Bristol. I work in street, so it’s about an hour commute. So I [00:36:05] it’s a two hour round trip, which is not too bad. I work part time so it’s two and a half days, so I find [00:36:10] it manageable. Although my principal, he lives not too far from me and he does it every day, so [00:36:15] it’s doable. And yeah, it’s a really lovely family practice. I think he’s owned [00:36:20] it for 15 years or so around that period. And it’s [00:36:25] yeah, completely private and really nice. We’ve got a small NHS contract and [00:36:30] see plan patients as well.

Speaker3: I, I talk to mothers [00:36:35] on this pod who are dentists and when they’re talking about their lives [00:36:40] and their days, it’s the thing that they call sort of me time [00:36:45] is, is like, I don’t know, it’s like sorting out the kids calendar or [00:36:50] something on the tube or anything. The juggle, the juggle, man, [00:36:55] the juggle. Tell me about the juggle. Because because it must be a big juggle. How many days a week are you a dentist?

Speaker1: So [00:37:00] I’m a dentist. Two and a half days and I’m always on a course. So yeah. [00:37:05] Um, I’m currently doing the Simply Endo ten day course, um, [00:37:10] aiming to do the PG cert and hopefully through to MSC. Last [00:37:15] year I did the cath tactics. Um, and [00:37:20] also I haven’t finished that because I was actually pregnant while I was doing that, and I had to leave towards [00:37:25] the end to have my baby. So I need to I still, I need to hand in the cases and finish that one. [00:37:30] But yeah, the juggle is. Depending on the support. So [00:37:35] I can completely say that I could not do this unless my husband was as supportive [00:37:40] as he is. And I’m very fortunate in that he’s very supportive. It helps that he works from home, so [00:37:45] he’s the one who does the nursery jobs. Most of the nursery drop offs, pick ups, if [00:37:50] they get sick, he’s the one who goes in, you know? So a lot of things like that falls to [00:37:55] him, especially since I’m so far away when I am at work and he is at home. So a lot [00:38:00] falls to him and I’m really lucky for his support. And in all of that, even tonight, [00:38:05] he was the one who was mainly putting the kids to bed so that I could get ready for this. So I [00:38:10] think the juggle is made easier or harder by the support system that you have around you. Really. [00:38:15] Um.

Speaker3: But, but, but you know, we I’ve been talking to several people like this. What gives? [00:38:20] Because, you know, work often doesn’t give. You end up, you [00:38:25] end up. It’s not it’s not like you can you’re gonna suddenly call up on a Wednesday morning and say, I’m not coming in for my [00:38:30] patients. That’s just not going to happen.

Speaker4: No.

Speaker3: And and I look, obviously I don’t know you [00:38:35] very well. I know you from your sort of persona, online persona. Right. But you seem to be [00:38:40] sort of on this journey of sort of self-improvement, um, reading [00:38:45] sports, you know, looks, looks like, looks like you’re [00:38:50] taking care of that sort of side of things as well. Can you have it all in, in dentistry [00:38:55] as a woman mother?

Speaker1: I think you can have it all, but not at the same time.

Speaker4: Good. [00:39:00]

Speaker1: That’s absolute reality. So it’s really interesting. You say you look at my persona and it looks like [00:39:05] I’ve got it kind of like I’m doing this, I’m doing that. I’m not doing them all at the same time. And that’s the absolute [00:39:10] reality. So last year, like I said, I had a baby. She’s now nine months and [00:39:15] last year was what I call survival mode. And as much [00:39:20] as I was, I was very silly to do that pgcert while I was pregnant because I was actually exhausted. [00:39:25] Half of it went in and out of my ear because I was too tired. And [00:39:30] you know that always there’s not everything that you can do at once. So [00:39:35] at that time, I was focussed on focusing on, you know, having a healthy pregnancy whilst [00:39:40] trying to maintain my career. But things that let up, for example, was home organisation, [00:39:45] like I just did not have the time or energy to declutter and sort my [00:39:50] children’s toys out or you know, even book them loads of activities and [00:39:55] deal with meals. So I I’m not ashamed to say I don’t like cooking, so I order meals [00:40:00] in for them, like freshly cooked meals, and I just put them in the freezer and that’s what they eat, because I’m just not [00:40:05] the mum who’s going to be at home cooking home cooked meals. That’s just not realistic for my life. When I come home from work [00:40:10] and I start to study.

Speaker1: So something you just have to choose [00:40:15] what it is you’re going to focus your energy on. And for me, as long as I had some quality time with [00:40:20] my children, some quality time with my husband, and was able to [00:40:25] move forward in one of my goals, then that was enough for me. So most of my time, that [00:40:30] one goal that I’m always trying to move forward in is dentistry because there’s always so much to learn. But yeah, things always [00:40:35] give. Like last year, it was definitely self-care and this year I’m trying to have more self-care. I’m trying to [00:40:40] look more at how I eat and how I move my body. Because I started to have aches and pains. [00:40:45] I’m ageing, my knee gives in sometimes and you know, things like that. I need [00:40:50] to start taking care of my body and start exercising and stretching, starting going for massages and things like that. [00:40:55] So I think women can absolutely do everything, but you’ve got to choose what you want [00:41:00] to do, when and what and prioritise according to the time and time scale. Essentially, [00:41:05] I think that’s the most important thing is choosing appropriately and [00:41:10] thinking about timescales, really. And I think back now, there’s so many things that I wish I’d done different [00:41:15] way around. But, you know, hindsight is a great gift.

Speaker3: Like what? Like what? Like what?

Speaker1: I [00:41:20] think I wish I’d focussed more on my studies before I had children. So because I spent [00:41:25] so much time in my BSc, then dentistry when I graduated, [00:41:30] I just spent a lot of time just working and not really thinking where I wanted to go with my career. I [00:41:35] was just working, and actually that would have been the prime time to focus and get my career [00:41:40] where I wanted to be and then have a family. But now I just spent all those years just kind [00:41:45] of like floating about in dentistry, not really knowing where I wanted to go with it. And that’s like I said, partly that’s because I [00:41:50] just thought I’d be churning it out in the NHS for the foreseeable future. And then I realised, actually, this is [00:41:55] not fulfilling for me. It’s not what I want to do. I want to maybe achieve X, Y and Z and [00:42:00] now I’m saddled, not saddled. But now I have the extra responsibilities of two children [00:42:05] and a marriage to maintain and ageing happening to me very slowly. And [00:42:10] it’s just harder. It’s not impossible, but it’s harder, you know? So if [00:42:15] anything, I wish I had done all those things before I had all these additional responsibilities. But, you know, you don’t know what you [00:42:20] don’t know. I didn’t know that this is how I’d feel at this point in my career.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah. Especially as, [00:42:25] you know, um, the reason why you want the education is because the other situation wasn’t fulfilling, [00:42:30] and you wouldn’t have known that until you got to that point.

Speaker4: That’s true. Yeah.

Speaker3: I [00:42:35] think not enough people tell you. Maybe it was just me. I know, but the second kid [00:42:40] really messed this stuff up at home.

Speaker4: It really does.

Speaker3: Because you think you’ve had a kid. You’ve had [00:42:45] one kid. You know what kid is? Yeah, yeah, but no one really tells you that. The first kid [00:42:50] kind of. It almost becomes a plus one on the couple. Kind of the couple continue doing [00:42:55] this stuff they used to do. But there’s a kid. Yeah, but the second kid sort of completely [00:43:00] throws that in the air, I find. Really?

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: It was just a really [00:43:05] hard adjustment for both of us, really. Probably my husband [00:43:10] more than me because he said, I think a couple times he said it. I guess it’s too late to not do this, isn’t it? [00:43:15]

Speaker4: Funny.

Speaker1: Yeah. [00:43:20] We’re here now. Uh, I think we’ve just just moving past that point where it’s absolute [00:43:25] torture to kind of like finding our feet, but it’s still just grinding, [00:43:30] like it really is grinding. And there’s absolutely some people who have the gift of, like, dealing with [00:43:35] multiple children. I am not one of those people. So it’s really hard work for me. [00:43:40]

Speaker4: I think it’s.

Speaker3: Really hard for everyone, though. I think it’s really hard for everyone. It’s it’s not talked about enough, you know, [00:43:45] because look, I see this picture behind you here of you and your son. [00:43:50] Is it. Yeah.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: My son.

Speaker3: That’s that’s the image that that that sort [00:43:55] of gets put out about motherhood. It absolutely. Staring, staring into the, [00:44:00] the, the waves or whatever it is holding arm and arm and, um, [00:44:05] the, you know, I think until they figured out how to put their own socks on, you’re in trouble. [00:44:10]

Speaker4: That’s even beyond that. He can put his socks. [00:44:15]

Speaker1: On, but he just.

Speaker4: Won’t stop. Perfect.

Speaker1: It’s an endless [00:44:20] battle. It’s an. And even with, like, with the studying, like I say, I’ll come home from work and I’ll study. And actually, I [00:44:25] find that I find it easier to study on the days that I’ve been at work.

Speaker4: Mhm.

Speaker1: Work is like [00:44:30] restful for me now.

Speaker3: I’ve heard that so many times from others.

Speaker1: It really is on the days that I’m [00:44:35] at home, by the end of the day, I literally have nothing left to study. There’s nothing left. I have [00:44:40] to squeeze all my studying in on the three days that I’m at work, because that’s the only [00:44:45] time when I come home and I feel like I still have some energy because they really just suck it all out of you, [00:44:50] like in the most loving way.

Speaker3: But you know, not everyone who does a course ends up doing all [00:44:55] the reading and all the studying and all that. So. You know, are you are you that person? Are you that [00:45:00] person who’s going to read around the subject 13 times?

Speaker1: I just, like I said, I [00:45:05] just have to work harder than everybody else.

Speaker4: So that’s just my.

Speaker1: Reality and [00:45:10] I’m still improving my study techniques. I’m actually also doing a course on studying, like better studying [00:45:15] because, you know, you can always improve. There’s always better ways to do things. So. [00:45:20] But I think I just like to study I like to learn. My husband’s always saying, this is going to be the last [00:45:25] course you’re going to do. Right? And I’m always like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then like six months later I found another one.

Speaker3: So why is that? [00:45:30] Why is that?

Speaker1: I like the knowledge. I think it’s I find interest. And to be fair, [00:45:35] admittedly I think I’m not implementing all of it. So actually one of my 2024 [00:45:40] things is use what I’ve learned because there’s so much, you know, we all go an endless number of courses [00:45:45] and we don’t actually implement a lot of them. So I have all this knowledge, but it’s not being used. [00:45:50] I don’t feel comfortable or confident or, you know, don’t know how to talk about it to [00:45:55] patients. And I just think, actually, I’ve invested all this time and energy and money and hours in the evening [00:46:00] studying. I should actually there are people out there who would appreciate this. I need to go out there and do it. So [00:46:05] but yeah, the moral of the story is I just have to work harder.

Speaker3: And is, is there is there an [00:46:10] element of you want formal studies? I mean, am I studying while I’m listening to a podcast [00:46:15] or that doesn’t count?

Speaker1: No, that does count.

Speaker3: Yeah, that’s I’m studying every night. [00:46:20]

Speaker4: Then there you go. There you go. I’m amazing. Yeah. It’s anything [00:46:25] that is new.

Speaker1: Information is.

Speaker4: Studying. Yeah.

Speaker3: But, you [00:46:30] know, some people are literally course junkies. Some some people are diploma junkie junkies. They [00:46:35] want pieces of paper. Yeah, some people are degree junkies. They want actual, you know, [00:46:40] letters.

Speaker4: Yeah, I.

Speaker1: Was definitely on the degree junkie, but that’s more something that’s [00:46:45] come from my family. My family is very academic. You know, for my dad, the least you could do is a [00:46:50] PhD. So my, my brothers both have masters and he’s pushing them both to [00:46:55] do PhDs. And they’re like, actually, you know, we’re fine with our masters, you know? And um, [00:47:00] when my mom heard I wanted to do, for example, a master’s in endodontics, she’s like, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s the thing [00:47:05] to do. So for, for them and it’s the whole African thing, you know, when you have because they were [00:47:10] raised in Africa, they were raised with lack, with, you know, poverty, with seeing people [00:47:15] die for a really simple things just from not having, you know, so for them, [00:47:20] education was a huge door out of all of that. And so education is on a massive [00:47:25] pedestal in our in my family and in my home. So the more letters you have after the [00:47:30] name, the more highly regarded you are in my family basically. So yeah.

Speaker3: I think we can [00:47:35] all sort of sort of relate to the idea of that. But the interesting thing is it’s no longer [00:47:40] education is no longer the one way ticket to success that it used to be. [00:47:45]

Speaker4: Yeah. Absolutely not.

Speaker3: And at the same time, I thought I was kind of immune to all this [00:47:50] by now. And yet when the thing came up in my son, my son’s doing A-levels, [00:47:55] when, when it came up, hey, Oxford and Cambridge. Yeah. And suddenly some part of [00:48:00] me said, yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve got to do that. Yeah. And, and you know, it’s [00:48:05] within, you know, it’s a bit like you think you think you’re not racist until you realise you’re racist about [00:48:10] something. Yeah. Or you think you’re not sexist until you realise you’re sexist. You know, we all have a certain [00:48:15] bit of all of that in us, but it seems it seems like were you doing all this [00:48:20] to, to kind of fit in to the family thing to do you, did [00:48:25] you want to go and say, hey, mom, dad, guess what? I got a extra degree, you know, like, where [00:48:30] does it come from exactly?

Speaker1: It wasn’t fitting in. It was more that this was just the path that [00:48:35] I had been led down. I didn’t even think of anything else. So I remember when I was applying [00:48:40] for university and years and one of my friends said, oh, I don’t even know if I’m going to go to U.S and that [00:48:45] was the first time that idea that you don’t have to go to university genuinely entered my head. Like, [00:48:50] I’m not even kidding. Like the thought that I’m not going to go into university was never [00:48:55] something that I even. Sexualised because it was such. It was made like [00:49:00] this was the norm in our family, you know, do ABC and then this is the next step and then that’s [00:49:05] the next step. So for them it was school, university, preferably a postgraduate degree as well as [00:49:10] a minimum. So anything other than that was just not normal [00:49:15] to me. So it’s not like I was trying to people please. But this was the my this was my normalcy [00:49:20] essentially. And I didn’t know anything outside of it.

Speaker3: And [00:49:25] then so now now looking at looking at your output, there’s an [00:49:30] element of it that is like sort of inspiring others.

Speaker1: I hope to, yes, because I [00:49:35] think social media is something that’s quite. What’s [00:49:40] the word? Um. Oh, what’s the word when polarising. There we go. Yeah. [00:49:45] Social media is something that’s very polarising, and even I myself can get sucked in in [00:49:50] the bad way. And I think about when I was a student and when I was at university, and how I [00:49:55] didn’t have the pressure of social media and comparing yourself to other people. And because that’s something that I feel [00:50:00] I’m particularly susceptible to comparison and looking at what they’re doing and like, [00:50:05] oh, you know, I should be doing that too. And I really wanted to have a space on social [00:50:10] media where I was where it’s kind of like, you know, your current life is a dream. You [00:50:15] know, you what you do doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, but actually your current life [00:50:20] is amazing compared to such a large percentage of the world. And I think I think [00:50:25] like that just because, like I said, with my parents job, I’ve been fortunate to go to many of these places where people [00:50:30] really do not have anything. And then, you know, the other day I was telling my husband about this.

Speaker1: I had this big revelation [00:50:35] because I have a Range Rover, and I was having issues with it and I was getting really angry with [00:50:40] it, like really angry. I was going back and forth with the dealership and like things were not working. [00:50:45] And then one day I just thought, oh my God, yeah, if this thing never gets fixed fixed, I’m okay [00:50:50] with it. Because here I am being angry that my luxury car is not luxurious enough. You [00:50:55] know, where there’s people out there who literally don’t have food to eat? I was like, what a ridiculous thing to spend so much [00:51:00] energy being angry about. Like, what is my life? You know? And once [00:51:05] you start to get that bit of perspective, you’re like, this is not the thing. Like, it’s okay to be angry, [00:51:10] but this is not the thing to spend your energy being angry about. You know, there’s actually real [00:51:15] issues in the world where you need to spend your your energy being angry about, not because you’re luxury [00:51:20] car is not being working the way you want it to, you know. And I just thought I realised [00:51:25] how ridiculous I was being in that moment.

Speaker4: And where did it come from?

Speaker3: This, this, this question [00:51:30] of sort of inspiring others and, you know, like teaching other people how to [00:51:35] live sort of thing, how to how to improve themselves. But I don’t understand where that thread started [00:51:40] in your, in your career.

Speaker4: Like it’s more what.

Speaker1: I would have liked for myself. So [00:51:45] I kind of try and share for other people what I would have liked for myself, because in the early [00:51:50] years of my career, I was very unsure of everything. And I think there’s still lots of elements that I’m [00:51:55] still unsure about. But actually, like I said, I realise how far I’ve come and I want to help other people [00:52:00] get to that place as well. Now, at the moment I just don’t have time to put out stuff with [00:52:05] children, but I really hope to show people that actually [00:52:10] where they are at the moment is great, and what they have within themselves is also great, [00:52:15] you know, and they have everything they they need already [00:52:20] to be great, and all they need to do is put it in place and start walking in it. [00:52:25]

Speaker3: Look, this, this thing you were saying about social media being polarising and making [00:52:30] you feel sort of worse about yourself. I got that feeling from [00:52:35] your page.

Speaker4: Oh, really? Yeah.

Speaker3: Because she just seemed so successful. Man, you seem like [00:52:40] you’re living your best life, and and I. And I see you, by the way. I [00:52:45] get it right. It’s so that’s just Instagram. Yeah. Yeah it is, but but I [00:52:50] see you, you know, one moment writing a sort of motivational quote. Next moment [00:52:55] you’re stretching in the gym or something, next moment you’re with your kids, [00:53:00] next moment you’re talking about teeth whitening. Yeah. And I think, well, God, like this [00:53:05] is, this is a person who’s clearly busier than I am and yet still gets time to, you know, [00:53:10] go to the gym and look after a kid. Yeah. Extras. You’re doing so much more than me. You’re doing so much more [00:53:15] than me sort of feeling. Yeah. Now, I’m not a mother and I’m not, you know, I’m not even directly comparable [00:53:20] to you. Yeah, but what you said before, where you see other people and you think that’s [00:53:25] competitive nature comes out and it’s for [00:53:30] it’s one of the downsides of it, for sure, of social media that makes you [00:53:35] end up comparing. And then the weird thing is, like, [00:53:40] you get the people who I’ve got a couple of friends who have private jets [00:53:45] right now, I’ve never seen a picture of their private jet on their social media. [00:53:50] Never. Yeah. And then you get all these other people.

Speaker4: On on.

Speaker3: Private [00:53:55] jets and they’re like, you know, like people put this sort of different side of.

Speaker4: Themselves. [00:54:00]

Speaker3: Forward. Right. But now in your in your work, in your, in [00:54:05] your life and, you know, someone as busy as you nine month old kid, do [00:54:10] you think going forward, as the kids grow up, that you’re going to lean more into this sort of trying [00:54:15] to teach or inspire or, you know, do that stuff? It looks like looking at your [00:54:20] output, it looks like that’s the direction you’re going.

Speaker1: To be honest, I think I’m gonna [00:54:25] spend more time pursuing what my true passions are and bring people [00:54:30] along on the journey. Aha! And if people are inspired by that or [00:54:35] are looking to go on similar journeys, then that’s what I’m there to support. Because as you said. It’s always [00:54:40] a persona. And even in that and it’s funny you say that, but that’s not what I was trying to [00:54:45] portray.

Speaker4: You know, you’re just putting.

Speaker3: Down, you know, bits of your life, right?

Speaker4: Exactly.

Speaker1: But it’s it’s funny [00:54:50] how different things perceive. Different people perceive what you put online and what they [00:54:55] take from it themselves. So yeah, it’s but yeah, my goal essentially [00:55:00] isn’t to tell people how to live or teach them how to live, really, [00:55:05] it’s to help them kind of like reach within themselves. Yeah. [00:55:10] And do what they want to do, because that’s what I’m trying to do for myself all the time. I think one of my posts [00:55:15] I put recently is about how I’d taken a break from social media, because I was getting too influenced by [00:55:20] other people and getting really distracted on what I wanted to do, and I just needed to [00:55:25] take some time to reflect on actually what was important to me and, and focus [00:55:30] on those things. And in the same way, I hope people will not look at my page and think, oh, [00:55:35] I want to do what she’s doing, but be more, be like, if that’s something, that’s also something I want to do, [00:55:40] let me see how she’s doing and see if I can learn anything from there, you know. But how do we do that? [00:55:45] How do we be authentic without making people feel bad? That’s the challenge of social media, [00:55:50] you know?

Speaker3: And it’s not up to you. It’s not up to you to stop people feeling bad. You know, [00:55:55] in the end, you know, you’re busy person, you’re posting whatever, you’re posting this, [00:56:00] you know, it’s just a side effect of it. You know, it’s one of those things. So your your [00:56:05] parents or your mum, particularly UNHCR, um, what are some of the things [00:56:10] that you’ve learned from her? And um, you’ve, you’re doing some charity [00:56:15] work. Dental charity work as well.

Speaker4: Yes.

Speaker1: Yeah. So I think the biggest thing that I [00:56:20] learned from my mother is how privileged I am. Yeah, really, from all the places that [00:56:25] she’s been, she’s told me some of the horrendous stories that she’s had to deal with and come to terms with. So [00:56:30] she started off as a refugee lawyer in refugee camps. You know, she would deal with just women [00:56:35] who were displaced and and getting raped in refugee camps and advocating for them. Then she moved on [00:56:40] to advocating for groups of people. Then she would tell me more individualised stories, for example, [00:56:45] children who would be unwell, and then they would get moved around internationally to get some treatment, and then for several [00:56:50] of them would die before they’d managed to get the treatment. So there’s really like people who are having such struggles. And then you look [00:56:55] at your life and you think, actually, I’m so privileged. So that’s I think the biggest takeaway from my parents job [00:57:00] is recognising my privilege. And what a like a great life [00:57:05] I have. It’s it’s difficult to you can forget that easily. But yeah. And I think that was the biggest thing. And [00:57:10] also the desire to make any change that you can do for, for [00:57:15] the world because you think, who am I am such a little person, what can I do? But you know, when she said [00:57:20] to me, here’s an opportunity, here’s what you can do. I’ve laid out the road for you. Will you [00:57:25] come? You know. And I was like, well, why would I say no? You know, so she she [00:57:30] made the introductions. She, you know, said, here’s a camp, here’s someone you can work [00:57:35] with. Here’s a place you can work here are the people needing help, you know.

Speaker4: What are the details? [00:57:40]

Speaker3: What were the details?

Speaker1: So basically, we went to a refugee camp in Malawi. So it’s [00:57:45] the biggest refugee camp there. It’s called Zalika and it’s been there for over 25 years. And they had not had any [00:57:50] dentists in the entire time that the camp had been there. Because unfortunately, the UN sees dentistry [00:57:55] is a luxury. So they provide medical care, but they don’t provide any dental care because obviously the funds [00:58:00] are stretched. So a lot of the people there who have [00:58:05] dental pain or abscesses are they’re just on a rotation of antibiotics basically. [00:58:10] How long terme. So the first time I went, she was [00:58:15] what we call the UN representative from Malawi. So in Malawi she represented UNHCR. [00:58:20] So she was completely in charge of refugee camps. So it gave her a more leeway to do what she wanted [00:58:25] essentially. So she said, okay, why don’t you go in and have a look? So I went there and I did first a screening [00:58:30] program, and I just looked at what the need was before I decide what I needed to come [00:58:35] and do. And I just saw the vast majority of them just needed extractions. And [00:58:40] you had children that had been on like courses of antibiotics for years, basically [00:58:45] on cycles. It’s just really tragic. And so I planned and a [00:58:50] year later I came back with a team of dentists and we went to. So Zuleikha is [00:58:55] the biggest camp. And then they have another smaller camp called Luani. And we did both camps and we were there [00:59:00] for about a week each time, and we just did extractions back to back, no X-rays, no anything. [00:59:05] You’re just doing it. But I was the way it all came together was really amazing. I had an [00:59:10] oral surgeon who came from Egypt, and so she was our failsafe [00:59:15] if anything went wrong. Uh, because like I said, we didn’t have access to X-rays. So [00:59:20] you’re just going for it and hoping that you can get the majority of the tooth out.

Speaker4: Did you have dental.

Speaker3: Dental chairs [00:59:25] and dental?

Speaker4: No, no dental chairs.

Speaker1: So it was in Zalika. They have a medical [00:59:30] centre. So we were working in the medical centre. So they had beds, and I essentially made a list of [00:59:35] equipments that I asked all the dentists to bring, and they just came with their torchlights and I bought loads of. Extraction [00:59:40] equipment from Dentaid, and that was pretty much all we had. And they had a steriliser in [00:59:45] the medical department. So fortunate we were able to use their steriliser. Um, but that’s pretty much [00:59:50] it. So head torch forceps and a translator and we went for it.

Speaker3: And have you got [00:59:55] numbers like in the week? How many teeth did you take out?

Speaker1: So I think we tallied up, we took [01:00:00] over 2 to 300 teeth out.

Speaker4: A week.

Speaker1: In that week. Yeah.

Speaker4: Oh my. [01:00:05]

Speaker3: God.

Speaker1: It was just back to back extractions all day long. And then for for the [01:00:10] ones who had, you know, treatments that we weren’t able to complete in that week because the abscesses [01:00:15] were too large or just, you know, could not be managed in our makeshift clinic, the [01:00:20] dental office still in Lilongwe, which is the capital city. So the camp is outside of the capital [01:00:25] city, and the refugees are not actually allowed to go into Lilongwe. They have to stay [01:00:30] within the camp, and some of them have been there their whole lives, so they could literally be there ten, 20 years and [01:00:35] can never leave the camp unless they move on to their permanent home. And a lot of them get stuck [01:00:40] there. So while we were there, the I went to the hospital [01:00:45] in Lilongwe and they agreed to accept referrals from us. So we were able to refer the [01:00:50] most urgent children who needed more advanced care, essentially, but they [01:00:55] wouldn’t take any adults just because they were overwhelmed as well with just their general populations, but they were willing to [01:01:00] see the children.

Speaker3: So what was the what was the story of the people who [01:01:05] ended up in the refugee camp? Because, you know, my my, my cousin [01:01:10] works, my wife’s cousin works for the UN and and she said that, [01:01:15] you know, it depends on where it is and all that. But the sort of the link between, [01:01:20] you see, we talk about a refugee as if that’s what they’ve always been. [01:01:25] But she she was telling me that there was there was a doctor [01:01:30] and a lawyer in Syria, and their eight year old kid couldn’t [01:01:35] read and write because of the war. They hadn’t had a managed school, and they’d ended up in a refugee [01:01:40] camp, you know, now. Okay, rewind three years back, that was a doctor [01:01:45] and a lawyer in a city somewhere that ended up in this refugee camp. And, you [01:01:50] know, in the same way as, I mean, we see we see these pictures coming out of Gaza, right? People walking, [01:01:55] walking the streets that they didn’t always walk the streets, they had houses or.

Speaker4: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. [01:02:00]

Speaker3: Or even even even down to, I mean, this totally different thing. But you [01:02:05] see, an old person in the street wasn’t always an old person. It was a young was [01:02:10] a young person.

Speaker4: Young thing. Once upon a time.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah, yeah. What [01:02:15] are the stories like? How did they end up in these camps? And what are some of the stories that sort of stuck with you?

Speaker1: A [01:02:20] lot of them were fleeing conflict. Naturally. Africa, unfortunately, [01:02:25] is just strife with conflict. There’s a long colonial non colonial history behind that that we [01:02:30] just don’t need to go into. But the vast majority of them were fleeing conflict. [01:02:35] You do obviously also have some economic migrants as well and they just get stuck in Malawi. [01:02:40] So Malawi was a lot of them a transit point. A lot of them were aiming to get to [01:02:45] more industrialised countries in Africa. So along, for example, the east Kenya [01:02:50] is doing quite well, Tanzania is doing quite well. Some of them were aiming to go further down south [01:02:55] to South Africa and Namibia, Zimbabwe, and they just get stuck in Malawi essentially. [01:03:00] And I don’t know exactly what the processing process in Malawi is, [01:03:05] but I know that a lot of them find that they’re not able to leave, they’re not able to go back to where they [01:03:10] were coming from, and they’re not able to join society in Malawi because the Malawi is overwhelmed. [01:03:15] So they get stuck in this limbo point where they’re not essentially living, [01:03:20] they’re not moving forward, but they’re not going back. And it’s just a really. So that’s I found that a lot of them had were just [01:03:25] despondent because they had been there for so long and they didn’t know where where they were going next, [01:03:30] essentially. So Malawi is a great country and that it does accept refugees [01:03:35] in quotas. But they were just, I think, [01:03:40] 24,000 refugees in that camp.

Speaker3: And is what tents, literally tents.

Speaker1: Some [01:03:45] of them are houses, some of them are tents. But because it’s been there for so long, it’s got more infrastructure [01:03:50] to it. So there are schools in there and things like that. But you know, it’s still not a proper [01:03:55] city. It’s because it’s it’s a size of a city, you know. Yeah. Um, but [01:04:00] it’s still not, you know, they still don’t have proper services. And like I said, they have this medical centre which [01:04:05] is running on bare minimum with the funds from the UN, which they have to stretch, you [01:04:10] know, across a lot of services. So it’s really a half life essentially, which is [01:04:15] quite tragic. And a lot of them were heading there either leaving, as you said, good [01:04:20] lives, hoping just to find a place of safety or where we’re going from lack [01:04:25] and finding themselves in another position of lack, not having moved any further forward [01:04:30] in their hopes and their dreams. So.

Speaker3: And you must have you’re busy, dentist, mother and [01:04:35] all that, but you must have had moments where you thought if I had resources. What [01:04:40] would be sort of the best way of using them for these sort of situations. I [01:04:45] mean, I’ve got one friend. He was he was saying, look, if you could many, many of us [01:04:50] as dentists and doctors would give up 1 or 2 weeks of, of our, of our year [01:04:55] to do something like this. If there was a nice, organised way of doing it, you know, if. Yeah, [01:05:00] if and he was looking to do that, he was looking to set up a website and, and so forth, and then, and then [01:05:05] he realised he did that, he did that in medicine. And then he realised that, [01:05:10] you know, there’s an aspect of it that is almost still selfish, insomuch [01:05:15] as, hey, it’s nice for us to do a bit of charity work as, as well about it.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Feel good [01:05:20] about ourselves. Yeah. But you know, when they did the study on what would give the best [01:05:25] outcomes, it was training people out there.

Speaker1: Exactly. So the goal [01:05:30] of my charity had three arms essentially was outreach because you need to give practical help immediately. [01:05:35] But actually there was an education aspect and a future aspect as well. So I had [01:05:40] three arms in my plan. So this all happened before I had children. So my outreach trip was in [01:05:45] 2016, 2017, and my goal had been to do annual [01:05:50] trips to give, you know, immediate urgent relief, but also to do training [01:05:55] trips and to train local dental health care advisors who could deal with basic situations. [01:06:00] And I also wanted to set up a dental scholarship as well to help train dentists [01:06:05] in locally, because there’s a huge element with charity work, especially [01:06:10] coming from the Western world. When you’re doing charity tourism, you know you’re going and you’re leaving [01:06:15] and you know you feel good yourself. You’re like, oh, I’ve done this wonderful thing. But actually, what lasting impact is [01:06:20] there? It’s great to help a few people. But you know what Long Terme is, is there. And [01:06:25] places like dent are great because they have got long terme roots in places. Yeah. [01:06:30] And they, you know, they go back repeatedly. And one of the things I wanted to do was to set up something where we go back [01:06:35] repeatedly and have relationships and not just, you know, it’s not just a one time thing. You know, you’d [01:06:40] want people who would say, I can commit to doing this once a year for the foreseeable future, for example. [01:06:45] Right. It’s not about you. It’s about what change you’re putting, what foundations [01:06:50] of change you’re putting in. But children just derailed all of that.

Speaker4: Have [01:06:55] you have you heard of.

Speaker3: Have you heard of effective altruism?

Speaker1: No, I haven’t actually.

Speaker4: I just [01:07:00] had.

Speaker3: A kind of a bad name recently because that guy, um, Sam Bankman-Fried from the, you [01:07:05] know, the crypto thing, he, he was really into it. But but what it means is I from [01:07:10] what I understand, what it means is that look, the okay going going to the camp [01:07:15] and taking the teeth out and the gratitude of that patient who’s now out of pain and [01:07:20] that makes us feel good. And what you just said about tourism, you know, charity, tourism. But [01:07:25] effective altruism says, you know, what would be the most effective thing for you, you [01:07:30] to do. Yeah. So let’s say it’s you. Actually, the most helpful thing for you to do [01:07:35] would be to earn loads of money as a private dentist and give them money to [01:07:40] local dentists to go and buy locally, whatever, you know, whatever [01:07:45] it is. Yeah. And it’s a funny thing. It’s an important thing that we need to understand that our motivation. [01:07:50]

Speaker4: Absolutely.

Speaker3: Yeah. At the same time, your insight that you’ve got [01:07:55] into it from your mom’s work.

Speaker1: That’s what I mean. I’m in a.

Speaker4: Unique position because.

Speaker1: I have a lot of open doors. And [01:08:00] that’s why I think.

Speaker4: For you.

Speaker1: It’s it’s it would be remiss of me not to use them because I have [01:08:05] access to so many people that other people just don’t have. Like because of her role [01:08:10] in the UN, she can connect me to a lot of important people all over Africa who have [01:08:15] access to these refugee camps, you know? So it would be that’s why I feel quite [01:08:20] burdened by it’s a waste of my connections, essentially not to do something, even if I, I can’t [01:08:25] physically go there at the moment, but even it’s just to set up relationships and just to say, you know, what can [01:08:30] we support with. That’s what I’m currently trying to do. So my one of the things I want to do this year is revamp the charity and [01:08:35] actually just start to say, maybe as an element of effective altruism, [01:08:40] what can I do now without me physically coming there that is going to support advancing [01:08:45] the chair? So for example, with our last trip, when we left, we found local dentists and we gave away all [01:08:50] our equipment.

Speaker4: Nice.

Speaker1: Uh, there. So we didn’t bring anything back. We gave it to the dental hospital [01:08:55] in Lilongwe, and we gave it to a local dentist who who found out about our trip online. And he travelled [01:09:00] quite far because he said he literally had nothing, you know. So we gave him all our equipment [01:09:05] and it’s just, you know, things like that. And I think everyone has specific sets [01:09:10] of skills or connections or something that they use, and I’m just trying to use what I have [01:09:15] to the best that I can. But it’s challenging.

Speaker3: Of course. And what was the name of the [01:09:20] charity? Did it have a name?

Speaker1: Yeah. So it’s called Oral Health Africa. It’s on Instagram. I’ll tag it. [01:09:25]

Speaker3: Oh, excellent. Excellent. I’ll take it in the thing as well. Let’s let’s get back to dentistry. [01:09:30] Your job now. Um, what is it? Fully private.

Speaker1: Yeah, [01:09:35] so 100% fully private. We see NHS kids and plan patients. [01:09:40]

Speaker3: Okay. And the practice is is it, is it what I would imagine a [01:09:45] fully private practice in around in and around Bristol to be is it very nice and [01:09:50] slow and so forth or what is it like, what kind of practices.

Speaker4: It’s actually quite busy. [01:09:55]

Speaker1: It’s not as busy as an NHS practice. Nowhere near, but I think [01:10:00] probably compared to other private practices, probably a little bit busier. Mhm. Um, and that’s I [01:10:05] think we’re seeing a lot of the fallout from the kind of like reduction of [01:10:10] NHS pay access. Essentially we’re having a lot of patients who are joining our practice [01:10:15] saying I used to be an NHS patient, I literally cannot find an NHS dentist and they’re having to space [01:10:20] out their treatment because they just can’t afford to pay for it and things like that. So we’re quite inundated with [01:10:25] patients at the moment. So it’s an interesting climate to be working in.

Speaker3: What kind of dentist [01:10:30] are you? Are you general? I noticed you do a lot of facial aesthetics.

Speaker1: I did. [01:10:35] I haven’t done as much recently. When I was in Portsmouth, I was running a facial aesthetics clinic. [01:10:40]

Speaker4: Mhm. Um.

Speaker1: Independently. Then Covid hit and that ended. Um, [01:10:45] and I haven’t really done much with it since then. Since moving to [01:10:50] Bristol, I’ve definitely focussed more on general dentistry. I’m trying to pursue my interests [01:10:55] of orthodontics, endodontics and a little bit of restorative as well. [01:11:00] So those are kind of the three things I’m trying to hang my hat at. But I have the unfortunate [01:11:05] thing that I’m always I have too many legs out. So [01:11:10] I’ve progressed very slowly because I’m doing so many things at once. But yeah, those are the things that I’m interested [01:11:15] in kind of trying to move my career towards. Essentially.

Speaker4: Let’s get to darker days. Oh, [01:11:20] um.

Speaker3: We like to talk about mistakes, errors, um, [01:11:25] maybe your most difficult patient or the biggest [01:11:30] clinical mistake in your view. What comes to mind when I, when I talk, when I ask that question.

Speaker1: Oh, [01:11:35] so I think it would be a difficult patient. And this is one I just really did not know what [01:11:40] to do with. So this is an elderly man when I was living in Portsmouth and [01:11:45] he was just really, really challenging. He really needed help. So [01:11:50] he had loads of rotten teeth that needed removing. He was in pain, but he [01:11:55] was a very abrasive and just rude man. And for me that [01:12:00] was a huge human relations thing to overcome because on the one [01:12:05] side, like I said, I’m I’m such a do gooder. I like to do good. And I thought, this is someone that really needs my help, but [01:12:10] this is someone that I really do not like.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker1: And that was just the harsh reality [01:12:15] of it. I really did not like him and I did not want to see him, but he had been banned [01:12:20] from many practices and almost no one else was willing to see him, essentially.

Speaker3: And you thought you were [01:12:25] the one who’s going to break this?

Speaker4: I thought I was.

Speaker1: The one, and boy, did it come back to bite me in the butt.

Speaker3: Go on [01:12:30] laughing.

Speaker1: So I did clearance for him on the lower arch and made [01:12:35] him dentures. And he was unhappy with the outcome and [01:12:40] he ended up suing me, called the local health board and he [01:12:45] was a serial complainer, so they weren’t surprised to hear from him. [01:12:50] But at the same time, it was a huge period of stress for me to go through that complaints [01:12:55] process. And, you know, it’s always the ones you’re trying to help the most, you know.

Speaker4: That [01:13:00] come back to bite you in the bum.

Speaker1: Yeah. And that. Yeah. It just just because [01:13:05] I already didn’t like him, you know. And I was like, oh, and you have this gut feeling like [01:13:10] I really shouldn’t treat him. But it was really fighting the other side of me, which is like, no, but nobody [01:13:15] else will see him, you know, like, where is he going to go? Somebody needs to see him. And I [01:13:20] should have sent him to the hospital. But there I was.

Speaker3: So go. What can we do? What happened? [01:13:25] What actually happened?

Speaker1: So I he was unhappy [01:13:30] essentially. So the actual clinical treatment went fine in terms of the extractions and [01:13:35] the, you know, the clinical part of it. But the dentures he found uncomfortable, [01:13:40] he just wasn’t happy with them, you know. And we spent several appointments going back and [01:13:45] forth. First of all it was the appearance of them. Next it was the comfort of them. Next, [01:13:50] he can’t talk, he can’t eat. He just didn’t adapt to them. And he was a little bit older. [01:13:55] So it was you know, it was challenging for him to adapt to them. But just the whole process of making [01:14:00] them, you know, he was in the clinic just all the time, you know, back and forth, denture ease, denture adjustment. [01:14:05] We talked about remaking, you know, redoing. But he just thought, no, he didn’t want to go through the whole process [01:14:10] again. And we spent like ages going back and forth with him [01:14:15] like months.

Speaker4: You know.

Speaker3: About you I don’t know about you, but [01:14:20] in my career, I can’t think of that many patients that I did a clearance on [01:14:25] and then made full dentures. I made loads and loads of full dentures for existing [01:14:30] full denture patients. But if you put yourself in that [01:14:35] person’s shoes, it must be a complete nightmare.

Speaker4: Yeah, it’s a complete shock. [01:14:40]

Speaker1: Complete. But he wasn’t able to eat properly anyway because they were making roots, you know? So a [01:14:45] lot of broken teeth are mainly roots. So it’s not like he had much to compare it to, but at the same time, [01:14:50] and he’d been like that for a long time. Um, but.

Speaker4: Yeah, he got a letter from [01:14:55] a lawyer.

Speaker1: Yeah. So he, he complained formally, which was not delightful. [01:15:00] Um, and I and I haven’t had a lot of complaints. You get the little [01:15:05] ones like, oh, I’m not having that. And then you kind of like, you know, deal with it quickly and it doesn’t really go anywhere. But [01:15:10] this was the full, you know, get the indemnity involved, the letters back and forth and it dragged [01:15:15] on like that. Basically him giving details, you know, my indemnity responding [01:15:20] back and forth like that for quite a while.

Speaker3: How long like how long are we talking.

Speaker1: Less [01:15:25] than a year.

Speaker4: Oh, my.

Speaker3: God, as long as I.

Speaker1: Yeah. [01:15:30] Um, I can’t remember exactly because it’s quite a while ago now, but it went on for quite a while. What [01:15:35] was the.

Speaker3: Feeling that you had? Was the feeling that you had was that, uh, this guy was [01:15:40] sort of an outlier. Difficult patient. Maybe I should maybe I shouldn’t have jumped [01:15:45] in.

Speaker4: Oh, I completely.

Speaker1: Felt I shouldn’t have.

Speaker4: Done. No no no no no.

Speaker3: But I’m saying maybe I shouldn’t have jumped [01:15:50] in. But, you know, at the end of the day, this was going to happen somewhere along the line with this guy with with someone. [01:15:55] Or was your feeling sort of much, much darker than that, that [01:16:00] you know, you were trying your best? Now this guy saying you weren’t and maybe, maybe you could have treated him better. [01:16:05] Maybe you could have warned him. What was what were you thinking? Was it getting you properly down about the dentist [01:16:10] you were, or was it getting you down about the decision to treat this one patient?

Speaker1: I think [01:16:15] it was probably the decision to treat the one patient because by and large, we’re always doing our best. You [01:16:20] know, if I, I don’t not that I don’t feel bad about my mistakes, but when I [01:16:25] do make mistakes, I don’t I try not to beat myself up about it because it’s not because I’m not trying. It’s [01:16:30] genuine human error. And these things are going to happen, you know? And obviously as you go along in your career, [01:16:35] it should hopefully happen less, but it’s still going to happen. But what I found particularly [01:16:40] difficult is that despite me being my best, trying my best and saying, yeah, here are things that I could [01:16:45] have done better, but I’m still trying my best. That wasn’t good enough, you [01:16:50] know? And I think that’s the bit that really hurts. And that was really difficult to deal with because, like, [01:16:55] I was trying my best for you where a lot of people wouldn’t.

