936. A Day in the Life: What’s It Really Like to Be a Dentist?
Dr. Jeanette Kern
“I would like to continue to beat the drum for entrepreneurship in dentistry. I would love to still see solo practitioners or associate and doctor businesses stay open. I love the mom and pop idea of a dental office. I think most people have a good relationship with their dentist. I hope they do. Because that’s what we go into the profession for, to help people. We want them to appreciate us and what we do. And so that’s what I want to do. I want to continue to help my fellow dentist be happy in what they’re doing and be profitable and fulfilled.”
Dr. Jeanette Kern is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of cosmetic and restorative dentistry. She taught at both the UCLA and the USC Schools of Dentistry. In her business community, Dr. Kern received the Monterey Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Award for Health Care in 2009 and 2016 and the Professional Women’s Network Woman of the Year Award in 2007. In 2018 Dr. Kern sold her successful dental practice in Monterey. She created the Profitable Dental Academy. Armed with over 40 years in the dental industry experienced as a dental hygienist, associate dentist and as a practice owner, she shares her knowledge by consulting with other dentists as a Dental Success Coach. She is very happy and honored to continue being an active dental professional.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“After 9 years as a dental hygienist and teaching dental hygiene, both of which I loved, I knew I needed to explore other career options. I took a career aptitude test and the counselor at Cal State Northridge told me I had the abilities to be a dentist. At that time I was 26, married, and we had just purchased a house. The idea of taking the required physics, organic and inorganic chemistry courses before I could even apply to dental school was daunting. Additionally, I was working four days a week while chiseling out time to take those classes—a pretty heavy load. As Nietzsche said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” so I got the work done, was accepted to dental school at both USC and UCLA and got my degree from UCLA in four years.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
The journey to figuring out a life and career for every one of us is infinitely complex. There are some fundamental principles that I have learned over the years, which may sound obvious to some, but in my experience they are too often not practiced.
1. Trust yourself. No one knows you a fraction as much as you do.
2. Be curious. There are countless possibilities that are available to you, if you will keep an open mind and heart to them.
3. Explore. Constantly explore the world around you—the world familiar to you and other environments and ideas that are not.
4. Experience. Nothing beats hands-on experience, so find internships in occupations or professions you are curious about and learn from the masters.
5. Maintain high standards. The profession of dentistry has been endlessly satisfying to me because of my life-long belief in using my talents and gifts to try and improve the lives of as many of my fellow men and women as I can.
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