Mid-career crisis


Today, I turn 45. I’m so grateful that I’m happy and healthy to celebrate another year!

I pray I’m fortunate enough for this to be mid-life for me. That means I will get to see my kids grow and have families of their own. It means I will be able to celebrate 50+ years of marriage to my sweet husband.

I also pray I’m fortunate enough for this to be mid-career for me. I know, that might sound crazy but if I can work another 25 years in this industry, I’ll be a lucky lady.

It’s not always been this great and believe me, there are still days when I feel like I’m having a mid-career crisis. But what I know is that my career will NOT look exactly like it does today in 10, 15, 20 years. Heck, it probably won’t look the same in 5 years and I’m so cool with that.

In fact, that’s what makes it interesting. If I were doing the exact same thing in 10 years, I will tell you…I’d be bored!

Below, in this week’s short but sweet feature article, I share what helped me through a mid-career crisis…

So I’m wondering…. have you ever experienced a mid-career crisis??

If so, you’re not alone. We’ve had the privilege to work with thousands of dental professionals across the country and I have to tell you…it is RARE that I’ve ever met someone who is 10+ years into their dental career who hasn’t had some sort of mid-career crisis.

The truth is, it’s not all bad. There are some really good things that can come out of questioning what you’re doing and wondering if there’s more. Because there IS! There’s always room to grow, learn and evolve into the best version of YOU at that point in time.

The secret is in how you get to the other side of the crisis. Here’s what I’ve found to work when I’m in a funk:

  • Never Stop Learning– This is the #1 trick that makes my career interesting and fun. This could mean joining AADOM if you’re a dental administrator or finally taking that laser course if you’re a dentist or hygienist.
  • Change something- If you do what you’ve always done…it will get boring. You’ve got to do something new, mix it up. Implement a new service that will improve your patient care or up level your clinical skills with a hands-on CE course.
  • Find a mentor-We can’t do it alone. Seek out someone that has a love for his or her career that you admire. It’s especially helpful if you are both in the same career. Let them help you find your passion for your path again and listen to how they stay engaged and excited!
2 comments on “Mid-career crisis”
  1. Jordan says:

    Some excellent advice here. There’s plenty of ways to bring some change for the better throughout your career. Thanks for sharing your insight on this!

Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina…


There I was loading my luggage into the car the day of the team workshop.  Look at the glory that greeted me! What a sunrise!  And it was indeed a wonderful beginning to a great day!

Since then, the population of Anderson, South Carolina has been getting healthier and healthier.  In just a few weeks, the Clinical Team at Cornerstone Dental has helped many patients treat their gum disease and thereby reduce their risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes.


As we now know, periodontal disease, among other inflammatory conditions, is an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke and diabetes.  The team at Cornerstone Dental has fully embraced the importance of comprehensive periodontal evaluations, including radiographs and tissue response, followed by appropriate treatment recommendations to maintain health, continue disease remission or treat active infection.

Using risk assessment as the foundation that drives the need for treatment, this team is helping save lives by reducing overall systemic inflammation.

In just four weeks here are their results:

  • >100 quads of needed therapy diagnosed
  • >75% of patients accepted treatment
  • >$200 per day increase in hygiene production




In addition to helping their patients, they are working together better than ever.  Team agreements are one of the most important components of our workshop day!  Being committed to TEAMwork, and doing what it takes during times of change sets the stage for success.  And as you can see from the statistics above… this team is VERY successful.

If you would like to learn more about how you can save lives, please email me: kim@inspiredhygiene.com.

The Fire Within


As a three-time graduate of the Bale Doneen Preceptorship, and a patient of a Bale Doneen Cardiologist, I have fully embraced the role of treating periodontal disease as part of a treatment plan for the prevention of heart attack, stroke and diabetes.   If you are not yet convinced that periodontal inflammation is indeed a contributor to your patients’ overall inflammatory burden, this month’s Mastermind webinar will provide further proof.

On the other hand, if you are convinced, this webinar will reinforce what you already know and provide you with additional facts to better serve your patients.  Regardless, let me encourage you to join Inspired Hygiene’s own Stacy McCauley, RDH, MSDH and myself for an informative and motivating webinar on the topic of systemic inflammation and periodontal disease!