Speaker4: Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker1: You know, and [01:17:00] that was yeah, it was more I think again, it’s it’s always the human [01:17:05] relationship element of it that I found difficult.

Speaker4: You know, on, on reflection. [01:17:10]

Speaker3: Apart from not treating him because that you’re saying that’s the [01:17:15] right move, but that would.

Speaker4: Have been the right move.

Speaker3: Yeah, but but apart from that, would you have done something [01:17:20] differently within the within the treatment or within the communication?

Speaker1: Um, [01:17:25] I think maybe I would have made the downsides. Um, [01:17:30] sound worse than they were. You know, they always say under-promise and overdeliver, and I [01:17:35] didn’t under-promise enough. You know, I just thought from someone who hasn’t had [01:17:40] dentures and who’s been in so much pain, this is going to be great. You know, it’s going to be such [01:17:45] a step up from his current situation. That’s the way I kind of looked at it and presented it, and I [01:17:50] it never even crossed my mind that he would be unhappy with any [01:17:55] outcome from where he currently started. And I think that was the difficulty.

Speaker3: It’s [01:18:00] funny prosthetics that there’s such a such a psychological side to prosthetics as well. Um, [01:18:05] I have a bunch of experience with it. I did a house job which had a prosthetic bit [01:18:10] in it. One of my bosses was was. That’s all he did. Um, and then we [01:18:15] had a great teacher in university, and the guy in university, he used to say this, actually, he’d say, say [01:18:20] to your patients that it’s a wooden leg. You know, let them understand.

Speaker4: Really? Good. [01:18:25] Yeah.

Speaker3: And he used to say, so it’s a wooden leg. And eating is [01:18:30] like playing football with a wooden leg. And I guess that’s what he’s saying, isn’t it? Lower expectations. [01:18:35]

Speaker4: Yeah, really.

Speaker1: Like I did not know it enough, but I’m just thinking he’s had abscesses for [01:18:40] so long.

Speaker4: I’m sure he’s just glad.

Speaker1: Yeah, he’s just going to be glad to be pain [01:18:45] free and have something to put some food against. But no, that I [01:18:50] just yeah, I made it sound too great I think.

Speaker3: I’ll [01:18:55] take I’ll take that one. I’ll take that one, I’ll take that one. Because sometimes, [01:19:00] sometimes I, I don’t know what was the outcome. What was the outcome. How did it all end?

Speaker1: Oh, [01:19:05] God. It’s actually quite a horrendous story. Oh, God. Um, he dropped it in the. Oops, sorry. [01:19:10] He dropped it in the end. Um, he just kind of, like, idled away, and he. [01:19:15] But he still wanted to come to see me, which is the difficult part and the practice. And you’re like, [01:19:20] okay, cool, you can come. And then he passed away because like I said, he was older. So that was the end of it. [01:19:25] Yeah. Okay.

Speaker3: That’s that’s that’s that’s that’s a good one [01:19:30] we can all learn from.

Speaker4: Brilliant. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. So it didn’t like in terms of like claim and [01:19:35] everything, it didn’t go anywhere because after all the back and forth he just decided to drop it.

Speaker3: So so [01:19:40] in the preamble, you told me that you kind of decided not [01:19:45] to open a practice.

Speaker4: Um, is.

Speaker3: That your final decision or is that just for now?

Speaker1: No, [01:19:50] no, that’s just for now. Just because I think in this moment of life with children and life [01:19:55] and trying to always move forward, I feel again a little bit overwhelmed. And [01:20:00] opening a practice is just another big hurdle that I don’t know if I want to. And plus, because my husband’s [01:20:05] not a dentist, he’s not really interested at all in doing it with me. I might get convinced him, [01:20:10] but it’s just for him. It’s too much of a learning curve and he doesn’t show [01:20:15] any interest in it. And it’s not something I’d want to do on my own. So. But, you know, we both might change in the future. [01:20:20]

Speaker3: What about a business partner?

Speaker1: A business partner I had thought about. But there’s, you [01:20:25] know, it’s it’s an intimate relationship. And the relationship is very important. [01:20:30] And you’ve I’ve heard about, you know, because I did a little bit of research on it and just the number of failures that [01:20:35] happened because of poor partnerships, you know. So for me, [01:20:40] the only comfortable person I would feel with at the moment is my husband. [01:20:45]

Speaker4: Um, I.

Speaker3: Don’t think you should take those those failure stories too much to [01:20:50] heart, though, because you know well a number of failed [01:20:55] marriages, if you want. If you want, you know what I mean?

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: I don’t know about [01:21:00] you, but I find I’m similar to you in so much as I find it particularly [01:21:05] daunting to start a business by myself, I just there’s so many things I’m bad at that [01:21:10] I just do not. I want someone else to. To help.

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Um, [01:21:15] but the question of who that partner should be, actually the, the sort of the received [01:21:20] wisdom on that is in a way, it’s better if it’s a total stranger sometimes. Now, I [01:21:25] can’t live without I can’t I’m like you, I’ve got a fully 100% know [01:21:30] that person. Trust that person. And before I can get into a business relationship with [01:21:35] them. Mhm. Um, but business people, you know, business people, it doesn’t [01:21:40] matter who they’re partnering with. Yeah. They set out expectations at the beginning.

Speaker1: And they want you to meet.

Speaker4: Them. [01:21:45] Yeah.

Speaker3: And, and and they meet them. You know, they say, all right we’re going to meet once a week. We’re going to do this. And, and [01:21:50] um, I think in dentistry we one of the reasons to open a practice [01:21:55] is to have full control, isn’t it. That’s that’s one of the reasons why [01:22:00] associates start practices is to get control. And so in a way, [01:22:05] if if you’re partnering with someone who you’re not aligned with, then you haven’t got control. [01:22:10] So what was the point of opening a practice.

Speaker4: Yeah that’s true.

Speaker3: It’s rare that [01:22:15] people do it for the money. And and often the money isn’t as much as a very, you know, well, [01:22:20] well, well associated with doing very well often. Definitely at the beginning [01:22:25] the money’s not there, but the control piece really is. So, you know, [01:22:30] you’re let’s imagine you run into a Russian billionaire and he says, look, I [01:22:35] trust you. I want you to open our dream practice. I’ll give you the money. I’ll [01:22:40] give you the resources. What kind of practice would it be?

Speaker1: It would definitely be a restorative based [01:22:45] practice, as I said, predominantly focussed on orthodontics, endodontics and just [01:22:50] restoring because I think that’s a lot of people. Even though orthodontics has a huge cosmetic [01:22:55] element, it’s not just cosmetics.

Speaker4: Yes it is. Come on.

Speaker1: It’s not just [01:23:00] cosmetics.

Speaker4: It’s just huge. And that’s the issue.

Speaker1: I’m interested in, like the functional [01:23:05] movements as well, you know, moving teeth to be able to better place a bridge or re intruding [01:23:10] teeth. You know, a number of teeth are taken out in dentures because they’ve over erupted [01:23:15] and things like that, like there is definitely a huge element to that. And yeah, [01:23:20] anyway, it would be a restorative practice. Um, and [01:23:25] it would be very digital, digital technological I love technology. [01:23:30]

Speaker4: Oh do you.

Speaker1: So I love technology. So I always have the newest I try not to [01:23:35] get over to. I’ve got like I live in the Apple world, so I’m all Apple phone, iPad, [01:23:40] Apple Watch. You know, I get everything connected to everything. So [01:23:45] I would have a nice technologically connected practice, get [01:23:50] every CAD cam, everything in the practice, all the scanners. And yeah, that’s the kind of environment [01:23:55] I would work in.

Speaker3: Of all the courses you’ve been to, what were the standout ones?

Speaker1: Oh, [01:24:00] that’s a good one. I went on a really good communications one. Oh I can’t remember [01:24:05] his name. This is terrible. Um. Oh it will come to me [01:24:10] later. I think it’s called the PLP course.

Speaker4: Plp.

Speaker1: Yes. [01:24:15] I cannot remember his name, but it’s not marketed at all. [01:24:20] It was recommended by somebody. It was recommended by Rena, actually, who? I went to university with. The Reno [01:24:25] idea.

Speaker4: Oh. Were you in there? Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah, she she took every award going.

Speaker4: I [01:24:30] heard, I.

Speaker3: Heard that, I heard that.

Speaker1: Yeah, loveliest, loveliest person in [01:24:35] the world. Um, so.

Speaker4: On this.

Speaker3: Podcast as well.

Speaker1: Yeah I know, yeah. Everyone’s [01:24:40] had her everywhere. She is. Yeah. She’s all over and she’s deserves to be because she deserves [01:24:45] everything that she has. She’s worked so hard and is the kindest person ever. Um, [01:24:50] so yeah, Rena recommended and referred me and it’s a, it’s [01:24:55] a communication course. And actually it was really good just about the patient journey and how to interact [01:25:00] and communicate with patients. And it’s just a lot of he breaks it down into really minute [01:25:05] steps and just makes it really reproducible that anyone can do. And [01:25:10] I really enjoyed that course because again, communication is something that is not really focussed enough. [01:25:15]

Speaker3: So one of the nuggets, what were your sort of two three takeaways on [01:25:20] communication that you can teach us?

Speaker4: Oh, okay.

Speaker1: One major takeaway [01:25:25] is agree with the patient. You know you don’t want to [01:25:30] bring negatives into the conversation as much as you can. You reinforce and agree with [01:25:35] whatever they’re saying with you as much as it’s true, obviously, you know, but you want to get [01:25:40] on the same playing field of patient. And one of the good ways to foster [01:25:45] a good environment is by agreeing with people essentially, you know, obviously if it’s something you do not agree with [01:25:50] or it’s factually wrong, then you have to make that clear. But as much as possible, you want to be in [01:25:55] agreeance and repeat their agreement. So I remember one thing on the course is like when they say things, you want to repeat their yes [01:26:00] to them, and it’s just little things, but it helps foster a connection when [01:26:05] people repeat your language. So that was one thing I took away. Another thing was [01:26:10] to match the patient’s energy. So if [01:26:15] someone comes in and they are down, it’s not great to be chirpy. Chirpy. Even if you are feeling [01:26:20] chirpy, you know you need to kind of look at where they are and match your energy [01:26:25] and your mood and your tone and yeah, just everything about you to where they are.

Speaker4: Kind [01:26:30] of like the.

Speaker3: Nlp mirroring thing. Exactly.

Speaker1: Yeah, completely. And so [01:26:35] many times I remember I’ve had to actively do it, and it’s only later on the point where I’ve had to fight. I’ve found out [01:26:40] why. So, you know, someone will come in and they’ll be really surly or quiet or down, and I may be really [01:26:45] happy and laughing and joking with the previous patient, but I think, let me just tone myself down for this patient, and [01:26:50] you’ll find out halfway through the appointment that their husband died yesterday, or, you know, so they don’t need [01:26:55] you laughing and sounding cheery at that moment. You know, they need you.

Speaker4: At their pace [01:27:00] the.

Speaker3: Way they. There are some people who are really good communicators. Right. And so what is [01:27:05] a very good communicator? The person who does that naturally without without even thinking about it. For [01:27:10] the rest of us, we can think about these forces. We can think about it [01:27:15] and adjust ourselves down or up or whatever. I mean, it’s the same as sales training, isn’t it? [01:27:20] There’s the there’s the killer salesman who just naturally can tell what the person [01:27:25] wants and and can. And then there’s the rest of us who have to say, okay. When when there’s [01:27:30] an objection. So think about it like this. Okay. And what [01:27:35] other courses. So that was communication.

Speaker1: That was communication. Um, other stand [01:27:40] out courses. To be honest I’m actually really enjoying the, um, simply undo ten day course. [01:27:45]

Speaker4: Really?

Speaker1: Yeah, I really enjoying it. It’s giving me lots of nuggets. Um, I’m doing it online [01:27:50] because I can’t do anything in person with young children. Yeah. Um.

Speaker3: And [01:27:55] is a hands on element to it as well. Yeah.

Speaker1: So they send you all the, um, equipment. [01:28:00]

Speaker4: Bits?

Speaker1: Yeah. All the bits, um, with the blocks and things like that. And you [01:28:05] need to collect extractor teeth as well. I’m a little bit behind on the, the number of the lectures that I [01:28:10] should be. So I’ve got a few of the, of the sets that I need to work through the practical elements. But yeah, [01:28:15] they send you all the bits. And then I bought a nice little cheap endo motor online and I just [01:28:20] at home, like I said in the evening, I’m just sitting there drilling on my blocks, you know, listening [01:28:25] to the lecture. And it’s just really good nuggets. It’s not just you know.

Speaker3: The [01:28:30] nuggets go on for the general.

Speaker4: Practitioner.

Speaker1: I don’t know if I have enough yet to be honest.

Speaker3: Couple for the general [01:28:35] practitioner.

Speaker1: I think I’m too early I don’t think I have anything. Oh don’t be.

Speaker3: Shy. Don’t be shy. [01:28:40] Go on.

Speaker1: I’m still kind of like working. Okay. Actually, the most important thing I think [01:28:45] that has really impacted my endo so far from doing the course, is the importance of a glide path. [01:28:50]

Speaker3: Remind us, remind us about that. [01:28:55] That does ring a bell.

Speaker1: So, yeah. Um, I couldn’t give you an exact definition if [01:29:00] I’m if I’m honest, which is terrible.

Speaker4: It’s kind of from, from.

Speaker3: From the access to the tip.

Speaker4: Being smoothly. [01:29:05] Just making.

Speaker1: You. Yeah. Giving you a clean access all the way to the apex. [01:29:10] Because a lot before this, I was working on enlarging with the rotary files, but actually [01:29:15] or even finding the access with the rotary files. Um, but it’s actually, as you say, it’s [01:29:20] making a path for the rotary files to go on and follow more smoothly. And it’s just [01:29:25] made everything more straightforward.

Speaker3: And how like, like how [01:29:30] long is this course? Is it ten weeks.

Speaker4: So it’s 1010.

Speaker1: Days.

Speaker4: Ten days over.

Speaker1: Yeah. [01:29:35] So two days a month. So it’s five months essentially. So you can go in person [01:29:40] for two days. And I’m doing it two days online and watching the videos in the evening. [01:29:45] And then they send you all the practical stuff to do at home if you’re doing it on the online course. So it’s really great [01:29:50] for, for someone like me who, like I said, I’m in the phase of my life where just going to things hands [01:29:55] on courses is just not practical for my life at the moment. Like I can’t have my husband doing [01:30:00] all the bedtime’s that often. It’s just not fair. But I still want to kind of pursue knowledge. [01:30:05] Online has been absolutely amazing with the how much it’s expanded since Covid, [01:30:10] but just so fantastic. And I’ve really tried to make the most [01:30:15] of it. And just I do everything online now as much as I can. Obviously hands on is important because dentistry is [01:30:20] a practical and clinical degree, but I’m definitely going to get as much as I can while I can at this [01:30:25] point until I can go back to being more hands on. And there’s a lot you can do here. [01:30:30] Really.

Speaker3: What’s the future hold?

Speaker1: Ooh, that’s a good question. [01:30:35] Um, the future for me holds diversify. For [01:30:40] a long time, I thought I wanted to leave dentistry just because I was disillusioned and blah, blah, blah. But I was talking to my husband [01:30:45] the other day, and I think actually, even if I was really, really wealthy, I don’t think I would stop [01:30:50] being a dentist because I’ve worked so hard to get here. Like it’s been blood, sweat and tears. And I [01:30:55] just when you’ve I don’t know if it’s a sunk cost fallacy where, you know, you once you’ve put so much energy [01:31:00] into something, you don’t want to give it up. But I have put a lot into dentistry. And for that reason, I think it’s [01:31:05] always going to be with me in some sort of capacity. It may not necessarily be working in practice if [01:31:10] I, you know, somehow just make something and become a billionaire. You know, I [01:31:15] may be giving practical skills or, you know, be working entirely as [01:31:20] a charitable dentist and not charging for what I do entirely. But it’s a very unique skill, and there’s [01:31:25] not a lot of people in the world who can practically do what we do, you know? So as much as I can earn money and give it, [01:31:30] there’s also a lot of benefit to actually just practically doing the dentistry for people who don’t have access to it. [01:31:35]

Speaker3: So you should definitely follow up the charity whichever direction you go in.

Speaker4: Yeah, I [01:31:40] definitely will. Yeah.

Speaker3: Whichever direction you go in and whether that’s, you know, it’s completely [01:31:45] under your auspice, whether it’s within another, you know, at the end of the day, there’s a vanity [01:31:50] kind of metric in it as well, right. That says.

Speaker4: This.

Speaker3: Is my charity, but [01:31:55] you know which direction you go. You definitely should do something with it. And, [01:32:00] you know, listen, I’m fully up for helping out with that as well. If oh, that’d be great.

Speaker1: The more support, the better.

Speaker4: Yeah. [01:32:05]

Speaker3: Any any way I can. So Don so going forward.

Speaker1: Yeah. [01:32:10] So charity definitely um, hopefully becoming the restorative [01:32:15] dentist that I want. So focusing on lens orthodontics and restorative [01:32:20] dentistry. So that would be my future I don’t I like I said, I don’t see myself owning a practice, [01:32:25] but I would like to work in a space where I’m completely. Free to really focus [01:32:30] on those areas. And in terms of, yeah, I’m going to stay [01:32:35] in Bristol. I’ve done a tour of the country, so I’ve, I feel at home here. So this.

Speaker4: Lovely.

Speaker3: Lovely, [01:32:40] lovely town isn’t it. It’s one of my favourites.

Speaker4: It’s so family.

Speaker1: Orientated. It’s a really [01:32:45] comfortable. So it’s really nice place to raise my children. And yeah, I’m also interested [01:32:50] in business generally. Like I said my husband does property investing so I will be doing some with him as well. [01:32:55] And yeah, looking into properties and that end of things as well. So that’s that’s what I see myself [01:33:00] in the future.

Speaker3: I know it’s a it’s a little while away, but would you want your kids to be dentists?

Speaker1: To [01:33:05] be honest, I don’t mind. Um, I know a lot of people say, oh, don’t do it. You know, it’s stressful, [01:33:10] it’s all this. But I’m very much pro follow your passions, and if they have an interest in [01:33:15] it, then I would support them in it.

Speaker4: Yeah, but.

Speaker3: You know, the way the way this sort of thing turns out is. That’s a lovely [01:33:20] answer. But the way, the way it works out is your kid doesn’t have passion for any job. [01:33:25]

Speaker4: Yeah, yeah, this is true. That’s how it looks. Would I.

Speaker1: Direct them to do.

Speaker3: It? Yeah. [01:33:30] Your kid’s got a passion for PlayStation, let’s say. All right. Okay. Um.

Speaker4: I [01:33:35] think I.

Speaker1: Would, I think I would want my kids to be dentists, because in the end, as much [01:33:40] as we have many challenges and there is a lot, there are a lot [01:33:45] of jobs where you’re unfairly remunerated for the work that you do. But I think, again, [01:33:50] compared to a lot of the world, we do. Okay. You know, so we work [01:33:55] hard and we get we get a living wage, you know.

Speaker4: So living wage, that [01:34:00] is the truth.

Speaker1: If you want to look at the basics of it, we can we can live, you know.

Speaker4: Yeah. [01:34:05]

Speaker1: So obviously there’s people who have higher aspirations than living. But you know, [01:34:10] compared to a lot of jobs out there that work just as hard as us, we we live we do. Okay. So [01:34:15] I would I would definitely encourage my children to be dentists. It’s not the only thing in the world you [01:34:20] can do, but I don’t think essentially it’s a bad career.

Speaker3: Yeah, you’re right about you know, I’ve [01:34:25] got I come across a lot of dentists, don’t I? And, um, sometimes you get a guy who’s, [01:34:30] you know, he’s a principal somewhere. He’s earning, I don’t know, 300 grand a year. [01:34:35] And, um, he says, you know, I’m getting a bit bored of dentistry. I [01:34:40] say, so what is it you want to do instead? And he’ll say something like, I’ve always [01:34:45] fancied myself as quite good at marketing. And they’ll he’ll ask me about marketing [01:34:50] because we do marketing as well, right? Yeah. It’s a big part of our. And I was always [01:34:55] having this funny thing I say to you that, you know, the guy who’s earning £300,000 in marketing [01:35:00] is head of marketing for Procter and Gamble. So a world [01:35:05] famous marketeer.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: He’s not a practice owner in Rochdale or wherever [01:35:10] this guy was. Yeah.

Speaker4: You know we do concept.

Speaker3: Yeah. We earn well [01:35:15] for what we do. Um, that said, it’s hard work.

Speaker4: It’s a lot of [01:35:20] hard work. Yeah, I think.

Speaker3: I think two and a half days might be the perfect number of days for dentistry, although [01:35:25] I’m generally against half days insomuch as I feel like, you know, you’ve still got to [01:35:30] go in that day. I know.

Speaker4: You’re there. I know it’s not.

Speaker1: My choice again. Not my practice.

Speaker4: Yeah, [01:35:35] I guess.

Speaker3: Half days, but I’ve I’ve done it all. I’ve done five days. I haven’t done six. I’ve [01:35:40] done five days a week for three, two, one and um, definitely three and two [01:35:45] are the right number three, three. If you want to feel like you’re doing a real, you [01:35:50] know, it’s your full on job and then, you know, your two days of property investment if you want, or kids or whatever it [01:35:55] is, that’s the other side thing or two days a week. If dentistry is kind of the side thing [01:36:00] and actually you’re pushing something else, whether it could be charity or kids or whatever, but 2 or 3 [01:36:05] really is right. One definitely isn’t right. I’ve done one day a week. It’s just no, no, no [01:36:10] balance, no, no cadence.

Speaker4: Yeah. I wanted to be hard.

Speaker1: To have continuity.

Speaker4: With one.

Speaker3: You just [01:36:15] don’t care. You know? You don’t care when things go wrong. Yeah. Because you’re just not there very much.

Speaker4: Yeah. [01:36:20]

Speaker3: Let’s get on to our final questions. Fantasy [01:36:25] dinner party. Three guests, [01:36:30] dead or alive, who would you have?

Speaker1: Number one, I would [01:36:35] most definitely have Michelle Obama.

Speaker3: Are you like a bit of Michelle Obama? [01:36:40]

Speaker4: I love a bit Michelle Obama.

Speaker1: Um, I love a bit of her. I loved her books. [01:36:45] I read both her books and, um, becoming and The Light We Carry and becoming particularly was really [01:36:50] poignant for me. And there’s one quote in there that she said something along the lines of, we have to [01:36:55] go out there and identify ourselves. Oh, no. Um, yeah. Give ourselves [01:37:00] an identity before the world gives us an identity. And that really spoke to me [01:37:05] in terms of there’s so many pressures in the world and so many things in the life that give you labels. And, [01:37:10] you know, her whole book, becoming was about how she went out and forged the path that was specific to her. [01:37:15] And she obviously had a very unique role being the first African American first lady. And it was really [01:37:20] tough position to be in where you’ve got all these expectations and this long history that you [01:37:25] need to follow up with. And I think she did it brilliantly and forged a path that was completely unique to [01:37:30] her, and she didn’t look to anybody else on what she should be doing or should be thinking. But she forged her own path and she forged [01:37:35] her own identity. And that’s really poignant to me. So I’m trying to forge my own identity.

Speaker4: Nice. [01:37:40] Yeah.

Speaker1: Guest Nelson Mandela.

Speaker4: Nice. [01:37:45]

Speaker1: My dad actually met Nelson Mandela as a running joke in my family, because he’s got this big picture of him sitting [01:37:50] next to Nelson Mandela, and he sends it to each of us.

Speaker4: To frame.

Speaker1: Up [01:37:55] in our house. And one of the family friend got married at our house, and he had the picture [01:38:00] at the altar next to the wedding.

Speaker4: That’s my dad.

Speaker1: And [01:38:05] so, yeah, Nelson Mandela, just because I think what he managed [01:38:10] to achieve with the Truth and Reconciliation Committee is just amazing. And [01:38:15] I just, I can’t imagine how someone having that capacity to forgive after [01:38:20] all the suffering that he went through. And I think just the opportunity to talk [01:38:25] to him and just to hear his heart, his soul, his thinking, his mind, just what [01:38:30] brought him to that point, I just think would be fascinating because that’s just and I just I don’t know if I [01:38:35] would be able to forgive after what he went through, basically.

Speaker3: Yeah. He comes up a lot in [01:38:40] these in this question. Yeah, understandably. Understandably. And [01:38:45] he’s the third.

Speaker1: Number three would actually be Angelina Jolie.

Speaker4: You what? [01:38:50]

Speaker3: Okay.

Speaker4: Come on I know, I know.

Speaker1: Everyone I tell you, my husband and he was like, what? Basically [01:38:55] he.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: I’ve always I’ve always adored Angelina Jolie [01:39:00] just because she is actually one of the UN’s biggest philanthropists.

Speaker3: Oh I see, yeah.

Speaker4: Okay. [01:39:05]

Speaker1: She’s a massive giver. She’s a massive, massive philanthropist. And [01:39:10] I have this weird obsession with adoption. And I’ve always thought adoption is just the most beautiful thing in the world. [01:39:15] And obviously she’s adopted loads of kids from around the world. And I just think actually, if I was a wealthy [01:39:20] person and that’s how I would want to do life like her in terms of her philanthropy, [01:39:25] you know, she gives away a huge portion of her income. She’s been a UN ambassador for a [01:39:30] long time. And yeah, she really uses her fame to highlight global causes [01:39:35] and and highlight the plight of refugees. And yeah, she’s. Yeah, she she just. And [01:39:40] what I love about adoption is it’s one it’s like the long it’s the, um, permanency [01:39:45] of it. You know, it’s one thing to give to a cause and keep it distant, but it’s another thing to take an orphan [01:39:50] and bring them into your home and make them your child.

Speaker4: Mm.

Speaker1: You know, and I think that’s that [01:39:55] is a different level of intimacy and compassion and love that I [01:40:00] just really admire. Basically. Yeah.

Speaker3: Me too. Me too. Beautiful.

Speaker4: It’s [01:40:05] my turn.

Speaker3: It’s beautiful. The final. [01:40:10] Final question. Difficult for someone so young. But it’s a deathbed question. [01:40:15]

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: On your deathbed, surrounded by your loved ones, children. Grandchildren. Who are you? [01:40:20] Anyone who means something to you. What are three pieces of advice [01:40:25] that you would leave for them and for the world?

Speaker1: So the first one [01:40:30] would actually be a quote. The quote from Michelle Obama, which is kind of like forge your own identity [01:40:35] before the world forces one on you. And I think that’s, again, with the [01:40:40] so much pressure in the world, it’s so easy to lose our way. And this is something that I’m constantly having to do to remind [01:40:45] myself of who I am and not get influenced by what everyone else is doing, really. [01:40:50] And I think it’s only by doing that that we really find our true fulfilment [01:40:55] and contentment. Because as long as we’re comparing ourselves to other people and trying to, you know, [01:41:00] keep up with the Joneses, then we’re just running on a hamster wheel, going endlessly. [01:41:05] So yeah, the first would definitely be to forge your identity and tell the world who you are before the world tries [01:41:10] to put you a label on you, put you in a box, and there’s lots of kind of cultural and racial and things [01:41:15] like that that come into that as well, and that I’m definitely trying to instil with my children, because obviously being a minority, you get [01:41:20] put in boxes and things like that. So for me, it’s even more poignant that I teach my children [01:41:25] to be like, you need to know who you are and you need to tell the world who you are before the world tries to tell you. [01:41:30]

Speaker3: Do you think that whole Black Lives Matter thing.

Speaker4: Was.

Speaker3: Big when it was? [01:41:35] What was your. What’s your. I asked you this question, right? The your [01:41:40] experience of being a black woman in dentistry.

Speaker1: I think there’s different [01:41:45] challenges, and I don’t think I would say that. I think that everyone has their challenges and I don’t [01:41:50] think you can compare them. I don’t, for example, like dentistry was [01:41:55] previously predominantly male, but now it’s predominantly female. Yeah. You know, so, um, [01:42:00] there’s a swings around about women still get paid less. So in [01:42:05] that sense you can say across. Is that.

Speaker4: True? Is that true that.

Speaker1: Yeah, [01:42:10] that is true. That’s why you still have women. International Women’s Day because we still earn a little bit less than men.

Speaker3: If [01:42:15] that was the case, why doesn’t everyone just hire women?

Speaker1: Who knows? Um, I don’t know, [01:42:20] I don’t know, I don’t know the details of it, but statistically across, um, across [01:42:25] jobs and what they are reporting for income for similar jobs, similar qualifications, [01:42:30] women will still be paid slightly less.

Speaker3: Do you know what I mean? Though? I’ve got 44 employees. [01:42:35] Why aren’t they all women? If that’s the case, if I can learn my costs.

Speaker4: I will do it. I know that [01:42:40] it would be obvious. And you get caught out.

Speaker1: There. Doing it slyly, [01:42:45] that’s why.

Speaker4: Okay. Um.

Speaker1: So. Yeah, [01:42:50] I don’t think it’s. Yeah. I think we have different challenges, different expectations. So I think [01:42:55] it’s hard to be a person basically. So, um, I wouldn’t pit one against [01:43:00] the other, but maybe that’s just, you know, you you answer from your experiences in life. Yeah. And. Yeah. [01:43:05] And these are my experiences in life and I, I see the challenges that men have and I and I’m, I’m [01:43:10] okay with my challenges. Basically there’s some that men have that I don’t think I’d want.

Speaker3: So forge [01:43:15] a path for yourself before the world does. What’s the second piece of advice?

Speaker1: Second piece of advice is [01:43:20] see as much as the world as you can. So a lot of the prejudice in the world [01:43:25] come from people living small minded lives and only seeing things from their perspective [01:43:30] and only having experiences of people similar to them. And I think the world [01:43:35] would be a much better place if more people spent time interacting with people that were different to them, [01:43:40] and the further afield, the better, in my opinion. The more interactions you have [01:43:45] with cultures, with peoples, with things like that, it’s so enriching and [01:43:50] will completely change your perspective on your life and, you know, have huge [01:43:55] impact on your own mental health and wellbeing and view [01:44:00] on life and just happiness generally. But as well as being able to [01:44:05] see the value of humans who are different to you and see the [01:44:10] value of their homes and their cultures and and see things from a completely different perspective, the world would be [01:44:15] just a better place. So I would definitely say travel as much as possible and interact with as [01:44:20] many different people as possible.

Speaker3: And I’d add to that, I’d say travel as much as possible, as young as possible. [01:44:25]

Speaker1: Oh, definitely, because travelling with children is just not the same.

Speaker4: There’s that, [01:44:30] there’s that.

Speaker3: But you know, it’s you get to a certain age where you just want, uh, you just want to go to a good [01:44:35] hotel and. Yeah, whereas when you’re young, you haven’t made your mind up about stuff. No. You [01:44:40] know.

Speaker1: Yeah. You would not catch me in a hostel now. I just couldn’t do it.

Speaker4: Right. Exactly.

Speaker3: What’s [01:44:45] the third piece?

Speaker1: Um, the third thing is don’t let fears [01:44:50] hold you back, because there’s, again, with this whole thing of you have greatness in you. [01:44:55] But a lot of us, we are the biggest roadblock in our own lives. And [01:45:00] I talk more from my own experience. So in the past I had this I had loads of fears and [01:45:05] I just there’s lots of things even like, particularly with my charity, that when I started it, I had loads of opportunities [01:45:10] and I said no to a lot of them, just out of fear, which I’m just so sad about [01:45:15] now. Like as soon as I started it, I got, I had BBC Africa requested to interview me. [01:45:20] I was invited to be a panel on Africa Global Health Summit and I just thought, who [01:45:25] am I? Why are they inviting me all to all these places? Or why would anyone want me there? And I just said no to all these things [01:45:30] that would have.

Speaker4: Been.

Speaker1: I know I now I look back on it, I was like, how much more [01:45:35] could I have done with the platform that I could have had, you know? And it was just pure [01:45:40] fear and I felt like I had nothing to say. And actually it wasn’t [01:45:45] about me. And that’s the thing, you know, fear tells you a lie. And I just lied [01:45:50] to myself, essentially. So that’s the biggest thing. Now I say yes to everything.

Speaker3: I [01:45:55] think it goes full circle as well, you know? Then then the skill becomes learning [01:46:00] to say no to stuff after that.

Speaker4: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. [01:46:05]

Speaker1: Fear hold you back.

Speaker3: It’s been so amazing to have you on. It’s so, so [01:46:10] positive. It’s it’s been.

Speaker4: You.

Speaker3: It’s been a wonderful, um, conversation. We’ve gone for [01:46:15] an hour and 50 minutes. Oh, wow. Can you believe that? It’s gone crazy. Um, [01:46:20] thanks so much for for doing this. And, uh, hopefully I’ll catch up with you in [01:46:25] a couple of years time when the charities are.

Speaker4: Yeah. Massive. Send you the link.

Speaker1: In the meantime. [01:46:30]

Speaker3: Actually, we’re gonna have to wait for the nine month old to put her socks on.

Speaker4: I know this. [01:46:35]

Speaker3: Charity can get this.

Speaker4: Potential anywhere. Yeah.

Speaker3: No. [01:46:40] Thanks a lot for doing this. It’s been really lovely time.

Speaker1: It’s been great talking to [01:46:45] you.

Speaker2: This is Dental Leaders, the [01:46:50] podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. [01:46:55] Your hosts. Payman Langroudi [01:47:00] and Prav Solanki.

Speaker5: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got [01:47:05] this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay [01:47:10] for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say, because [01:47:15] I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

Speaker3: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. [01:47:20] And if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out [01:47:25] of it too. Thank you so so, so much for listening. Thanks.

Speaker5: And don’t forget our six star rating.

Ellie Bratt joins Payman and Rhona for a chat about generational trauma, gender dynamics in the workplace and society, and the challenges and biases faced by women. 

Ellie shares her personal and professional so far, discussing her entrepreneurial spirit and the founding of Sirens social media marketing agency.


In This Episode

02.00 – Background

03.40 – Generational trauma

09.45 – School

12.00 – Gender dynamics and societal expectations

19.00 – Entrepreneurial journey

26.05 – Gender pay gap and workplace dynamics

36.30 – Sirens

41.05 – TikTok and social media

01.02.50 – Top tips


About Ellie Bratt

Ellie Bratt is an influencer, TikTok personality and founder of Sirens social media agency.

Speaker1: So I did originally work on other channels I originally had. I originally was a social media manager for all [00:00:05] channels, and I just saw the growth on TikTok, the potential, the reach, um, [00:00:10] and just how you’re able to get into such into, you know, the hearts of billions [00:00:15] of people. It’s the first one of the fastest growing apps in the world, um, you know, almost 2 billion active [00:00:20] users. So it’s very, very, um, you know, growing at a rapid, rapid pace. So I just [00:00:25] think the the growth that I’ve seen and the potential on on app, on and [00:00:30] off app, um, is amazing.

Speaker2: This is [00:00:35] mind movers. Moving the conversation forward on mental [00:00:40] health and optimisation for dental professionals. Your hosts [00:00:45] Rhona Eskander and Payman Langroudi.

Speaker3: Hi [00:00:50] everyone. Welcome back to Mind Movers. Payman says I’m not allowed to call it season two, but [00:00:55] because it is a new year, I’m going to call it season two. And we are your co-hosts Payman, Langroudi [00:01:00] and Doctor Rona. Today I have an incredible woman, Eloise Bratt. [00:01:05] She looks like a Bratz doll. Have you ever seen the Bratz dolls? No. Have you never seen them? I look.

Speaker1: Like [00:01:10] a x.

Speaker4: Y, z a Gen x, Gen y, Gen z. No, Gen-X just doesn’t [00:01:15] know about Bratz dolls. Man. What is it?

Speaker3: A Bratz dolls are like those dolls. They look like Barbies, but not Barbies. They’re a little bit [00:01:20] more real edgy edgy than Barbie. Anyway, she does look like a Bratz doll.

Speaker1: It [00:01:25] was like Bratz or Barbie. You always one or the other. I was always a Bratz Bratz doll girl, to be fair.

Speaker3: So [00:01:30] we really want to continue bringing you guys things that are [00:01:35] of value. And I think today’s episode is going to be very interesting because Eloise started [00:01:40] a social media agency. We’re going to go into her whole childhood how she started [00:01:45] it, but she’s in fact my Tik Tok manager for both my personal brand and my Chelsea [00:01:50] Dental brand. And one of the big questions that I get asked is, Rona, how do you do it all? My [00:01:55] answer is I delegate and one of the delegation is outsourcing things, and so [00:02:00] I can spend my time on the things that I love. I love social media, we all know that. But you know, me and Ellie bounce off each [00:02:05] other. She comes, she takes the videos and then she posts them. Ellie has a very interesting [00:02:10] history and heritage within her own family line, and also she got to where [00:02:15] she did through determination, dedication and just really [00:02:20] believing in herself. So today’s episode is going to be about mental health, but also about how to build [00:02:25] a tick tock brand and how to do it. So welcome, Ellie.

Speaker1: Thank you. Thank you for having me. I’m very [00:02:30] happy to be here.

Speaker3: So, Ellie, I want you to start from the beginning. I’m getting some of my [00:02:35] sort of questions up for the prompts that I, that I wrote down because there was so much information. [00:02:40] But I want you to start from the beginning, and I want you to share a bit about your childhood, the environment that you grew up in, [00:02:45] and how you think your early years shaped who you are.

Speaker1: I, [00:02:50] I think I had quite a normal childhood, to be fair, like I there was nothing in my childhood [00:02:55] that was, you know, not normal to me that nothing. You know, my parents [00:03:00] were together. I was brought up in a loving home. And my mum, my dad, my sister, myself. [00:03:05] Um, so I always had that, you know, that close knit family growing up. My my, [00:03:10] um, parents are like one of four each. So I’ve always grown up with, like, big family [00:03:15] and everyone’s very close. And I’ve always had that nice family, uh, family [00:03:20] behind like family net behind me. Um, so, yeah, growing up, you know, it was just an Essex. [00:03:25] I went to a normal school. Nothing. You know, crazy happened. It was honestly [00:03:30] just a very normal childhood.

Speaker3: So you talk about your childhood being normal, but obviously [00:03:35] on this podcast, we go deeper and really try to spend some time and understanding the psychology of individuals [00:03:40] and how it shaped who they are. I know that your grandfather was a Holocaust victim, [00:03:45] which you’ve told me about before, and we’ve mentioned things like generational trauma. So do you want to tell [00:03:50] us a little bit about what your grandfather went through and how you felt it affected your family throughout? [00:03:55]

Speaker1: Yeah. So growing up, um, obviously, I said that we had a very, very normal childhood, [00:04:00] which we did. Um, because he never really spoke about anything for quite a [00:04:05] long time. And it wasn’t until, um, he got to his 70s, I think, that my, my [00:04:10] Nana sort of pushed him and was like, okay, you need to like, stop talking about it. Um, so growing up for [00:04:15] us, we didn’t really know too much about it. But for my parents, there was always this elephant. Sorry. [00:04:20] Like my mum and her siblings, there was always this elephant in the room. They knew something happened. They [00:04:25] knew sort of what happened, but he never spoke about it. Um, so yeah, it wasn’t until my [00:04:30] Nana sort of pushed him to speak about it that he really started, um, you know, educating about what happened to him. [00:04:35] So, um, you know, my mental health does, like, typically run in my family, my, my mum [00:04:40] and her siblings, um, they’re all sort of, like, suffered bits with mental health, um, [00:04:45] through generational trauma because of what happened to him, because he always had this thing that affected [00:04:50] him when he was younger that he never spoke about. And I think that was always there for them growing up that, um, you [00:04:55] know, he just unwillingly passed it down to them, the trauma.

Speaker1: Um, so, yeah, mental [00:05:00] health definitely runs in my family and they’ve all had things that affected them. Um, and [00:05:05] they’re very, because of that, very, very open with mental health. Um, they, [00:05:10] they all want to sort of like get rid of the stigma about it. You know, if you’re on antidepressants, if you’re seeing a [00:05:15] therapist. So what, like that shouldn’t be something that you have to hide, that you feel that you need to hide. So [00:05:20] I’ve always been brought up around that. You know, if there’s something wrong, talk about it and, you know, share your feelings [00:05:25] and, um, get help if you need it. So that’s always been there. And I’m very lucky that I’ve had [00:05:30] that. I’ve never personally felt, um, you know, that I’ve had to, to [00:05:35] get to that length to get to, you know, speaking to someone or um, or anything [00:05:40] like that. But I know that if I needed to and there was one time where I almost needed to that [00:05:45] I could just chat to my family and they’d be there. And I love that I had. Growing up because [00:05:50] I know a lot of people don’t. Um, so I’m, I guess I’m very blessed that I’ve had that with my family.

Speaker3: Yeah. [00:05:55] Thank you for sharing that. And actually, Payman, do you know what generational trauma is?

Speaker4: I can guess, but [00:06:00] go ahead.

Speaker3: But also like where you’re from, for example, Iran and where I’m from in the Middle East, there were definitely [00:06:05] elements of that generational trauma. So we talked about this with Ellie, who is my Ellie. Um, [00:06:10] Ella who is my therapist, and she talks a lot about generational trauma. So it’s [00:06:15] essentially about the history and heritage of your own ancestors that [00:06:20] has been passed on. And what they’ve recently found is, is that there’s an epigenetic element to it. [00:06:25] So although people think like, is it a psychological thing that’s passed on, how can you quantify it? More [00:06:30] and more, they’re finding in DNA that you can pass on a trauma gene. So it’s really interesting. [00:06:35] And that’s because if you just don’t get over something or something like that. Um, so what kind of things [00:06:40] did your grandfather experience.

Speaker1: In back in the Holocaust? Oh, he was. [00:06:45] Yeah, he he, um, was born in Hungary. Um, he was around 13, I think, [00:06:50] uh, when the Holocaust happened. And, yeah, he went to Auschwitz. He was in the concentration [00:06:55] camp. Um, his entire family died. He was in a quite a religious family. He was like one [00:07:00] of eight. Um, they all they all died. They all got sent to the gas chambers or murdered. Apart from [00:07:05] him and his brother, they were the only two that survived. Wow. Um, and then, yeah, they came to England and [00:07:10] started up a family here. Um, and his his brother sadly died maybe ten or so years [00:07:15] ago now. So, yeah, he’s the only only one left. And yeah, there’s not many survivors nowadays. So, [00:07:20] um, my sister’s actually doing a really amazing thing called generation. Generation to generation, [00:07:25] where she generation to generation, where she essentially goes around to um, schools, [00:07:30] universities, workplaces and speaks about, um, his story. Um, [00:07:35] just because obviously there’s not going to be many chances for him to do it, you know. Yeah. Anymore. So it’s [00:07:40] incredible. Yeah. So yeah, there’s. Yeah. He’s amazing. He’s my biggest inspiration. [00:07:45] Um, yeah. And he came to England. Didn’t know the language. No family. Um, was in like a [00:07:50] boys school, like, grew up in, like, essentially care and started his own business [00:07:55] and got very, very successful. And he is where he is today, you know, beautiful family, [00:08:00] grandkids, great grandkids.

