It seems dentistry as a profession has one of the biggest burn out rates of all the professions. This may at first seem shocking, but the question is why? It may also be different depending on which side of the Atlantic Ocean a dentists practices.
Perhaps one reason is the initial length of time it takes to become a dentist. In Britain this takes 5 years, the same length as a medical doctor, but that is just the start. It also takes many years of practice, not to mention the need to update knowledge and skills regularly. Without a doubt, this and other factors can cause stress.
Stress is a major factor in any profession, but for dentists the stress could differ depending on whether they work in an NHS or private practice. Working in the NHS can be difficult as there are budget concerns, different layers of management to contend with, and more recently cuts to NHS dentistry.
However, those working in private practice have their own set of stressful conditions. To start with, a private dentist is not just a medical practitioner but also a business person and like all business people strict accounts and meticulous record keeping is of paramount importance.
Not just that, if the private dentists also employs staff, this adds to costs and also requires other matters to be taken into consideration.
So, before criticising your dentist or missing an appointment without telling him or her, spare a thought for what it takes to be one.