Hot and Bothered!
Science and Strategies for Oral and Systemic Inflammation
with Stacy McCauley, RDH, MSDH

Are you “sick and tired” of your patients being “sick and tired” as a result of their poor health? Inflammation doesn’t just wreak havoc on the oral cavity; inflammation can be detrimental to overall health as well.  How you take care of yourself not only impacts the mouth, but the entire body as well.  This program details specific strategies for optimum overall health, giving participants tangible action steps for decreasing their own inflammation.

After the completion of this CE program, attendees will be able to:

  • Explain the current science surrounding inflammatory diseases  
  • Differentiate between pro-inflammatory foods and anti-inflammatory foods
  • Understand how lifestyle choices influence both oral and systemic inflammation
  • Describe the cascade of clinical events that define periodontal disease infections along with therapeutic intervention strategies

With the heart of a coach and teacher, Stacy McCauley maintains her “cutting edge” on all things dental. Clients and audiences laud her as a gifted communications facilitator, impactful international speaker, high productivity practice coach and insightful writer. An Adjunct Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill, where she also received her Master’s Degree, Stacy brings over 20 years of dental industry experience including clinician, corporate dental business, and most recently as a coach with Inspired Hygiene, a national hygiene coaching and practice consulting firm in Charlotte, NC. She is committed to empowering dental teams to blow open the doors of what’s possible in their practice.

agdCE credits are provided by Inspired Hygiene.

Inspired Hygiene is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider by the Academy of General Dentistry. The formal continuing dental education programs of this program provider are accepted by the AGD for Fellowship, Mastership and membership maintenance credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or AGD endorsement.

The current term of approval extends from 6/1/2014 to 5/31/2017.


This call will be available in our Mastermind Library on May 21.  If you’re not already a member of our Mastermind group, click here to sign up.

Your Diabetic Patients Need Your Help


I will never forget a statement that was made by financial expert Regina Lewis on the TV show ‘The View’ a few years ago.  She was speaking on industries with growing job markets. She included dental hygiene in the segment and stated that dental hygienists do not need a college degree.

She said ‘All I care about is that my hygienist knows that this instrument goes on that tooth’.

I am not easily offended but her statements were demeaning. Not to mention that the job market is pretty tough for many hygienists right now. I mean do they not check their facts before going on national television? (Remember this when you depend on network media for important information…I’ll stop now).

But it got me thinking. There are always two sides to every story and while I don’t like their side, maybe Regina Lewis has not experienced a hygienist who has educated her on her oral cancer risk or the oral-systemic link. Or maybe she has…

I want to give you a resource this week to help you and your team step into your role as part of your patients’ healthcare team. Scroll down for a BIG (yet simple) step toward helping your diabetic patients today…

It’s been well documented that Diabetes and Periodontal Disease have a two-way relationship. If periodontal disease is active it makes it harder to control diabetes and vice versa. There’s also mounting evidence that active perio disease increases a diabetic’s risk for major health events like heart attack and kidney failure.

So…this is the perfect opportunity for you as a dental professional (whether you are in a clinical or administrative role) to play a very important role in your patients’ ability to manage their overall health.

ALWAYS ask your diabetic patients this question:

What was your last HbA1c level?

The HbA1c number is the primary indicator of diabetic control. It is a ‘snapshot’ of blood sugar control over several months. Diabetic patients should know their A1c numbers and if they don’t, that may be a sign they are not as focused on their health as they could be.

As you see in this chart (you can find it by searching Google Images for ‘HbA1c chart’) the desired level is 6.5 or lower. Uncontrolled perio disease can have a direct effect on the HbA1c levels and how well diabetics control their disease. AND a higher HbA1c level makes it harder to control perio disease too.

Action step:

Find the above image, print it out and use it when talking to diabetic patients. You can use it when discussing perio and/or diabetes with your patients. Use it with patients who have a family history of diabetes and those that have diabetic family members.

Imagine how this conversation will show your patients that you are a well-educated, concerned member of their healthcare team and focused on more than just cleaning their teeth.

PS-for a fun parody and response to The View’s segment check out AndyRDH’s video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7ikF3-qKew