Speaker4: Hearing his story to that change. [00:08:05] Number one, change him once. He’d sort of laid it out. And did it change who [00:08:10] you thought you were as well?

Speaker1: Yeah I think definitely at first I think, [00:08:15] you know, knowing that he was a Holocaust survivor and, you know, you at school, you know, you [00:08:20] learn about things like the Holocaust or we did. We definitely did. And then sort of understanding, [00:08:25] oh, my grandfather’s a Holocaust survivor. And no one else saying, oh, me too was a bit like, [00:08:30] oh my gosh, that’s actually a big thing. I didn’t realise, you know, I was not one of many [00:08:35] that that had a Holocaust survivor as a grandparent. Um, so for me, definitely, [00:08:40] it was like, whoa, okay, this is quite a big thing. And I think that’s why my sister decided to do the [00:08:45] generation to generation because she was like, okay, I there’s not many of us grandchildren that have [00:08:50] got grand grandparents as survivors. Um, but so I think yeah, that’s why [00:08:55] it definitely makes me like, extremely, extremely proud. I think it’s, um, amazing. Like what he’s [00:09:00] achieved despite what he’s been through. Yeah. Um, and then I think for him, I [00:09:05] think he everything that he does and speaks about, he’s a BEM now. So he, [00:09:10] he got, um, he got the medal from the Queen and he’s done all of that. And he everything [00:09:15] for him is just about education. He doesn’t he would never um, he’s got a book out now, [00:09:20] but, like, he doesn’t ever want anything to be about him. It’s all about his story and what he went through. [00:09:25] Um, and just making sure that people don’t forget the the traumas and what happened, [00:09:30] um, to the people of the Holocaust. So, yeah, for him, I think it’s it’s now just about [00:09:35] the message. And I think he’s very, very glad that he was able to finally speak up about it. Yeah. [00:09:40]

Speaker3: Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing all of that. Now I want to move on [00:09:45] to your school days. So how would you describe yourself as a student? Was there any [00:09:50] subjects or activities that you were particularly drawn to, like? Talk to us a little bit, because I know you and I have spoken [00:09:55] personally about it, but I want to share it with everyone else.

Speaker1: Yeah. Um, I think at school I [00:10:00] was never really like an academic person. I was quite chatty as well, a bit [00:10:05] naughty. I was on report card for a while, if, you know, report card back in the day. Um, in [00:10:10] the early years of school, um, and I think that was just because I never saw myself [00:10:15] as, um, you know, academic. I couldn’t concentrate properly in classes. I never felt [00:10:20] that I found an academic class that I truly liked, like maths, science. [00:10:25] I was really not into any of it. Um, English. I did particularly, like, I [00:10:30] actually really liked English. Um, English language. Um, I felt I definitely excel was a little bit more [00:10:35] there and then drama as well, and when that was a subject. So I loved all of that kind of, [00:10:40] um, those kind of topics. Yeah. Um, and then drama got discontinued at my school. [00:10:45] I didn’t even know that that was a thing, so I couldn’t I couldn’t do that anymore. Um. And then [00:10:50] in in GCSEs, English Literature, English language that I actually liked [00:10:55] wasn’t even a subject you could choose. So I ended up doing, um, English literature instead, [00:11:00] which I still sort of liked, but it wasn’t.

Speaker1: Wouldn’t have been my first choice. Um, and, you [00:11:05] know, I was doing all these other subjects and, you know, you’re told, you know, you need to do maths, you need to do triple science or [00:11:10] double science or all these kind of subjects. And I just never really enjoyed any of them. I absolutely [00:11:15] hated, you know, maths. I was never a good maths person. Um, but yeah, English [00:11:20] was okay for me, I liked it. Um, and then I think for, [00:11:25] um, I got okay GCSEs, I got like an A, four B’s, three C’s, [00:11:30] that kind of thing. Maybe a D in there somewhere. I was definitely science or maths. Um, and then it came round to [00:11:35] As levels. Um, and I ended up doing English, sociology, [00:11:40] uh, psychology and politics. Really? Yes. Politics, which I never, [00:11:45] ever would have had an interest in. Politics is something I am probably the least interested [00:11:50] in, but I don’t know if you had at school, you had to choose certain subjects that were in a column, and [00:11:55] you ended up doing subjects just because it was in that column and you had it fitted into the schedule.

Speaker3: But [00:12:00] dentistry, I think, is just way more, um, it there’s way more thought going [00:12:05] into it. Right? Because you have to do chemistry and biology and then you pick the other two and then by [00:12:10] nature you don’t.

Speaker4: Have to do biology.

Speaker3: Yeah you do.

Speaker4: I didn’t do biology.

Speaker3: Well, we had to when I was applying [00:12:15] because.

Speaker4: Chemistry and two sciences. But but but it’s an interesting point and two sciences. [00:12:20]

Speaker3: So it would have to be physics and biology. No. What’s the other sciences. Maths isn’t the science I.

Speaker4: Did [00:12:25] maths, physics, chemistry. Sorry.

Speaker3: Well okay. Einstein I’m sorry. Sorry. So [00:12:30] no.

Speaker4: I wish I did biology because it really put me in a bad situation and Dental school not having done, not having looked [00:12:35] down a microscope. Oh yeah. All that.

Speaker3: Stuff. Yeah. Fine.

Speaker4: But I’m interested in. Okay. So then [00:12:40] did you, did you enjoy politics?

Speaker1: I hated it, I absolutely hated it. I was like, why [00:12:45] am I why am I here? Why am I doing a subject that I absolutely hate just because it fit into a box on a schedule? [00:12:50] Um, so it literally got to a stage where I would be going home crying to my mum, like, what have I done? [00:12:55] And she she’s the one that told me, just, just forget it and focus on the ones that you like. [00:13:00] Um, anyway. And then I, um. Yeah. So I basically failed that. And I [00:13:05] actually did quite badly in English as well, in all of my subjects. I did quite badly in As [00:13:10] levels. Um, I got du as my, [00:13:15] As levels.

Speaker4: You haven’t got kids, have you?

Speaker1: No.

Speaker3: So she’s Gen Z, she’s like, she’s a kid. [00:13:20] You know.

Speaker4: You just have to say that before you say so. Do you think if you had kids or [00:13:25] when you have kids, do you think you’ll you’ll be more of an enforcer as far as studies [00:13:30] than your parents were? No. Were your parents enforcing studies or not?

Speaker1: Um, they were they [00:13:35] always were like, I, they were quite strict in that sense. I wasn’t allowed to, you know, um, you know, go and play with [00:13:40] my friends or do anything until I had done my homework or until I’d done, you know, certain amount of reading [00:13:45] or things like that. So they they definitely made sure I did my work. But I know there’s probably parents out there [00:13:50] that push their kids a lot more. However, why? You know, I clearly wasn’t academic, [00:13:55] so if they did push me more, it would have just made me, you know, rebel. Yeah. More frustrated, [00:14:00] I think.

Speaker3: I mean, I’d be interested to hear Paimon’s view on this, but we talk a lot about, um, the [00:14:05] immigrant motivation. Have you heard about this? Um, so, for example, my parents [00:14:10] pushed me so hard, me and my sister and I remember even being at school and not being able to [00:14:15] have a sick day, ever. I had chickenpox, and my dad goes, you’re going to school. It’s a waste [00:14:20] of £400 today if you didn’t. And we got sent to school with chickenpox and then sent home for being superspreaders, [00:14:25] you know what I mean? And the point is, is because they instilled so much hard work [00:14:30] in us. But there’s also a problem with that, because you feel that the only way that you’re really loved [00:14:35] by your parents is when you’re achieving, when you’re not achieving. Yeah. It’s a conditional love that you get an [00:14:40] A, or you pass this test or you get this accolade. And I think that’s quite dangerous [00:14:45] because as a result, although it’s made me very driven in my adult life, I feel like when I’m not achieving or when [00:14:50] I’m not being validated, I’m not good enough, and I do. I don’t want to blame my parents, because I do think our parents did [00:14:55] the best that they knew. But obviously coming from countries that were war torn and they they [00:15:00] came here for opportunity essentially, and work. They just instilled that hard work. What would you do with [00:15:05] your kid? Well, before you go on to that, my question is, did you have that or were your parents, what were [00:15:10] you first, second generation or what was it?

Speaker4: Yeah, I was six when I came. Yeah. In our house, studies were the only [00:15:15] thing that happened. No, that was, that was counted like, you know, so my [00:15:20] brother was always top of his class. Um, but he was really bad at. He was he was unkind. He was [00:15:25] angry. He was really. And none of that stuff counted. It was only where you were, your studies. And [00:15:30] I felt a degree of resentment because of that.

Speaker3: How did he develop then as an adult? How did that carry him through? [00:15:35]

Speaker4: Well, he still still the same. No, no, no, I wouldn’t go that far. But but but but you [00:15:40] know, in our house points were only given to academic stuff. So this is what I’m saying. I [00:15:45] even though my kids are pretty academic because my I was.

Speaker3: Gonna say, how do you treat them? With their [00:15:50] achievements. Do you think subconsciously.

Speaker4: My wife’s taken the mantle of the studies because they go to French school and [00:15:55] she speaks French? Yeah, yeah. Um, so I can just be the fun guy.

Speaker3: But [00:16:00] do you feel that when they fails at something, whether it’s sports or, you know, whatever it [00:16:05] is, how do you handle that as a father?

Speaker4: I try to I try and be different to to my upbringing. [00:16:10] But, you know, I’ve had people sit here and say, I wish my parents pushed me harder. Yes. [00:16:15] And I’ve had the opposite and many of those. Yeah. And I’ve had the opposite of, you [00:16:20] know, especially with some Asian parents. Right.

Speaker3: And in dentistry, I think it’s rife because a lot of them go into [00:16:25] dentistry or medicine for their parents. Yeah. They don’t go into it because they wanted to. And it’s very [00:16:30] interesting when you hear these people from these very strict Asian backgrounds saying, I hate dentistry, and [00:16:35] they actually end up going off and doing other things, or they totally.

Speaker4: My own brother, my own brother wanted to do something. [00:16:40] He was very good at maths. Yeah. Um, but, uh, he’s now a doctor. Yeah. [00:16:45] He’s still blames my parents at age 54.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Wow. [00:16:50] So it’s interesting how our childhood conditioned us. But back to payments. Yeah. [00:16:55] You know, would you do the same to your children? And do you think that it was helpful the way that your parents [00:17:00] treated you?

Speaker1: Definitely I think I they they were very [00:17:05] strict to an extent. So I think they knew that I wasn’t academic in that sense. [00:17:10] They knew I wasn’t going to do well in politics. They knew I wasn’t going to do well in maths. They knew I wasn’t going to do science. [00:17:15] So there, from their point of view, it was more like focus on the ones that you do like and you do think are going [00:17:20] to help you. Um, so then for, for my A levels from that I, [00:17:25] I dropped psychology, I dropped so I dropped politics obviously I got, I got, I [00:17:30] got using them um, and I essentially decided to take up [00:17:35] um media studies. So media studies was a thing at my school, but it was sort of looked down [00:17:40] upon as that my dad.

Speaker3: Would say it was a woowoo degree. There we.

Speaker1: Go. The BTec, the BTec in.

Speaker4: Media [00:17:45] Studies is the classic one that in, in, in, in that day, people used to think was [00:17:50] for people who didn’t who weren’t very bright. But it’s turned out to be. Yeah. Even the most important subjects [00:17:55] out there.

Speaker1: Yeah, exactly. There we go in today’s age. But yeah, like even much of the.

Speaker4: Media studies you did, did [00:18:00] it have anything to do with social media or was it.

Speaker1: Before? No, it was before. So it was more of actual media. But this is sort [00:18:05] of, I think where my, where my like original love for, for the media side of things [00:18:10] came out and where, where it made me realise you don’t need to have to be doing a maths class or a politics class [00:18:15] to be, to get sent to university, because I did want to go to university. You want to go? [00:18:20] I think I wanted to go more for the experience. Yeah, more for the experience. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve [00:18:25] living on my own, being with friends, that kind of thing. I went to Nottingham Trent. It wasn’t, you know, one of the redbrick universities. [00:18:30] But I did want to go. I wanted a degree and I. And at that time it [00:18:35] was still, um, you know, you had to normally go to university to get a good job at [00:18:40] the end. You know, most jobs were still then were you have to have a degree. It doesn’t matter what. [00:18:45]

Speaker4: You grown up in London.

Speaker1: Essex, Essex, Essex. Yeah. Where abouts? Um, Gants Hill originally. [00:18:50] Yeah. And then I moved to Loughton. Um, and that’s where my family are now. But yeah. So [00:18:55] I, it made me realise like, okay, you didn’t need to have, you know, the politics or the psychology [00:19:00] or the maths to, to to be able to do well and um, yeah. And even [00:19:05] with like the other subjects, you know, I, um, overheard teachers telling me, um, sorry, [00:19:10] I overheard teachers, my English teacher telling another teacher, you know, Eloise isn’t going to pass. Um, [00:19:15] she’s going to fail. She she did. She got a C last year. There’s no way she’s going to, uh. So she got a [00:19:20] D in her A-levels. There’s no way she’s going to do well in her A-levels. And that just kind of made [00:19:25] me determined to prove them wrong.

Speaker3: That was the same with me. Yeah. Um, we had a conversation [00:19:30] earlier, and Payman is probably going to disagree because he’s Payman. And, um, we [00:19:35] said actually with one of my other guests that there is also this poor conditioning [00:19:40] between boys and girls when you grow up, and that if you’re a very loud girl, you’re [00:19:45] really told off and you’re deemed to be bossy. And that was me as a child, like I was that loud [00:19:50] girl. Surprise, surprise. I’d get up in the classroom. I’d be like, like causing a little bit of [00:19:55] a a scene. But I was just like, I had like a degree of leadership. Does that make sense? [00:20:00] And that was definitely not something that was encouraged at [00:20:05] school. In a way. It was like, you have to be the good little quiet girl. And I feel that when you think of like [00:20:10] boys that were like perhaps a bit more boisterous, like maybe they didn’t get as [00:20:15] disciplined or told off as I did in that kind of school environment [00:20:20] if they were bossy. Um, I don’t know. But even just like thinking more of, like, the boisterous behaviour, [00:20:25] does that make sense? It was more like boys will be boys, that kind of thing, you know, which is quite [00:20:30] interesting.

Speaker4: Do you think it’s right that the label is controversial? The label is different [00:20:35] based on who it is that’s doing the thing, you know, like like. [00:20:40]

Speaker3: Yeah, like, go on, go on. Yeah.

Speaker4: Well, okay. Like, if a girl says [00:20:45] I was a tomboy. Yeah. Okay. What you think? What you say to that girl. [00:20:50] The way you label that girl is different to a boy. Just a boy. [00:20:55] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, why? I mean, there’s a difference, right? Let’s start with this. [00:21:00] Do you think it’s harder being a woman than a man? James O’Brien today. It’s on James O’Brien. [00:21:05] Today we.

Speaker3: Go. Really? What did he say?

Speaker4: He was like a shock. Horror. I can’t believe people think that it’s different. [00:21:10] It’s harder being a man than it’s.

Speaker1: I think it’s definitely harder to be a woman [00:21:15] outside.

Speaker4: Of childbirth, outside of children, just to put children completely, like, crop them out [00:21:20] of the picture. Yeah. To for a second. It’s harder to.

Speaker1: Be a woman, especially in the workplace, [00:21:25] for example, I think thank.

Speaker3: You.

Speaker1: From first hand. From first hand [00:21:30] I can I can tell you the amount of times that you’re, you’re not seemed as on the same level [00:21:35] when you’re in a group of a room with a group of men, you’re sort of looked down upon as your opinion [00:21:40] being you.

Speaker4: Work, you work at Rowena’s practice and there’s a guy who works there. Does she does [00:21:45] she treat you as if you’re not equal to that man?

Speaker1: No. Definitely not. I think it’s [00:21:50] I think it’s more, um. More, um, what’s the word? You know, in corporate, [00:21:55] I think it’s more in corporate settings. Um, you know, and you’re, [00:22:00] you know, you’re looked at as, you know, the receptionist or, you know, the receptionist should be a woman or the PA should be a woman. [00:22:05] Um, and it’s always, you know, the white men in the boardrooms and the women are outside. [00:22:10] Um, and I think it’s hard.

Speaker4: I think that’s a thing.

Speaker1: Now I do, and I do think that does [00:22:15] still happen today. I think I think there are women in in companies now. They are the reason. Just harder. [00:22:20]

Speaker3: I’m not looking right. I’m not. I wasn’t looking at my phone. I wanted to get you some stats. Right. I think it’s really [00:22:25] hard because I have this conversation a lot, even with my male peers and male colleagues, women. [00:22:30] And to be honest with you, Payman, because before I got here, he was like, I’m really worried about you, okay? And all this stuff. [00:22:35] I’m like, I struggle so much being a woman. And sometimes I actually feel a bit like [00:22:40] sad about it because I never thought it was that difficult. And I have to be honest with you, like growing up [00:22:45] with my dad, I was always like a very empowered female. Like, you’ve seen the way my dad is with me and my sister [00:22:50] and my my mom and everything like that. And I think in dentistry it’s so shocking [00:22:55] because what’s the stats? How many women are there compared to men? There’s a lot more.

Speaker4: Just not a lot more. It’s like 53%. [00:23:00]

Speaker3: So okay. And then out of that 53% in comparison, how many are [00:23:05] practice owners? How many of them like run their own thing, you know.

Speaker4: Lower than. [00:23:10]

Speaker3: Lower.

Speaker4: But yeah but that the reason for that listen.

Speaker3: Listen listen listen okay. So [00:23:15] the point is, is that I think that yes, of course, being a woman in [00:23:20] the UK is much better than being a woman in Iran, for example. Yeah, but let’s think [00:23:25] about all the things that are going like worldwide. Like, it’s so sad to think, even in Afghanistan, [00:23:30] that women are being stripped of their education. I know we’re not there. And women of Iran are being murdered [00:23:35] because they’re not wearing hijabs. Like, this is such a sad reality of the world as a whole. Yeah, within [00:23:40] the Western world we have made massive progress. But I still think there’s a lot of things that need to be [00:23:45] done. And I think that there is unfortunately, a little bit of a bias. I’ve even heard men [00:23:50] in the dental industry that say, well, yeah, of course, you know, men are going to be more suitable [00:23:55] to be in a boardroom than women because the reality is women have to have children [00:24:00] and then women have children. They have to take that time off and then the work suffers. [00:24:05] Now, you brought up the childbirth thing already, right? So I get it. I do get what you’re saying, and I understand. I want [00:24:10] to.

Speaker4: Talk about children as well. Yeah. But we starting with outside of children, is [00:24:15] it harder to be a woman in the workplace than a man? I think.

Speaker3: It’s harder being a woman in general.

Speaker4: But. [00:24:20] Well, why? Look. Yes there is. Look, my daughter was telling me three times a day she [00:24:25] has to worry for her safety as she walks down an alley. The thing is, I never considered that. Yeah, and [00:24:30] you know, if that’s a true thing. But listen, I get that.

Speaker3: But I get that. But listen here, like I’m just going to read [00:24:35] you like, this is McKinsey, right? I went on here. So McKinsey. Mckinsey have stated that women [00:24:40] represent roughly 1 in 4 C-suite leaders. And what. And women of colour just 1 [00:24:45] in 16 and saying massive progress needs to be um, massive progress needs to be [00:24:50] made. Made. Exactly. And microaggressions have a micro impact [00:24:55] reality. Microaggressions have a large and lasting impact on women. I tell you, as somebody who has suffered from [00:25:00] microaggression, it scars me and it damages me and it traumatises me. And [00:25:05] I have to sit there and be like, oh, well, don’t make a big deal of it when I know that what [00:25:10] has happened to me is a microaggression, and the way that I’ve been treated has been unfair.

Speaker4: Okay, [00:25:15] but there are certain things that being a man is hard. Totally, totally. You know, it’s [00:25:20] not like a.

Speaker1: I think as well. A lot of, um, men I’ve found are quite [00:25:25] intimidated by a woman, a successful woman. And that can also be a big thing.

Speaker3: And you [00:25:30] might not be paid. But the thing is, is that, for example, it’s really interesting because I might see an amazing [00:25:35] woman online. There’s a girl called Sarah, something she’s, I think, um, Kuwaiti [00:25:40] or she’s from Dubai or something, and she does loads of podcasts. You might have seen a hat, tattoos, [00:25:45] super attractive, lovely. She says, like really interesting, intelligent things. And she works in tech, [00:25:50] by the way, heavily male dominated and is very successful. And you’ll go on the comments and there’s all these men and [00:25:55] I know that there’s, you know, the internet’s the internet with all these men being like, oh, I hate [00:26:00] a woman like this has too much to say. Oh, there we go. Would be a headache. That’s why.

Speaker4: That’s the.

Speaker3: That’s [00:26:05] why we are. That’s why we all prefer younger women. And I’m.

Speaker4: A dick.

Speaker3: Yeah, but I [00:26:10] think.

Speaker4: I do think and there are sorry. There are dick women as well. You know what I mean? There’s good and bad people [00:26:15] around. Yeah. That’s just an idiot.

Speaker1: No, I don’t I don’t think that there’s many women that would comment on a guy [00:26:20] being like, oh, you know, oh, he needs to talk a little bit less like I think that is stereotypically [00:26:25] that does happen.

Speaker4: There’s lots of women who say things about men, right? You know, loads, [00:26:30] especially your generation. They love it. Right.

Speaker3: But the thing [00:26:35] is, is that I do agree with you, and I do think that there really lacks a strong and credible male [00:26:40] role model. I think we really lack good. Yeah. No, [00:26:45] no, but no, but but but what I was going to say was, is that I do feel sorry for men. I do, and I do think it’s hard to [00:26:50] be a young man.

Speaker4: But let’s talk about women. Let’s talk about women. This gender pay gap question. [00:26:55] Yeah. Do you feel it in your business? I don’t like in my business. If it was real [00:27:00] that I could hire women for less than men, I wouldn’t hire any men. Yeah, but I’ve got loads of men working for me. Yeah. [00:27:05] What’s going on.

Speaker3: There? Well, obviously it’s different. I own my own business.

Speaker4: Yeah. So your employees, do you [00:27:10] hire women on purpose? Because they’re cheaper than men?

Speaker3: No, no, I hire who’s good, but also I actually make [00:27:15] a conscious and active effort in my workplace that I have hired. Ellie knows [00:27:20] people from all different backgrounds, all different physicality. It [00:27:25] is so diverse. I’ve had TV channels approach me and say, we want to do a TV programme [00:27:30] about you and your clinic, and I’m like, okay, that’s really weird. They love what I do on social media, but they’re like, we [00:27:35] love what you represent in the clinic. Conversely, someone that I employed in my dental practice, she’s very attractive, [00:27:40] told me that her old boss said that he would only employ very good [00:27:45] looking Eastern Europeans because he wanted to give that vibe in his workplace. Now. [00:27:50] Okay, fine, that’s his own agenda. But that’s not really fair, is it?

Speaker4: Oh, nothing’s [00:27:55] fair, right? So if you’re if you’re if you’re hiring people because of their diversity. Yeah.

Speaker3: No, [00:28:00] I’m making.

Speaker4: You’re discriminating against other people who aren’t.

Speaker3: You didn’t have construed [00:28:05] that. You’ve misconstrued that. You kind of said that.

Speaker4: You said on purpose. I made an active I made a.

Speaker3: Conscious [00:28:10] decision to make sure that I give people of all colours, races, [00:28:15] sizes, etc. equal opportunities. Difference. I’m consciously just [00:28:20] like, I’m just going to hire them just because they’re non-binary or you know what [00:28:25] I mean? I’m hire. I’m making an active decision in my recruitment process to allow for people [00:28:30] of different physicalities backgrounds, etc., and I will employ people based on their merits and [00:28:35] their ability to do the job, whereas some people might subconsciously or consciously not interview [00:28:40] people.

Speaker4: I’ve done it myself. I’ve done it myself. If I’m being totally honest, I’ve done it myself. Okay, yeah. [00:28:45] Um, and you know, you walk into a top restaurant and a beautiful lady [00:28:50] is there greeting you. And you know, that wasn’t by mistake. You know, that was on purpose. [00:28:55] Yeah. Um, we hire models. We we hire salespeople. I’ve definitely done it. I’ve definitely done [00:29:00] it. Um.

Speaker1: I think we’ve. As a woman. Yeah. Like you think about all the things that, [00:29:05] you know, you’re brought up to, that you experience, you know, like from a young age, you’re sexualised, [00:29:10] you know, things like that happen, like, you know, from the age of 12 or 13, I get on the bus [00:29:15] and, you know, I’d have my ass slapped or something. And you just have to accept that. That’s a that’s a thing. Well, obviously you don’t. [00:29:20] But but things like that happen and you know, from young ages, you know, you you don’t realise what you’re doing. [00:29:25] But going to clubs in Mayfair when you’re, when you go, go up to London on a night out and [00:29:30] you’re queuing to go into a club and you’ve got a promoter and you’re all in your dresses, in heels [00:29:35] and you know, for some reason you’re getting in for free and then for some reason you’re getting on a table and then for some reason, [00:29:40] you’re getting free drinks all night and you’re like, you don’t actually stop for a moment and realise like, wait, why is this [00:29:45] happening? And I think females.

Speaker3: Are hyper sexualised from a young age. And if you think about it, even like Britney Spears, [00:29:50] we talk about it. I loved Britney growing up. She was 16 and hit me baby, one more time. Let’s just take that. [00:29:55] You’ve got kids. 16 and there were men in their 30s and 40s, like [00:30:00] going crazy over Britney Spears. And now Britney Spears is what, in like her 40s. [00:30:05] Now I think she’s in her 40s. I’m not sure. And you know, people are like, oh, she looks so gross. I’m like, she [00:30:10] doesn’t look gross. But, you know, at the end of the day, she was so young. And that goes for all of them. You [00:30:15] know, you watch the supermodel program with Cindy and Nicole.

Speaker4: The thing is, the flip [00:30:20] side of that sexualised thing is the oppressed thing. And [00:30:25] I’d much rather have sexualised than oppressed.

Speaker3: What do you mean when you think about your own country?

Speaker4: Just the flip. Yeah. You [00:30:30] know, uh, Iran. Anyway, I’m. You’re saying women are sexualised. [00:30:35] Yeah. All right, there’s that issue. You don’t want people sexualised only. Only sexualised. Yeah, [00:30:40] but the flip side of that is a is a place where women are held back [00:30:45] covered, you know, can’t, can’t dress as they want.

Speaker1: But why can’t women just be women? Why [00:30:50] has it got to be one or the other? Why do they have to be sexualised or oppressed? Why can’t they just [00:30:55] exist without feeling like one of those things is happening?

Speaker4: It’s a good [00:31:00] question.

Speaker5: Ha ha. It’s good. No.

Speaker4: But it’s a good question. Why do you think? [00:31:05]

Speaker1: I truly don’t know. I don’t know why.

Speaker3: I think that the value of a [00:31:10] woman is based on obsessed with women, literally. And I have to tell you that, like, [00:31:15] if I’m honest and transparent as I always am, I had a little bit of a panic attack this year [00:31:20] because I was like, oh my God, I’m going to be 37 this year. And I started feeling all this wrath of [00:31:25] judgement from society that hasn’t even happened yet. But it was like, I’m like, I’ve [00:31:30] not done enough. I’ve not had a kid yet, I’ve not done this. And I was like, I actually just got really upset [00:31:35] and I don’t know why. And I was like, I’m not good enough. And I was like, and it’s just such a sad feeling, [00:31:40] you know what I mean?

Speaker1: We have a time limit as women limit which men don’t have. You [00:31:45] can’t be. You have a kid. You have a kid.

Speaker4: We said, we said, this crop kids are okay, let’s crop kids back [00:31:50] in. Let’s let’s crop kids back in. Go on. Okay. I definitely agree that that [00:31:55] kids affect careers of women. They do? Yeah. Now you [00:32:00] can go two ways with that. You can say why should they? Why shouldn’t the man’s career be affected just as [00:32:05] much as the woman’s? I’m telling you, it’s just not the case. It’s just not.

Speaker3: But biologically, it can’t [00:32:10] be.

Speaker4: It’s just not the case. So then, are you suggesting that there should be a bias, [00:32:15] like, should women with children be paid more than women without children? And should women be paid [00:32:20] more than men? And then, you know, then where does it go. Right. Should, should, should, [00:32:25] should Simon Chard have a handicap in his pay because he’s getting benefit [00:32:30] from his height. Yeah. Do you mean it’s, you know, it’s not an equal playground [00:32:35] even within women. It’s not an equal.

Speaker3: Again, like we’re talking about like the societal [00:32:40] thing as well. Like for example, what should.

Speaker4: We do about it?

Speaker3: No. But like for example, you [00:32:45] said like coming from, you know, a sort of Iranian background, etc., you have [00:32:50] an ideal of like a female body type or like working in the or like living in the 90s. [00:32:55] No, we had this that we had this discussion and I don’t blame you. And it’s the same with my mom. And I’m sure it’s the same [00:33:00] with your parents. And it’s like you just said, like height is something that like, people are like, that’s amazing and [00:33:05] such a great thing, but like society created that. And if you look, it was really funny. Have you watched Saltburn?

Speaker4: I’ve [00:33:10] heard. No.

Speaker3: Yeah. So for example, there’s two. Yeah. Okay. There’s two main actors in it, a guy [00:33:15] called Barry Keoghan. Yeah, he is like basically Irish and I think he’s like five foot seven. [00:33:20] He’s not tall at all, came from like a really working class background. And then [00:33:25] the co-star in it is a guy that I’m obsessed with from euphoria, a guy called Jacob Elordi. I don’t [00:33:30] know if you saw me. I did a whole TikTok on him anyways, and he’s like six foot seven, for example. [00:33:35] They act together and it’s so funny. And Eddie was like, I just think Barry’s so much better looking and more attractive. [00:33:40] And I was like, oh my God, I love Jacob Elordi. But it’s funny how like now, like the great [00:33:45] thing is, is you were saying like we are, the more we start to be open to different things, like a man doesn’t need [00:33:50] to be six foot to be attractive. My fiance is not six foot, you know what I mean? He’s my height, you know? [00:33:55] So like I feel like. But we’re now understanding that like it actually comes in different shapes and [00:34:00] sizes. And although you may disagree like I know you don’t like love Kim K, for example, but she’s still [00:34:05] celebrated as one of the most beautiful women, and she broke the mould, like coming in and being like, I’ve got a [00:34:10] small waist, big hips. And people were like, wow, do you know what I mean? And like, despite that, I [00:34:15] think you’re saying like people shouldn’t. Society made this problem like it was just decided the tall, [00:34:20] white, blonde, blue eyed man was the thing, you know, like that [00:34:25] is like the chosen person. But in reality, that’s just a societal thing that was [00:34:30] put out. It’s not reality. Do you know what I mean?

Speaker4: Yeah, but so what?

Speaker3: But what I’m trying to say to you is when you’re [00:34:35] saying, like, should someone be punished for being that. No, they shouldn’t be punished, but we should be celebrating all the other differences.

Speaker5: Okay, [00:34:40] okay, okay.

Speaker4: But you know, we were talking about gender pay gap. Yeah. And is it harder [00:34:45] being a woman than a man. And you know, there are these odd areas where, you know, the strength, [00:34:50] muscle strength of a woman puts her in a disadvantage. Right. So, like we [00:34:55] were saying, down a dark alley, if there’s a guy behind you, you have to properly worry, whereas I don’t. I just [00:35:00] walk down. I don’t think about it. Yeah. So yes. That obviously. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yes [00:35:05] I could probably bench press. I could probably bench press more than, more than some [00:35:10] men.

Speaker5: Okay. All right, I hear you, I hear you.

Speaker4: But day to day in your job, in your life, [00:35:15] going and buying your coffee, asking people for money, putting things forward, [00:35:20] though, you know, I don’t feel my daughter is disadvantaged compared to my [00:35:25] son in the world. I don’t I don’t see it in that sense. Mhm.

Speaker3: Well, [00:35:30] I think you’re lucky. And let’s hope that your daughter never has to experience some of the things that we have to experience, [00:35:35] because I hadn’t experienced what I would call differences in gender until the last [00:35:40] three years, and I’ve been lucky enough not to have experienced what I thought. But I have. And I think [00:35:45] when you do, you recognise and unfortunate, as you said, Ellie said, but why can’t we just exist? [00:35:50] And I think in my experience now I’ve been like, oh, I’m being, I don’t want to [00:35:55] say used, but I’m only my value is only seen for like the way I look. Can like flogging [00:36:00] something, for example. Does that make sense? And that’s really hard as well, because it makes me [00:36:05] feel like my value will diminish once I get older or lose.

Speaker5: You know, super.

Speaker4: Successful, [00:36:10] right?

Speaker3: Yeah, but I’m.

Speaker4: Not only because of the way there are other pretty totally. There are other pretty dentists. [00:36:15]

Speaker3: Yeah, of course, he tells me all the time, I know that, yeah.

Speaker4: It’s just [00:36:20] there are other pretty dentists who are not achieving what you’re achieving. Yeah. So, you know, it’s not [00:36:25] just the way you listen.

Speaker3: I think we’re not going to sort out the gender pay gap. So I’m going to move on. Right. So so [00:36:30] okay. So I would describe you. You’re not only a social media manager, [00:36:35] but you’re also an entrepreneur. So can you tell us a little bit about the company that you’ve started, which is [00:36:40] Sia and how it was founded, what inspired you to start it and what was your vision behind it?

Speaker1: Yes. [00:36:45] So the company, the company that I founded is sirens social media marketing agency, [00:36:50] and that specialises in like personal branding. And because over the years working in social [00:36:55] media, I’ve just found that people buy from people and storytelling [00:37:00] is what is so important. So if you’re on there, um, on any social media channel talking [00:37:05] about your brand all the time, promoting a product, people just swipe on, they don’t care. But [00:37:10] if it’s people, it’s you that they want to get to know. So if you’re able to get into the hearts [00:37:15] of the people by showing who you are and talking about yourself, that’s the way that that’s the way that [00:37:20] you succeed on social media. And I think I just felt such a connection to that. And I was like, wow, there’s really something [00:37:25] here with personal branding and why was.

Speaker3: It TikTok over Instagram?

Speaker1: So I did originally work on other [00:37:30] channels I originally had. I originally was a social media manager for all channels, and I just [00:37:35] saw the growth on TikTok, the potential, the reach, um, and just how you’re [00:37:40] able to get into such into, you know, the hearts of billions of people. It’s the fast, one of the fastest [00:37:45] growing apps in the world, um, you know, almost 2 billion active users. So it’s very, [00:37:50] very, um, you know, growing at a rapid, rapid pace. So I just think the the [00:37:55] growth that I’ve seen and the potential on, on app, on and off app, um, is amazing. [00:38:00] And I think it’s so important now for everyone. Um.

Speaker4: Take us through maybe [00:38:05] three tips that are.

Speaker3: Before she goes into that though. How was siren born? Yeah. So [00:38:10] because I think one of the big jumps for people to start a business on their own, we’ve they know our story. But how did it happen [00:38:15] for you and at such a young age?

Speaker1: Yeah. So I’ve always loved social media. Always. Um, and I think, [00:38:20] um, it’s always something that I fell into. So, so when I did go to university, I ended up doing journalism. [00:38:25] Um, and I did print journalism, and obviously that was quite a dying industry. So [00:38:30] a lot, which is very sad. But yeah, a lot of, a lot of my degree focussed on, [00:38:35] um, marketing and online marketing and things like that. And social media was a small aspect of [00:38:40] that, and that was where I first understood what sort of marketing was, and I just fell and fell in love with it. And [00:38:45] I knew that was always something that I wanted to do. Um, and then, you know, that that finished [00:38:50] and the first kind of social media thing I got into was in lockdown. I started a candle business, [00:38:55] as everyone did. Yeah, on the side, a little side hustle in lockdown. And [00:39:00] apart from like selling to family and friends, I was like, how else am I going to, you know, get the word out about about this [00:39:05] candle business. And so I started up social media pages for it. So I started posting on Instagram [00:39:10] and, um, you know, then I got got into doing like advertisement, TikTok ads and, [00:39:15] um, social media ads and Facebook and Instagram and understanding what all that was. And I literally just taught myself. [00:39:20] And that was sort of how I really got into like social media thing. So yeah, then [00:39:25] I got my first job in social media, uh, from that. Um, but then, yeah, [00:39:30] I don’t want to obviously mention too many. I don’t want a specific mention.

Speaker3: About what’s.

Speaker1: Fine about [00:39:35] the situation.

Speaker3: Yeah, okay.

Speaker1: Go on. I’m trying to think how I can word it, like how I did it on my own.

Speaker3: Working for [00:39:40] another company, and then and then.

Speaker1: Realised I. Yeah, I can say actually, like, um, you know, throughout [00:39:45] school and everything, um, school and work after that, uh, where I had social [00:39:50] media, my first job in social media, um, like firstly from school being told [00:39:55] to that I was never good enough, that was never going to succeed, that I was too loud getting put on report card, [00:40:00] then going into, um, you know, working for other people. I think I always [00:40:05] had such a business mindset, you know, when I started my candle business. But then I was still working for other people, [00:40:10] and I hated that I was working my ass off for someone else’s [00:40:15] dream. I always hated that. So I knew I was I knew I was better than than [00:40:20] working for someone else. It’s absolutely fine with that. People do that and that’s absolutely fine. Do you think I just.

Speaker3: Feel like that [00:40:25] Payman that they don’t like working their asses off for other people’s dream or not? Do you think because.

Speaker4: It’s it’s the reason why [00:40:30] people start their own practices, isn’t it? Because it’s not necessarily about the the cash. [00:40:35] It’s about the control over what the thing is, right.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker1: And I think that’s [00:40:40] what I had. And that’s why I ended up, um, starting up siren. I just, you know, I always wanted to do something on my [00:40:45] own. I found my love of social media. I found my love for TikTok. And it got to a point where I was like, [00:40:50] I can do this on my own. And so, yeah. Then siren, would.

Speaker4: You get your first customers? [00:40:55]

Speaker1: Um, who are my.

Speaker5: Came to get [00:41:00] my teeth whitened. And so.

Speaker4: Were you. A dentist?

Speaker3: Actually, I’ll tell you now, what happened was, [00:41:05] is that for some reason, I got, you know, how you get all these generic emails and you’re like, you never respond. But for [00:41:10] some reason, I opened it and the email was literally like, we love your account. We’re a tick tock agency. [00:41:15] We help growth. La la la. We love everything you’re about. So I arranged then for a meeting with the company [00:41:20] that she was at, and then I was like, this is a massive punt. And by the way, it was a big investment. [00:41:25] Tick tock wasn’t that big at that time. It was still like a little bit early. It was just after lockdown [00:41:30] and then I just fell in love with Ellie, like everything about her. Like she was getting my receptionist [00:41:35] to do dance routines. She was like getting my staff members [00:41:40] to do, like, do you know what I mean? Like all that pointy stuff.

Speaker4: Your endodontist was telling me he trended.

Speaker3: Yeah, [00:41:45] yeah, yeah, yeah. Can you imagine? Like, I was even getting Aram, like, you know how specialists are, like, [00:41:50] I’m not doing any of that stuff. And they’re so scared of, like, the professor’s judging them. Yeah, but she got them. And I was like, wow, [00:41:55] this is incredible. And I was like, I need her in house. But the thing is, is that I would always I would never sort of want to box [00:42:00] someone up like she had to fly. And the thing is, is that she wanted to spread her wings and then the company that [00:42:05] she was with it, just like our visions didn’t align because as I said, like, and you know, with enlighten as well, [00:42:10] you either have a choice in business, like you become a big corporation and you lose [00:42:15] the personal touch and the personal relationships, or you stick with the personal people and continue [00:42:20] harnessing those relationships. And the beautiful thing about enlighten is, you know, is that you like that personability, you know, whereas like [00:42:25] your competitor brands are like about the big number at the end, for example, you know, so I think that [00:42:30] and they don’t necessarily they just care about volume necessarily companies.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker3: Yeah. But to be honest, [00:42:35] and that’s the thing that’s like with Chelsea Dental, people are like, do you want 40 Chelsea Dental don’t really want that because I like, [00:42:40] like that special touch that we give people. So as her human touch. And then when she started [00:42:45] her own thing, I was like, right. You know, I was like, I need to find her again. Um, I [00:42:50] need to find her again. And I did. And then Ellie and I started working together, and I recommended [00:42:55] her to all of my, um, friends, and they were, like, astounded [00:43:00] by the growth that they’ve had on social media. And it makes your life so easy. Payman. Because [00:43:05] all of the scripts, all of the posts, everything trending on one page, [00:43:10] done in a day, that’s it. You know what I mean? You know.

Speaker4: So when when you started [00:43:15] TikTok, when was it? What was it? Was there a particular video that [00:43:20] made you think, I can do this? Um, and also what how much of [00:43:25] it is science and how much of it is art?

Speaker1: That’s actually a very good question. So to answer the first [00:43:30] one, I think, um, what was the first one again?

Speaker4: Was there a particular video you made that trended? [00:43:35]

Speaker1: So I think the first one that we did with the first one that we did with [00:43:40] you, with the things that dentists can tell about your mouth.

Speaker3: Oh, that trended, [00:43:45] you know what I’m talking about.

Speaker1: We did too. So we did one with Sarah. And I think that got [00:43:50] that got to like 3.5 million. And then we did one with you. We did a part two because it [00:43:55] did so well. And that got to about 9 million or something. And it was a bit like, oh my gosh, okay. But [00:44:00] I think it’s not, it’s it’s not just the views. Tiktok isn’t just about the views. It’s about building [00:44:05] a community and a loyal community. And, you know, people coming in the comments and like, so yeah, [00:44:10] it’s great to go viral, but to be able to have that community and the people that follow you and come back for [00:44:15] each post and comment and interact and save and share, that’s what is so [00:44:20] great about it. And I think it’s not just the on app consequences, it’s the off app consequences too. So, [00:44:25] you know, you can do a really good video and then you open up the, um, you know, your news tab [00:44:30] on your, on Google and you’re, you’re in okay magazine.

