Stress Relief Through Teaching and Leadership
Dear Dr. Bill:
I have been teaching part time in a dental school for about a year now and I’m loving it! I have more energy and feel more relaxed. Why is this? Thanks.
Dear Dr. Steve:
Studies show that dentists who take on teaching or leadership roles with other professionals, in addition to their clinical practice roles, may find that it alleviates stress.
Researchers suggest that a dentist who takes on teaching and leadership roles:
– Experiences less isolation.
– Increases self-esteem in response to the attention from students.
– Gives one a sense of autonomy over what and when to teach.
– Gives power over the junior position.
– Adds interest in patients as a source of teaching opportunities.
– Gives a sense of helping the students’ future patients.
I would suggest that it requires the teacher to remain current and relevant on the latest techniques and troubleshooting abilities. A teaching dentist reflects one who is continually learning while becoming the ultimate student and teacher which is a “win-win” for you and the patient. Teaching, preparation (Power Point/Keynote/Prezi), and engaging oneself require a different learning environment than our private practices. This gives one a different avenue for learning and re-creating oneself. The diversity of teaching as opposed to the daily routine of private practice is often a welcomed relief from stressors one experiences, real or imagined.
Try teaching a procedure chairside, lecturing in a classroom, or leading a study group. It may open up a new experience level for you that can help relieve stress and tension and at the same time increase your influence.
(The comments and suggestions from Dr. Bill are not to be construed as professional medical advice or treatment but are to be used as Dr. Bill’s thoughts and opinions. Your comments are encouraged and valued.)