Speaker3: Not just Stewart bags. [00:44:35] They, they did a thing called vaping tongue. Stewart was contacted by like six different national newspapers [00:44:40] and asked to go on the radio about vaping.

Speaker1: Radio vape.

Speaker4: Vape is one of those trending subjects, [00:44:45] isn’t it?

Speaker5: Yeah. Vaping people want to send.

Speaker4: It to people to say stop vaping.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker1: So all that [00:44:50] kind of stuff and, you know, brand partnerships that come from it and it’s it’s not just about the views [00:44:55] and going viral.

Speaker4: But so let’s talk about the science part and the art part. So, you know, in [00:45:00] my crappy little knowledge is all right. First three seconds. Yes.

Speaker1: So the first three seconds. Yeah.

Speaker4: Very important [00:45:05] I noticed when when you do your vids you don’t start with hi I’m Rona. You never start with [00:45:10] the hook. Exactly.

Speaker3: So she always gives me the hook and the negative hook because we want to tell our audience like a.

Speaker5: Like [00:45:15] a.

Speaker4: Sensational hook. So you’ll say something like, can your teeth make you [00:45:20] sexier than you are? Like, that would be the hook. Yeah, whatever. Whatever it is.

Speaker3: Or I think three things I would [00:45:25] never do.

Speaker5: As a dentist.

Speaker3: Says the negative, negative, the negative.

Speaker1: Numbers, they all work very [00:45:30] well. And then you come in with your authority. So the three seconds are the most important. You have [00:45:35] three seconds. Tick tock. The people. Yeah. Scroll exactly. They have no attention span. [00:45:40] So you have three seconds to grab them. But you also don’t want to grab them like in a clickbaity way where it’s like, [00:45:45] um, you know, oh, I’ll say something really important and then not and exactly. And then not follow up with it. So [00:45:50] saying that big hook, um, talking about what it is, introducing who you are, why [00:45:55] are you an authority to give me this piece of knowledge? Um, and then. So keeping them hanging for [00:46:00] a bit longer because the five to second seven second mark is just as important as the three seconds. [00:46:05]

Speaker4: So for the reach.

Speaker1: Yes, exactly. So yes, get them at the three seconds. But then you need to follow it up. So [00:46:10] give them the three the three second hook. Follow it up with who you are and why you’re an authority. Give [00:46:15] them a little bit more information about what you’re going to chat about and then go into, you know, your three things.

Speaker4: And [00:46:20] so I’d call all of that the science. Yeah. What about what about the art.

Speaker1: And the art? The art I guess [00:46:25] that’s the creativity side. So what’s trending and what are people talking about this week? What’s happening in [00:46:30] the news. So for example, um, you know, I did a video with a couple of clients the other week about, um, [00:46:35] Kylie Jenner showed up to the red carpet extremely naturally done with her makeup. [00:46:40] Um, you know, and everyone was talking about how her filler looked so bad. Filler was basically she looked really bad. [00:46:45] Um, and that had just happened. And I jumped on that with a client, um, Doctor [00:46:50] Divine, uh, he actually did it. Um, he did it off the back of my me and another client. So I actually did this with, [00:46:55] um, a separate client, and we jumped on it, and she, she does facial aesthetics, and she’s [00:47:00] basically spoke about how, um, Kylie Jenner has definitely had, like, under-eye filler. It could be a few other [00:47:05] things, but I think this is what it is. And we jumped on it because it was trending and it overnight got to [00:47:10] 2 million views overnight. Everyone talking about it in the comments, everyone sharing about it. So you know it’s [00:47:15] being reactive. It’s all about jumping on things that are um, on trend and being reactive. [00:47:20] And I always say for TikTok, you need to show up and you need to talk about three different. [00:47:25] It needs to you need you need to either fall into three different categories. You either need to entertain, educate [00:47:30] or, um, provide emotion. And I think the audience needs to get [00:47:35] something, get one of those three things from your video for it to do well and for it to speak to people. So you’re either, you know, [00:47:40] doing something really, really funny that’s hilarious and going to go viral and be silly. You’re going on to educate, which [00:47:45] is normally what I do with my clients. You know, they all have something to say. They all have a piece to educate about. [00:47:50] Um, or you need to draw out the emotion and that always does well the storytelling, the pulling at the heartstrings. [00:47:55] You know, you’re very good at that kind of side.

Speaker3: So one thing was obviously [00:48:00] like when I sent Ellie a couple of clients, they’re incredible dentists, really [00:48:05] talented. But, um, they were getting frustrated that they weren’t getting viral. And it was also [00:48:10] like they were too obsessed with the way other professionals would perceive [00:48:15] them. Yeah. Does that make sense? Which I think is a challenge. And it’s like, you know, I’ve got like Doctor Rona Academy now [00:48:20] and loads of like my students are amazing, um, young women and like a lot of them [00:48:25] come to me because they feel like they could relate to me and talk to me about certain things. And it’s really interesting because I’m like, have you started [00:48:30] an Instagram? And they’re like, no, I’m really scared. And I’m like, start the first post with [00:48:35] like a photo of yourself explaining who you are. Like, think like decide on a logo. Do you know what’s the one [00:48:40] thing that holds them back? Dentists from starting social media? Guess what it.

Speaker5: Is other.

Speaker4: Dentists seeing [00:48:45] their work.

Speaker3: They worried about the judgement. The judgement of what other people will think of their [00:48:50] page.

Speaker1: Yeah, that is a massive thing. That’s that’s a big thing that you see that clients. Oh, 100%, [00:48:55] 100%. That’s probably the biggest thing. I actually did a TikTok video myself about the one thing. [00:49:00] What is the one thing that’s holding people back from succeeding on TikTok? And it is themselves and not being able to get [00:49:05] over the cringe or get over the fact that they’re scared that that’s going to flop. And for me, I’ve just [00:49:10] always been that kind of person where it’s like, just post it, like, just fuck it and post it. Yeah.

Speaker3: That’s right. [00:49:15]

Speaker1: Um, just like, just post it. So what? It flops. So what, you get 300, 300, [00:49:20] 400 views, you show up again and you post again. And that is what’s so important. The consistency [00:49:25] showing up and posting. And if you can’t get over that cringe, you’re not going to succeed on TikTok. [00:49:30] You’re not going to do well.

Speaker4: You know what though, Bruno? Yeah. When I saw you start doing TikTok, I was I [00:49:35] wasn’t aware of you today.

Speaker3: But she wasn’t in the picture at the beginning. Maybe.

Speaker5: Yeah, but.

Speaker4: I [00:49:40] took my hat off to you. Yeah. Because, you know, it’s difficult when you’ve got 100,000 followers [00:49:45] on one platform to go on to another platform where you haven’t got many followers and [00:49:50] fail day after day after day and keep going. Yeah, I was.

Speaker3: Literally on like ten views and at [00:49:55] that time going.

Speaker5: At it, making more and more and more.

Speaker3: Dog doctor shady was [00:50:00] like killed it because she was like one of our the dentists first on it and she like grew astronomically overnight. [00:50:05] Like she was the one that started like the turkey teeth sort of chat. Yeah. Um, but I was and I was like, I hate [00:50:10] TikTok. So Gen Z, it’s not me. But then I was like, self-limiting belief. And also [00:50:15] like, are you being a bit competitive? Like, you’ve just got to go on and can I tell you now, I way prefer TikTok than Instagram because there’s [00:50:20] less dentists on there and there’s less of that trolling and that like weirdness on there as well.

Speaker5: Well, I.

Speaker4: Prefer [00:50:25] it as a consumer.

Speaker3: Yeah, yeah, I.

Speaker5: Think it’s much better.

Speaker4: So the algorithm is it’s on.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker4: There’s [00:50:30] something about the algorithm isn’t it.

Speaker1: Yeah. It’s the algorithm is ever changing. But the how [00:50:35] do.

Speaker3: You keep up with.

Speaker1: It. So yeah, anyone that tells you that they know the algorithm or [00:50:40] they’ve cracked the algorithm is lying to you. You cannot crack the algorithm. You don’t know what the algorithm is, but [00:50:45] you can learn to adapt to it and grow with it and understand it. Um, [00:50:50] but essentially everyone’s algorithm is different. You know, what you see on your for You page is the thing that gets you all addicted. [00:50:55] So, you know, if you watch a video about dogs. And you watch the video all the way [00:51:00] through, from beginning to end. Tick tock goes straight away. Wow, they loved that video because they [00:51:05] watched it all the way through. So they’re going to start showing you more videos about dogs. If you comment [00:51:10] on the video and tag someone oh my god, check out this dog video or you share it again. Same thing [00:51:15] and you keep doing it. Things like that. So all this kind of engagement that you’re doing is telling tick tock [00:51:20] and telling the algorithm, oh, I really like that piece of content. So you’ll start seeing more of it and more of it. And [00:51:25] that’s how it gets so addictive. Um, so yeah, but the algorithm for everyone is different, [00:51:30] and it all depends on how you engage with specific content as to what you’re going [00:51:35] to see on your for you page. So yes, you can’t crack the algorithm, you can’t understand it.

Speaker4: But one of the things [00:51:40] is it defaults to the for you page. Yeah. Whereas Instagram doesn’t. Yes [00:51:45] Instagram has it discover right?

Speaker1: Yes.

Speaker4: The explore page doesn’t doesn’t. Yeah. Default [00:51:50] to it. So you might go there. Yes.

Speaker1: But I think um for me I that’s [00:51:55] why I, I love um sort of tick tock for top of the reach top of the funnel [00:52:00] marketing because Instagram for me is more about community and how you’ve got your followers and you post [00:52:05] what you’re up to and it’s lovely and it’s it’s very filtered and people can click on it and like it. [00:52:10] Whereas Tick Tock is completely raw, completely unfiltered, completely new. You’re [00:52:15] you’re defaulted to that for you page. You’re going to see things you’ve never seen before from videos.

Speaker3: But I also think [00:52:20] Gen Z are a little bit just more sassy as well as in like, I think that they like to be involved in lots of [00:52:25] different issues and have lots of different opinions, and I.

Speaker5: Think [00:52:30] it’s.

Speaker4: Still a Gen Z platform.

Speaker1: No, it’s not really.

Speaker5: Every all of.

Speaker4: My friends are on [00:52:35] it.

Speaker5: My buddies, the biggest.

Speaker1: Growing age group is like the 25 to 30s in both male and male and female. [00:52:40] Yeah, that’s like the biggest interesting. Um, yeah. There’s like it’s a very, very fast growing. [00:52:45] It’s. Yeah, definitely naive to say it’s still, you know, that dancey Tik Tok platform for [00:52:50] 18 year olds.

Speaker3: I remember those days like during lockdown. Yeah. Horrendous.

Speaker1: It’s not anymore as.

Speaker4: As [00:52:55] a, as a force for evil. So we can see as a force for good. Fine. Yes. [00:53:00] But one thing that happens to me is I go into this like death hole.

Speaker5: Yes. The rabbit hole scroll. [00:53:05] Yeah.

Speaker4: And and time just goes. Yeah. And I worry for my kids, [00:53:10] like my daughter’s not allowed it, but she’s found it on, on on YouTube anyway. Yeah. I mean YouTube shorts, [00:53:15] YouTube shorts.

Speaker5: It’s like, it’s like.

Speaker4: A crappy version of so but but you know, what does it do [00:53:20] to people’s mental health?

Speaker1: Yeah, I think any, any, any consumption of social [00:53:25] over consumption of social media is not good. I think, you know, that can be said for any social [00:53:30] media platform, not just TikTok. I think Instagram is just as damaging. It does. And the average [00:53:35] watch time is about 1.5 hours a day, so it is crazy.

Speaker3: The good [00:53:40] thing is, the good thing is about Ellie managing my TikTok. I spend a lot, lot, a lot longer on Instagram. [00:53:45] Whereas like every now and then I’m like, oh, Ellie’s just posted, let me see how that video’s done. But [00:53:50] I don’t spend hours and hours on it. Do you see what I mean? Like every now and then I might go, but I don’t get into [00:53:55] I get more into a scrolling. And also the messaging service on TikTok is [00:54:00] like a lot less. Yeah, it’s weird. So you can’t be asked, as in, like with Instagram, you can do a whole like just replying [00:54:05] to DMs situation. Yeah. Um, I want to ask you as well, do you think timing matters? Because [00:54:10] you know how people get obsessed not only with what they post, but the time they post as well? Is that important? [00:54:15]

Speaker1: No, I don’t think that’s important at all on TikTok. I’ve tried all the different times I’ve tried, ahm, [00:54:20] I’ve tried 6 p.m.. Yeah, 1 p.m., 6 p.m. I normally do, um, and [00:54:25] it doesn’t make a difference. If it’s a good piece of content, it’s going to do well. It doesn’t matter when you post [00:54:30] it. A lot of people’s, um, follower time that they’re most active is normally around 10:11 p.m. [00:54:35] because they get into bed and they’re scrolling. So people think, oh, I’ll post around 10:11 p.m. [00:54:40] because that’s when my audience is all on. But TikTok doesn’t work like that. The algorithm is slow. It can take [00:54:45] two days for a video to start popping up on people’s for you pages just because something’s [00:54:50] just been posted. When it when your followers were active, doesn’t mean it’s instantly going to do well and blow up.

Speaker5: So [00:54:55] is there a.

Speaker4: Frequency, the number of posts a day?

Speaker1: That is so people I’ve seen a lot of people [00:55:00] that are on TikTok say you need to be you need to be posting 3 to 4 times a day to do well. You know, you need to [00:55:05] be posting 3 to 4 times a day. I don’t think that that’s true. Um, I my clients, for example, you know, we [00:55:10] post like once a day or once every weekday and they still do extremely well, [00:55:15] more like go way more viral and have way more followers and have way more engaged of an engaged community. [00:55:20] Then I think.

Speaker3: When it.

Speaker1: Started, yeah, maybe.

Speaker3: When it started, not now, but.

Speaker1: Now [00:55:25] I don’t think. I think as long as you’re consistent, whether that’s, you know, showing up every day or as much [00:55:30] as you can, it’s I think it’s not taking those big breaks, you know, posting every day and then falling [00:55:35] off for two weeks because you can’t be bothered.

Speaker4: About the fact that, like when something comes up on my on [00:55:40] my thing that I like, right, I’m not going to immediately follow them. I’m going to go on to their page [00:55:45] and see if there’s more of that. Yeah. And if there is more of that, I might follow them. Yes. But [00:55:50] what that means is you end up doing to be successful. You could be quite narrow. Yep. [00:55:55]

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker4: That’s because if I, if I, if she says something. I like, and then I go on to a page [00:56:00] and there isn’t much else of her talking. Yeah, then I’m not going to follow that [00:56:05] page. And it means, like tactically, you’re sort of limiting each page to [00:56:10] a small amount of things. Is that right?

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker3: Well, we tried this as well, like I said to Ellie, because, [00:56:15] you know, I’m like obviously passionate about like fashion and things like that. I was like, oh, I really want to [00:56:20] do like those like, you know, styled with me and get ready with me. And like we did a few [00:56:25] and some of them did okay, but they really didn’t do as well as my Dental ones. And [00:56:30] she was like, listen, we’ve placed you as an educator. That’s why people like your page. We [00:56:35] can’t go too off piste just because you want to do it. And it’s interesting because Shivani said the same as well, [00:56:40] because when I said finally, like you’ve just thrown in 100,000 followers on Instagram, I was like, it’s amazing. She’s like, [00:56:45] oh, I’m not that bothered. She was like, you know, video is going viral. Doesn’t lead to me having more subscribers on [00:56:50] YouTube or like Spotify, which is where I’m looking for it. She’s like, because it’s a video that went viral. She’s [00:56:55] like, whereas I need people. She’s like, the reason you convert to a follower is if someone sees [00:57:00] your piece of content and then they go on your page and they’ll only follow you if they think that your page will provide [00:57:05] value. Just because they’ve interacted with your video doesn’t mean it will, like turn into a follower. [00:57:10] Does that make sense? You know, so I think it’s like important that you understand it’s that typical [00:57:15] thing. Simon Sinek know your why. Why are you building this page 100%?

Speaker1: It’s essential [00:57:20] to have a niche. You don’t want a niche down too much to to like an extreme niche, but [00:57:25] you don’t want to be too broad where you’re like tapping into different things. You’re not going to get followers because people are like, [00:57:30] I’m not interested in this. What are they even posting about? However, if you’re providing a specific amount of value [00:57:35] on a certain topic that people are interested in, you’re going to get that follower base. And [00:57:40] so it’s important to stay consistent and stick and stick within your niche like we’ve tried other things. [00:57:45] And it can work. And it’s good to show other aspects but always come back to that [00:57:50] niche, I think. And that’s I think what’s important to keep that consistency.

Speaker4: Tiktok influencers, are they different to, [00:57:55] you know, you’d imagine Instagram classic pretty girl influencer. Yeah. Oh it’s a different type [00:58:00] of influencer right.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker1: Because I think again, it’s that whole, you know, Instagram is all about being pretty and filters [00:58:05] and editing. And there are on TikTok.

Speaker3: I’ve seen stunning girls promote makeup.

Speaker1: Yeah, it’s more but I think it’s more [00:58:10] about, um, storytelling. Whereas Instagram, you know, you post a video. Yeah, you might do a reel, [00:58:15] but I think for TikTok it’s more unfiltered. It’s more, you know, vlogging style. Come with me today. [00:58:20]

Speaker3: There’s a girl I follow in, uh, um, New York, and she always tell us how funny dating [00:58:25] stories, and she’s, like, doing her makeup. She’s beautiful and she’s literally. So everyone asks me about [00:58:30] the dating app Raya. So I’m going to give you my opinion on Raya, but she’s also doing her makeup. And people [00:58:35] in the comments are like, where’s your foundation from? Like.

Speaker4: I even follow someone you know, she speaks [00:58:40] really quickly. Do you know her? Mad, mad, mad mad. She talks really [00:58:45] quickly, but she’s doing her makeup and she’s talking about some dates she’s been on.

Speaker5: Oh yeah, and they probably.

Speaker1: Talk about how they’ve [00:58:50] got five minutes to get ready.

Speaker3: As well. She does. Those stars don’t take chance literally.

Speaker1: That’s actually the number [00:58:55] one. Um, the number one most loved type of video on TikTok is the get ready with me one night. [00:59:00]

Speaker5: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: So getting ready and chatting. People love it because you’re, you know, you’re telling maybe [00:59:05] a fun story, but then you’re also getting ready and people love to like, find out where your makeup is from and all that kind of stuff. And [00:59:10] it’s storytelling again.

Speaker5: Do you think.

Speaker4: You know Instagram? We know what Dental Instagram is. [00:59:15] Yeah, there’s before and afters. There’s yes, there’s there’s sort of um, [00:59:20] you know, pictures, videos, you know, dentist educating. But we’re not really [00:59:25] sure what Dental TikTok is. You know, there aren’t you know, there’s who’s been [00:59:30] successful on TikTok. Shardae.

Speaker5: Laura.

Speaker4: Laura you little right. You’ve got to put yourself [00:59:35] in it for foodie dentist.

Speaker3: She’s she surged.

Speaker5: Yeah.

Speaker4: Who else. But you know what I mean. If I’ve [00:59:40] got a dental practice and I want a dental practice TikTok page. Are we just [00:59:45] talking dental.

Speaker3: We’re on 21 K now. I know.

Speaker4: But are we just talking? But it’s got to be the [00:59:50] same thing. Education from the dentist? No, no.

Speaker3: Because for example.

Speaker5: It was it wasn’t. It’s not clear [00:59:55] yet. It’s very clear in Instagram.

Speaker3: No, no it has to be. That’s the thing. That’s why Ellie is so great. And that’s why, like Payman, you and I are [01:00:00] very similar in the fact that we’ve always invested in these types of services. A lot of dentists [01:00:05] don’t want to invest in these services. They’re like, why would I pay someone to do this? They don’t see the [01:00:10] value in it. But like for example, the Chelsea Dental one everyone loves like our receptionist, our [01:00:15] TCO. So she does these videos with them, for example, showing their personality but.

Speaker4: Not teeth, right? [01:00:20]

Speaker3: No teeth as well. We show.

Speaker5: Everything afters.

Speaker3: Yeah, we’ll talk about it.

Speaker5: Do them in a different way.

Speaker1: Yes [01:00:25] we do. We normally do like a green screen that sort.

Speaker5: Of pointing to that.

Speaker1: Thing, like showing that the images behind Stuart’s. [01:00:30]

Speaker3: Work, this is Anna’s cleaning, do you know what I mean? But it will also like there’s one of my favourite [01:00:35] videos, Mary, my receptionist, who everyone loves. She gets all these dental tools and she’s like, Mary, [01:00:40] guess I’ll have to show you later. So she takes out the mirror and Mary’s like mirror. She gets out a probe and she’s [01:00:45] like, oh, she’s like, she’s like something to do with the hygienist, you know what I mean? It’s really funny, [01:00:50] really. People like watching that because it’s really funny.

Speaker1: But I what the reason why I love TikTok [01:00:55] for like dentists and in the dental world is I just think they’re. Is people are obsessed with [01:01:00] teeth, teeth whitening, bonding, veneers like people want to see the results. People [01:01:05] want to know, like what they can do at home. Um, to Hashtag Teeth Talk has got over [01:01:10] 3 billion views. Really? Yeah. It’s crazy. When I first did you know that teeth talk. I always used that that [01:01:15] in my videos. And, you know, when I first started it was on maybe like a few million. It’s now on about 3 billion views. [01:01:20] People searching for that, that hashtag turkey.

Speaker3: Teeth is like turkey.

Speaker1: Teeth. You know, when you do a video [01:01:25] about turkey teeth. Oh my gosh, the virality.

Speaker3: So how dangerous do you think it is for your business [01:01:30] not to have social media? One and number two not get on board with TikTok? [01:01:35]

Speaker1: Yeah, I think it’s essential for businesses now to be on TikTok. Both of them. [01:01:40] Both. Um, I think, you know, it’s TikTok is where everyone is at now. Like that [01:01:45] is the platform where everyone is at. If you’re going to be, you know, doing paid ads, for example, then [01:01:50] do them on TikTok. Facebook is dead for paid advertisements. So if you’re doing ads on Facebook, [01:01:55] it’s like, fine. But I think on TikTok, you know, being able to implement, [01:02:00] um, into the sort of TikTok style. So, you know, whether you’re using the TikTok influencers, as [01:02:05] you mentioned before, you know, using your product in their morning routine.

Speaker3: I literally did a parlour video that got [01:02:10] 8 million views organically. 8 million. I’ll never forget that. And why? Because [01:02:15] that cheek retractors and that was my hook, you know.

Speaker1: See, you’re you’re you’re you’re acclimatising [01:02:20] to the TikTok platform. You’re doing.

Speaker5: Something that a lot.

Speaker4: Of stuff off.

Speaker5: Really?

Speaker1: Yeah, [01:02:25] really. I’m a bit of a TikTok shocker.

Speaker5: Really?

Speaker1: Yeah.

Speaker4: It’s frictionless as well. [01:02:30] Like from from deciding to buy it. To buy it. It’s like one button and it arrives here.

Speaker5: You get a buyer’s [01:02:35] remorse.

Speaker4: A lot of it’s crap.

Speaker5: A lot of.

Speaker4: It is crap somehow. Yeah. And that’s the thing, [01:02:40] you know, is there a is there room for saying, hey, this thing isn’t crap, I’m selling it on TikTok, [01:02:45] you know?

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah, no, definitely I yeah.

Speaker3: Well, it’s been really insightful [01:02:50] having you today. Thank you so much for coming on and telling us about your journey. But I know Payman wanted [01:02:55] to ask you, um, earlier, and I think it’s a really good way to end. What are the three top things that [01:03:00] you would tell people listening about TikTok if they want to get started or if [01:03:05] they want to understand it?

Speaker1: So I would say number one is to be consistent. [01:03:10] So I think I mentioned a few of these points before. But consistency is key on TikTok. So showing [01:03:15] up whether you’re showing up once a day, if you really want to show up 3 to 4 times a day, great. It’s not [01:03:20] going to make much difference if you show up once or 3 or 4 times, but showing up and staying consistent, [01:03:25] not dropping off, um, getting over that cringe or getting over that fear [01:03:30] of I’m not going to do well. And that’s that’s the biggest, biggest thing that is holding people back [01:03:35] is I’m too scared. I’m too scared. Just fucking post it. Yeah. And and if it [01:03:40] doesn’t do well. So what you go back to the consistency, you show up and you post it again. Um, [01:03:45] and number three I think is this three tips for doing well on TikTok. I think engagement [01:03:50] is key as well. So, um, engaging with your your following and [01:03:55] the people on on the platform. So if you do a post, don’t just come off the app. Um, you know, go [01:04:00] onto your For You page, scroll through, have a look at what other people are doing. You know, whether it’s other people in your niche [01:04:05] or not. Um, interact with them. Click comments. Um, you know, like [01:04:10] it? Make a comment. You know, then they’re likely to click onto your profile and have a look. Oh, who’s this person that’s just [01:04:15] commented? Even if it’s not a viral video, even if that person’s just posted it and they’ve not got many [01:04:20] views, be the first person to comment on their video. Show them that you’re interested. Oh, this is a really cool video, [01:04:25] I love it. Um, thanks for the tips. You know, something like that. Um, so engaging. If you’ve got [01:04:30] comments, answer all the comments. Don’t just leave your followers hanging if someone’s commented on your video, [01:04:35] this is a great video. Say thank you. So interacting because they’re more.

Speaker5: Likely courtesy. [01:04:40]

Speaker4: That courtesy side of it as as sort of like like.

Speaker5: Instagram I. [01:04:45]

Speaker1: Think so Humanises you. Yeah, I don’t think I mean, some of.

Speaker3: Them are crazy. Like when I did the Jacob Elordi [01:04:50] video, this person commented and said, uh, bit gross. Aren’t you old enough to be his mum [01:04:55] or something like that? I would have to be ten years old if I had him as a child, you know what I mean? Like, that’s the kind of. [01:05:00]

Speaker5: Stuff the hate of. Is the hate.

Speaker3: Different? No, it hates worse on TikTok.

Speaker5: Yeah. You can get a lot of.

Speaker3: Melissa’s wardrobe was [01:05:05] like, it’s horrendous. Yeah.

Speaker5: The hates words.

Speaker1: Can get you can get a lot of hate. But that’s the thing I think [01:05:10] if it’s if it’s hate to a like a very, very bad level, then we can like remove the comments. [01:05:15] However, if it’s just a bit of hate, I think it’s great to have it on there, like interact with them as [01:05:20] well and show them why they’re there. Comment is hateful, you know. Don’t hide that. Hide away those negative [01:05:25] comments because you’re always going to get things like that. I think it’s important to keep that, keep them up. [01:05:30] Um, you know, unless they’re obviously very, very bad, I think it’s important to keep them up and, you know, interact [01:05:35] with them and play a bit with them as well. You know, if they say a stupid comment, make an even more stupid [01:05:40] comment back, and you start getting love from the people that follow you, that do like you, that kind of back you up [01:05:45] and it keeps the engagement going. Just thank them. Thank them for giving me the engagement. Thanks for your comment. [01:05:50] You’ve just helped boost my video to hundreds more people.

Speaker3: Yeah it’s true.

Speaker5: So yeah. Interesting. There [01:05:55] we go.

Speaker3: So thank you so much Ellie.

Speaker1: Thank you.

Speaker3: Think you’re mate. I think you’re amazing. And for dentists [01:06:00] that are scared to take that plunge, as I said, I have a fully paid service with Ellie. I bring her on because [01:06:05] I genuinely think she changed my life and managed my managers to continue to manage [01:06:10] my social media and just really like, brings the fun and energy to the team. So hope you [01:06:15] found that useful. As I said, her agency’s siren agency and you can follow her on TikTok [01:06:20] too as Ellie Bratt, thank you so much. Thank you guys.

Speaker5: Thank you.

Speaker1: Bye. [01:06:25]

Chris Tavares delves into philosophical and ethical aspects of dentistry, his experience as a member of The Jesuit Order, and its impact on his personal and professional development journey. 

Chris also shares perspectives on teaching and mentorship, NHS Vs private practice, and the a-ha moments that have informed his practice.

In This Episode

01.45 – Discernment, justification and philosophy

18.15 – Coming to the UK

22.39 – Vocation, study, first job

26.34 – The Jesuit Order

30.30 – Ethics and epistemology

45.43 – Black box thinking

53.16 – Highs, lows and a-ha moments

01.00.40 – Teaching

01.05.56 – NHS to private dentistry

01.09.50 – Staying solo

01.16.39 – Free time and family life

01.19.42 – Fantasy dinner party

01.22.06 – Last days and legacy

About Chris Tavares

Chris Tavares is a former member of The Jesuit Order. He now practices dental surgery in Derby, UK.

Dental Leaders – Chris Tavares.mp3

Speaker1: So if you believe there is a God. Nothing so hides the face of God. Than religion. [00:00:05] Because religion is man made. Because by definition, you cannot really [00:00:10] know your God. And you come to describe your God, what your God is, what your God wants to be. Well, then [00:00:15] you’re contradicting yourself by what you say your God is because technically speaking, it is [00:00:20] beyond your epistemic reach to understand or know God. So that’s what the faith [00:00:25] comes in.

Speaker2: This [00:00:30] is Dental Leaders, the podcast [00:00:35] where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [00:00:40] hosts Payman Langroudi and [00:00:45] Prav Solanki.

Speaker3: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Chris Tavares [00:00:50] onto the podcast. I’ve been a long time follower of Chris’s [00:00:55] output. You know, if he ever makes a statement, a one line [00:01:00] answer in a in a post I want to read whatever Chris is saying. I’ve [00:01:05] always enjoyed reading his content. And the other thing is, I’ve noticed that Chris is the kind of guy [00:01:10] that is always chasing excellence. And in the community, [00:01:15] people who sit with him tend to come out of their meetings sort of inspired. [00:01:20] And that’s not kind of by mistake, because Chris has a great [00:01:25] story. He took six years out of dentistry to pursue his philosophical [00:01:30] sort of interests and, uh, became sort of a Jesuit. [00:01:35] We will get into what that means with you. Lovely. Lovely to have you, Chris.

Speaker1: Lovely to [00:01:40] be here, Payman. I think we’ve communicated in the past, but it’s a very, very nice to actually meet you at last. [00:01:45]

Speaker3: I know, I know, we generally start with, you know, background. [00:01:50] Where did you grow up? Where did you where were you born? Where did you grow up? What kind of kid were you? Sure.

Speaker1: Well, [00:01:55] I, I was born in Hong Kong, and I went to the Christian Brothers school when I was in Hong Kong. [00:02:00] Really? I never really studied very much. Um, we were part of the Portuguese boys community [00:02:05] and part of a class of 45. I would probably come in my exams around 39. [00:02:10] And, um, so when I was 15, my dad decided it was probably best to [00:02:15] send me abroad to study. Um, and somewhere in my life, you see, he made [00:02:20] he and my mum made a lot of sacrifices. And at that time, he held that the British private [00:02:25] school system was still the best educational system in the world. My mother was a was a head teacher. My my [00:02:30] father was a senior lecturer. Um, and so they’re very academically orientated. And while all my friends went to [00:02:35] North America, they dropped the bomb on me when, when they said, uh, were you going to England? I said, [00:02:40] what? Where? You know, and, um, okay, so I went to a boarding school in Carlisle or Austin Friars School, [00:02:45] and that was one of the biggest cornerstone changes in my life, because at Austin [00:02:50] Friars, they they taught me how to study and how to discipline myself to make timetables [00:02:55] and study. And I got through my A levels and I sailed through my Dental exams [00:03:00] simply because of the same technique that I use for dentistry. Then from Austin [00:03:05] Friars, um, I went to Newcastle upon Tyne University for five years, dental [00:03:10] school, and then I stayed on. I was lucky enough to get a job as a house officer for one year. [00:03:15]

Speaker1: Um, that made a big difference just staying behind. Then. Then I went on [00:03:20] and had went to general practice for a couple of years in Boston, Lincolnshire. After [00:03:25] about a couple of years, I felt there was something not 100% fulfilling in me. [00:03:30] I didn’t hate dentistry or dislike it. I every day was fine, but I just felt there was something missing. So [00:03:35] I decided to, um, contact the Jesuits. And through a year [00:03:40] of discernment, I became very comfortable that the right thing to do at that moment of time was [00:03:45] to leave dentistry and enter the Jesuit order. Now, the Jesuit order is, uh, is one of [00:03:50] the most misunderstood orders in the world, because if you Google it or Wikipedia, it’ll give [00:03:55] you a 16th century version of it. So I would like to maybe tell somebody more about [00:04:00] it, because what you see on me is Facebook or what everything I am now comes from them, really, because [00:04:05] the Jesuit order was the second turning corner of my life. That made all the difference to me. So we [00:04:10] can explain the Jesuit order either in, in, in the God language, if you like, or [00:04:15] in the laypersons language. And it will become apparent why, why that’s so. So [00:04:20] it was found in the 16th century by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, now [00:04:25] in the 16th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century up all the way to [00:04:30] to about. Even nowadays people go to churches to believe is whichever religion [00:04:35] you are. You go to a church to pray, and in that prayer you’re supposed to get closer to your God.

Speaker1: Ignatius [00:04:40] completely turned that upside down in the 16th century. And what he said was that if you [00:04:45] want to find your God, your God is to be found in the concrete reality of your life experience, [00:04:50] not in the building. Don’t pray to a statue, but you need to go out there. And in your experience, as [00:04:55] you reflect on your life experience, you will come to know your God. Now, if you and [00:05:00] the process he calls is discernment. When you reflect every evening on your life experience [00:05:05] through discernment. Discernment is about reflecting with your heart, not your [00:05:10] head. And it works. Um, for for a lot of people. Now, if you remove the [00:05:15] God language in modern day terms, there’s a huge amount of psychology because it’s all about your identity. [00:05:20] Everybody has an identity. Your identity is not to be found in answering a lot of psychological [00:05:25] tests. Or reading psychological books. Your identity is to be found in the concrete [00:05:30] reality of your life experiences. As you reflect on it through discernment, you come to know who you [00:05:35] are, whether you’re in the right place where you should be heading. Then the second thing of the Jesuit spirituality [00:05:40] is very, very important is the word indifference. You should be totally indifferent [00:05:45] to whatever you have external to yourself. If it helps you to be more [00:05:50] of who you are, take it. And if it doesn’t discard it, do not let anything external own [00:05:55] you. Otherwise it will destroy you.

Speaker1: Because if you don’t have it or you strive to get something which is often totally [00:06:00] no help to you and the surface, doesn’t mean you couldn’t care less, but it just means being indifferent to [00:06:05] to various things, your situation or whatever. And you come to know through your identity. So [00:06:10] the Jesuit spirituality really is about helping the individual to find out more of who who you are [00:06:15] and ultimately if they decide. So if you wanted to join the order, you can’t just [00:06:20] join the order. You have to go through a years discernment and through one of their mentors to decide [00:06:25] whether or not you are right for the priesthood, because some people just join the priesthood just to escape from real life [00:06:30] and through discernment and your mentor, this becomes very, very apparent and they will [00:06:35] turn people away. So I was in a Jesuit order for six years. That’s when I did my philosophy and theology [00:06:40] at Heythrop College, University of London. And that was one of the biggest cornerstones in my life. Because [00:06:45] analytic philosophy teaches you how to look at your own life, understand your life, understand [00:06:50] your beliefs. Um, how justified are you? And it’s incredibly relevant to dentistry because [00:06:55] epistemology is how justified are we to believe in evidence based dentistry? [00:07:00] Is it really objective or there are huge subjectivity in it? Then I also [00:07:05] majored in moral philosophy, which of course is ethics. Then the third one I majored [00:07:10] in was was language meaning of words. And that really comes out in listening [00:07:15] to other people communicating with my patients.

Speaker1: And they all say how easy I explain things and how is it [00:07:20] I do understand what they’re trying to say that through comes through analytic philosophy. Really. It’s a very, [00:07:25] very powerful tool for communication, for ethics and for, um, justifying anything [00:07:30] you want. You want to you want to believe in. So after about four years in the Jesuits, [00:07:35] again, I was beginning to through discernment, daily discernment, I began to feel a stirring [00:07:40] in myself. And I just felt that, you know, I’m not in the right place anymore. It’s time to move on. So [00:07:45] I approached my mentor and I said, you know, I’m getting these stirrings. And in most religious [00:07:50] orders, you will find that when the guy wants to leave, people aren’t very happy with [00:07:55] you about that. And it can get quite nasty. Very, very sadly, I’ve spoken to people who’ve had incredibly bad experience [00:08:00] when they wanted to leave, whereas with with the Jesuit Order, it’s all about helping [00:08:05] you to decide where you need to be at a moment of time, whether it is your identity or whether you want [00:08:10] to say God wants you to be there, use a God language. So when I said that, I went through a years discernment [00:08:15] and at the end of the year my mentor just says, I think, Chris, it’s time for you to go. And [00:08:20] so I left with their blessing. After that, um, I saw I needed I [00:08:25] knew, I knew what I wanted to do, I want to do dentistry. That was me.

Speaker3: Can I stop you? Can I stop you? [00:08:30] Can I stop you? Because, um, we can’t go on to dentistry without talking about all [00:08:35] of that that you just you just described. Okay. But, I mean, it’s [00:08:40] interesting because for me, science and religion seem to be in opposition [00:08:45] with each other because one’s evidence based and one’s faith based. Right. [00:08:50] And I’m always interested. I’ve got, you know, family members who are religious scientists, and I’m [00:08:55] interested in asking, you know, what what their position is [00:09:00] with regard to that. But if you had to sort of what comes to mind when I say [00:09:05] that, I mean, what’s your position regarding? I want how they don’t. They don’t really mix [00:09:10] right. They don’t. How do you how do you how do you. Because everything you said is quite secular. [00:09:15] Mhm. So where’s the religion element.

Speaker1: Religion if you want. Well hopefully [00:09:20] I’m not criticising the religious because I’m still religious in a sense. Religion. [00:09:25] Which what a lot of religious people. And I mean, either you’re in a religious order, you’re just a lay person, [00:09:30] have a strong belief is the majority of people don’t actually [00:09:35] understand what a belief religious belief is. And [00:09:40] this is one of the things when you do analytic philosophy, you come to grips with it. So science [00:09:45] expects to be able to carry out a test for experience and come up with some kind of a result. [00:09:50] The problem is, religious experience does not follow that criteria [00:09:55] because by definition, and if you go back to the absolute fundamental definition. Religious [00:10:00] experience. It’s not it’s not open to to [00:10:05] discovery because by definition, you can’t actually say or prove [00:10:10] that God exists because. Because when you say God is all, if any religion says [00:10:15] there, God is all Almighty, all, all this, all that, all that. By definition, it means that you can’t [00:10:20] actually prove it because our human test is beyond it’s beyond the our epistemic [00:10:25] reach, basically. And so that’s the first thing you have to understand is that as a scientist, of course, you [00:10:30] can you can be a very religious person. It’s because science is based on criteria [00:10:35] and experiences of Earth. Religious experience is not the same kind of experience. We’re using the same [00:10:40] word experience, but it has a different meaning. And that meaning is defined within the culture [00:10:45] of religious experience religion, not science. And so they do. Uh, [00:10:50] it’s absolutely possible to, to be side by side. Your mistake is to say the mistake [00:10:55] is for the non-religious person to say, prove to me that God exists. By definition, I can’t [00:11:00] actually prove it. You’re asking a question. Yeah.

Speaker3: No, no, I understand that. Answer that. But but if you had to [00:11:05] sort of. So let me explain to you how my, my brother in law says it to me, and I want to know whether [00:11:10] you think that’s the similar his his point is, you know, that we [00:11:15] are living in this fishbowl and God is the owner of the fishbowl. So we kind [00:11:20] of have have free will within the fishbowl. Yeah. We can do what [00:11:25] we like in there. Yeah, but but God is the owner of the fishbowl. He can, you know, in the end, he can. [00:11:30] He can, you know, I don’t know what that that that’s his explanation. But for me, [00:11:35] the free will side of it and the all knowing side of it, [00:11:40] of are where the real problem is in my thinking. I mean, you know, you can [00:11:45] say, yes, science is badminton and religion is football, and then nothing to do [00:11:50] with each other. And I like doing both badminton and football and it’s beautiful. It’s a lovely thing. [00:11:55] Yeah. But for me that whole question of is there free will, have I got free will? And if [00:12:00] I have then everything isn’t controlled by some mighty power.

Speaker1: Okay. [00:12:05] Your brother in law, the problem with your brother or brother in law is that you are basing [00:12:10] that assumption that God exists in the manner that [00:12:15] he and his religion says God exists. You see one of the things [00:12:20] so.

Speaker3: Humanising it somehow.

Speaker1: Yeah, I mean, I mean, there is a, there’s, there’s, there’s [00:12:25] a the late Jerry Hills, he’s a Jesuit, very, very famous, um, spiritual director [00:12:30] and mentor. He wrote a book called God, the God of Surprises. So if you believe there is a God, [00:12:35] nothing so hides the face of God than religion, because religion is man made. [00:12:40] Because by definition, your God, you cannot really know your [00:12:45] God. And you and you come to describe your God, what your God is, what your God wants to be. Well, then [00:12:50] you’re contradicting yourself by what you say your God is because technically speaking, it [00:12:55] is beyond your epistemic reach to understand or know God. So that’s what the faith [00:13:00] comes in.

Speaker3: What is epistemic?

Speaker1: Oh, sorry. Epistemic epistemology is a study of, [00:13:05] um, experience. So how do we come to know anything? You see. So for so for the, [00:13:10] um, for the British and Pharisees, they believe that all our knowledge comes through our senses, [00:13:15] hearing, touching things. However, um, across the continent, Descartes and all the rationalists [00:13:20] said that our senses are not, are unreliable, and therefore it comes through [00:13:25] reason, you see. So either of those. So number one is so the descartes’s [00:13:30] existence of God is a very good one. Um, for like your brother in law in that because [00:13:35] he, he says that we come to know things through our, our through reason, he [00:13:40] reasoned God into, um, existence. So he’s saying that God is all powerful, God [00:13:45] is all knowing, and God can do everything. Therefore, obviously God must exist. But then [00:13:50] when you talk of existence, you have to define what existence really means. There are two ways things can [00:13:55] exist, okay? And the bogeyman is a good example. The, um, [00:14:00] something can exist within our culture, our language. Okay. And [00:14:05] there’s existence external to that. So for example, the bogeyman, if it [00:14:10] exists because we scare children with that. But it’s just our language, our culture, but [00:14:15] it it exists in real, but it doesn’t really exist in the external world, in the real world. [00:14:20]

Speaker1: So there are two ways God things can exist. And the problem with a lot of religious belief people [00:14:25] is that they don’t realise that their existence of, of their God is actually [00:14:30] is within their language and their culture and their beliefs. Because [00:14:35] you cannot, which is called the anti-realist world, the real world, which is like you and I kind of touch [00:14:40] things and things like that. You cannot say God exists that way. And Descartes mistake was to reason God [00:14:45] into existence just because this plus this equals this God this, then you cannot say it has [00:14:50] to exist as an object, as an object, you can’t do that. So that was that was a mistake they can’t make. And [00:14:55] a lot of religion, a lot of believers do the same thing because they think so. For example, to [00:15:00] say that your God, we are in a fishbowl and there’s some over overseeing person looking into [00:15:05] that fishbowl, controlling things. Where the hell you get that from? You know, I mean, how how [00:15:10] I mean, how can you suddenly say your your God is looking into a fishbowl, you’re trying to save something which [00:15:15] you have absolutely no justification of saying, because by definition, you can’t know exactly what’s going [00:15:20] on. And the problem is scares a lot of believers to say that.

Speaker1: But that’s what faith [00:15:25] is about. If you want to go into the religious, um, world, that’s what faith [00:15:30] is. Don’t ask for proof and don’t certainly provide proof because you’re talking off the top of your [00:15:35] head now. Free will and determination. Do we really have [00:15:40] free will? We can. We can do whatever we want there. Free will is one of those things which philosophers have [00:15:45] kind of debated over the years. So if you look [00:15:50] at, um, Aristotle, you will come to understand a better understanding that we [00:15:55] have and we don’t have free will. Aristotle is my most favourite philosophers, and he has a word [00:16:00] that he uses called eudaimonia. There is no English equivalent of [00:16:05] eudaimonia, but the best equivalent is if you go to a rose competition, [00:16:10] or the roses to me look the same or beautiful, but at least. But to the experts, [00:16:15] one of them looks more beautiful than all the other ones. And that Rose wins. And that’s because [00:16:20] that Rose received all the proper nutrients is supposed to have, [00:16:25] and it responded to that nutrient, and hence that’s eudaimonia. So [00:16:30] Aristotle looks at happiness and our life, and this is where he can bring Ignatius [00:16:35] in and your identity. So eudaimonia means everything in your life.

Speaker1: If you can receive all the [00:16:40] right things to help you to be more the person you are supposed to be, then [00:16:45] you’ll be a very happy person. Okay, so that’s eudaimonia. Now [00:16:50] free will. So given that each of us have an identity, if we are going to believe in Aristotle and [00:16:55] eudaimonia, then you have free will to do whatever you want your will. But if you decide to [00:17:00] go against the grain of your identity. You won’t be a happy person. So [00:17:05] it depends whether you want to be a happy person or you don’t want to be a happy person. You. And there’s no reason why you [00:17:10] why, why? You can say, I don’t want to be a happy person, I just to do whatever I want. And there are some people who unfortunately will will [00:17:15] go against everything. Their gut feeling tells them not to do it, but they’ll still do it, whether it’s a [00:17:20] pressure from peers or whatever. So do we have free will? Yes, we have free. We can do whatever we want. But [00:17:25] if you follow, if you do whatever you want, will you be? Will you be [00:17:30] developing, nurturing your identity, or are you going to be some horrible monster? And if [00:17:35] you want it, will you thrive?

Speaker3: Will you thrive or where you thrive?

Speaker1: You want to thrive or you just want to be a be [00:17:40] a monster? Whatever you want to do. So you have free will. You can either be the person you were, you were born to be and be [00:17:45] very, very happy. Or you can, you can, you can decide to do all the opposite things and end [00:17:50] up not being the person you were born to be. And most of the time, I think people who talk [00:17:55] to people and their dying moments, um, will find that so [00:18:00] many regret not doing certain things, and there’s nothing worse than than just regretting [00:18:05] that, you know, you went against him, you win against your own grain, you know, happens a lot. [00:18:10] So yeah, we have free will, but it’s up to you when you want where you want to end up.

Speaker3: Tell [00:18:15] me, tell me back to, um, when you. How old were you when you actually came over? And [00:18:20] what was it? What was the. I mean, had you ever been to college?

Speaker1: No, no, I [00:18:25] arrived. Um, don’t forget, in those days, there’s no Google. There’s no iPhone, texts, everything. [00:18:30] Yeah.

Speaker3: What did you think when you got out in Carlisle? Which year was that?

Speaker1: Um, 1975. [00:18:35] Um, so so I arrived in Heathrow and I made my way to Victoria [00:18:40] Coach Station. I found my coach, and then I took the coach of [00:18:45] the Carlisle, and I ended up arriving in Carlisle at about 7:00 in the morning. And the [00:18:50] school wasn’t open yet. So I had to kind of hang around at the at the coach station and it was [00:18:55] absolutely bloody freezing. I have never felt so cold in my life. The cold was going through my shoes, into my feet, you [00:19:00] know.

Speaker3: By yourself, right? No. No parents, no parents.

Speaker1: And, uh, and [00:19:05] the first letter from my sister arrived, um, about a week later, and she said that [00:19:10] mum’s driving that crazy because she’s got a world map open, and she wants to know where the plane [00:19:15] is every minute, you know? Um, yeah. So they had to win. So I [00:19:20] wrote a letter back to them, back and forth by letters before. Before, um, there’s any. They [00:19:25] knew how I was. So it was a very different world. I was not I was kind [00:19:30] of excited, obviously a bit apprehensive because I’ve never been abroad on my own before. So I [00:19:35] ended up in this boarding school with a lot of, um, English [00:19:40] people.

Speaker3: Was your was your was your level of, uh, maths and science and [00:19:45] all that a lot higher than the kids in school or or the opposite. Yeah.

Speaker1: I [00:19:50] mean, when I was doing so we did O-level maths, so I was, I was there for the, for form four and [00:19:55] some of the stuff we were doing at form four, we had already done in Hong Kong in Form three. Yeah. You know, [00:20:00] not a huge advance, but a lot of the stuff we had already done in form three. Yeah, because they pushed you quite a lot, [00:20:05] quite a lot out there. But it was a real education for me because when you, when you’re in Hong Kong in 1975, [00:20:10] all the top. Positions is [00:20:15] is held by British people. So I remember one morning [00:20:20] it was a Saturday morning. I opened up the curtain in the dormitory and I just stared there, [00:20:25] you see, and one of the guys came up to you. Are you staring at? I said, there’s a guy there emptying the bins. He sees an English guy. [00:20:30] You know, I just stared at that. You will never see this in Hong [00:20:35] Kong. An English person emptying the bin, you know. And he said, well, you look what you’re staring at. I said, look, there’s [00:20:40] an English guy. They’re emptying the bins. He goes, what do you expect? What [00:20:45] do you expect? You know, the guy’s got to earn a living. You know, it’s it’s things like, this was a [00:20:50] complete education for me, you know, to to not just see it but experience it. Yeah, but [00:20:55] I was a bit apprehensive. I could have gone.

Speaker3: You could have gone either way, right, in a boarding school in Carlisle. But you seem [00:21:00] to like you said to me that there was a defining, life defining sort of experience in [00:21:05] that school. So what was it like the was it was it very strict Catholic school? Was that what it was?

Speaker1: No. No, [00:21:10] not I mean, depending on what you mean by strict Catholic, obviously they have they have to kind of obey the [00:21:15] um, the Roman Catholic Church and their doctrine.

Speaker3: It was a Catholic school.

Speaker1: But but they went thrashing [00:21:20] you and, you know, you tell a lie. They beat the hell out of you and bang your head against the wall. I think that no, they were they they [00:21:25] were very, very open minded. They were there to be, to to educate. But what, what the two [00:21:30] things that made a difference was, first of all, remember when I was in Hong Kong, I never studied, I was one of the bad guys, bad [00:21:35] boys, you know? And yet the first thing they taught me was how to study, um, [00:21:40] how to discipline myself to study. And that was that. That was the thing that [00:21:45] helped me to pass my Dental exam. I flew through my Dental exam. But the second thing, which really [00:21:50] helped, uh, which gave me confidence in myself, was being away from all my naughty friends [00:21:55] and, um, you know, no bad influence and distractions. [00:22:00] I was just there. I was in a boarding school. I thrived just learning myself, [00:22:05] my identity, come out. And, uh, so the other changing moment for me was I was made head boy [00:22:10] school captain. Well, I would not have believed that. You know, um, if you look at my who [00:22:15] I was in Hong Kong, and that gave me a huge amount of confidence, you know, and in fact, my, my housemaster [00:22:20] at that time was David O’Neill. And last year I met him for the first time [00:22:25] in Manchester, and I’ve not seen him since 1979. [00:22:30] Well, I finally found him. Um, and I went over to Manchester [00:22:35] to see him, and that was a really great moment for me.

Speaker3: So that one. So [00:22:40] Dental school y dentistry.

Speaker1: Um, I, [00:22:45] I was always programmed to be a doctor, but I like working with my hands, [00:22:50] you know, and and, um. And I’m just thinking that, you know. And somebody [00:22:55] I can’t remember who it was said, you need to be honest, as if there aren’t a lot of money and you know, all that kind of stuff. And I thought, [00:23:00] yeah, I’m a very people person and I don’t, I can’t, I can’t talk to the patient. They’re [00:23:05] anaesthetised. You know, I’m very much a people person really. So I thought I said and somebody said, well, you [00:23:10] can earn a decent living in dentistry. So yeah, I’ll go into dentistry. But then, as I said, I went to dentistry. [00:23:15] I flew through my dental exams through the teeth.

Speaker3: But what about. What about dental school? Were [00:23:20] you. Were you what, studying hard or.

Speaker1: I studied hard, but I wasn’t a I wasn’t a top student. I [00:23:25] wasn’t in the top kind of 20% or 10%. Not at all. I had to work very hard to get where I am, [00:23:30] whereas, you know. So, for example, because of the way I was taught to to study at Austin Friars [00:23:35] and discipline and make timetables, by the time the final exams came that year, I [00:23:40] had already gone over the whole syllabus three times. Oh, wow. Whereas whereas, you know, you get some some of some [00:23:45] of my, my, my friends who they study the week before and they’ll pass, you [00:23:50] know, I have to repeat things quite a lot to, to. So I had to work very, very hard, you [00:23:55] know. And Dental school was great. I made a lot of good friends there. But the main thing was that Austin [00:24:00] Friars taught me how to study, and I still I still remember the day before each exam. [00:24:05] We were always taught, don’t study, because if you’ve done your work, it will come out. So [00:24:10] I was actually looking for somebody to go for a drink the night before, and everybody was studying. You [00:24:15] know, everybody was studying.

Speaker3: So unfortunately I was in the cramming in all night [00:24:20] group. Yeah.

Speaker1: Yeah. And you and you and but it works [00:24:25] for you, you know.

Speaker3: So then. Okay. What was your [00:24:30] first job?

Speaker1: I worked as an associate. Uh, my first job was as a house officer in [00:24:35] the dental school. So there were six jobs going and about, uh, probably about 30 people applied for [00:24:40] it. So I was very lucky to get it, actually. And, uh, I did prosthodontics, [00:24:45] oral surgery and child dental health so that that had quite a lot gave me a lot of [00:24:50] confidence. Um, I spent a year there. Um, and then I decided there was [00:24:55] to continue to stay in hospital. It would involve a lot of studying to get [00:25:00] my fellowship and everything else. And I just felt, you know, there would be a bit more to life than that, than [00:25:05] just my head in the book. So I decided to leave dental school, and I know 1 or 2 lecturers [00:25:10] that were a bit disappointed I wasn’t staying behind, but so from there I went to general practice. I went to Boston in Lincolnshire, [00:25:15] small town in Lincolnshire. I was an associate.

Speaker3: What was your what was your initial feeling about general [00:25:20] practice? Because I remember my first day of looking [00:25:25] around and thinking, shit, man, it’s like, is this, is this what it is? Is this, is [00:25:30] this what I’ve become? And then the first year, the whole the first couple [00:25:35] of years, very lonely existence, very difficult time, I think, you know, because you lose your, [00:25:40] your, your friend group sort of thing and suddenly you’re this adult. So was it in that period [00:25:45] where you decided you wanted to duck out or.

Speaker4: No, no, no.

Speaker1: I don’t forget I’m talking about night. So, [00:25:50] um, so I’m talking about 1986. I went to general practice. So in those times it [00:25:55] was high time. You work hard, you earn a lot. It was great. Um, so I enjoyed the dentistry, but [00:26:00] but obviously for me, moving into, um, Boston, where I didn’t know anybody [00:26:05] at all seemed a bit crazy. But at the same time, you know, coming from Hong Kong, where I didn’t know anybody [00:26:10] at all. So it was through my life experience, I came to understand that I’m actually quite comfortable [00:26:15] with myself, you know? And there will be there will be times on my field alone. [00:26:20] But I was never lonely in this. As such, because I’m comfortable with myself. I can read [00:26:25] books and do whatever I want, you know, but obviously. But at the same time, I thrive. I love meeting people. I love going [00:26:30] out for meals with people. So I’m not really an introvert in that sense, you know?

Speaker3: I know, but I want [00:26:35] to get I want to get to the moment where you were, you made the decision to stop being a dentist and [00:26:40] go after these philosophical studies and so forth. And you [00:26:45] said you said you were looking for meaning or something. Was that was that the word you used? Sort of. You [00:26:50] felt like there was something more.

Speaker1: Yeah. So, so the process of discernment have actually started. [00:26:55] Remember, discernment is about critiquing your life with your heart, not your head. So I couldn’t put my foot [00:27:00] down or say exactly what, but I just found that, you know, after two years, you know, I had a [00:27:05] nice car, I was on a sports car, you know, I was making money, but I felt something was missing in [00:27:10] my life. You know, something about me. There’s an emptiness somewhere, you know? And, [00:27:15] um, and because obviously with my Catholic background that, you know, and I heard about [00:27:20] the, um, the Jesuits where they run retreats. Now, retreats are silent [00:27:25] retreats. So you go there for a week, you don’t talk to anybody, and one hour a day you come and talk to your your [00:27:30] mentor, your spiritual director, you see, and it allows all the subconscious to come out, you know, [00:27:35] and it was through that retreat that’s become.

Speaker3: Very fashionable these days. You know, Citibank [00:27:40] is going for these silent retreats.

Speaker4: You’d be surprised.

Speaker1: What comes out of you. But most of the time everything [00:27:45] is buried, you know, and I decided I want to I would like to join [00:27:50] the Jesuits, you see. But if you.

Speaker3: Don’t, then what happens? But what? Okay. For the first [00:27:55] two hours, you’re whatever. And then what happens when silent for all that time? [00:28:00] Nothing.

Speaker1: So you are you’re allowed to read, or they might give you a passage from a book or something [00:28:05] to read. Or you could paint, you know, and this is where there’s a lot of psychology you see in [00:28:10] Ignatius stuff, you see. So what will happen is I met my, my director at 7:00 in the evening [00:28:15] and he goes, well, tell me about your day. And because you’re completely on [00:28:20] your own, even meal times, by the way, is completely silent. You go into a big refectory, there’s nobody talks here. And [00:28:25] they’ll say, what do you do? I did this, and what did you find interesting? Or you just talk about your day basically. [00:28:30] And that’s and after about 1 or 2 sessions, you suddenly realise things are coming up and you [00:28:35] start. It just happens to everybody. And through my, my 60s as Jesuits, I became a director [00:28:40] myself.

Speaker3: Yeah, but what do you mean? Things are coming out. Things about your life. About what? About. Yeah.

Speaker1: So? [00:28:45] So. Well, let’s think, um, nothing. What have you been [00:28:50] thinking? And when in through discernment, when you have made the right choice. Are you aware [00:28:55] of something? And this is 100%. You experience an immense peace in yourself. [00:29:00] And you know, the choice is right, you know. And and so sometimes they’ll start talking [00:29:05] about things and um, and obviously my, my purpose of that was do I, should I be joining the [00:29:10] Jesuits. That was the main question. You’re going to the retreat with, you know, and so what’s happened during [00:29:15] the day? I said, well, I walked around the town, I read, I read about this and any thoughts, anything come up. And [00:29:20] I can’t remember this, by the way, so far back. But he’ll talk about that and eventually, going from what you have said, [00:29:25] they take it further. You might read another thing and then eventually he says, what do you think? And I [00:29:30] think, yeah, I think, you know, the right thing is, is to. I’m ready [00:29:35] to join the Jesuits, however. You might be ready to join the Jesuit, the Jesuit not ready to to [00:29:40] to accept you that. So after that retreat, you didn’t have to go through a whole year of discernment with another director, [00:29:45] where every month you see them because you’re about to make a big change in your life. If you use the [00:29:50] God language the Jesuits wants to know, is this where God wants you? If you want to use [00:29:55] the laypersons language, you want to know whether your identity lies in joining them. At this [00:30:00] moment of time. Nothing is for nothing is definite or forever. And after one year my director [00:30:05] says, yeah, you know, how do you feel about the decision? I said, I feel incredibly at ease with it now, very peaceful [00:30:10] and everything. So. So I joined. You know, it doesn’t mean I’m supposed to stay there forever, because discernment [00:30:15] goes on for the rest of your life. And hopefully by through discernment, you [00:30:20] will start making changes in direction, guided by your life experience and your reflection [00:30:25] of your guide experience. As you become more of who you are supposed to be.

Speaker4: Well.

Speaker3: And [00:30:30] then the links to ethics and dentistry [00:30:35] and what is ethics? Yeah, expand on that.

Speaker1: Okay. So [00:30:40] the epistemology is the study of belief. And and what’s the difference [00:30:45] between knowing something and believing something to be real. You see analytic [00:30:50] philosophy really looks into those two aspects. So for [00:30:55] example, if a patient says to me, if you do my root canal, you’re going to charge me £600. [00:31:00] So that’s going to get rid of my get rid of my pain, isn’t it? Now many people just say yes [00:31:05] because they have every confidence in endodontic techniques and science. I would say [00:31:10] no, I don’t know. It’s going to do. I believe it will. I got strong reason for believing that it will. So the language [00:31:15] you use is very, very important. And that keeps me out of trouble in the dental surgery because I’m very quick [00:31:20] at understanding. So. So one of the things I learned is that, you know, analytic philosophy, [00:31:25] with our seminars and everything, we must learn to listen [00:31:30] for the purpose of understanding, not just the reply, the problem. Many mistakes [00:31:35] young dentists use is that they reply. And I’m trying, listening to the patient. And what the patient [00:31:40] is basically saying is that are you giving me a 100% cast iron guarantee? No. And I come [00:31:45] straight out. I can’t guarantee that, you know, and I sometimes will say to that if I do this procedure and [00:31:50] I’m going to charge you £6,000, I would like to say to you that in ten years time, all those all that [00:31:55] teeth will still be there. I can’t, because it’s a very dynamic process going, going in your mouth.

Speaker1: And unless you [00:32:00] you do your part, it’s not going to last ten years. So you analyse that set of [00:32:05] beliefs and knowledge. Now ethics is very, very important because ethics is a word that is [00:32:10] thrown around and I include I totally include our our people in authority, [00:32:15] regulators, NHS England, whatever. It’s a word that’s thrown around like a punch line, you [00:32:20] know, and people have a very linear way of looking at ethics. One plus one equals [00:32:25] two. If you do this and you do that, you are wrong. Ethics is a three dimensional thing. [00:32:30] You have to look at this breadth and its depth. And one of the most important, the [00:32:35] ethics I buy into is that, you know, ethics is all about carrying out the [00:32:40] morally right action leading to a morally good [00:32:45] state of affairs. That’s very, very important because it’s not this [00:32:50] is a Tum that I coined. It’s called what it’s called sniper ethics. And a good example of [00:32:55] sniper ethics is what prevents people leaving the NHS going private. [00:33:00] I gave a talk on this once which was quite well received. So sniper ethics basically is [00:33:05] a sniper was once, um, interviewed. Do you find it easy to kill somebody? [00:33:10] And his reply was absolutely fascinating. He said, if you look through a sniper [00:33:15] scope, all you see is that little area that you’re going to shoot. The sniper scope [00:33:20] removes everything around that person. So there could be children running around, [00:33:25] there could be family around.

Speaker1: You don’t see or hear any of that. All you see is a little bit of a head, and therefore [00:33:30] it removes everything. And you just shoot because it’s just an object. Now, sniper ethics is exactly the same [00:33:35] thing. This is where you decide, let’s say, for example, it’s unethical [00:33:40] to go private because what about these 282 has been with us all our lives? [00:33:45] Um, it would be wrong to to leave them. But what about then? You have an ethical [00:33:50] responsibility to yourself, to your staff, to to your children. [00:33:55] And, you know, and not just for those two people. So. So why would you not leave the NHS [00:34:00] at the moment you are going through mental stress, which you can’t provide. I mean, I know people ten years [00:34:05] qualified, they still don’t own their own house. In 1984 [00:34:10] I worked for two years and I bought a house. Now it’s ridiculous that, you know. And secondly is [00:34:15] that, um, if you look at ethics, one of the most important things is the Hippocratic Oath. The Hippocratic [00:34:20] Oath itself does not actually say first, do no harm. The original Hippocratic [00:34:25] Oath is miles long. Over the years and centuries, it’s been shortened, and eventually somebody [00:34:30] just disappears to no harm. Therefore, ethically, no clinician should [00:34:35] be working under a system that does not satisfy the Hippocratic Oath. First, do [00:34:40] no harm when you work under a system that’s causing harm to the clinicians themselves, [00:34:45] to their families, how can that be ethical? So you have absolutely no, you [00:34:50] know, you have a bigger responsibility towards your loved ones.

Speaker1: So therefore you should not have to work under a system [00:34:55] that itself expects you to to live under the Hippocratic Oath. But the system [00:35:00] itself does not obey the Hippocratic Oath. That’s just ridiculous. So I can give a very good, [00:35:05] sound ethical argument why it is totally ethical for you to leave the NHS [00:35:10] and and go private, and ultimately is because ethical decisions [00:35:15] is a matter of prioritising your values. Always put your family and yourself [00:35:20] first, you know, and your staff next. Never put a patient above yourself or your [00:35:25] family. Never put a system above yourself or your family. And hence [00:35:30] ethics is all about looking at the carrying out the right, morally right action [00:35:35] leading to a morally good state of affairs. It’s a state of affairs, you know, [00:35:40] that’s very, very important, not just one isolated thing. We don’t make our rules as we play the game otherwise, [00:35:45] you know, so that’s ethical. And so somebody says to me, is it ethical [00:35:50] to um. So when I when I make a decision to do something for a patient, I ask my myself [00:35:55] three questions and all three have to be yes before I would do it for a patient. First of all, is [00:36:00] it ethical? Second question is it legal? Third [00:36:05] question is it advisable? Has to be a yes in all three. The first is no. [00:36:10] Then that’s it. I wouldn’t do it. You know, even though even if it is legal [00:36:15] and is advisable, I wouldn’t do it.

Speaker1: If it’s totally unethical, I wouldn’t do it. And you’d be surprised [00:36:20] how ethics is defined. Because ethics is about the human being. So [00:36:25] if you imagine the the, um, the caveman period. Yeah. Where the caveman [00:36:30] club was a wham bam and Wallace what the ethics were the law, basically. Yeah. Sometime from the caveman [00:36:35] period to civilisation, social contract theories were drawn up so that [00:36:40] people behave well towards each other. And therefore. And that’s ethics. And therefore the ultimate [00:36:45] subject of ethics is a human being. That’s very, very important. It’s [00:36:50] about the human being, nothing else after that. So therefore some dentists like to focus on the tooth. [00:36:55] I focus on the human being. So ethics is [00:37:00] carrying out procedures in the best interest of the human being, not the best interest of the tooth. Do [00:37:05] you see the difference? You know, because there will be a lot of I mean, there will be some very hardline fundamentalist [00:37:10] dentists who will say it’s wrong to let’s say, let’s say you are the tooth. I mean, this [00:37:15] was a real patient, by the way. This was when about 20 years ago, she [00:37:20] had a very mobile tooth bordering onto M3, but it was M2. It was quite mobile and [00:37:25] she was in her 70s or 80s. And she came in and she said, it [00:37:30] looks horrible, Chris, you know, and, um, I like it crowned. And [00:37:35] I’m looking at this very mobile tooth. Now, if I hadn’t done philosophy, I would have said, no, you’re going [00:37:40] to lose that tooth in three months, you know, and I can’t charge you, you know, £300 for [00:37:45] it at that time, you know.

Speaker1: However, I’m not looking at the tooth. I’m looking at the person [00:37:50] behind the tooth. And to her she’s, she says, I know I might not [00:37:55] live for another month of the year, but I really would like to go out with a, with a nice [00:38:00] tooth. And I say, what if it even lasts a month? I’ll be very happy with that, Chris, because nobody would do it for me [00:38:05] and for me. I crowned it for her. She died, I think, within [00:38:10] the year, I think, um, but the main thing was that one of her relatives said, um, [00:38:15] thank you for doing the tooth. Now that’s ethics, because the [00:38:20] subject, the ultimate of ethics, is a human being, not an inanimate object like a [00:38:25] tooth, you know? And a lot of times, you know, I’ve done things which, technically speaking, [00:38:30] would probably be not good from a dental perspective. But when you have consent, [00:38:35] this comes down to consent. Really. Ethics and consent. Yeah. You know, that’s that’s what that’s where it’s heading towards basically [00:38:40] in that are you consenting for a tooth. Are you consenting for the human being? Because very, [00:38:45] very often we make our treatment plans, many people seeking consent from the tooth because [00:38:50] science would give would back up the consent from the tooth. No, the consent comes from the human [00:38:55] being. Then, you know.

Speaker4: It’s you’re.

Speaker3: Absolutely right. I mean, I think we [00:39:00] had a discussion like this at one of the one of the live events recently [00:39:05] regarding, you know, what, if a 18 year old asks you for [00:39:10] porcelain veneers, would you do it? You know, this sort of question. Yeah. And they brought [00:39:15] up that famous, um, daughter test thing. But when you consent [00:39:20] is the right word. Yeah. Because consent is valid and informed and that by [00:39:25] definition, if you have that, it’s not your [00:39:30] decision, it’s your daughter’s decision. You know that that’s the important thing.

Speaker1: Uh, [00:39:35] actually, the daughter theory is actually very unethical because what [00:39:40] you’re in effect doing is don’t forget the object of, of of ethics and [00:39:45] is about as a clinician is that and in fact, obviously, [00:39:50] um, oh, what’s the name? Um, the ruling in Scotland that, [00:39:55] that, that, that, that kind of says you should use the person to take the risk. Not not the not the clinician. Lanarkshire [00:40:00] versus Montgomery versus Lanarkshire ruling. Yeah. So the daughter test is basically my [00:40:05] daughter is let’s say 18 or 19. So in effect what you are saying is you are you [00:40:10] are deciding for her what you will do. Okay. Yeah. And that comes [00:40:15] down to number one in a court of law, you will not have informed consent. You [00:40:20] know. So when they say treat your patients like I would, you know, say [00:40:25] I would treat my patients like I would treat my own family. And my daughters are 14 years old. And [00:40:30] I said to them that, you know what I said to them when they were 13? I said, you’re now teenagers. [00:40:35] What? What does that mean? And one of them said, um, well, you’re probably going to argue a lot.

Speaker1: And [00:40:40] I said, no. Basically, you are now turning a corner in your life where you are going to discover [00:40:45] your identity and you want to express that. And I will do my utmost best to [00:40:50] respect your opinion and whatever you want to do, I’ll give you my input, but your ultimate decision is yours, [00:40:55] and I will treat all my patients the same way. It’s informed consent. At the end of the day, you know ethics [00:41:00] is at the end of the day. How can it be ethical if you decide what you will do for another person? Forget it’s [00:41:05] your daughter, for another person, you know everybody’s the same. Just because they’re your daughter doesn’t mean [00:41:10] they should be treated differently from from everybody else, you know? Um, and for me, I don’t actually buy [00:41:15] into the daughter test. I went into informed consent. Obviously, you have to then decide at 18 [00:41:20] years old, are they capable of fully understanding Long Terme [00:41:25] what the consequences are now, this is the difference in.

Speaker3: Societies drawn that line. Society [00:41:30] has drawn that adulthood line here. Yeah. As it’s not up to you to I [00:41:35] mean unless you want to diagnose them as they’ve got a mental illness.

Speaker4: Well no, but but.

Speaker3: Which, which [00:41:40] is, which is which is real. Right. There are some people who do have a mental illness who want all their teeth pulled out or, [00:41:45] you know, that exists.

Speaker4: Yeah, but but the thing.

Speaker1: Is, if you listen, I mean, and this is where the Jesuit spirituality [00:41:50] helps because you spend a lot of time listening to people. And then in, in, um, analytic philosophy, [00:41:55] in your seminars, you spend a lot of time listening to people. And trust me that when you start listening long [00:42:00] enough, you’ll pick up something’s not right. Your gut feeling it is there. So [00:42:05] the law has said is okay. But remember my three criteria. The first thing is it ethical in this.

Speaker3: Advisable [00:42:10] one is the one that’s probably well, is.

Speaker4: It ethical?

Speaker1: I would probably say no because I’m not fully convinced [00:42:15] that she has really understood. Is it legal? Yes, because [00:42:20] I’ve got consent and it says she hasn’t understood.

Speaker3: It’s your fault, though. Yeah.

Speaker1: No, [00:42:25] um, there are some people who. No. Because they’re not really listening. They have really decided what they [00:42:30] want the answer to be. And you can always tell how how they answer you. So there’s [00:42:35] a difference between, um, I would like to like to have six veneers, a nice smile. Yeah. But the problem [00:42:40] is it’s going to destroy your teeth. And you might have a very nice smile, but every ten years they need replacing at a huge [00:42:45] cost. Yeah, yeah, that’s no problem. How quickly that answer comes out, it means they’re not listening. [00:42:50] Whereas those who really listen, they’ll be looking you in the eye, look them in the eye, people you know, [00:42:55] and you will see that the eye tells you more than the mouth. And you [00:43:00] can see there’s a there’s a blank look and yeah, there’s yeah that’s fine. They haven’t really listened. [00:43:05] So for me it would not be ethical. It’s legal. It’s inadvisable. No. And this actually [00:43:10] happened to me once. Um, about ten years ago this lady came in, um, 106 [00:43:15] veneers, um, adult in her mid 20s. And I looked at her teeth and, [00:43:20] you know, they actually quite nice teeth. Um, they’re not really how she described them. So [00:43:25] I said very things to her and she said, oh yeah, yeah, I know, that’s fine. No problem. I said, I’ll tell you what, let’s come back in six months [00:43:30] and just see if you still feel the same.

Speaker1: So through my Jesuit training, [00:43:35] this is discernment not doing straight away. So they came in again and [00:43:40] I said, bring your boyfriend with you, please. Boyfriend sits in the corner. I says, I said, Jeff, don’t you think she’s got [00:43:45] a nice smile? She goes, there’s definitely nothing wrong with the teeth, Chris. I think she’s got a really nice smile. [00:43:50] Okay, so I said, I think you have a really nice smile. So after a few more questions [00:43:55] with a little bit, nothing really revealing. Then I says, come back in six months time. I might decide [00:44:00] whether or not to do it for you now. She disappeared. You know, at that time, [00:44:05] you know, this was about 20 years ago, I think she disappeared. And, um, and [00:44:10] all of a sudden I got this letter from from the hospital saying that, you know, so and so has been [00:44:15] referred to us for Saturday, and there was a list of medication, and she was. And she never [00:44:20] told me any of that. Um, she was an antipsychotic. Drugs. Wow. Yeah. So I picked [00:44:25] it up. It’s sort of discernment, you know, that something, you know, I can’t say what it is, but. [00:44:30] And, uh, and then. And then she turned up again, you know, she turned up again, [00:44:35] and sadly, somebody did it for her. Um, but she [00:44:40] really wanted me to come back.

Speaker1: Could you look after her and everything, please? You know, because, you know, and I [00:44:45] get that a lot, you know? You know, people have the utmost trust that I’m very, very honest. [00:44:50] And I do an incredibly high quality of work. But sometimes our emotions take [00:44:55] over their head and they know I have said whatever, but then they just want it regardless [00:45:00] of consequences, and they will pay for it to have it done. And they’ll come back to me and say, look, you look after them, please, because I know [00:45:05] you do better job than the other guy in looking after them, because you’re always honest with me, Chris, you know, and [00:45:10] I get that quite a lot, you know? And unless it’s a complete train wreck, um, there’s [00:45:15] one case where I saw was a train wreck, but in less than that, I’m quite happy to continue to look after it for them, you know. But [00:45:20] I’m very careful what I write down, what I, what I, how I talk to them. Things like that all comes through analytic philosophy. [00:45:25] And they’re very clear, uh, about where they stand or where I stand, you know, but then as I said, you [00:45:30] know, um, consent is the main thing. And what really helped me a lot was that, um, I there [00:45:35] was a gentleman, um, I restored an implant for that I [00:45:40] knew was going to fail on a lawyer.

Speaker3: Well, yeah. So this is [00:45:45] let’s get to the dark part of the of the of the part. Go on. [00:45:50] What a story.

Speaker1: And basically I was asked if I would restore an implant, um, for, [00:45:55] for, for someone. Um, so I said if I’m going to do that, I want to. [00:46:00] I’m 100%. That implant is a restorative driven procedure. [00:46:05] The restorative dentistry. So have a look at it first. So I ask to see the patient. I examined the [00:46:10] patient. And um and I said he needs a bone graft [00:46:15] and a connective tissue graft before the implant goes in, because the bones are in the right place [00:46:20] and the gingival is so thin, um, you’re gonna have problems. So I [00:46:25] wrote that back. And three months later, he turned up with the implant to [00:46:30] be restored with no bone graft, no connective tissue graft, and you could see the [00:46:35] grey of the implant. So I looked at it, and it’s a very deep, deep [00:46:40] overbite. Class two diff two. And, um, and I just [00:46:45] thought there’s no room for the crown. It’s going to be banging on the bloody crown, you see. So I said I can’t restore this. By the way, you [00:46:50] need to go back to your your surgeon, you see. And I said that the implant, the crown crown [00:46:55] will break or something’s going to break. Your bite’s too deep. So we [00:47:00] she went back to see the surgeon and she came back and she says, um, you know, Chris, [00:47:05] um, I’ve spoken to so and so he says it should be all right, that things can be done. Um, so I’m quite happy to go ahead and restore [00:47:10] it. So I says, can I just say if we restore that, it will fail. You [00:47:15] know it won’t last. You know I wouldn’t do that. So. Two and fro four times. [00:47:20] And eventually she came. He came back and he says, um, I know you’re unhappy with that, but I’ve [00:47:25] spoken to so and so now, and, um. And I’m making an informed decision now, Chris, you can [00:47:30] go ahead and restore it. You see patients.

Speaker3: In this or the.

Speaker4: Other, not the.

Speaker1: Patient. I’m [00:47:35] making an informed decision. I’ve heard you. I’ve heard you both four times now. I’m happy that you go ahead and restore you see. [00:47:40] So I restored it. And so in the consent form, basically, [00:47:45] it was fairly clear in my clinical notes that you are in fact consenting to failure. So [00:47:50] that’s totally non-ambiguous here. So initially the [00:47:55] the bone broke with the implant and the crown was moving. Wasn’t my bloody crown. It was a bone that broke. [00:48:00] And somehow, somehow the bone hardened again. It stopped. But then the gingiva was [00:48:05] so thin, there was a little flap of tissue and food was trapping into it. And eventually [00:48:10] he came and he said, surely I shouldn’t be like this. He said, I says, yeah, the gums are a bit too thin. And [00:48:15] the implant surgeon said, he’s got gingivitis. No, oral hygiene is perfect. He’s not gingivitis. [00:48:20] He’s got a very thin biotype. And eventually, with an inflammatory response, the [00:48:25] gums receded and you can see the implant. So he came back and he just said, look, I [00:48:30] shouldn’t be left with this, should I? I says, no, so he says, um, I said, you really [00:48:35] should have had a bone graft to push it forward and a connective tissue graft to thicken the gums. You see, he goes, well, [00:48:40] shouldn’t have been done before, before he was placed. Then I says, so by this time, you know, I’m always [00:48:45] honest with them. I don’t want to throw anybody under the bus.

Speaker1: But after telling you four times, six times you talk to the guy on the phone not [00:48:50] to do it. He said, you know, he did it. So I just said, well, yeah, I’ve done beforehand you wouldn’t be here [00:48:55] now. Then why was it done beforehand? I can’t answer that because I did ask for it to be done. You see, um, [00:49:00] I have no other choice now because I spoke to my indemnity. He says, you know, it’s not about throwing anybody in there. That’s. You need you need to not defend [00:49:05] yourself because you did everything right. So at the end of the day, he contacted his I mean, he’s [00:49:10] a lawyer. So he contacted his lawyers. And basically I got a letter saying that, you know, if you [00:49:15] just give me back my money for the crown, then I’ll just leave it. And I just thought to myself, no, you [00:49:20] know, I warned you four times. And so I brought a very nice letter back to say that I can’t really give [00:49:25] you back the money because you consented to failure. We went through this four times, and your exact words. You [00:49:30] are making an informed consent now. Sure enough, the the solicitor’s letter arrived, [00:49:35] um, asking for clinical notes, you know, and that was my touchpoint. My one and only one, hopefully. [00:49:40] And, um, when their expert witnesses read my notes, the case against me was just dropped. I never heard from them again. [00:49:45]

Speaker4: You know, and so.

Speaker1: Through my philosophy days, [00:49:50] really, um, that I knew I expressed things very clearly. I knew I was science based, [00:49:55] I knew I was confident that, you know, I, I’m on solid ground here because ultimately [00:50:00] the terminology is you’ll be consenting to failure. I’m making an informed consent. So [00:50:05] it doesn’t get clearer than that.

Speaker4: You know, would you.

Speaker3: Say that that’s the most challenging day you [00:50:10] can remember in your career? You know, from a work perspective. [00:50:15]

Speaker1: For most challenging day? No, I mean, I was I was quite all right with that because [00:50:20] in fact, my identity at that time actually.

Speaker4: Doesn’t seem.

Speaker3: Too bad. It’s an interesting story, but it doesn’t seem [00:50:25] too bad from your perspective.

Speaker4: No.

Speaker1: The most challenging day for me was I was I was doing a connective [00:50:30] tissue graft for this gentleman. I knew he likes drinking, you know, and I sent him to specifically, [00:50:35] you know, you’re coming at 2:00. Do not have any alcohol at lunchtime. [00:50:40] Please do not have any alcohol. And it’s all written down. Everything else he goes, yeah, don’t worry Chris, I [00:50:45] won’t, you see. Uh, so he comes in and he looks all right. But then I bent down [00:50:50] and I thought, no, no. Is that. No? And I said to the nurse, can you smell alcohol? She says [00:50:55] no. Okay, so so so so I started doing it. I started making the incision in the palate [00:51:00] to take it from the palate. And he started I mean, it started bleeding like mad, you know, I started pushing [00:51:05] the pressure. He started a lot of bleeding, you see. And eventually I had to kind of stitch it up and everything. And I just said, [00:51:10] you drank at lunchtime. He goes, yeah, I need one pint. I told you not to drink any. He put it more [00:51:15] than two pints. Really? So the blood pressure was up. I had to I had to abandon the whole bloody thing because he wouldn’t stop bleeding, you know? [00:51:20] So that was like panic, panic, panic, panic. Oh, my God, was all this blood coming from. You know, that was my worst day, really, I think [00:51:25] I think, yeah.

Speaker3: So when you decided to go back to dentistry. You [00:51:30] decide to go back and really, really, like [00:51:35] learn everything and be, you know, do the very best that you can and I can relate to it. Actually, [00:51:40] I stopped dentistry for five years when we started enlighten, and then when I went [00:51:45] back, I went back my I took over my wife’s patience when she was on maternity. I [00:51:50] had that feeling as well. You know, that I’m only going to do what I’m very, very [00:51:55] good at. But for me, for me, it went a funny direction. I basically [00:52:00] started, referred a lot, referred everything out apart from the bleaching and bonding. Whereas [00:52:05] for you, for you, you actually, [00:52:10] um, started to learn and, and you know, went on loads and loads of courses. [00:52:15] Yeah.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: So so, so, so I can understand I mean normally I would, I’d be [00:52:20] asking, you know, what is it about you that makes you that guy? But I think your previous, your previous [00:52:25] story kind of tells us that. But tell me about, you know, the highlights of [00:52:30] that journey and the lowlights of that journey. And what did you decide to do first? And you know which [00:52:35] direction you went in and which directions you didn’t go in.

Speaker4: And yeah, I.

Speaker1: Came back into dentistry and I knew I wanted to [00:52:40] be a dentist, but I also wanted to improve, change people’s lives. And one of those would be smile [00:52:45] design. At the end of the day, you see, uh, whether it’s by dentures or by, um, restorative [00:52:50] dentistry. So I started doing a lot of courses, so I went in. So we are talking where are we [00:52:55] talking about now? We’re probably talking about 1984, 1990, probably around 1995, [00:53:00] I think possibly. I went to Las Vegas and did [00:53:05] a course on Anterior Composites. I can’t remember the name of the lecturer now. Then I knew I [00:53:10] wanted to do gum surgery, plastic seeing things, and I went to Toronto where the I don’t know whether they exist [00:53:15] or not. The Washington Institute of Periodontology was running a course on pigs heads in Toronto, [00:53:20] so I flew over there to to learn connective tissue grafts and crown lengthening and everything. Then, [00:53:25] um, there I found out that that that the, the god of periodontal [00:53:30] surgery was William Beckett. So in those days there were no DVDs. So I bought the DVD. I bought [00:53:35] the, the the videotape of him and and I really learned a lot from that. [00:53:40] Then I started doing, uh, then of course, this occlusion to be learned. So I, [00:53:45] I’m one of the students who built the late Bill Tomkovicz and British Society of Occlusal Studies, the whole [00:53:50] year’s course on occlusion, all that kind of stuff I learned from them. Then after occlusion. [00:53:55]

Speaker4: How how long.

Speaker3: Was that course?

Speaker4: One year.

Speaker3: Oh, one year.

Speaker4: Yeah, one year, of course.

Speaker1: Yeah, [00:54:00] yeah. Um, yeah. And you actually treat your own patients and, you know, on that.

Speaker4: What was it, [00:54:05] what was the aha.

Speaker3: What is an aha moment in occlusion when you, when [00:54:10] you, when you’re looking into occlusion.

Speaker4: What I.

Speaker3: It’s a ridiculous question to.

Speaker4: Ask. No no no no [00:54:15] no I mean I.

Speaker1: I had a patient who, who hasn’t got treatment but, but he [00:54:20] couldn’t open his mouth very wide, you know, and um, occlusion at the time believed because he didn’t [00:54:25] have balance, occlusion, the muscles in tension. And I remember equilibrating him and all of a sudden his mouth [00:54:30] is dropped open literally twice to opening, you know what I mean? I said, wow, you [00:54:35] know, but the biggest aha moment will come later on. I’ll tell you about prosthetics, because I [00:54:40] learned how to make dentures in a in a very special way from Joe Massad. It was it was [00:54:45] a three day course, I think three, three day course.

Speaker4: And did you do the.

Speaker3: Setups yourself as the dentist? [00:54:50]

Speaker1: No, no, but but what it involves is, um, taking neutral zones [00:54:55] and external impressions and everything. But the main thing was I then combine dentures [00:55:00] and restorative dentistry, um, and smile design. And one of the things [00:55:05] I learned from Jim was how the setting of the setting up of the teeth to a certain pronunciation, you see, [00:55:10] and I had this 80 year old lady, I made her a fool. Fools. And [00:55:15] a trillion. A trillion, by the way, my train comes back on an articulated, and I actually [00:55:20] moved the teeth around because I say to my patients that I guarantee you within 30s you’ll [00:55:25] be speaking perfectly. I guarantee that I do, and they all do. So [00:55:30] if I’m not articulate, I put the teeth in the mouth. I said, can you can you read this passage, please? And she started [00:55:35] reading it and I could hear a lisp somewhere, you see. So I looked underneath to see how the teeth were [00:55:40] actually, um, interacting. And I find it was a lateral upper right lateral. So I twisted the lateral [00:55:45] by about 30 degrees. So she had a twisted lateral. And then she started reading, oh that’s better. Now it’s gone. [00:55:50] I said, okay, I says, when you in your own she’s 80 years old. Remember I said in your own in your younger days, did [00:55:55] you have a twisted tooth? I have no idea. So I said, right. Anyway, let’s get your husband in now, um, [00:56:00] and see what he thinks. So. So he sits down, I says, I says, you know, um, Geoffrey, [00:56:05] Martha’s going to read a passage to you.

Speaker1: I want you to see if you can understand what she’s saying. She [00:56:10] read about four lines, and all of a sudden he got up and moved his face right up to her face [00:56:15] and looked at the last row, and he said, I, you had a tooth like that when we got married, [00:56:20] you know? And I thought, wow, I mean, that was like, wow, I’m going to [00:56:25] build a shrine to you. So she says, what, what what are you talking about? So I showed her the mirror. Then I showed her the mirror, I says. You [00:56:30] got a twisted two, didn’t you? Um. That’s why the lift has gone. Now is how your mouth is moving. And [00:56:35] she turned to the husband and she just goes, yeah. And don’t forget, they got married when they were in their 19 [00:56:40] or 20. And she said, yeah, when we were courting, you had a tooth like that. Your natural teeth. It was twisted. [00:56:45] So I said to her, so we can either give you a perfectly straight teeth, you got a slight lisp, or [00:56:50] we’re going to leave it as a twisted. And she said, I’ll leave it as it twisted. And I was quite nice, [00:56:55] because when we came to fitting, he came with her again, and as he walked out, he just turned around and he [00:57:00] says, thanks for bringing me back down memory lane. So that was a real aha moment for me. [00:57:05] And I still do all that, my dentures. And it comes with now the in your.

Speaker4: In your full, [00:57:10] full.

Speaker3: Cases don’t you. Isn’t it a routine thing that you ask for photos of their child, [00:57:15] you know, when they had their teeth? Is that a routine?

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah. So we would ask for [00:57:20] for natural teeth. Yeah. But then you also analyse the face. So [00:57:25] obviously unfortunately I can’t show you the photographs. But there was a, there was a lady who was worn [00:57:30] full force all her life and her face is completely collapsed. And you have to put the teeth above the ridge, all [00:57:35] that kind of stuff, you see. Yeah. And when I make my full fools, I make them in occlusal splint. [00:57:40] And I look at the rule of thirds, and I decide how far I want to open them up. And [00:57:45] then for this lady, we opened it up by about 6 or 7mm wide open, you know. [00:57:50]

Speaker4: Um, have you heard of Nick Mahindra? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker1: We actually talked about [00:57:55] it um, years ago on GDP UK. He, he, um, really discussed a few things with me. [00:58:00] He, he used something that was swallowing. I think it’s something swallowing. Is it swallowing?

Speaker4: He’s still open.

Speaker3: He he was [00:58:05] my boss here and he used to open by 20mm sometimes. So you’d get these, like, [00:58:10] faces go, oh, like this. And then two weeks later, everything would relax and [00:58:15] they’d look 20 years younger. Yeah. You know.

Speaker1: Well, because we use a splint to move them into [00:58:20] CR, so that’s the first thing you just kind of open up anywhere. So the splint at the same time is, [00:58:25] is pushes them back into CR. So when you actually start the dentures you’ve got a Gothic arched tracing. [00:58:30] And so the registration is taken with the Gothic tracing then more importantly [00:58:35] is that not only do teeth to the bone shrink vertically but horizontally. So [00:58:40] when we come to do the tri in and this the first time I did it was the scariest thing I ever did. [00:58:45] The pronunciation, everything was perfect. And then I removed all [00:58:50] the wax from the gingival margin to the to the border. All the wax, [00:58:55] okay? And I put a function impression material into that, and I put it back into the mouth. And I [00:59:00] got them to do certain exercises. And they now take a three dimensional impression of that space [00:59:05] that’s there. You know, I mean, that’s what makes people look younger, really, because [00:59:10] at the moment, if you put the the teeth above the, um, the, the ridge [00:59:15] and your, your flanges goes up, you have this huge space there and therefore the cheeks [00:59:20] falls in. So when they try to smile, they can only smile so much they can’t come all the way out. Whereas [00:59:25] if you fill that space, which is an empty space with the denture material, then [00:59:30] when they smile, they go straight out, you see, and and literally they look 20 years younger [00:59:35] and they can smile confidently, you know? Um, so we do all that.

Speaker1: I mean, I mean, there’s [00:59:40] 1 or 2, there’s only one technician that we use at the moment because he, he, he knows as much as I do. And he’s Rick [00:59:45] in, in, in London, his, his lab is about £1,000, but we charge about £4,000 [00:59:50] for our dentures. But and then you take the neutral zone impression, um, like some nice photographs. Where the [00:59:55] where the tongue. When they were speaking, it did a little thing like that. It’s kind of stuck out and went to the [01:00:00] right. And so that that area there was very narrow your, your, your, your margin for where to put the teeth [01:00:05] in. And the minute you put it there, she said, oh, I can talk properly now. It doesn’t move. Why is that? You know, because I’ve [01:00:10] allowed for your tongue to do this silly thing when you’re talking. Um, but yeah. So those are my real wow [01:00:15] moments, really? Is. Is prosthetics really how how if you follow the science, [01:00:20] it really works. People look 20 years. My dentures, they don’t look like, you know, stippling [01:00:25] and roots and things like that, because that’s too thin. If you take the denture out of the mouth, there are lumps and bumps because [01:00:30] you’re filling in all the empty space. They just lumps and bumps. And yet, you know, the face looks so. [01:00:35]

Speaker4: But is facially driven, facially facially.

Speaker1: Driven, you know? Um, so those are my wow moments. [01:00:40]

Speaker3: But it’s not like you only do those. I mean, I was looking on your feed [01:00:45] and you were taking taking delivery of your medet. Oh, [01:00:50] yeah. Um, and, you know, like, you’re still, still, still, you know, [01:00:55] technology and looking to improve and all that. It’s amazing the number of different things [01:01:00] you do well. But have you ever thought about teaching?

Speaker4: No.

Speaker1: Well, I [01:01:05] honestly, I have been asked to give to actually run this course on the prosthetics. My, my technician [01:01:10] says because we need to run the course. I said, we’re going to run the course. It has to be done properly. So there are technicians. You [01:01:15] have to give the course to, the technician has to learn from you, and then they bring their own patients. And I think at the [01:01:20] moment there’s been so much in my life going on, um, especially with twins, that, you know, I [01:01:25] didn’t have the time to I want to spend some time with the family, you know, but I’m more than happy. When [01:01:30] people come to shadow me, they can see what I do. Um, how I do things. I mean, the only thing I know nothing about [01:01:35] is orthodontics. I don’t know why I can carry out the ortho exam class to div one and all that kind of stuff, and [01:01:40] then so what? So I decided not to have anything to do with ortho. It just doesn’t [01:01:45] click with me at all. But everything else I like to do things. Well, I mean, it’s I mean, there’s a lot [01:01:50] of jokes and every time I go in a course, I’m the oldest guy. Everybody’s like 20 years younger, [01:01:55] you know, and I yeah, I mean, you know.

Speaker3: It’s a funny thing, Chris, [01:02:00] because I noticed that on our courses as well, our courses are a bit more, you know, composite bonding, [01:02:05] a lot of lot of young, old, older guys know better than to compensate. But but [01:02:10] but but you know, it’s a young thing. Um, but I’ve noticed that [01:02:15] I’ve noticed that anyone anyone over 40 is the [01:02:20] odd one out of 40.

Speaker4: Okay, well.

Speaker1: How old do you think I am? You can see me on the screen. [01:02:25]

Speaker3: You’re 58.

Speaker4: I’m always [01:02:30] thinking, no, you’re more. I’m over 60.

Speaker3: I just, I just did the calculation of.

Speaker4: If you’re [01:02:35] suppose to go by appearance. Okay. Not mathematics. Okay.

Speaker3: But my my [01:02:40] protein kicked in a bit too late.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker1: Appearance, not mathematics. [01:02:45]

Speaker3: You should look at teaching, dude. Yeah, and I know it’s a it’s a hassle and a headache and all that. [01:02:50] Yeah, but you clearly thrive thrive on explaining things. And [01:02:55] I can see you’re doing it one on one with people you’re having. You know, I don’t know, lunch with, uh, [01:03:00] my good friend Alex. Oh, yeah. Butcher. Um, or, [01:03:05] you know, another geek. Another geek. But, you know, teaching doesn’t have to be, like, [01:03:10] a high risk thing. You can start with a very simple. You know, I’m putting on a course, um, [01:03:15] for free and just see what that’s like, but you’ll love it. You’ll love it.

Speaker4: I think one of the.

Speaker1: Best [01:03:20] things I could do to tell you the truth is, I was very privileged to give a [01:03:25] talk to ace, and the title of the course was How to Become a Successful Dentist, [01:03:30] you see, and I started that course by how to, you know, [01:03:35] there are various things you have to do, but there are various things that you have to, um, to be [01:03:40] a successful dentist. You know, you laid out the various things like leaving the NHS, going private. I talked about what exactly [01:03:45] is rapport, what exactly is ethics? Uh, but the most important thing is about [01:03:50] which. Which I probably wouldn’t say here, but, um, on the course I did say it [01:03:55] is that I probably have the record of after 20 years in NHS [01:04:00] dentistry, at least when I went private, I did not have one [01:04:05] abusive comment. Or one abusive, angry patient. In fact, I had loads [01:04:10] of thank you cards. Things like saying no. Thank you so much for the last 20 years that you’ve looked after us. [01:04:15] Um, I do totally understand why you’re going private, and I wish you the very best in your new [01:04:20] venture. Had loads of cards like that, you know, I was actually quite touched, and we never had it. And that’s because [01:04:25] we built rapport with the patients, you know? And the problem with rapport is something which people [01:04:30] don’t really understand what it is, um, and how you go about it. But that course was, was probably [01:04:35] one of the most beneficial things, because you can learn confidence building and, you know, they are they are great people teaching composites [01:04:40] all over the thing.

Speaker1: You know, I’ll just I’ll just be another pea in the pod, which is there’s [01:04:45] no point really. And then as far as, um, all the other stuff, there are other people who can [01:04:50] teach that, but I think we I could excel in this. Really help, help you to think why [01:04:55] you want to go private and how to go private to more or less the closest you come to guaranteeing success. You [01:05:00] don’t need millionaires in your on your list. You know, many of my patients, when I’m fully [01:05:05] private, some of them just work, work in factories, you know, many of them very nice people. [01:05:10] As long as you understand your patients, you don’t price them out of your market. Then. Then you can go private. [01:05:15] You know, it’s more or less a guaranteed guarantee, especially now with NHS falling apart, you [01:05:20] know, um, this is the best time to go private. But people just don’t know, understand why, how [01:05:25] to go how to go about it. Because for me, it’s not just as simply of getting somebody in to [01:05:30] produce all the paperwork and you send it off to them. There’s a hell of a lot more to it than that. And [01:05:35] I always say to somebody, if you want to go private, you plan to go private in two years time. [01:05:40] I’ll tell you how, and I can guarantee you you will be successful. You know, as I said.

Speaker3: Do [01:05:45] you think everyone’s up to delivering on whatever, you know, this scheme of [01:05:50] yours?

Speaker1: Yes, yes, because, um, it’s a.

Speaker3: Very simple thing that everyone can. [01:05:55]

Speaker4: Do. Yep. Absolutely.

Speaker1: But the thing is, very often dentists will say, I’m going to go private. I’ve [01:06:00] had enough of doing this shit work under the NHS. No, we are going private. [01:06:05] Everybody and everybody is a team effort. If not everybody is on board, it [01:06:10] will fail.

Speaker4: Definitely he’ll.

Speaker1: Fail. You know, and [01:06:15] private dentistry is not about doing works by Michelangelo. Private dentistry is [01:06:20] purely the most. The fundamental thing in private dentistry is time. [01:06:25] Patients. You know, I mean, can you imagine, you know, when somebody moves into an area. Yeah. And they ding [01:06:30] dong, go to the neighbour and says, hey, we’re looking for a dentist. Um, who can you recommend? So [01:06:35] the wife is not going to, you know, you think the wife is going to say, oh, I go to Smiths down in the high Street because they [01:06:40] got this beautiful waterfall feature in the waiting room. It’s actually beautiful, the waiting room. She’s not going to recommend [01:06:45] them for that. Or the husband is not going to say, oh, he’s an engineer. Or I go to Smiths [01:06:50] too, because he’s got a red band NSK handpiece, you know, and he’s got he’s got an internal scanner. [01:06:55] You know, what people remember is that people buy people, and if you can spend [01:07:00] time, that’s the most important thing. As long as you don’t have two left hands, but you spend time listening, [01:07:05] talking, you’ve won them over. And that’s what consent ultimately is all about, [01:07:10] obtaining consent, you know? And, um, if you spend time then then then obviously then the, the basic things you [01:07:15] need to do, I would say is you’re doing composites, learn to do the rubber dam, learn to do it.

Speaker1: Because rubber dam is not [01:07:20] just about moisture control, it’s about the ambience being very relaxed. And that’s what patients are paying you for [01:07:25] charge for your time, you know, I mean, I just I just had a, had a gentleman [01:07:30] ring up yesterday. Um, he has an appointment at about a month’s time. I’m quite happily booked up. And [01:07:35] the complex will be doing for him is is £280. And he said, well, well, his friend had [01:07:40] it done for £100. You know, I got that, you know, and I just as well if [01:07:45] you really feel that price range suits you then you’re probably better off going there. You’re in the wrong place here, you [01:07:50] know, because we do things maybe differently. But what I do, I will charge for this. [01:07:55] And I say it in a very matter of fact way, that you’re very welcome to go there to do it, have it done if you want, [01:08:00] you know. But then it means you’re leaving the practice, you know. But private dentistry, this is all about [01:08:05] time, you know, learn how to talk and just spend time with you. Learn how to listen to the patient. You know, very [01:08:10] often nobody listens to patients. Again, the thing that always gets in my head from analytic philosophy, you [01:08:15] know, we should listen with the purpose of understanding, not to reply. Try to understand the patient [01:08:20] behind the words.

Speaker4: I mean, the.

Speaker3: We did an episode called leaving the NHS [01:08:25] and it was one of the most listened to episodes we did, but [01:08:30] it always makes me like makes me worry when people say they don’t want to or [01:08:35] they they when they’re scared of going private. Of course you’ve got the business side of [01:08:40] it, right? You know that knowing you’ve got a contract or whatever it is and they do in the NHS. [01:08:45] But the thing that gets me is, you know, you can keep things simple in private. You don’t have [01:08:50] to be christophorus to be a private dentist. You don’t have to be Jason [01:08:55] Smithson to be a private dentist. You can be the the simplest private dentist. You could be the guy [01:09:00] I became, right? I was bleaching and bonding.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: Every [01:09:05] single other thing I was, I was referring out, um, you could be anyone you want. You could be anyone you [01:09:10] want as a private dentist. Um. And it’s the NHS system. That’s the weird one. [01:09:15] Yeah, it’s not the private. I mean, private is what dentistry is, right? You [01:09:20] the patient? Yeah, yeah. And it is, is where you’ve got the middle man. Yeah. [01:09:25] Um, as soon as there’s a middle man, that’s that’s weird. You know, that’s the strange thing. [01:09:30]

Speaker4: Now, your your.

Speaker1: Brother in law, okay? Your brother in law, the ball. Well, [01:09:35] the NHS is the one looking down into the bowl of gold.

Speaker4: Okay? The dentist. [01:09:40] We are the bowl in the fish. Fish in the bowl. Okay.

Speaker1: The NHS is the one looking.

Speaker4: Down on that. [01:09:45] The dog? There’s no. But tell [01:09:50] me.

Speaker3: About why you’ve decided to stay single handed. Is it just for simplicity? [01:09:55]

Speaker1: Um, about. Oh, well, I’ve been on my own about 20 years ago. [01:10:00] I think I decided to advertise for an associate, and I specifically [01:10:05] said that, you know, what I would do is, I don’t know, in those days whether they had this word or not, these words. [01:10:10] But it was basically a personal development plan. I said I would I would ask you to go on certain composite courses so I know [01:10:15] you’re up to date with that root canal, rubber dam, all the courses I know, you know, because you’re about to come [01:10:20] into a private practice, you have to do things properly by the signs, okay? Not just, you know, and the majority [01:10:25] of associates wants to know how much you wanted to earn. Then they wanted to go on courses. Already got my BDA. Yeah, you [01:10:30] got your BDA 20 years ago. Things have moved on. But the best one I had was [01:10:35] uh, I was holding the CV in my hand and this person rang up before attending [01:10:40] for the interview and asked me about the thing you see, and I told her about the personal development plan. This [01:10:45] person said, why do I have to go on all these courses? Because I’m a registered specialist [01:10:50] with the General Dental Council, you see. And I knew and obviously with the CV, I know exactly [01:10:55] what the speciality is.

Speaker1: And I said, what’s your speciality? And [01:11:00] this person said, oral surgery. This person has been in secondary care for, I don’t know, five, [01:11:05] six years now. You want to come to a private dentist. You’ve never done that. You haven’t done a composite in six, [01:11:10] seven years and you want to charge. My patients £250. You know, get real. So when I said, [01:11:15] what is your speciality? And she says, um, he, this person said, um, oral surgery. I said, well, how does [01:11:20] that help you put the composite in click. He just hung up, you know. So after [01:11:25] a while I gave up. I gave up having an associate because everybody wants to know how much money is in. You’re not coming to my practice to screw up the reputation. [01:11:30] But then of course, years later, we now have all this nonsense [01:11:35] about, you know, if you have an associate, then you have to do auditing and you have to do this. You know, I could do without [01:11:40] all that hassle, you know, I mean, I mean, I would love to have an associate. I would love to show them how to do things, you know, but to [01:11:45] have to do all the extra stuff from regulations, it’s just, you know, I [01:11:50] got to get a life.

Speaker4: Yeah, but this.

Speaker3: Is that’s kind of a new thing. Whereas for 20 years you haven’t done it. [01:11:55] Well you are you’re a control freak. Are you like, do you want do you want to, you know, you don’t [01:12:00] want to even risk the guy doing one thing wrong type person.

Speaker4: No, I’m not a control.

Speaker1: Freak at all. You can ask my staff. I can tell you this. [01:12:05] My.

Speaker4: I have two, um.

Speaker1: Some of my staff are self-employed. I can tell you this. They [01:12:10] are more self-employed than the majority of associates in this country. So, for example, [01:12:15] my my hygienist is, um, so I always consult an [01:12:20] employment law lawyer to make sure my contract is satisfied. Hmc self-employment, [01:12:25] you see. So first of all, my hygienist is not to ask me about holidays. [01:12:30] Really. So there are days I could come in on a Wednesday expecting her to be here. And she’s not here. You [01:12:35] know, she’s just she’s her own boss, basically. And she sets her own time, you [01:12:40] know, and and all I say. So all I said to her is that, you know, in your contract it says, you know, you have [01:12:45] to get a locum in, but, you know, if you if you if you’re not unreasonable, I would never insist you get a locum in. So [01:12:50] if you decide to go for six months and get a local, otherwise you lose your job. You know what I mean? But but the good thing [01:12:55] is, because you’re so open with them, they are very, um, they don’t abuse it, so I’m not controlling [01:13:00] it at all. So there are times I turn up and the hygienist or the therapist is not even there. I didn’t [01:13:05] know she was going on holiday, you know? So no, I’m not I’m not a control freak. What I do [01:13:10] like is that I control, in so far as act in the best interest of the patient, not [01:13:15] your wallet. And if you can satisfy that philosophy. See, see, when I employ people, I [01:13:20] don’t employ people on, on on clinical skills nurses, or even if a dentist, I employ them [01:13:25] on attitude and personality.

Speaker1: I want to know that you’re a human being, a person, a people person, [01:13:30] and you want to do is just do good dentistry for the best interest of your patient. And then clinical [01:13:35] skills would follow. And I can teach you that. I’m quite happy to, to teach you that. But if you came [01:13:40] to me, you know, with, with 5000 degrees and everything like that, I wouldn’t even look at that [01:13:45] because I want I’ll be talking to you like we are talking now for quite a long time, because after you [01:13:50] talk, you come to know somebody very well. And I just need to know what kind of a person you are. And that’s how I would employ [01:13:55] and then I so about 14, 15 years ago I had my twins. So [01:14:00] I decided not to have the associate I would I would love to have an associate, to tell you the truth. You know, if I know it’s Neil, somebody was going to look [01:14:05] after the practice, look after the patients. I mean, who knows? They could end up buying when I retire. [01:14:10] Um, having the practice because this is one of the top practices. And secondly, this is [01:14:15] an ideal building to build up a specialist practice. We got enough rooms for all the all the specialities, [01:14:20] you know, um, it’s a gold mine, really. But then now with vicarious [01:14:25] liability and my bad experience of people were just wanting how much money, money they can earn. Um, that kind [01:14:30] of puts me out a bit. You know, I could do without the hassle of of of regulations, really. [01:14:35]

Speaker4: But so what what do you do.

Speaker3: When it comes to, when it comes to selling this, this baby? [01:14:40] What will you do.

Speaker4: When it comes? What will you.

Speaker3: Do when it comes to selling? I mean, would you [01:14:45] ever sell to a corporate.

Speaker4: Right. That that I.

Speaker1: Probably won’t say. What I can say is, um, [01:14:50] somebody is obviously keeping an eye on when people qualified and [01:14:55] working out their age because I actually had three phone calls out of the blue, um, saying, [01:15:00] so you must be coming up to retirement. We just can’t buy your practice. And I said, what the hell [01:15:05] are you? You know who who who are you? You see, and they obviously they wouldn’t say, you see. And then one of them, I suspect, is a corporate [01:15:10] because, you see, I represent somebody else I present, you know, um, [01:15:15] for me, I just need to know that somebody is going to look after the practice. But [01:15:20] the main, the main thing with my practice is if you’re going to buy it, because I’m more than happy to to turn this into [01:15:25] a, into a residential property again and rent it out and leave it as a as [01:15:30] to my, to my children in the world. But the main thing is this is an ideal. This is a very [01:15:35] middle class area. You got the patients with the money, and this is a practice where you can easily put in [01:15:40] one surgery for an implant surgeon, one surgery for endo, one surgery for hygiene, [01:15:45] one surgery for for general restorative dentistry. You can easily put about 4 or 5 surgery. And [01:15:50] you can easily have a have a CT scan room. So if you do buy my what you will be [01:15:55] buying is my building to turn it into a specialist practice. So I will [01:16:00] be selling it for a hell of a lot more than what I earn. Because I’m not. I’m not really a high, high earner in that sense, you know, [01:16:05] and that’s what you want. And then what they’ll be buying it for because you won’t get and this, this, you know, there’s [01:16:10] car parking. So if you want to buy this practice. This, then you will be paying a lot more than what? [01:16:15] What my accountant shows you, because it is an investment for you that you can turn this into a specialist practice. You have all [01:16:20] the rooms, everything there, you know, let.

Speaker3: Me let me just say, let me just say that if a sale comes [01:16:25] out of this podcast, I expect my 1% here.

Speaker4: I whiten [01:16:30] your teeth for free.

Speaker3: Thank you.

Speaker4: Tell [01:16:35] me.

Speaker3: Tell me about, [01:16:40] uh, family life. And, you know, if you had a day to yourself, what would you do? [01:16:45] No. No family, no. No expectation. Like, what are your what do you do outside of work?

Speaker1: I [01:16:50] actually have a lot of days like this.

Speaker4: You know? For real? Yeah, because my [01:16:55] daughters.

Speaker1: Are teenagers now, so, you know. Yeah. They’re not interested in, you know, [01:17:00] doing.

Speaker3: How many days are you working clinically? Like wet fingered.

Speaker4: Monday.

Speaker1: Tuesdays and Thursdays [01:17:05] is 930 till five Wednesday I don’t work. And Fridays I finish at three. [01:17:10]

Speaker3: Should cut the Friday. Cut the Friday.

Speaker4: Man, I.

Speaker1: Can’t cut many.

Speaker4: Patients, you [01:17:15] know, but but the thing is, as a private practice, it’s very, very easy.

Speaker1: It really is. [01:17:20] And the patients are very, very nice. I mean every, all the, the bank staff and new people coming [01:17:25] in, I can’t believe how nice the patients are. Literally 100% of our patients are very, very nice. You know, I [01:17:30] still remember when I had my twins, when they were born, uh, we had about 60 cards of congratulations. [01:17:35] And then some of them even bought presents for the girls, you know? So, so, so I [01:17:40] do believe in kind of looking after the patients very, very well. But but yeah, that that’s [01:17:45] why I back to.

Speaker3: The day off. Back to the day off question. Yeah. If you had a day, half [01:17:50] a day, whatever. No no no. No expectation. No nothing. What would you get up to? What would [01:17:55] you like to get up to?

Speaker1: Various things. But at the moment, my my real mind space [01:18:00] is having a nice something to eat. And on my phone I’m watching a movie [01:18:05] and really, really. Yeah. You know, and that’s me. Like in my in my, in my own, in my [01:18:10] own way. So I still do that. So sometimes like on the Saturday morning I will go somewhere for breakfast [01:18:15] for a cooked breakfast, you know, by yourself, by myself. Yeah, yeah. And then my family knows that, [01:18:20] you know. Or I might decide I really, really want to eat this special fried noodles, you know. So [01:18:25] in Derby, I would just drive to Birmingham on my own, um, because they’re quite happy to stay at home. And I’m [01:18:30] quite happy with that. I’ll drive down there, go to this restaurant, watch my movie, eat my meal. Um, they [01:18:35] know me quite well. They every time they see me, they. They got no problems with that. I mean, I have special headphones, earphones. So [01:18:40] they’re not disturbing anybody else. So I’m very happy with doing that, you know. But at the same time, you know, [01:18:45] I’ll be more than happy to have somebody join me for a meal and we can talk for 3 or 4 hours, you know, I mean, you [01:18:50] know, I think people find me quite easy to talk to, so I do that quite a lot, too. I never say.

Speaker4: I’m [01:18:55] the same.

Speaker3: I’m the same with the podcast, with the podcast. So I do it quite a lot because I’m on the [01:19:00] road a little bit. I end up in, in some restaurant in wherever it is, Glasgow. [01:19:05] The good thing is that the quality of restaurants has gone through the roof in the UK, where I [01:19:10] remember a time when it was all like very hard to get good food. Yeah, everywhere [01:19:15] in certain towns, in certain towns now it’s a lot easier than it was. Um, [01:19:20] did you you did, I guess you got you got the the email, our [01:19:25] final questions. Did you.

Speaker4: Miss [01:19:30] it out?

Speaker3: Yeah, I final question. It’s fancy [01:19:35] dinner party. Hey free fancy dinner party. Three guests, dead [01:19:40] or alive. Who would you have?

Speaker1: Um. I [01:19:45] personally, I would, I would, um. Oh, let me see. What is this name? Hang [01:19:50] on. Let me let me just find his name. This this guy is this guy is very current on on on on YouTube. [01:19:55] I should get his name for you. I would love to go for her. However, he [01:20:00] would definitely be one of the three. He is.

Speaker4: Jordan Peterson. Yes. Oh [01:20:05] my goodness, mind reader.

Speaker3: I felt [01:20:10] your vibe and I felt you.

Speaker1: Jordan Peterson would be one of them. And uh, and then [01:20:15] and I mean, another one is, is is quite funny because recently we were talking about some [01:20:20] Korean movies, you see. And which one? Iris. Iris.

Speaker4: Iris.

Speaker3: I heard [01:20:25] of it.

Speaker4: Yeah. Um, it’s.

Speaker1: It has everything. It’s got the it’s got the, um, the romance. [01:20:30] It’s got espionage. Really? On your seat. Nail biting stuff, but but [01:20:35] the but the, uh, lead actress is one of the most beautiful, um, Korean actresses, [01:20:40] you know? So you don’t have a fancy, you know, so Jordan Peterson on her. [01:20:45]

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: I love that, you know?

Speaker4: Right. [01:20:50] And, uh, third one.

Speaker1: Let me let me let me give me a moment. Um.

Speaker4: Surely. [01:20:55]

Speaker3: Ignatius.

Speaker1: No.

Speaker4: No no no no.

Speaker1: I [01:21:00] spent six years with a guy working for a party for.

Speaker4: Bloody [01:21:05] hell. You know what I mean?

Speaker1: Spent six years. Spent six years with a guy.

Speaker4: Um, [01:21:10] yeah. There’s nothing new. He’s going to.

Speaker1: Say [01:21:15] that in six years.

Speaker4: Um.

Speaker3: Just just, I [01:21:20] guess another hot check just to make your night amazing.

Speaker4: No. Why [01:21:25] would I want. You know, I’m drawing a blank. You [01:21:30] and Jordan Peterson.

Speaker3: Have a great night with you.

Speaker4: I think that person really.

Speaker1: Would [01:21:35] be, um, just some happy go lucky person. You know what I mean? Who? Who’s who [01:21:40] don’t have views.

Speaker3: You could have Jesus Christ, you could have your your great grandfather. You’re not going to have [01:21:45] to. Just some happy go lucky.

Speaker1: Jesus Christ, no no no no no. I talk to him every [01:21:50] day already.

Speaker3: But, you know, you could.

Speaker4: Have someone else. Yeah. You know. Yeah. [01:21:55]

Speaker3: Okay, let let that marinate. Let that marinate. [01:22:00] We’ll get back to it. Um, this is a like a deathbed question.

Speaker4: Okay? [01:22:05]

Speaker3: You’re on your deathbed. You’ve got your [01:22:10] friends and family or your loved ones around you. And you [01:22:15] want to leave them with three pieces of wisdom, three pieces of advice. What would they be? [01:22:20]

Speaker1: On my deathbed. The first one would be. [01:22:25] Be the person you are you are created to be. Basically, [01:22:30] do not feel you have to pull towards any particular point of view. [01:22:35] Believe in yourself and live your own life. You know [01:22:40] that would be the first one. Number two is. It’s better to have one good friend [01:22:45] than five and ten Facebook friends.

Speaker4: So always. [01:22:50]

Speaker1: Always be a people person. You know, learn, learn to share your your gifts [01:22:55] with other people. Make sure you’re not taken for a ride and you know and you’ll [01:23:00] be you’ll be a happy person. Don’t be selfish or anything like that. You know. Now, [01:23:05] I was once asked this, and the person who asked me [01:23:10] that was actually a by the book. So when I said share [01:23:15] and be people person, he goes and I had to say to him that what [01:23:20] you have, what you have missed, understood, is just just because you’re a people person doesn’t mean you have to be. [01:23:25] Let’s suppose you’re an introvert means you cannot be a people person. It just means that when you are with somebody else, [01:23:30] your attention is on them, not yourself.

Speaker4: But yeah.

Speaker1: So so [01:23:35] I mean, I’m very comfortable with my, my, my I mean, it’s funny you ask me this because because the other day, [01:23:40] you know, in the evening, I tend to reflect discernment on how the day [01:23:45] has gone so that I don’t carry any rubbish to the next anything that rubbish emotions to the next day, you [01:23:50] know.

Speaker3: How long does that take you?

Speaker1: You only need about ten, ten, 15 minutes, that’s all. You just [01:23:55] need to be on your own. Definitely. You must not be interrupted by anything. So the phone is switched off [01:24:00] and I’m lucky. I own my practice, so I sit in the practice. Do it. But if I didn’t have the practice before, I would drive somebody. [01:24:05] I sit in my car and I just do it and you literally just let your without forcing it. [01:24:10] You let your day run from the time you wake up, don’t force it. It’ll replay itself and as it [01:24:15] replaces itself, you suddenly aware of an emotion with something that you had missed in the day, you [01:24:20] know. So, for example, there was once where I just finished treating a family [01:24:25] and this little boy on his way out, he suddenly came back in. His family has already gone to the waiter and he says, [01:24:30] Chris, look what I made today at school. And he took out this little piece of paper that he had folded, and he was showing me how to fold it, unfold [01:24:35] it and everything. And I was looking at that and I said, Johnny, that’s, that’s really, really nice, you know? And the father came and [01:24:40] took him away, you see. And that moment passed. But then when I reflected on the day I could relive that moment, I suddenly [01:24:45] realised how good I felt and how privileged I felt that he came back in, you know, [01:24:50] um, then there was another time where, um, we have a [01:24:55] autistic child and, um, he gets very worked up very quickly. And [01:25:00] the father suddenly phoned up and said, you know, one tooth is coming through, and he’s really worked up because of his, [01:25:05] because of his medical condition. You know, I says, and I know the little child, I said, don’t bring bring him in at [01:25:10] 5:00.

Speaker1: I’ll see him because we’re fully. So he came in and um, and he said, this [01:25:15] tooth is coming through, you know, and the other one is still there. And I said, let’s have a look at it, okay? And then I [01:25:20] suspended. I said, no, you there’s nothing to worry. You just drop out naturally, you see. And [01:25:25] um, and I says, any time you’re worried, Jonathan, you come and talk to me, okay? And I looked him in the eye and I said, you come [01:25:30] and talk to me any time you’re worried, okay? He went outside first. Um, the mother was in the waiting room, and then the [01:25:35] father said, you know, that was so nice that he’s never done this before, that he suddenly found a dental [01:25:40] problem. He said, I need to go and see Chris. Normally, they avoid dentists, you know. [01:25:45] Now, when I replayed it back, I suddenly felt kind of quite emotional and touched. When [01:25:50] you start to hear the story behind that. So all you need is about ten 15 minutes. Let the day run back. [01:25:55] Um, from the time you wake up to the time when you suddenly have certain instances that you then suddenly become aware [01:26:00] of the emotion that went with it, and then you also become aware of how very angry you were with [01:26:05] somebody. You know that you had held it back. You bit your tongue, you know, but then once you become aware [01:26:10] of that, it surfaces and you don’t bring it over to the next day because you’re aware of that, [01:26:15] you know. Um, and, you know, um, but it’s about ten, 15 minutes every day. That’s that’s all [01:26:20] you need, really. Um.

Speaker3: Would you? If one of your twins said [01:26:25] they might want to be a dentist? Would you? I think I know the answer.

Speaker4: You’d say go [01:26:30] for it.

Speaker1: No, no, they said they don’t want to be. No, I mean, I’ll be very honest with them. I do a lot of careers advice [01:26:35] because many of the parents come back in the evening with, with a, with a son and I talk to them about various things, you know, [01:26:40] and I’ll be very honest with them in that, you know, I will be very happy for them to be a dentist. [01:26:45] If I was still working as a dentist, mentor them rather than leave them [01:26:50] at the mercy of some rogue principles and the NHS and all that kind of crap, you know? But [01:26:55] fortunately, one of them is incredibly good at art. And I mean, um, [01:27:00] incredibly good at art. And she’ll probably go towards the arts section. And the other one is, is [01:27:05] Einstein with mathematics, you know, um, but but they already said they don’t really want to be a dentist. So I [01:27:10] says, well, I mean, I didn’t jump up and down and say, yay, thank God for that, you know? But I just [01:27:15] said, well, if you ever think want to think about it, you just come back and talk to me. And I just respected their, their [01:27:20] thing. You know, as long as it’s not life or death, I try. They’re only 14 years old. I try to respect them and let them [01:27:25] make their own mistakes.

Speaker4: Yeah, but I mean.

Speaker3: As as general advice to someone who wants to do dentistry. [01:27:30] I mean, you know, you talked about the fee per item system in the 80s and paying for your house [01:27:35] in two years. And you know, the I don’t know, I’m not sure exactly whether you were saying [01:27:40] this, but the reason why people don’t do that now is because properties are so expensive. [01:27:45] Dentists aren’t earning as much as they were or whatever it is. Yeah, all the regulations, the [01:27:50] the, the drive for cosmetics, the digital, the GDC, [01:27:55] all those things that people worry about about dentistry and I yeah, all [01:28:00] the whole thing, the five year course, I, you know, I was I was telling my daughter, look at dentistry and then [01:28:05] I, and I now I know some of these, uh, very young, uh, associates of arts and things [01:28:10] and they’re so competitive, so competitive, you know, because [01:28:15] they have to get top grades to even get in in the first place. And they do so much. So they thought [01:28:20] maybe for the first time in my life, I thought, oh, maybe not, maybe, maybe, maybe [01:28:25] dentistry isn’t the right, right thing. Where do you sit on that on? Do you think it’s still [01:28:30] the great profession that it was when you got it? No.

Speaker1: I think first of all, I mean, I [01:28:35] mean, if I had my, uh, if I had my way. So first of all, yeah, [01:28:40] the GDC really needs to change because. Very often the see [01:28:45] if you look at it ethically. Um. When you [01:28:50] encourage people to whistleblow for minor things and you accept blue and blue complaints [01:28:55] from an ethical point of view, that is actually. More [01:29:00] unethical than keeping quiet and not whistle blowing, because when [01:29:05] you allow blue and blue, you are allowing the law to be used as a weapon. [01:29:10] The law is no longer answering to that higher principle. Laws are meant to meant to obey, which is [01:29:15] ethics, you see, and therefore the state of affairs is worse. So [01:29:20] sniper ethics means this dentist has harmed this one patient. [01:29:25] You need to report that dentist. And we openly accept that. That’s [01:29:30] nightmare ethics. You’re just looking at the benefit to that one patient. But when you look at the bigger picture, many [01:29:35] people will be using it as a weapon or patients are allowed to be using it as a weapon. The whole [01:29:40] scenario is more unethical, but unfortunately encouraging. Whistle blowing is [01:29:45] sniper ethics, and you’re not looking at the bigger picture of the greater harm is being done. [01:29:50] You know, the you know, judges and should always appeal [01:29:55] to the higher principle laws are meant to serve. So whether you’re a judge, whether you’re whether you’re a fitness to practice [01:30:00] panel member, appeal to the higher principle laws are meant to serve. Don’t just [01:30:05] look at the narrow, very narrow ice field. So as I said, ethics is a is a punch line that people like the [01:30:10] regulators like to throw around. There are many things which are very unethical if you really look into it in depth. [01:30:15] The process is unethical.

Speaker3: Although I had I had Len de Cruz on [01:30:20] recently and he was saying that, you know, that that thing about [01:30:25] the GDC and how how much they’re taking cases forward, or [01:30:30] he’s saying that that has all changed very much, but the perception hasn’t changed in [01:30:35] the profession, that that’s what’s going on. I mean, and he said there’s been changes to no win, no fee as well. [01:30:40] Um, which I wasn’t aware of. Um, you know, it’s almost [01:30:45] like a PTSD, you know, we’ve got it. And he said, oh, you know, it’s nothing like it was in 2015, 2016, [01:30:50] which is only a few years ago. Right. Which is why we’ve got that. But [01:30:55] but, you know, that information needs to go out, that things aren’t as bad as.

Speaker4: They were looking at that I. [01:31:00]

Speaker3: Think, you know, sorry, sorry. But you know, when you were talking about blue on blue, there was [01:31:05] there was a time where the GDC was was a was a growing business, [01:31:10] if you like. But, you know, it was actually they were building they wanted it to be bigger. [01:31:15] And apparently that’s no longer the case, which is, thank God. No.

Speaker4: Were you saying when they.

Speaker1: Say it’s no longer [01:31:20] now, if you look at it in depth ethically, because you get a lot of debates on this in the seminars. Ethics [01:31:25] is something that stands on its own. What you can’t use is. When [01:31:30] you say something’s not as bad as before, you are. You are using. A [01:31:35] bad situation to justify a less bad situation. So at the end of the day, [01:31:40] let’s say I’m going to kill somebody. There are two ways of killing somebody. Let’s say I’m going to I’m going to shoot [01:31:45] him in the head. He dies straight away, or I’m going to keep on stabbing him until he dies. What [01:31:50] you’re then saying is that what they use to stab people until they die, but now they shoot them in the head. So that’s okay, isn’t it?

Speaker4: You [01:31:55] know.

Speaker1: No, it’s not okay. You cannot use a less ethical scenario to [01:32:00] justify another scenario. You know, ethics stands on its own. Again, [01:32:05] ethics is a punch line. People don’t really understand what it really means just because it’s not as bad as before, [01:32:10] but it’s still bad. So that so on its own. You can’t [01:32:15] do that, you see. Otherwise we end up.

Speaker4: Doing all sorts. Well.

Speaker3: A [01:32:20] bit part of it. A big part of it was dental law partnership. I was really, really [01:32:25] frustrated with how can one law firm take on a whole profession, change our whole professional [01:32:30] lives? How is that possible? And again, because because the the business model isn’t isn’t [01:32:35] the same. Hopefully things are getting better, but and then.

Speaker1: Technically speaking, we shouldn’t. If people [01:32:40] had a duty of candour, then you know we shouldn’t need [01:32:45] them to. Law partnership because the process it started off as a good thing, I think, whereby people [01:32:50] were justified to have compensation and they couldn’t get anywhere else with it. But then, like everything, a good [01:32:55] thing. Eventually it goes off in a different direction. [01:33:00] So so so they’re not they open their doors and everything, you know. So initially I think the original idea was good. [01:33:05] I mean, I mean the number of times I can tell you I, um, I would fit a crown for [01:33:10] somebody, you know, porcelain bonded crown. And, uh, and so [01:33:15] it’s guaranteed for a year. It says in the, in the thing, but then 13 months later, the porcelain chips off, you see, [01:33:20] and, um, and so the guy is quite wealthy and he was quite happy to pay again [01:33:25] because he knows the only warranty for a year. I said, no, I’m gonna do it again for you for free. Now, he was actually leaving the practice because he’s [01:33:30] moving to the to the West Coast to to live, you see. So I’ll be moving away after this, Chris. I said, well, [01:33:35] let me make you a crown for there’s no charge. It’s under warranty. I thought it was only for a year. Yeah, I know, but I know that [01:33:40] it shouldn’t break after 13 or 14 months, so let me redo that for you free of charge. So [01:33:45] if you had a certain duty of candour, then we don’t need dental law partnership. But and then but then dental [01:33:50] partnership then becomes a takes on its momentum on its own, you know. And that’s sad because that’s [01:33:55] destroys the profession. Everybody’s scared.

Speaker4: Yeah. Of course you know.

Speaker3: Of [01:34:00] course. How would you like to be remembered?

Speaker1: You [01:34:05] know, one of the, um, one of the exercises we had to do in one of the Ignatian [01:34:10] retreats was that you were to imagine that somebody’s done [01:34:15] a sculpture of you, and it’s covered. I mean, you are now told to go and have a look [01:34:20] at the sculpture, you see, and then you draw the thing down and there are six or [01:34:25] 6 or 6 of us in the retreat. It was interesting what you saw sculptor [01:34:30] had done, which is how other people how do I want to be remembered? I, I hope I [01:34:35] will be remembered as somebody who will always be honest with people I don’t [01:34:40] flatter for no reason. I hope I have empowered people to be more of the person [01:34:45] you you’re born to be. I hope I’ve never consciously [01:34:50] directed people. What I tend to do is if people come and talk to me, is that I help them to find the answers to themselves. It’s not up to me [01:34:55] to say, and they do find the answers in themselves. That’s where the answer comes from, really. Um, and I’m [01:35:00] just a people person. I’m not. I’m not really a money minded person, you know, and I hope people [01:35:05] know that I’m always approachable. 24 over seven.

Speaker1: You know, I’ve always said to [01:35:10] friends, you ever need anything, you know, um, 24 over seven, my door is open. [01:35:15] I say that to my staff, you know, once I get to know them, that if and [01:35:20] I remember about. I wasn’t actually the, um, the principal at that time [01:35:25] was in school years ago, and at that time, I still said that, you know, anything happens in your house, my door is open [01:35:30] to you, and I get a phone call at 3:00 in the morning when something happened in the house, and [01:35:35] and this person ended up in A and E, you know, and the police were there and everything, [01:35:40] but but but this person said I just need to talk to talk to somebody because, you know, I said, that’s that’s [01:35:45] all right. So I spoke to this person at 3:00 in the morning, and then eventually she’s allowed to [01:35:50] go. Now the police are here. Um, I don’t actually know exactly fully the situation, but [01:35:55] as I said, my door is always open. I hope hopefully that’ll be. I’ll be remembered as that, you know, and I. And [01:36:00] I hope I’ll be remembered. I’ll be remembered. I have had the privilege of talking to Payman.

Speaker4: Yeah. [01:36:05]

Speaker3: We’ve we’ve got it on record now, but we’ve [01:36:10] got it on record. Amazing. But I really, really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for doing this. [01:36:15]

Speaker4: Thanks for having.

Speaker1: Me. I enjoyed it too. And hopefully we meet you one day.

Speaker3: Cool. Absolutely.

Speaker2: This [01:36:20] is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you [01:36:25] get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [01:36:30] hosts. Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki. [01:36:35]

Speaker5: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened [01:36:40] to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through [01:36:45] and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some [01:36:50] value out of it.

Speaker3: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And [01:36:55] if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so [01:37:00] so, so much for listening. Thanks.

Speaker5: And don’t forget our six star rating.


The second part of our conversation with Len D’ Cruz delves into the emotional impact of clinical errors and explores the role of the BDA in supporting dental professionals when things go wrong.

Len also discusses his practice-growth journey so far and reveals why he still feels an affinity for NHS practice and patients.


In This Episode

01:30 – BDA—role and challenges

14.16 – Stress, errors and impact

24:25 – Blackbox thinking

37:00 – Practice growth

45.46 – NHS practice

48.37 – Fantasy exit

53.03 – Practice management

55.06 – Getting involved

59.04 – Identity

01.00.52 – Fantasy dinner party

01.10.01 – Last days and legacy


About Len D’Cruz

Len D’Cruz is the head of indemnity at the British Dental Association. He heads a mixed NHS/private practice consisting of seven surgeries in Woodford Green, North East London. He also teaches the MA in Dental Law and Ethics program at the University of Bedfordshire.

Speaker1: We often talk about this concept of of the the third victim or the second victim. The third, [00:00:05] the third victim is probably going to be you. You know, you suffer as a direct result of [00:00:10] that complaint or that error. And even if they don’t complain, you know, you walk home and you think, oh my [00:00:15] God, that’s me. I can’t believe I did this. I can’t believe I missed that. And every one of us, anybody [00:00:20] who’s doing dentistry will have done that, have that sinking feeling of I’ve done something wrong. And even if [00:00:25] the patient doesn’t complain, even if nobody finds out about it, you have that sinking feeling. And I think [00:00:30] that a that makes you a professional, it makes you a caring professional. You’re not burnt out. It means you still care, which [00:00:35] is great in itself, but it is one of the the real challenges of being a clinician and [00:00:40] dealing directly with patients, and also the fact that it happens in real time, you know, the [00:00:45] patient is not anaesthetised. You’re they’re, you know, they’re not under general anaesthetic. You can do what you like in the general [00:00:50] anaesthetic. Something goes wrong. Well, there’s no panic. There’s no stress here. You know, instantly something [00:00:55] goes wrong. They know you know it. And I think that’s why it’s it’s so challenging as a profession [00:01:00] when something goes wrong. Because. Because it is ever so personal.

Speaker2: This [00:01:05] is Dental Leaders [00:01:10] the podcast where you get to go one on [00:01:15] one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [00:01:20] hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki. [00:01:25]

Speaker3: So let’s talk about the BDA brand. I [00:01:30] mean, you grew up in the BDA system, sort of the pack and all that. [00:01:35] It’s one of those love hate things the profession’s got with the BDA. I’m 100% [00:01:40] sure if it didn’t exist, you’d have to invent it. It’s a bit like the UN or something. You have [00:01:45] to we need one, right? And I know it must be a nightmare [00:01:50] to keep so many different types of people happy. And I know it’s ridiculous to [00:01:55] ask you to defend or or stand for an organisation [00:02:00] as giant as the BDA, but just for the sake of the argument, you and your skills. [00:02:05] You could have done this privately. You could, you could, you could have you could have gone and done another [00:02:10] one of these, um, you know, my, my, my good friend Neil has done his own one or whatever, [00:02:15] you know, one of those. But but you chose to go down the, the BDA route is that do you [00:02:20] feel like an element of sort of service to the profession?

Speaker1: Yeah. It’s interesting. I mean, I think [00:02:25] the, the two reasons we went to the BDA indemnity setup or indemnity [00:02:30] setup of the BDA was two reasons. The the first reason essentially was there were lots and lots of [00:02:35] BDA members complaining that the mutuals and insurance companies were not serving them well. [00:02:40] Basically, they discretionary companies would pull their cover at the last minute or subsequently, [00:02:45] at least they wouldn’t be there, etc. etc.. So we think this is very odd. So [00:02:50] we approached our sort of had a at that time, Peter Walsh was uh, head of the BDA [00:02:55] and we approached the organisation, said, you know, we can either work with you or, you know, let’s [00:03:00] sort this out. And we couldn’t get a straightforward answer with them. We said we might go into collaboration with them. Couldn’t get a real, [00:03:05] uh, sort of landing on that. So he said, okay, you know what, we’re going to do this ourselves because it’s not really our business. [00:03:10] We’ve been around this at trade union and professional association for over 100 years, and DMP is not our business. We shouldn’t [00:03:15] be our business at all. So for us to get into, we had to have a very good reason. The reason we [00:03:20] got into it was we wanted to be dentists for dentists, and we wanted to deliver a product [00:03:25] that was actually going to going to be the best for the patient, but also for the dentist. [00:03:30] So, so the difference between us, the biggest differences were, were contractual. [00:03:35] Um, so it’s not mutual. So you have a contract with us for insurance as opposed to mutual [00:03:40] discretionary relationship.

Speaker1: And we are all dentist for dentists and [00:03:45] we are occurrence based. So which is again what the mutuals are. But unlike an insurance company [00:03:50] which has claims made, if you left us an occurrence basis and a claim came in 510 [00:03:55] years down the line, you won’t need to be paying, run off, cover, etc. etc.. So. So we thought that was the [00:04:00] best model. And there was insurers RSA were the insurers that we went with. They [00:04:05] gave us a fantastic policy. We spent a long time costing it and getting getting it to where we want [00:04:10] it to be. And and that the rationale for why I think it’s the best thing is because it’s [00:04:15] a one stop shop, because you now have a professional association, you have a trade union, [00:04:20] you have every service that you could possibly have, including indemnity. So one of the frustrations [00:04:25] I had when I was a dental advisor, Dental protection was somebody had thrown up. We give them advice and they say, [00:04:30] oh, by the way, I’ve also my practice is stitching me up for the money. There’s a complaint, but [00:04:35] he’s holding the money back and there’s a relation, I think, well, I can’t help you with that. That’s a contractual issue. It’s a business [00:04:40] issue. You need to go to the BDA and they say, well, not a BDA member to give you [00:04:45] some advice, but I can’t I can’t really do much for you. Basically you need to be a member. Now we can simply say [00:04:50] you are a BDA member. Um, we’ve got a huge amount of advisory services, we’ve got compliance, [00:04:55] we’ve got health and safety, we’ve got a whole range of things.

Speaker1: And the beauty about. And [00:05:00] what is sad is that it’s only when I started actually working [00:05:05] the BDA that I realised just how much gets done. I was a committee member at Young Dentist on PEC [00:05:10] and I knew what was going on to greater or less extent, but I didn’t realise just how much goes on. There’s [00:05:15] nothing in dentistry. The BDA doesn’t know about every single aspect of [00:05:20] every British professional life they know about, and the stuff that people don’t know about, they know about. Whether [00:05:25] it’s related to the GDC, the NHS or whatever, and we deal with them every single day. There’s new stuff coming across [00:05:30] the desk every single day. Policy decisions by the NHS, by NHS England, by the GDC, [00:05:35] by, uh, CQC. These guys are on it every day and I could pick up the phone to anybody [00:05:40] in this organisation and they’ll know about every single thing that’s going on. And if they don’t know about it, [00:05:45] they’ll soon find out about it. That is unique because there’s no matter no matter what organisation, there’s no [00:05:50] way that they’d have that amount of knowledge and expertise bang up to date. And I think the [00:05:55] frustration is that it’s seen as a trade union, which it is, and it’s badged [00:06:00] as NHS. You’re just an NHS organisation and you really don’t care. You, uh, care [00:06:05] a hoot about private dentistry. And I think we recognise that, that it’s been branded [00:06:10] as that.

Speaker1: But when we, we looked at this recently and said actually everything we’ve got on our [00:06:15] website actually is not specifically NHS. There is, there is some NHS stuff, but [00:06:20] most of it’s private stuff. How you run your practice, how you take payments, uh, all [00:06:25] the every bit of advice that applies to private entity as well. And I think the, the difficulty [00:06:30] we have is and it’s a mantra from my colleague Russell Russell, he says we [00:06:35] aren’t NHS dental private, we are just dentists. Okay. Simple, straightforward dentistry. And [00:06:40] we happen to earn our income either privately or from an NHS contract or from [00:06:45] both. Okay, we are not. And the badge ourselves as an NHS dentist or [00:06:50] as a private dentist is actually a is actually a fallacy because we are just dentists. We’re full stop [00:06:55] clinically, we’re dentists with private dental treatment and it just happens to be the contract we’re working under, [00:07:00] the payment method that that we get. And I think we forget that when when the BDA [00:07:05] representing people, they represent the NHS for pay and rations to the to the government, but they’re also representing [00:07:10] them as a profession. And we’re in there fighting with them for against [00:07:15] the GDC. We’re the ones who came up with who challenged the, the GDC with, with their own money, [00:07:20] with the annual retention fee years ago. One, the one the, the ruling [00:07:25] that the, the, uh, judicial review and, [00:07:30] you know, we did it thinking actually we might get more members if we do this. [00:07:35] We didn’t just kind of set people kind of just for.

Speaker3: The benefit.

Speaker1: You [00:07:40] get benefit. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So yeah, it happened then.

Speaker3: Correct me if I’m wrong. If [00:07:45] you had to make the case against the BDA, incredibly unfair of me to make you do this. It would be [00:07:50] that would it that it or is it something else.

Speaker1: But no I think I think the [00:07:55] case against them would be we’ve probably haven’t served the private [00:08:00] dentists as much as we should. And and it was it was the reason why bapd British private dentistry [00:08:05] set up in the middle of Covid, because it looked like we were just an organisation that supported dentists [00:08:10] through Covid. We we wanted the support of them. We we fought [00:08:15] tooth and nail to, to get that. And we kind of ignored, ignored the plight of private entities. We weren’t getting the support that NHS [00:08:20] dentists did. And I think we sort of took a hard look at ourselves and said, yeah, you’re probably right. We we [00:08:25] weren’t as aware of it and I think we were probably going to get to, uh, we’re going [00:08:30] to get to the situation very soon, where as a policy, the BDA will just be saying, you know what, NHS [00:08:35] is dead, dead in the water. You may as well just bail out and start looking for another form of income. And I think we’re very [00:08:40] close to that. We’re pretty well there now. Um, because nobody, nobody knows [00:08:45] the NHS better than us. We literally have meetings on a weekly basis with NHS England. [00:08:50] There’s no chance of contract reform. There’s no chance of of getting the the udas. So [00:08:55] we’ll be there for many years to come. And that’s a broken system. It’s been broken since 2006. [00:09:00] And this is the second health select committee that said it [00:09:05] said as much as broken. And we’re still and nobody’s the government’s making no attempt [00:09:10] to change it. So so I think the answer is going to be that the the criticism might be we weren’t. [00:09:15]

Speaker1: And I think one of the criticisms might also be we don’t tell people enough about [00:09:20] what we do. You know, we do a lot, but sometimes we do things behind [00:09:25] the scenes because when an organisation makes an [00:09:30] incorrect decision and we challenge it and they say, yeah, okay, you know, you’re right. If we went to the press or went [00:09:35] to the members every time and said, guess what, the GDC were going to do this. We told them not to or NHS [00:09:40] England was going to do this. We changed their mind. They said, oh, right, well, fantastic. We’re not going to talk to us ever again because, [00:09:45] because all we’re going to do is, is, is spill the beans on them. So, so I, you know, we work behind the [00:09:50] scenes an awful lot and things that we, we have lots of little victories or changes [00:09:55] of minds because we because of that approach, because they recognise that we’re not going to go and. Gladstone [00:10:00] undermine people’s confidence in them because we had a minor victory or a major [00:10:05] victory. So don’t shout from the rooftops. So. So I think that’s in a sense it’s the frustration [00:10:10] of how this this organisation operates. And I see that on a daily basis, thinking we [00:10:15] do so much for everybody. And, and, and it’s just, you know, a few members who recognise [00:10:20] it because they use the services, other people don’t use the services. They actually what did I get from my membership? [00:10:25] I think that’s that’s the problem.

Speaker3: I mean, talking about bringing [00:10:30] the two areas together, we’re talking about blame when things go wrong in, in, [00:10:35] in dentistry. And we talk about shame when that happens. And [00:10:40] then the question of sort of representation within BDA [00:10:45] is, is it something particular to dentistry that do you think is something particular [00:10:50] to dentistry. That means that we, number one, are not united. And [00:10:55] number two, when something goes wrong, we we’re [00:11:00] scared of it. You know, we’ve got black box thinking, um, and, you know, the [00:11:05] way that we run away from errors. Is there something specific to dentistry, [00:11:10] or do you think this is just professions in general?

Speaker1: I think it’s professions in general. I mean, I think there’s probably [00:11:15] a slight there’s well, not I mean the, the, the competitive, the [00:11:20] representation. And I think, um, interesting I don’t think that’s the same amongst lawyers. [00:11:25] Um, you know, my son’s a lawyer. I’ve obviously got, um, people who [00:11:30] are lawyers. Uh, my other son’s an actuary. They don’t have that sort of, uh, [00:11:35] because they don’t have that sort of split nature about them. Because [00:11:40] we are partly because we are competitive, because we’re competing with each other in [00:11:45] one sense, a dentist, uh, you know, from one, one street across to the next, you kind of competing [00:11:50] for business. So there may be an element of we’re kind of divided ourselves artificially because somebody, [00:11:55] probably somebody NHS. There is almost a dismissive approach to an [00:12:00] NHS dentist. To stays in the NHS will surely, surely be bright enough to see that the NHS [00:12:05] is dead. You should be leaving. So there’s there’s almost a pejorative sense of [00:12:10] being an NHS dentist. So there’s kind of competition between dentists, but it’s also division because [00:12:15] you have dcp’s, you have different groups in the profession [00:12:20] wanting different things at different times. And I think that that also leads to that sort [00:12:25] of sense of division. And so I think that that’s a particular problem. But but the feeling of [00:12:30] making mistakes and errors and shame is probably not unique to dentistry. I [00:12:35] think everybody will find that every profession will have a have a every [00:12:40] professional person will have a sense of doing wrong and being ashamed about it basically in [00:12:45] every sort of profession. So I think that that’s just the nature of it.

Speaker1: But the problem with the problem with dentistry [00:12:50] per se, unlike, say, being a lawyer, is it’s personal because you’re actually doing [00:12:55] this treatment on this particular person and you’ve caused them this, or they accuse you of causing them this [00:13:00] particular harm. So it’s very direct. And you don’t have the the sort of corporate [00:13:05] response as you would, you know, you make a complaint to a hotel or a restaurant [00:13:10] or a, or an airline. Well, it doesn’t really matter who the pilot was, who the air hostess was, who’s [00:13:15] surging behind the counter. It’s a corporate response. So you don’t never feel that it’s you [00:13:20] directly, whereas here it’s you personally. It’s directly you. They’ll they’ll use your name in the complaint [00:13:25] and it’s going to be your treatment, your action, your words that they’re challenging. And I think that’s why it’s it’s [00:13:30] so personal. That’s why it gets to people so much as a, as a dentist. Because [00:13:35] on a human level, you go into work to do the best you can. Nobody goes into work saying, [00:13:40] you know, today I’m going to have a I’m just going to treat everybody badly. You go in, you know, with [00:13:45] that diligence that that feeling of wanting to do good. And, and I think [00:13:50] in a sense, the one of the, the joys of, [00:13:55] of that is the flip side of it because, because you, you want to go to do work [00:14:00] and do the best you can. But when it goes wrong, you take it very personally, um, because [00:14:05] you didn’t want to do wrong, you didn’t want it to go wrong, and it has gone wrong. So you take it very, very personally in a way [00:14:10] that probably I don’t even think even the medical professionals will, will take it as badly [00:14:15] as we do.

Speaker1: And we often talk about this concept of, of the the third [00:14:20] victim or the second victim. The third, the third victim is probably going to be you, you know, you, [00:14:25] you, you suffer as a direct result of that complaint or that error. And even if they don’t complain, [00:14:30] you know, you walk home and you’re thinking, oh my God, that’s me. I can’t believe I did this. I can’t [00:14:35] believe I missed that. And and every one of us, anybody who’s doing dentistry will have done that and have that [00:14:40] sinking feeling of, I’ve done something wrong. And even if the patient doesn’t complain, even if anybody [00:14:45] finds out about it, you have that sinking feeling. And I think that’s that. A that makes you a professional. [00:14:50] It makes you a caring professional. You’re not burnt out. It means you still care, which is great in itself. But [00:14:55] it’s but it is one of the the real challenges of being a clinician and dealing [00:15:00] directly with patients, and also the fact that it happens in real time, you know, it’s [00:15:05] the patient is not anaesthetised. Um, you’re they’re, you know, they’re not under general anaesthetic. [00:15:10] You can do what you like in the general anaesthetic and it goes wrong. Well, there’s no panic. There’s no stress here. You know, [00:15:15] instantly something goes wrong. They know you know it. And I think that’s that’s why it’s [00:15:20] it’s so challenging as a, as a profession when something goes wrong. Because, because it is [00:15:25] ever so personal.

Speaker3: I mean, it’s very interesting because I do another podcast at mental health [00:15:30] podcast around dentistry and um, this question of, [00:15:35] you know, suicide. Why? Why dentists? Why, why not brain surgeons? [00:15:40] And I was talking to my, um, my cousin, he’s a he’s an eye surgeon. [00:15:45] And we were talking about this question of the live patient, and [00:15:50] he was saying how much more tired he is, how much more drained he is. And [00:15:55] the patient said it’s an LA compared to if it’s a GA situation [00:16:00] and it’s something that we take for granted. But the cumulative stress [00:16:05] of that live patient and the thing you’re saying about taking things personally, I [00:16:10] probably the the best legal advice of Dental legal advice [00:16:15] I’ve heard in my whatever years is not to take complaints [00:16:20] personally, but it’s inevitable. I mean, what you just described is inevitable, [00:16:25] and in fact, even worse than the situation that you described is when you really feel like you did your very [00:16:30] best and the patient thinks you didn’t, and your patient, you know, the patient’s got it [00:16:35] wrong, but you did your very best. And and now your livelihood is on the line and all those things. Right? [00:16:40] Yeah. Um, I think, on the other hand, the question of why are we not sort of more [00:16:45] united? Do you agree with me that sometimes under the guise of patient’s [00:16:50] best interests, we’re particularly nasty to each other, you know, because [00:16:55] we’ve got that sort of that cover of we’re doing this, we’re talking we’re having this conversation for the patient. It’s [00:17:00] not, you know, that’s the cover that we’re under. And so we can just be as nasty as we like because [00:17:05] because we’re caring so much for our patients. Yeah.

Speaker1: It’s a concept. Yeah I think so. And [00:17:10] yeah. And yeah, you could do because you’re saying, well, the reason you put [00:17:15] something up on our Instagram and somebody criticised it and you say, well, the reason I’m saying [00:17:20] this is because I don’t think you’ve done the best for that patient. And you’re not asking the patient’s best interests, which [00:17:25] is which is interesting because I’m not quite sure whose best interest some of these things are founded [00:17:30] in, you know, but but, but picking up this thing about stress and one of the other things I find what I, [00:17:35] what I, what I think is also particularly challenging is something my, my son mentioned the other day. [00:17:40] He says, how is it that you can be? He says, it’s really tiring [00:17:45] being nice to people all day. Yeah, okay. And I thought, actually there’s an interesting concept, he says, because I [00:17:50] just go to work, you know, if I have a bad day or a bad day, you know, I can sit behind my [00:17:55] computer, whatever. But you, dad, you’ve got to be nice to every single person. And if you’ve had if you’ve [00:18:00] done something bad, if something’s not gone quite right, you’ve got an ex patient’s coming, you know, do come in. [00:18:05] Have a seat. It’s a wonderful. And or you’re running late and you have to you have to slow [00:18:10] down even more.

Speaker1: So uh, you know, you’re running 15 minutes late. They know that that you’re [00:18:15] trying to rush them and you say, no, have a seat. How’s your grandchildren? How are the kids? How was your holiday? And you, [00:18:20] you’re an actor. You’re playing this game. And it’s hard. It’s hard work particularly, [00:18:25] you know, we talk about this thing about mental stress and and, you know, having time out because we [00:18:30] say you should be doing two things. One, celebrate the success. So when something goes really well, you fitted [00:18:35] the crowd patients really happy. And they walk out and you’re fantastic and you think, right, next, next patient [00:18:40] come in, you’re thinking, no chance to even absorb that and enjoy that moment. Basically with with [00:18:45] the staff or the flip side when something doesn’t go quite, quite right. Not catastrophic, but [00:18:50] it’s difficult. It’s difficult extraction. You’re stressed, you’re anxious, and you’re now running late and the next patient comes in, you [00:18:55] just got a big smile on your face, and you’ve got to do it all over again. And it’s I was talking to [00:19:00] somebody. They say the doctors that the medical students are now looking [00:19:05] at seeing has anybody done their A level has done acting okay. And [00:19:10] I thought that was an interesting concept because actually you’re going to be a pretty good actor. Yeah. You know as a, as a clinician [00:19:15] because it because you’ve got to you’ve almost got to subjugate your own personality, [00:19:20] your own your own views because you know, you know, somebody says, oh, I [00:19:25] hate the Tories.

Speaker1: Yeah. The Tories are terrible. Next patient comes in I hate the Labour Party. Yeah, yeah. The Labour Party is terrible [00:19:30] basically. And you’re thinking, right, okay. I don’t want to have an argument with you. We’re just we’re just going to run this particular [00:19:35] thing. And people have very strong views. They don’t know what our views are yet. They’ll, they’ll they’ll express their [00:19:40] views and you’ve got to stay up. Yeah yeah, yeah that’s fine. That’s fine. So I think it’s, it is, [00:19:45] it’s and I think it’s that challenging nature we started at the beginning talking about, you know, what makes [00:19:50] a good dentist. What makes a good dentist is that ability to be a good actor, but also be [00:19:55] empathetic. But you know, but but have that those communication skills and it’s not necessarily about [00:20:00] and actually being being able to cope with that, that that sort of constant [00:20:05] being in the limelight. Um, with those patients, uh, you’re almost being a, being [00:20:10] an actor on a stage, but the stage is just you in that patient and also your nurse, your [00:20:15] nurse is also privy to all your errors and all your your mishaps as well. [00:20:20]

Speaker3: I think, you know, having having left dentistry that or clinical dentistry, I think now [00:20:25] for me, it’s 12 years ago. It’s the thing I miss the most is those conversations. [00:20:30] I mean, it could be a big part of the reason why I do a pod is because [00:20:35] I want to have conversations with people in my office. I’m in my office right now in my office. It’s [00:20:40] it’s the same. It’s the same group of people. Much as I love them, it’s the same group of people [00:20:45] continuously. And it’s so weird because when you when you’re a dentist, [00:20:50] humans are kind of in the way of you doing doing the work. Yeah, [00:20:55] but it’s only when you stop that you realise the bits that you really miss. [00:21:00]

Speaker1: It’s spot on. Absolutely. I mean, there was, there was. I think it was, uh. Must have been [00:21:05] two years ago now. I had a diagnosed neuralgic amyotrophy, basically. So my [00:21:10] hand basically just froze. Uh, one Monday and that that hand was slipping out of my hand and, [00:21:15] and basically as a, as a neuralgic amyotrophy of of [00:21:20] of of a nerve, basically. So, um, so I had to stop work and I’d stopped work [00:21:25] for in the end, it was about 7 or 8 weeks, and there was a possibility that I wouldn’t be able to go back to work [00:21:30] again. And it was a catastrophic not not for any other reason that actually it [00:21:35] wasn’t about the money because because the practice was running perfectly well. Um, there’s no issue necessarily I could [00:21:40] carry on working at the indemnity, so. But I’d be stopping till then. So the two things that affect me [00:21:45] most was the potentially the forced retirement of suddenly saying, right, you’re not working anymore. [00:21:50] And that wasn’t your decision. It was nature’s way of saying stop. And the other thing was actually a conversation. [00:21:55] I, I, my, my wife had come back. First of all, she’d say, I saw your patient, which is always a bad thing to say when you [00:22:00] say, well, so what, what did I do wrong then? And she said, well, why were you doing x, Y and z? And, and [00:22:05] and what I missed most was the conversation.

Speaker1: She was chatting about the patients. Um, started by the [00:22:10] practice. And I thought, you know what? I missed that. What I miss most was actually this conversation with the patient, [00:22:15] the chat, the interaction. And I’m stuck at home here, basically just looking at the four walls. [00:22:20] And that’s what, you know. And it was just like with Covid and people stuck and thinking, actually, when all our staff [00:22:25] came back after Covid, they said, I’m so glad to be back. Back here working. My husband [00:22:30] or wife is is still at home, but I love coming in. And it was just it’s the conversation. It’s a human contact. [00:22:35] And and yes, it may be stressful, but one thing and I think people probably [00:22:40] underestimate just how powerful that a human interaction is [00:22:45] to your own wellbeing. Because, you know, I come home and I say to my wife, oh, guess what? You know, I was chatting to [00:22:50] this person about this, this and said, oh, you know, be a good place to go on holiday. They’ve mentioned this place to that place. [00:22:55] You’re thinking, oh my goodness me, or such and such is happened and you’re thinking, right, and that’s, that’s a conversation. [00:23:00] And that’s the beauty of that human interaction. I think we, we underestimated our peril.

Speaker3: I [00:23:05] it’s interesting, I’ve had that situation too, where I treated my wife’s [00:23:10] list of patients when she took maternity. And what I found really interesting was the [00:23:15] conversations I was having with her patients were completely different to the ones she was having. [00:23:20] And you take it for granted that, you know, you get the same thing from the same [00:23:25] patient. So Mr. Smith, he’s a lovely man or whatever it is, [00:23:30] but totally different. Like she’d been seeing these patients for eight years, and I was talking [00:23:35] to them about questions she’d never asked before. Yeah, it really is. I [00:23:40] don’t know, I don’t want to say it’s the best bit of dentistry because there’s there’s loads of dentists who love the other part. [00:23:45] Right. The Meccano piece, uh, bless him, Lewis McKenzie always used to tell me about [00:23:50] the pleasure he used to get from just matrixing something correctly, [00:23:55] you know, just just doing that and, you know, just doing a very simple mo composite [00:24:00] and how much pleasure he would get from that. So, you know, there’s different areas of dentistry. [00:24:05] Um, but for me, definitely that, that social side, definitely the most important one. Let’s get let’s [00:24:10] get to um, darker questions. I’ve really been looking forward [00:24:15] to asking you about clinical errors, legal problems that you’ve [00:24:20] had. What’s been your most difficult patient?

Speaker1: Me personally.

Speaker3: As a dentist.

Speaker1: Yeah. [00:24:25] Yeah I the, the clinic I have I had I’ve had a claim [00:24:30] and I’ve actually used it in a couple of presentations basically. And the [00:24:35] what it was, was basically was a, I prescribed penicillin to [00:24:40] an allergic patient. Penicillin. Uh, Perkins alleged penicillin, basically. And, you know, I’ve [00:24:45] gone through it so many times in the past, but essentially in my own head, what happened? But it [00:24:50] was a classic. Patients in pain squeezed in and gave some antibiotics. [00:24:55] You needed a bit of swelling, gave some antibiotics, prescribed it on a Wednesday. And [00:25:00] I get it. I go in on Saturday morning for my for my clinic and it’s [00:25:05] 8:45. And the receptionist says to me, oh, you need to phone [00:25:10] up Mr. Smith. You saw Mrs. Smith on Wednesday. You, Mr. Smith, wants to talk to you. Uh, his wife’s [00:25:15] in hospital. She’s in ICU. Um, he wants to know, uh, what [00:25:20] you’ve given him. He’s not going to sue you, but he wants to know. And I’m thinking this is a great line. At [00:25:25] 8:45 on a Saturday morning, I haven’t seen any [00:25:30] patients. And I’m thinking. Right, uh, that’s just what I need to hear, basically. So so I said, right, [00:25:35] okay, what’s the patient? Let me have a good look. And I think I did good mathematics, actually. Hang on a sec. [00:25:40] Uh, they’re allergic, so why why I didn’t give them penicillin. So. [00:25:45] So anyway, they so I sent the patient back up, uh, looked at it and said, right. Okay. Really [00:25:50] sorry to hear about your wife.

Speaker1: What? It’s gone. She’s nice to you. Um, so she so sorry [00:25:55] I gave it on the Monday. So? So she says she had a rash, came out with a rash. They [00:26:00] thought it was meningitis, so they. They’d give. They’d been treating it as meningitis. And I said, okay, it’s fine. [00:26:05] And I said, so I said yes, I did give her a penicillin. She’s obviously alleged penicillin. And I’ve [00:26:10] looked at the records and she did tell me she’s allergic to penicillin on our notes, so I don’t know why I did it. I’m really, really sorry. [00:26:15] It’s my fault. Okay. Um. And he says, well, not really your fault. I just it’s probably my [00:26:20] fault. I said, why is your fault? He said, well, because I know she’s allergic. Penicillin. So when you gave it, I should have checked it. I said, well, [00:26:25] not your problem, it’s my problem. So I said, well, uh, and he says, well, I said [00:26:30] possibly, you know, the, the pharmacist, but it’s, you know, I wrote the prescriptions is my problem. Is that okay? That’s fine, [00:26:35] I said, but you know, he said, but also he said, but he says interestingly, he says the um, we [00:26:40] knew she was allegedly penicillin, that the, um, the hospital’s given a penicillin. I said, sorry, [00:26:45] well, they’ve given a penicillin because they think it’s meningitis. I said, well, what are they doing? Will they be giving [00:26:50] a I.V. penicillin? I’m thinking, hang on a second. I said, I’m gonna check this. This is so. [00:26:55]

Speaker1: I said, don’t they know she’s alleged penicillin? He said, well, it is on the records, but I don’t think [00:27:00] so. I’m thinking, right. Okay. So this is this is interesting. I said, well, I’ll, I’ll take full responsibility for it. And [00:27:05] so, so on the Monday we’ve changed our system. So it’s [00:27:10] on all the records. If anybody’s on penicillin or water or anything else, there’s a pop up note. Whatever. We [00:27:15] had a meeting, we discussed it. Um, we had a we had a incident report, [00:27:20] you know, twice around the the practice meeting, etc., etc. so fine, I’m not going to happen again. [00:27:25] And that was the last. So then about two months, about uh, [00:27:30] 4 or 5 weeks later, I wrote to him, explained everything, explained what we’ve done, explained why it had happened, [00:27:35] um, why it wasn’t gonna happen in the future, etc., etc. and about it was all silent. About a month later he wrote back [00:27:40] and said, it’s a thank you for your letters. Been a bit of a bit of a nightmare journey. She’s okay. She’s better [00:27:45] now. Thank you very much. But if you hadn’t admitted, if you hadn’t said, if you hadn’t taken responsibility [00:27:50] for it, I would have taken it further. Okay. So. Okay. Interesting. Fantastic. Uh, so that [00:27:55] was fine. And, you know, you know, and I think somebody said to me, did you contact your defence [00:28:00] organisation said, well, not really, because I knew what I was going to do. And the answer was I had to be open, I had to be open.

Speaker1: I’d be honest, [00:28:05] had to be truthful, told the patient, and there’s no point hiding out, going to admit it without any shadow of a doubt [00:28:10] that I’d made the error. But the and they said, oh, well, he says, well, the GDC [00:28:15] would also want you to do exactly what I’ve done, because and in the end, if [00:28:20] it ever came to GDC case, would they would my fitness to practice be impaired? The answer is no, because I’ve [00:28:25] learned from it. It won’t happen again. Repetition is very unlikely. Your current fitness practice will be impaired. [00:28:30] So I was worried about the GDC. Was I worried about it saying possibly as it happened, nothing [00:28:35] happened. Four months later I did get a claim. Okay from that, from the from the parents, [00:28:40] from the wife. Basically claim for whatever made a claim of about well [00:28:45] started at 20 grand basically and um for hospitalisation. And I thought actually, you know what, what’s [00:28:50] happened here? They’ve been at a dinner party. Somebody mentioned, you know what? I was [00:28:55] in hospital. She’s quite ill. Why? Because the dentist gave her penicillin. But what did you do about [00:29:00] it or nothing? He apologised. I wouldn’t do that. Hang on a sec. You better sue him. He’s already [00:29:05] admitted it. Go and sue him. So they did. Basically they. They sued. But. But interestingly enough, I [00:29:10] was a dental practice at the time and said, you know this is very interesting. I. Before we settle this claim, [00:29:15] I need to see the hospital records.

Speaker1: Get this close to the records. We’ll see what’s going on. And they had. They’d actually given [00:29:20] her IV penicillin. Okay. When she was. When she was. The reason [00:29:25] why she ended up in it was because they’d given her the, the the penicillin. Obviously, I’d given her penicillin [00:29:30] as well, but but they’d given it to our IV. So. So she’s critically ill as a result of [00:29:35] them and, and I think and and I said, right. Okay. We do need to point out to them we’ll [00:29:40] settle the case because I triggered the whole thing. She wouldn’t be in hospital in the first place. It wasn’t for me, but [00:29:45] but it was compounded subsequently by what the hospital did. So we said, okay, [00:29:50] we reduce the claim down. She she got £10,000 for it. She was just happy and that was the end of it. But but but [00:29:55] the the abiding memory for me is, is obviously making that mistake. And one of the [00:30:00] things I’m really passionate about is, is a we’ve got to learn from the mistakes, these things going to happen. [00:30:05] People make mistakes. People don’t do these things deliberately, but also the fact that I’d like [00:30:10] to be able to still be working in practice, to still have that connection with [00:30:15] our members, to say, you know, because often people say, well, it’s okay for you to talk about record keeping and [00:30:20] how good it should be. Well, you’re not you’re not in practice. Well, if I’m in practice, I’m still working [00:30:25] in a practice.

Speaker1: I still do NHS work. So I’m with you and I understand what’s going on. So I can be pragmatic with you, [00:30:30] but equally so I can be equally critical when you’ve done something really stupid because [00:30:35] it’s not really something that’s a reasonable dentist would do. So I think [00:30:40] it’s that that connection that allows me to to do that and hopefully [00:30:45] be a bit more empathetic to people’s situation, because I know I’ve been there and lots [00:30:50] of people will say, actually, you know what? I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t knowing what you do, [00:30:55] I wouldn’t I would have given up ages ago. And actually, I think because, you know, [00:31:00] you often can see the whole thing rolling out in front of you. You think, I know, I know where this is going [00:31:05] to end. You know, when that happened, I think, right, this is what I need to do to stop it going any further. Because because [00:31:10] this is going to if, unless, unless I do something now, it’s going to roll on and roll on, roll on. If I, if I’m [00:31:15] if I’m not honest, if I’m not open, if I’m not truthful, it’s just going to get worse. [00:31:20] Um, let me suffer the consequences ultimately. But let me just do something now. And I think when [00:31:25] people are because they don’t know the potential consequence, they get really fearful [00:31:30] and very closed and then and then get more trapped in [00:31:35] their way of thinking. Because thinking, oh, if I do this or I say this and I apologise, it’s just going to get worse, it’s going to get worse, going [00:31:40] to get worse.

Speaker1: I’m not going to do it. And I remember, you know, even in our own practice, um, a [00:31:45] patient was she was irrigating her pocket. Periodontal pocket, but was [00:31:50] given was given hypochlorite instead of instead of corsodyl because the [00:31:55] nurse is the nurse wasn’t wasn’t used to that surgery. Walked in and handed a prefilled syringe [00:32:00] which would normally prefilled syringes anymore. A prefilled syringe, which is actually hypochlorite she injected [00:32:05] into the pocket burning sensation and the dentist realised what had gone wrong. [00:32:10] And then the patient’s. What did he do? Said, well, yeah, don’t worry about it. It’ll be okay. What have you done? What [00:32:15] have you checked so well, if I tell you, you’d be more upset thinking, why did you say that? You should. [00:32:20] You should have just said it’s. You know, we picked up the wrong syringe. It’s it’s it’s hypochlorites [00:32:25] the bleaching agent. But, you know, it’ll be okay. Don’t worry. And the mystery and the subterfuge [00:32:30] made even worse because she was terrified as a as a young dentist, you think, oh my God, whatever I’ve [00:32:35] done, I’ve made a mistake. I can’t admit to the mistake. The answer is it is a terrible thing. It’s very [00:32:40] hard to admit to a mistake. But, you know, if you’re going to have to, you’re going to have [00:32:45] to fess up at some point. You may as well just do it now, basically. So I think that’s that’s the challenge, I.

Speaker3: Think, to your [00:32:50] earlier point about, you know, patients who have had injury [00:32:55] needing compensation, I think in your case there that that that’s fine. Right? [00:33:00] That £10,000, you know, there was there was injury there. But before you realise about [00:33:05] the hospital. Hiv and, uh, penicillin. [00:33:10] Did you suffer with shame?

Speaker1: I did, I [00:33:15] did because even more shame.

Speaker3: Because of who you are or or not.

Speaker1: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah. Because, [00:33:20] you know, it’s you know, you see those things all the time. You’re thinking, right, I shouldn’t make a mistake. [00:33:25] And then you go home to your wife, who’s also a dentist, thinking, so why did you do that? Okay, [00:33:30] okay, I don’t I don’t I don’t need you to criticise me as well. And you say, right, okay. [00:33:35] So did you not look at your notes? Did you not look at the medical street, you know. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know I should have done all that. And [00:33:40] it’s, it’s even more obviously easy to stop. Um, so which makes it makes the [00:33:45] mistake so much more stupid. And you see. So why did I do that? And it’s just things [00:33:50] in a rush. You don’t check it. And, you know, we don’t have a proper process. And so, so some of [00:33:55] this some a lot of the errors in this is a classic. Atul Gawande talked about this checklist [00:34:00] manifesto where you actually you actually have checklist processes. So so [00:34:05] most of what we, we talk about at PD is, you know, if [00:34:10] you have the right process in place, you will risk manage a lot of these things out.

Speaker1: So if we actually had [00:34:15] a pop up note that said, you know, pink pop up little pink pop up notes now for medical, [00:34:20] uh, medical interactions, you’d see that and you’re thinking, right, I’d see it. Uh, the [00:34:25] nurse would see it and he’d say, are you sure you’re going to prescribe this or whatever? So there wasn’t a system. So [00:34:30] there is a system now, and every time something goes wrong, we respond, [00:34:35] or the profession ought to be responding to actually make sure we learn from [00:34:40] our errors. And that’s kind of this, this whole thing, you know, NHS are interred. Jason Wong’s interred about, [00:34:45] um, about, uh, safety, culture and learning from mistakes. We try desperately [00:34:50] to, as a profession, health care profession, to try and collate all these different problems [00:34:55] and errors, to create solutions which the airline industry does very well and we just do very badly. [00:35:00] So, you know, every one of the mistakes that, that, uh, that has happened [00:35:05] in my practice, I’ve seen over is all possible happen could be happening again and again and again. And people just [00:35:10] don’t put the systems in place, um, to stop it happening. Pretty true.

Speaker3: So I [00:35:15] want to get on to your practice, the story of that. So is [00:35:20] this. Am I right in thinking that? Did I read that this is the only practice you’ve ever worked at?

Speaker1: Yeah, [00:35:25] well, I pretty well I mean, I did, I worked as an associate in other [00:35:30] practice, belonged to the same guy. So when I, when I qualified, I was working as a foundation [00:35:35] dentist in his practice and he owned three practices. So I worked in all three [00:35:40] practice as, as as a VTE and then worked as an associate [00:35:45] at the end of the year, worked as an associate in his practice. And then in that literary [00:35:50] year later he worked in practice. In the year I was doing VTE, he wanted to sell it and he said, did you want to buy [00:35:55] it? Not in my year. So it was literally a couple of years later, so qualified [00:36:00] in finished my in 1990 and then bought it in January [00:36:05] of 93. Um, so were you.

Speaker3: Already married at this [00:36:10] point or. No.

Speaker1: Uh, we, uh, no, I was married in, uh, 1992, [00:36:15] and, and so we bought the well, uh, Anne was [00:36:20] working at the at that actually, she was working at the practice as well, basically at, uh, the, [00:36:25] uh, his practice basically. So the so but we bought the practice, [00:36:30] so bought the practice. Um, we exchanged on the practice on the same day we exchanged on our house. [00:36:35] So it’s a pretty stressful week basically. But but it was um, uh, but at that time it was. [00:36:40] So he sold his share, uh, to me. And there was an existing partner there, Melanie [00:36:45] Wainwright and Shadow Practice in Chelmsford. Eventually she sold that to me. So yeah. So [00:36:50] start off as a as a two therapy practice. But yeah. And funny enough, we celebrated [00:36:55] our 30th anniversary of buying the practice this year earlier this year. So we bought [00:37:00] this 92 not last year. Um, and 93. So last year we was [00:37:05] 30 years and I, and I was saying to somebody saying to somebody, I said, well, if I’d known, [00:37:10] uh, if somebody said to me, you’re going to leave, uh, dental school and you’re going to [00:37:15] stay in the same four walls for the next 30 years, uh, what do you think? [00:37:20] I’d say that’s completely mad. I’m not going to do that. Um, and there I am, standing in those same four walls, [00:37:25] look out the window onto, uh, onto the Woodford tube station. So, yeah, it’s, uh, it’s a it’s a strange, [00:37:30] strange sensation. Strange sensation.

Speaker3: But, uh, you know, I think Cliff talks about it a lot about [00:37:35] being in the same practice for years where you see your own mistakes. Um, and, [00:37:40] I mean, in 30 years, you’ve seen same family, grandchildren and so [00:37:45] forth. Yeah. Um, but but what I’m more interested in is the sort [00:37:50] of the business story, um, okay. What two, two surgery, NHS [00:37:55] practice, was it?

Speaker1: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: And now it’s the same site. Is it [00:38:00] that the same surgery. So what have you done built out and under and up. No African [00:38:05] thinking. Absolutely. Exactly.

Speaker1: So we were on the first floor, [00:38:10] um, and we were renting, paying rent to HSBC. Uh, so [00:38:15] HSBC were downstairs, uh, they had downstairs and they had, they had the basement, which [00:38:20] is the, uh, the safes and the safe deposit boxes. And so we rented off them and then [00:38:25] eventually they, they sold up, um, and then leased it [00:38:30] back off us. So all the banks at that time were, were going, coming off the high street. So [00:38:35] Barclays, NatWest, they’ve all left, they’ve all left. And so what they did was they basically went [00:38:40] to auction, went to a terrifying auction and got the property, [00:38:45] and then they leased it back basically off us. So so they carried on it. So we [00:38:50] got the rent from them. And then eventually three, about four years ago now they [00:38:55] said, right, we’re out here. Basically gave us three months notice and just left. Um, so we end this in this situation [00:39:00] of should we, should we rent out somebody else, uh, and just stay up on [00:39:05] the first? We’re now in the first and second floor. So what we’ve done was so interestingly. So we’re in the first floor, [00:39:10] but we, we, uh, classic, you know, uh, except by stealth, [00:39:15] uh, moved up to the first floor, which is, which was, which was a flat, which is the flat I lived in when [00:39:20] I first moved it, when I joined the practice, which is also one of the main attractions [00:39:25] of the practice, when I applied there, because it meant I didn’t have to go home again after university. [00:39:30] So that was the main attraction. So lived there, moved in with all my mates and then [00:39:35] um, eventually we got married and moved in there and stayed there for about 3 or 4 months before [00:39:40] we bought the house.

Speaker1: But uh, so then eventually converted that into more [00:39:45] surgeries and then so the first and second floor surgeries. And so we had this situation of, you know, [00:39:50] we’re now got this massive building. What are we going to do with it? Do we? [00:39:55] And so in the end we said, okay, there’s nothing more to do. We’re going to have to just go downstairs, gut [00:40:00] the gut downstairs, gut the basement. Uh, and we just have to work out of that. So it [00:40:05] went from four surgeries to seven surgeries in literally one fell swoop, basically. [00:40:10] So it was, um, a big, a big undertaking in terms of [00:40:15] what we do in terms of business, because one of the discussions that I had with the accountants. Uh, was [00:40:20] basically said it’s just going to be a higher growth but more hassle [00:40:25] and probably not much more profit, I think. Okay, well that’s interesting. That’s that. And he’s [00:40:30] absolutely right. But it wasn’t it wasn’t right about the profit because because obviously it worked out okay. Once you’ve [00:40:35] made the investment to to by the by the by the building, you’ve got obviously no rent and [00:40:40] no rent, rent issues. And you can now do exactly what you want to do. So we’ll put central heating in. [00:40:45] We put the whole lot air conditioning, which we would never have done if it wasn’t our building. So it is a [00:40:50] very high respect in terms of the comfort of the place.

Speaker1: And you have control over that. [00:40:55] And I think so. So you know, and then over the but what is what is becoming [00:41:00] more difficult is we then after or during Covid we, we switched [00:41:05] to um, the sessions basically to. So we’ve now so the practice is now open [00:41:10] from seven in the morning till eight in the evening. Um, so it’s now very busy. But [00:41:15] you to matter to, to staff that number of that, that hours [00:41:20] of surgery. You we now have 65 members of staff okay. On one site. So [00:41:25] it’s it is astronomically difficult. So my wife so Ann does an awful lot [00:41:30] basically. So the success of that practice is, is entirely down to for the last ten years because [00:41:35] it you know, it’s not something she spent a huge amount of time. She is the detailed person and [00:41:40] does a huge amount of work to keep that place or keep that place going. We’ve got got two practice managers, [00:41:45] and that’s still not enough because you still need sort of, you know, oversight of all the different people. [00:41:50] And we’ve now sort of moved into sort of specialists and etc., etc., which is kind of the next big thing [00:41:55] we’re trying to do, make sure we’ve got some specialists, um, or got a specialist, um, [00:42:00] evening in a few weeks time. We’ve got a CT scan, we’ve got itero, intraoral [00:42:05] scanners and stuff like so, so, so that, you know, it’s it’s an undertaking in itself, [00:42:10] but it’s worked out because it’s a family practice. You know, people come back again and [00:42:15] again and again. Um, how.

Speaker3: Did you feel these other chairs?

Speaker1: Um, [00:42:20] it’s just organically because because, you know, we we’ve done it [00:42:25] for 20 years, and often the foundation dentist would [00:42:30] stay. If we like them, we keep them on and then we build another, put them into another surgery [00:42:35] and off we go again. And so one of the beauties of the practice largely is built [00:42:40] by built on the backs of people who understand the values, the [00:42:45] what we believe in. So the PhDs arrive, they understand the system, [00:42:50] they understand how we operate, and they stay because they like it. And and sometimes people coming [00:42:55] from a different practice just don’t get the ethos. And it takes them some time to understand what we’re up to while [00:43:00] we’re doing things. We’re not actually about generating shedloads of money off patients because our views very much, [00:43:05] they’re going to be for the long terme. We want to work with you for the next ten, 15, 20 years. We don’t need to [00:43:10] sell you a shedload of stuff in the first first visit. And sometimes dentists don’t get that. [00:43:15] And there’s a there’s a bit of frustration for us and for them to say it’s not how we work. Basically [00:43:20] it’s a different, different mode of operation here. So and, you know, they, they uh, the [00:43:25] practice is built up on, you know, I think for most practices, every single practice in the [00:43:30] country, it’s reputation, every business, it’s reputation, it’s trust. Uh, those are sort of two words [00:43:35] that most companies, businesses, it’s all about trust and reputations. And as long as you [00:43:40] you do your best to maintain that trust, the reputation will follow.

Speaker3: Basically, I think [00:43:45] look, the the model that you’re doing is I’ve seen some of the most successful [00:43:50] practices I’ve ever come across are that model because 65 [00:43:55] humans I mean there’s that could have been you could have been [00:44:00] it could have been a vanity metric here of eight practices. Yeah, [00:44:05] could have been. I mean, there’s many practices with 7 or 8 people [00:44:10] and running it 7 to 8. I accept that that’s [00:44:15] a HR nightmare, because you’ve got to persuade one whole [00:44:20] group of people to work till 8 p.m.. Yeah, but which actually I think that would be one of those [00:44:25] times personally. Um, but I hear often young dentists, I say I want a chain [00:44:30] of practices or something. Actually, if I, if I was going to do it myself, [00:44:35] this building that you can expand, it seems like a much more [00:44:40] efficient way of delivering volume.

Speaker1: Yeah. Because you’ve just got [00:44:45] because all you’re going to do is you’re going to you’re going to replicate those same systems [00:44:50] again and again and again. And actually that doesn’t necessarily generate more profit because because the profit [00:44:55] comes from the, uh, from the from the people doing the treatment. Basically, [00:45:00] it doesn’t have to be in a different site. And because and all you’ve got is more hassle, um, with these different sites, with the [00:45:05] different, um, managers, uh, different managers, different configuration, different type of patients. And so [00:45:10] we know the type of patients we attract, the sort of patients we want to want to keep. And, and [00:45:15] I you know, we often say you get the patients you deserve because if the patients are like [00:45:20] you and they trust you, they’ll refer their friends. And their friends are probably nice people, too. So you [00:45:25] get that build up of patients basically. And and I think, you know, that’s that’s probably [00:45:30] the most exciting thing about it is actually seeing that that grow. And, you know, somebody said, oh, you know, [00:45:35] you know, when are you going to retire? When are you going to sell the practice? And I’m thinking, actually, I’m not so sure I do want to [00:45:40] retire. I’m not sure what I could do with my time retiring, basically, but also the fact that we’ve [00:45:45] still got more to do.

Speaker1: I mean, we’d love to, you know, build up that the specialists and [00:45:50] and take referrals and stuff and, and I know that’s the most challenging thing to do now. Ten years [00:45:55] ago wouldn’t have been because nobody had specialists. Now everybody’s got a specialist operating [00:46:00] out of their practice, their part time. So so having a even a referral practice is challenging. But [00:46:05] because everybody now has a specialist coming to their practice, so us trying to attract [00:46:10] business from elsewhere is not is not going to be straightforward. But we’ve got enough patients of our [00:46:15] own to generate what we need to do. So our orthodontist is busy. He’s booked up 3 or 4 months. [00:46:20] The endodontist is busy, periodontist is busy. So so they are busy in their own right, [00:46:25] and you’d like them to be more busy. But you know, it’s it’s working off the back of our own patients. So [00:46:30] yeah. So you know as a model and the, the other concept for us is it’s, it is still [00:46:35] a mixed NHS and private practice. Um, and we’ve survived probably the best [00:46:40] part of 3 or 4 recessions over the last 30 years because we’re an NHS practice and people still [00:46:45] need their teeth doing.

Speaker1: And and for me it’s just a personal thing I do want to [00:46:50] give. I do want to give back to to the NHS that it has provided me with a great living [00:46:55] and great income, but and a good lifestyle. But, you know, and when I talk [00:47:00] to, uh, lots of people in our practice plan, they’ll be on various panels and they say, you’ve got [00:47:05] to you’ve got to move, you’ve got to move them. You know, it’s all over and thinking, yeah, I know I’m maybe [00:47:10] a bit of a dinosaur in still thinking the NHS is it’s not, it’s not functional, [00:47:15] basically. But in a sense there is. I just feel a sense of duty towards those [00:47:20] patients and some of our dentists, some of our staff members also think that actually we [00:47:25] do owe to those people. There’s lots of people that can’t afford private dentistry. They can just about afford NHS dentistry, let alone private [00:47:30] dentistry and what we can do with those patients. So and they’ve been with us for many, many years. So [00:47:35] I think there is some sense of community and wanting to be, to be part of that, that, [00:47:40] um, that, that service, that community, not just dump them all as they’re very private. [00:47:45]

Speaker3: I understand it. Um, of course I do. But [00:47:50] at the same time. I hated the third party involvement, [00:47:55] you know. Hated it. It is. I did my feet [00:48:00] and just like never again. Never do I want a third party to tell me anything. Yeah, [00:48:05] and I think the patient.

Speaker1: Yeah. And I think that’s that’s true. You know, increasingly, [00:48:10] you know, it’s the it’s the tail wagging the dog because we have so much, um, restrictions [00:48:15] because of the NHS and we’re, you know, we’re chasing udhas for the sake of chasing us. And [00:48:20] it takes up an inordinate amount of time to do those gdas to get to that, to hit that delivery, thinking, [00:48:25] why am I wasting my time doing this? So for, you know, a we can [00:48:30] spend our time seeing the seeing private patients. Um, so yeah, I think there’s, there’s a conflict in our, [00:48:35] in our own heads. Let’s.

Speaker3: Let’s imagine, for the sake of the argument that the friendly [00:48:40] Russian billionaire came and gave you $1 billion for your practice, what would [00:48:45] you do? What do you do next?

Speaker1: Uh, yeah, I’d probably. Yeah, I’d [00:48:50] what I would. I still see patients possibly, but but I mean I well, [00:48:55] the two things I’d like to carry on doing is, is this job, uh, the indemnity as this, [00:49:00] there’s so much more still to be done to get this, to get the policy wording, to get everything [00:49:05] as good as I possibly could. I’d like to, uh, I’ve been doing got back into photography [00:49:10] quite a bit, and I’ve done I’m in the middle of doing a photography diploma, um, and, [00:49:15] um, and I and I and I’ve, I’ve just been, I’ve just literally [00:49:20] taken two weeks time going to Scotland on a landscape photography workshop. I’ve just done the [00:49:25] last couple of months down to Dorset to Land’s End, Peak District, basically. [00:49:30] So, um, there’s a couple of people that follow. They do some workshops, which is great fun. Um, [00:49:35] and then and then up to Scotland, the freezing cold and north, uh, in Inverness. Yeah. [00:49:40] So I and I’d love to do that sort of stuff. I’ve trying to persuade my wife that, [00:49:45] you know, to get converting downstairs to a, to a dental surgery. So we’re not just dental studio, which [00:49:50] is. Are you. Are you kidding me? Well, how much money do you think you’re going to earn out of a out of a studio [00:49:55] in comparison to a dental chair? Okay. Fair enough. Um, so. Yeah. So that would be a [00:50:00] fun, a fun thing to do. But yeah, I think I think for me.

Speaker3: How many days do you actually, [00:50:05] uh, clinical do clinical?

Speaker1: Clinical. Two days a week. Two days. So, so the Wednesday Thursday. [00:50:10] Seven till seven. One till two in the afternoon. So seven hour days and the Wednesday seven hour days and [00:50:15] Thursday. Um, so it gives me sort of free time in three days and indemnity [00:50:20] and.

Speaker3: Clinically what’s your sort of treatments that you like to do and don’t like to do.

Speaker1: Um [00:50:25] I so increasingly I’m doing less and less invasive treatment basically. So [00:50:30] if, if somebody I could specialise in uh, lower right six buccal [00:50:35] composites quite easily basically because, because it’s going to be the simplest straightforward sort of thing. So, [00:50:40] so I, so, you know, we now have, uh, dentists who do, uh, you know, [00:50:45] difficult extraction spaces. I’m thinking. Right, what you know, and doing endo and thinking, why am I going to do [00:50:50] an endo for you privately or even on the NHS when there’s somebody in this room who could do this far [00:50:55] better? In fact, sitting over there is a microscope, you know, why am I going to? Why am I going to if I can, [00:51:00] if I can do if you can, if you allow me, if you allow this density [00:51:05] to, to work, you’d be better off. And they’ll say to me, oh, you’ve done the work before. I said, yeah, but I now have a specialist [00:51:10] in the practice who can do a far better job. You want some predictability? That’s great. So. So I’m happy to do endo [00:51:15] crowns. Bridges. Um, uh, I used to do a lot of. I [00:51:20] used to do a lot of ortho. Um, we now have an orthodontist in the practice, and so I’ve stopped doing that [00:51:25] and don’t do implants or do all surgery. And so [00:51:30] we’ve got the hygienist element of the practice is, is, is bizarre [00:51:35] because we’ve actually got we actually got I mean, we’ve got we’ve got eight hygienists in the practice. [00:51:40] Um, and there’s basically two days, there’s two, two [00:51:45] in every single day basically.

Speaker1: Um, maybe more. And it just it just worked out that way. You know, the, the [00:51:50] hygienist, uh, is a great part of the, um, the [00:51:55] health environment delivering that for the, for the patients. Patients love it. It’s working very well. [00:52:00] And and so, so building building on those foundations is, is really nice to [00:52:05] be able to work in that environment. So the hygienist services is, is is worked very well. [00:52:10] So yeah. So it’s and I think the difficulty and what that then generates [00:52:15] is you actually have specific hygienist meetings. You have specific dentist [00:52:20] meetings, you have specific nurses meetings. And so the hygienist feel as though they’re part of the [00:52:25] team. And because often the hygiene say I work in another practice, I’m on my own now. I come [00:52:30] in, I do, I do my hygiene work, I go upstairs, I do my own, uh, decontamination, [00:52:35] come downstairs and I go home. I don’t see anybody else. There is another hygienist, but we [00:52:40] never cross paths and I think so. So for them, it’s actually quite a really good, lively [00:52:45] sort of atmosphere to, for us to have hygienist meetings. Uh, and, you know, every quarter [00:52:50] and they, they get then you know, they as a, as a, as a cartel [00:52:55] if you want, they get what they want. If you tell us what you want, we’ll do it. You know, you are clinicians, [00:53:00] and you’re right. Uh, we’re more than happy to support you because you’re doing a fantastic job.

Speaker3: And what’s your involvement [00:53:05] with the practice other than the clinical? Do you do anything else or do you act more like an associate? [00:53:10]

Speaker1: Yeah. It’s. Yeah. What if I was [00:53:15] if I was generating money for myself as a as a as an associate, I’d probably just be able to afford [00:53:20] a kebab on the way home basically. Because. Because it’s not it’s not a huge because because the two [00:53:25] things. One is I end up, um, so a lot of regular patients who’ve been seeing. So there’s not a huge we’re [00:53:30] not doing a huge amount of treatment on these patients. And also, yeah, also having to pick up every so often [00:53:35] the patients who uh, the one you know not to be each attempt [00:53:40] is refused to see the patients. So inevitably they end up with me saying, right, okay, fine, I’ll see this patient. Um, and [00:53:45] so that that’s fine. And, and for me, you know, and it’s something I, I [00:53:50] never chased the money. The money, just money just came basically. So, so I kind of act as an associate, and [00:53:55] my wife does an awful lot of the and as an awful lot of the sort of the, the [00:54:00] oversight of it. Um, so I used to do that around when the kids were young. She was at home, [00:54:05] but she’s kind of taken over, uh, the vast majority. And I think that’s that is actually quite stressful for [00:54:10] her.

Speaker1: Um, because she kind of does, obviously, she does her own two days of, of clinical work. [00:54:15] Uh, and she’s also running the practice the rest of the time. She does pretty well. A lot of the stuff she’s [00:54:20] doing, she does all the wages for the associates, the other wage for the for the staff, which is a, you know, literally [00:54:25] four days every month is, is, is doing just that, basically, uh, in addition to organising [00:54:30] all the meetings and stuff. So, so I think she’s, um, you know, and I think that’s probably [00:54:35] more tiring. She actually enjoys the clinical dentistry. She’s she doesn’t want to give it up because she enjoys it so much. Um, [00:54:40] that’s the relief from, from the, the hard admin work and the running the practice. So [00:54:45] she’s really made a huge contribution that the practice wouldn’t be what it is with without her basically. So I’m kind of [00:54:50] dropping it out there and it when she says, well, you’re a useful figurehead in the practice. [00:54:55] Um, uh, but but it allows, you know, and we, we have different sort of styles [00:55:00] of managing the practice and managing those meetings. It’s also, uh, quite useful. Um, [00:55:05] so, so yeah.

Speaker3: We’re coming to the end of our time, but I want to touch on one other thing [00:55:10] before we move on to the final questions. Is this question of sort of getting involved? Yeah. [00:55:15] With stuff.

Speaker1: Yeah, it’s an.

Speaker3: Active process, right? It’s not. It doesn’t [00:55:20] happen by mistake that you do all the list of things that that I listed at the beginning. It’s [00:55:25] an active process of seeking out, wanting to get your hands dirty and and I don’t know, maybe [00:55:30] maybe I’m being a bit like, uh, characterising it incorrectly, but I feel like [00:55:35] I, I’ve noticed this with, with, uh, Kenyans in particular. Um, [00:55:40] there’s a sense of community or something that everyone, you know, I’ve had several. [00:55:45] I mean, we talk about true and um, one one of my favourite episodes we’ve [00:55:50] ever done on this pod is, uh, Vishal Vishal Shah. But but tell me about that. You know, [00:55:55] because I feel like I do the opposite. I actively try and get away from boards [00:56:00] of things and.

Speaker1: Yeah, it’s. Yeah, it’s funny. I mean, I think [00:56:05] the, I suppose one of the drivers when I was a kid [00:56:10] wasn’t, it was actually it was actually the A level that did it because I realised that I had [00:56:15] to do physics, uh, for A level. But I was actually hopeless at it. And, and it was [00:56:20] this classic thing where you’d be sitting in a physics class, uh, the guy would put up the problem, basically, [00:56:25] and I’d just be reading it and somebody put their hand up and they said, they know the answer. I’m thinking, I haven’t even [00:56:30] read the question. What are you doing? Okay, so people just exceptionally bright and very good at what they do. And [00:56:35] I and I vowed, I said, all I want to do is to be good at something, to be to be good at that [00:56:40] and be known for being good at it. And my my wife is always winding me up about that because you just [00:56:45] want to be famous and I don’t want to be famous. I just want to be good at something so I can feel that actually I’ve achieved [00:56:50] something because. Because for the whole of those two years, um, uh, in those classes, [00:56:55] I just felt like a complete idiot, basically thinking, right, you know, I’m just useless. I know I’m going to fail [00:57:00] no matter how many times I’m up past papers that I know. I feel like.

Speaker3: You’re quite black and white. Like, [00:57:05] I feel like if you don’t know 100% of it, you feel like. You know none of it. Yeah, something like [00:57:10] that.

Speaker1: Yeah, that is true. Absolutely. Because because when I, when I do it, I want to be sure I’ve [00:57:15] done it well and, and get involved in it. So which is why the law degree when I did it [00:57:20] um, all these other sort of post-grad qualification, the teaching, I just have to make sure I know enough about [00:57:25] this to be confident that I can do it. But did mentoring did a whole lot, of course. Because because because [00:57:30] I didn’t want to. Part of is also thinking, I’m not going to know this unless I study about it. [00:57:35] I don’t I don’t have the discipline to just read around the subject. I know people will now rely on YouTube’s [00:57:40] and YouTube and TikTok and stuff like that, thinking it’s the same as photography. I mean, I could [00:57:45] quite easily just download a shedload of YouTube videos and watch it and learn myself [00:57:50] and teach myself. And yes, I could, but actually what I’ve what I’ve got from this formal [00:57:55] education of things diploma is actually I would never have learnt about the history of photography and [00:58:00] learnt about the origins of it and what these particular photographers have done, because it wouldn’t be part [00:58:05] of, uh, anything I undertook on YouTube.

Speaker1: But actually I’ve learnt an awful lot from it and actually got [00:58:10] there’s a discipline about learning in a sort of structured way, and that’s, that’s probably just me. In [00:58:15] order to learn those things and be confident about it, there has to be a sort of structure, structured approach to it, [00:58:20] and it’s postgraduate certificate, diploma, masters, whatever. That’s that’s just the way [00:58:25] I learn, because I can’t rely on myself to say, all right, okay, I’m going to do this and I’m just going to do this without, [00:58:30] without, without sort of, sort of some sort of formal thing. I did it, you know, rather being able [00:58:35] to did an Open University course, um, an Arts Foundation course, because I think I actually want to [00:58:40] know about this stuff, but I wanted to do in a formal way. So there’s something probably controlling it. [00:58:45] May be it may be a maybe a go and maybe a Kenyan mentality, but it certainly is something that I think, you [00:58:50] know, driven partly by my dad saying, you know, you need a bit of courtesy, you need you a bit of [00:58:55] paper. And that’s kind of probably prompted most of my sort of driving my [00:59:00] what I describe as my drive, basically.

Speaker3: How much of your identity [00:59:05] is going to feel going?

Speaker1: Yeah. Interestingly, [00:59:10] it’s because obviously I’ve married an Irish girl. Um, you’re both Catholics, [00:59:15] you were telling me, but yeah, both Catholics, um, um, you know, my [00:59:20] fairly religious sort of background, my, my, my mum’s side, there was three [00:59:25] nuns and three priests. So it’s pretty religious. On Anne’s side [00:59:30] there is, there is one nun. So it’s fairly sort of it’s not it’s not [00:59:35] rammed down our kids throats and they go to church up until they were sort of got, you know, [00:59:40] baptised commune till they were younger. And it’s up to you if you want to go to church now, we’ve set it out for you. So, so [00:59:45] there is um, in terms of being going, I think, I think I’m [00:59:50] the problem with the diaspora to go and diaspora is it’s not [00:59:55] as embedded as, say, any other sort of parts of India or Pakistan [01:00:00] or Southeast Asia, because there is a language, we hardly ever use the language. Um, so [01:00:05] there’s no sort of Konkani is the common language, but it’s never used as much as it could have been used, basically. [01:00:10] Um, so, so yeah, I think it’s I do feel I [01:00:15] could be more and the kids are obviously, you know, half Irish, half going, um, but [01:00:20] they understand both sides of it. Do they.

Speaker3: Um, to. [01:00:25] Well I’m doing.

Speaker1: She is going.

Speaker3: Go, go in Kenya. [01:00:30]

Speaker1: Uh, I think she is. And then there is, there’s a lucky for you.

Speaker3: Yeah. [01:00:35]

Speaker1: Yeah, there is. I know there is. It’s not not not a good look. Exactly. Not a good look. Exactly, [01:00:40] exactly. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker3: Let’s get on to our final questions. Yeah. [01:00:45] Let’s start with the fantasy dinner party. Yeah. Three guests, [01:00:50] dead or alive. Three guests. Who would you have? Okay.

Speaker1: Okay. Uh, this might sound a bit left field. [01:00:55] Um, but it’s it’s going to be Madhur Jaffrey. Okay. The the Indian [01:01:00] cook. And I’m not sure anybody else has mentioned there before. No. She’s dead. She’s dead. [01:01:05] Okay, so it’s sounds like and I think, um, partly because, well, she’s [01:01:10] going to make the dinner. It’s going to be a great dinner party because she’s great.

Speaker3: Okay. She’s gonna she’s gonna [01:01:15] cook.

Speaker1: The dinner for us, basically. Um, but there are a couple of reasons for that. One is, [01:01:20] um, my mother was an amazing cook. She’s still around, but she’s, uh, [01:01:25] she’s an she’s an amazing cook. When we, um, we arrived in England. What is interesting [01:01:30] is that. And she could turn her hand to to most things to Indian, Chinese, modern [01:01:35] European. And I kind of watched her cook, um, as she grew up. And it was I. My [01:01:40] passion for cooking comes from her, and I love cooking. Now I really well, now I do most of the sort [01:01:45] of cooking at home basically. But but but the interesting thing about, uh, Madhur [01:01:50] Jaffrey was that she was she did a BBC book back in the, [01:01:55] you know, back in the early 80s when you wouldn’t be able to find you wouldn’t find coriander, [01:02:00] you wouldn’t find any spices at all, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere in England. [01:02:05] And she actually created this sort of this whole culture of Indian food. Bbc television [01:02:10] had a book, um, called Madhur Jaffrey Indian Cooking, and then their classic [01:02:15] was Flavours of India and India. Actually, there’s, there’s funny enough was looking at it the other day [01:02:20] and there’s a huge amount of go and cooking in there, which again, you know, there’s [01:02:25] a couple of dishes, um, which are sort of pork dishes which, which was handed down from my [01:02:30] mum to me, um, which was used basically. And there’s some fantastic recipes in there. So, so that [01:02:35] was, you know, and for me, you know, this, this being an immigrant family being brought up [01:02:40] on Indian cooking is just, just great. Um, uh, she kind of made it popular. And, [01:02:45] you know, you’re now you can walk into any store and you’ll find pretty well, you can [01:02:50] find go and pastes basically go and go and food in there, which you would never have done, you know, 20, [01:02:55] 25 years ago. So, so, so, so she’s, she’s in there for partly because of my mum, [01:03:00] but partly because she’s going to make a good, good meal for us when we get there.

Speaker3: Who’s [01:03:05] your second guest?

Speaker1: Second guest. Uh, would be Frederick Forsyth. Uh, [01:03:10] he’s an author. He’s not exactly high brow, but he was kind of the the first [01:03:15] author, uh, first book that I read or first? First real book I read when [01:03:20] I was a kid. Uh, probably, uh, you know what, 11, 12 years old? He wrote that. So the the Odessa [01:03:25] file, which was this story about this guy chasing Nazi war criminals, then got me interested in [01:03:30] in the whole thing about the Holocaust was about death, a jackal. The assassination attempts on Charles [01:03:35] de Gaulle, uh, dogs of war, all these sort of classic books. And I sort of read and so I so [01:03:40] it’s a classic sort of thing. And probably one of the few authors that I’ve read 2 or 3 times who read the book a couple [01:03:45] of times when I was a kid, I probably wouldn’t have time to read books twice again, but I did then, [01:03:50] and that sort of got me into. So he his his genre was very much weaving [01:03:55] fiction through real life people. So the whole thing about The Day of the Jackal was Charles [01:04:00] de Gaulle had had several assassination attempts on him, and he just weaved this sort of fictional [01:04:05] character that was going to attempt an assassination on him, again, based on sort of meticulous research. And [01:04:10] I kind of got. So the writing is fantastic. It’s not a, you know, it’s not a high [01:04:15] brow author. But actually, that got me into reading, got me into, uh, into writing, wanting to write myself. [01:04:20] Um, and that’s kind of in a sense, the that whole connection with, [01:04:25] um, with English came from that. And, and obviously obviously they [01:04:30] were O-levels and A-levels and did Thomas Hardy and all the other stuff.

Speaker1: But but of course I it would be a good guess. [01:04:35] And, and for me, the, the reason why I ended up at Dental protection was because [01:04:40] I wrote an awful lot when I, as soon as I, um, was out in the out [01:04:45] of dental school, I was writing a lot, got got 2 or 3 articles published in the age. I had written [01:04:50] stuff in in as it was the probe magazine thing. And people want [01:04:55] people who could write, uh, and I was and I was therefore high profile. And the interesting thing you [01:05:00] can get to be high profile now very quickly, um, without doing much, without much effort, because [01:05:05] of Instagram, because the social media, back in those days to be noticed in the profession, you had to work really [01:05:10] hard. It wasn’t an easy thing to be recognised. You did, you know, you did the lecture circuit. You did, [01:05:15] uh, you know, six, three, six, three courses. You did a whole lot of stuff before anybody recognised you. And in [01:05:20] a sense that’s, you know, when I talk to we talk about garage writing about this a lot. The thing, [01:05:25] you know, where do these people come from? Suddenly out of the blue, they’re. They become really famous for thinking, where’s your hard [01:05:30] rock? Where’s all the hard grind that you and I had to do? I think, yeah, that’s that’s life kind of thing. But [01:05:35] I think that’s that’s kind of, uh, this idea that, um, it’s, you know, I [01:05:40] got the interesting writing and that’s kind of got me where I, where I got to for various reasons, basically [01:05:45] of the English to dentistry and then and then writing for the dental protection. [01:05:50] It’s a.

Speaker3: Brilliant point. It’s a brilliant point. I mean, people forget even Pre-social, I think, [01:05:55] I think FMC had a lot to do with it. Yeah. If you remember [01:06:00] pre FMC, do you remember pre FMC? I did yeah yeah I was very early but [01:06:05] I mean when FMC that that do you remember it was called independent seminars [01:06:10] or something. Yeah. Yeah that had a big part in in in making people [01:06:15] famous. And then, and then they weaved it into the magazines. Yeah. [01:06:20] But before that you’re quite right. I mean, you had to be a professor or something. [01:06:25] You had to be. You had to really work hard to bring it up and down the country. Well, [01:06:30] it’s interesting, you see.

Speaker1: Funny because I remember I used to write for the probe. Yeah. Um, and [01:06:35] there was, there was it’s called basically it was a called a stringer. Basically, if you wanted to, [01:06:40] uh, if there was a course on, they would send you along to it for free and you’d [01:06:45] write it up in the probe. Okay. And I remember and then Ken Finlayson turned up [01:06:50] and I actually met him in my surgery. He came to meet me and he said, you know, you’re obviously a bit of a writer. [01:06:55] You don’t want to do this. You want to join that. And I remember being on the editorial board of the early, uh, [01:07:00] early magazines for Ken and getting to him quite well. And then obviously he’s [01:07:05] obviously done various other things basically. And, and, and I think that sort of celebrity [01:07:10] you have to celebrity stuff came out of that. And then obviously then social media came along. And you know, [01:07:15] it is interesting that the but people still will remember, you know, Roger [01:07:20] and Kevin Lewis, but the older generation will the younger people never heard of these [01:07:25] people at all. And I could walk into a room now and I’d look around thinking, nobody knows me, um, [01:07:30] I don’t know them. And whereas whereas an older generation would know me, would [01:07:35] know Raj, would know Kevin, etc., etc. so it is, it’s it’s a it’s a different world. Definitely a different world. [01:07:40]

Speaker3: The third guest.

Speaker1: Third guest, um, guy called Martin [01:07:45] Seligman. Uh, Martin Seligman is a an American psychologist. [01:07:50] Um, he was he was at Princeton. Uh, and he’s a University of Pennsylvania. His book [01:07:55] is called Authentic Happiness and is probably the most influential book I’ve ever read. [01:08:00] Probably, uh, quite a few years ago, about 2002. And I read about 12 years [01:08:05] ago, and it kind of changed my whole whole perspective on what he [01:08:10] described as what’s called positive psychology. And it talked about happiness when people [01:08:15] weren’t talking about happiness. And the whole concept of positive psychology is he he is a psychologist [01:08:20] himself. And he said, why are psychologists spending all their time looking after ill people [01:08:25] when they are trying to make them better? So surely they must know what’s good for people. And [01:08:30] while we spend our time using the the same stories and the same [01:08:35] techniques to get people to be happy. And so he was kind of [01:08:40] use this scientific method to explore happiness in his book. And authentic happiness is just a classic [01:08:45] in terms of the science, the literature behind it and the creating [01:08:50] this meaning and purpose and and the whole concept, pleasure and gratification, I thought. And one of the things [01:08:55] that that stuck in my mind from that book was that happiness is a choice, and [01:09:00] that 50% of your happiness is actually determined by your DNA. It’s from your parents. [01:09:05] Okay, so if your parents were pretty grumpy and pretty miserable, well, you’d like to be pretty grumpy [01:09:10] and miserable yourself. Uh, 10% by circumstance and 40%, uh, is [01:09:15] your internal state of mind basically how you how you perceive things? Uh, that’s um, and how [01:09:20] you manage your, your everyday life. And I thought for me, that was a pretty seminal book in terms [01:09:25] of how I looked at how you’d approach things. And I remember reading it and just [01:09:30] literally, uh, reading it that that one I did read 2 or 3 times, and I remember just quoting [01:09:35] stuff to my kids left, right and centre, bored, rigid, basically. Uh, but yeah, it’s that [01:09:40] that certainly was, uh, I think it’d be a very interesting guest at our party.

Speaker3: Excellent, [01:09:45] excellent. Positive psychology. What’s what’s it called?

Speaker1: It’s [01:09:50] called authentic happiness.

Speaker3: Authentic positive.

Speaker1: Psychology. Yeah. Fields positive psychology. His [01:09:55] book is called Authentic Happiness. Um. Martin Seligman. Yeah. It’s interesting [01:10:00] guy.

Speaker3: And the final question. Yeah. Deathbed question. [01:10:05] On your deathbed, surrounded by your loved ones, [01:10:10] friends and family. By that time, hopefully grandchildren. Great grandchildren. [01:10:15] Yeah. She had to give him three pieces of wisdom, three pieces of advice. What [01:10:20] would they be?

Speaker1: Um, we kind of alluded to this. The first one would be [01:10:25] to say yes, when somebody asks you to do something as part of your job, your career, [01:10:30] you just say yes, because and that’s kind of in answer to your question, why did you get involved [01:10:35] in all those things? Because somebody said, why don’t you join the LDC? Why don’t you join the young dentist committee? [01:10:40] Why don’t you do this? And you’re thinking, yeah, okay, you know, I’ll do that. And, you know, I said yes. And [01:10:45] I was saying yes in my early parts of my career, when lots of people were just getting [01:10:50] their head down and doing a lot of dentistry and being an associate. And I said, so I was working on [01:10:55] local LDC young Dentist committee and then set up the first National Young Dentist [01:11:00] committee, the BDA, and spent literally a year going backwards and forwards, trying to convince, as it was the [01:11:05] board of directors, that the usefulness, as they said, well, we shouldn’t split young dentists up, etc., etc. [01:11:10] and I spent a whole year so I was going backwards and forwards. So that year I probably lost a lot of [01:11:15] income going backwards and forwards to the BDA. And you know, my wife would say, why are you [01:11:20] doing this? You know, less and less than I am. What are you doing? And actually all [01:11:25] those investments and time and effort saying yes will pay dividends in your [01:11:30] profession, your career. So that would be my first bit of advice.

Speaker3: Then say yes. Do you think, though, that it [01:11:35] goes back one one step earlier than that and, [01:11:40] you know, to be asked to do x, y and Z, you have to be a particular [01:11:45] cat.

Speaker1: Um, because. Yeah.

Speaker3: Because I’m being asked to do [01:11:50] x, Y and Z. Do you see. Okay, okay. Yeah, yeah I agree, I agree.

Speaker1: Yeah yeah yeah I agree I agree there [01:11:55] is. Yeah there is some of course. Yeah yeah there is some element to that because you’re, [01:12:00] you’re right. Because there are some people that I wouldn’t ask I wouldn’t ask basically. Yeah. Yeah you’re right. Yeah [01:12:05] you’re right. And so if they say yes, I don’t want them to say yes. No I yeah there, [01:12:10] there is that point. That’s why I didn’t take that. Yeah.

Speaker3: What’s the second piece of advice.

Speaker1: Second [01:12:15] piece of advice is again something related to the Leaders who tried to be an expert in something. [01:12:20] Uh, it might be your career. It might be your hobby. It might be a period of of history [01:12:25] literature. If it’s your job and you’re good at it, the money will come. And I [01:12:30] think this, this, this idea of, uh, you know, this, this idea of happiness comes from, you know, you being [01:12:35] fulfilled. And so if you’re enjoying it, you know, be an expert at it. And it happens to be you’re an expert in your [01:12:40] job, great. You’ll enjoy it even more. You get a huge amount of self-fulfilment from it. And [01:12:45] it’s just that, you know, that bit of that carrot is talking about, you’ve got your bit of character that proves [01:12:50] your expert, proves it to yourself and proves it to other people. Um, so my advice, advice already [01:12:55] to my kids is, you know, try and be an expert, get you a bit of paper, nobody can take it away from you. And we’ll [01:13:00] always have that with you. The, the last bit of advice in all of that, despite all [01:13:05] that saying, be humble because you know about your achievements and be kind to others. So [01:13:10] I think it sounds like a bit of a cliche, but but actually and to a certain [01:13:15] extent, my, my disadvantage is, is is not [01:13:20] shouting from the rooftops and being humble, and often it goes against the grain of social media. [01:13:25] It goes against the grain of Instagram when people are shouting from the rooftops about [01:13:30] their wards, about this, that and the other and and finally I, Faraj and I regret and I [01:13:35] were talking about this the other day.

Speaker1: You know what? What do I what do you and what is he and what do I put on your [01:13:40] title slide of your PowerPoint presentation? Do you put landcruisin [01:13:45] all your qualifications? Do you put Rajaratnam, etc., etc.? No, [01:13:50] I don’t and I don’t either. So he says, well, everybody else does. So why aren’t we? I’m thinking [01:13:55] I feel a bit uncomfortable. And he said, well, the point is that unless people know who we [01:14:00] are, unless we tell them who we are, they’re not going to think we’re credible. Okay. So so I thought it was [01:14:05] an interesting, interesting concept where where actually self promotion [01:14:10] is not something I do particularly well or comfortable with. But actually in this [01:14:15] world of social media and Instagram and all the other things, [01:14:20] actually being humble doesn’t necessarily cut it in that sense. So, [01:14:25] so actually it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a double edged sword. But I think people would respect you [01:14:30] more if you are humble and you are you don’t boast about your achievements. Just crack on. [01:14:35] And there’s lots of things about other people I don’t know about because they don’t tell me about it. And then suddenly you discover, you think, oh God, [01:14:40] okay, well that’s amazing. I didn’t know that. Why didn’t you? Why didn’t you tell me that? So, yeah. There. [01:14:45] Is that so? So those are the three bits that I give.

Speaker3: Uh, then [01:14:50] I see you as a bit of a, like a, like a enigma, [01:14:55] right? Because much of what you’ve said has been around [01:15:00] sort of. Or having met you as well. Yeah. Much of much of what you do is around [01:15:05] wanting to know the full story. Right. That 100% has sort of and I would characterise [01:15:10] that as as kind of a black and white kind of person, someone who’d have strong views. [01:15:15] And yet when you talk about things, you talk about them with such nuance [01:15:20] and with with so much humbleness that, you know, humility or humility, [01:15:25] it’s just it’s surprising. It’s surprising, you know, you it’s [01:15:30] a nice thing. It’s a nice thing to see. And it goes to the to the point that, you know, things are [01:15:35] not as simple as one plus one equals two when it comes to human beings. You know, [01:15:40] we’re nuanced. We’ve got lots of different angles about us. It’s [01:15:45] been a fantastic course. I really, really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for doing this. It’s been a massive honour to have [01:15:50] you here.

Speaker2: This is Dental Leaders, [01:15:55] the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders [01:16:00] in dentistry. Your hosts. [01:16:05] Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Speaker4: Thanks for listening, guys. [01:16:10] If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both [01:16:15] from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say and what our guest [01:16:20] has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

Speaker3: If you did get some value out of it, [01:16:25] think about subscribing. And if you would share this with a friend who you [01:16:30] think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so so, so much for listening. Thanks.

Speaker4: And don’t forget our six [01:16:35] star rating.