Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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342 Practical Solutions for Women Dentists with Josie Dovidio : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

342 Practical Solutions for Women Dentists with Josie Dovidio : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

3/25/2016 1:19:42 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 389


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VIDEO - DUwHF #342 - Josie Dovidio



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AUDIO - DUwHF #342 - Josie Dovidio



This episode’s discussion:

- Challenges of being a female dentist

- Benefits of being a female dentist

- Advice for women entering the dental profession including staying physically fit, seeking additional training (in business, clinical and personal development), setting goals, finding a mentor, getting experience/expanding your horizons, the importance of a professional peer group/study clubs, what to discuss with your spouse before starting a family and work life balance with your growing family.

 

Dr. Josie Dovidio was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. However, when her parents, Italian immigrants, were tired of the snow, they moved to Southern California to soak in the sunshine. She returned to Chicago for her dental training and graduated from Northwestern University Dental School, in 1997, with honors from the Academy of General Dentistry.

 

After graduation, she returned to Southern California to complete advanced training at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in North Hills, California, where she served as Chief Dental Resident. 

 

In February 2010, she went to Uganda to provide charitable dentistry to orphans in remote areas of the African bush.

 

A busy, working mom of two, since her son’s diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome, she became passionate about living a simpler, more natural lifestyle. She converts her favorite recipes into gluten-free, and often dairy-free meals, and makes nutritionally dense recipes from real food to nourish her family. She shares those recipes on SharingMom.com and Pinterest.

 

www.SharingMom.com

www.SimiFamilyDentist.com

Howard:

It is the most hugest honor in the world to be podcast interviewing Josie Dovidio. Did I say that right?

 

Josie:

You got it right.

 

Howard:

If you Google the most awesome woman on Earth, your name and picture shows up. I do. I just think you are seriously one of the most amazing women I've ever met in my life.

 

Josie:

Wow. That's very kind of you, Howard. I got to say, it's my honor actually. As I've told you before, in person, I'm your biggest fan. I'm a big Howard Farran groupie.

 

Howard:

[inaudible 00:00:36]

 

Josie:

I just think what you're doing for dentistry is amazing and awesome. I'm the one who's honored to be on your podcast.

 

Howard:

You're an amazing dentist, clinician-wise. You're an amazing dentist leader-wise, business-wise, and you're also ... I mean, your dental website simifamilydentist.com, but also your sharingmom.com, you're a role model there, too.

 

Josie:

I appreciate it, Howard.

 

Howard:

Let me read your bio, just in case someone doesn't know you. Dr. Josie Dovidio was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. However, when her parents, Italian immigrants, tired of the snow, they moved to southern California to soak in the sunshine. She returned to Chicago for her dental training, and graduated from Northwestern University Dental School in 1997, with Honors from the Academy of General Dentistry. After graduation, she returned to southern California to complete advanced training at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center in North Hills, California, where she served as Chief Dental Resident. In February 2010, she went to Uganda to provide charitable dentistry to orphans in remote areas of the African bush.

 

 

A busy mom, working mom of 2. Since her son's diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, she became passionate about living a simpler, more natural, lifestyle. She converts her favorite recipes into gluten-free and often dairy-free meals, and makes nutritionally dense recipes from real food to nurture her family. She shared those recipes on sharingmom.com and pinterest. Does that have to do with Asperger's, the gluten-free, dairy free? Does that have anything to do with Asperger's? Or is that just totally 2 separate random things?

 

Josie:

Initially, it started off having to do with Asperberger's, because preliminarily the studies were showing that kids who were in the Autism Spectrum were doing much better if you removed common nutritional irritants, gluten being one of them, and dairy being the other. Initially, it started off like that, but then a few years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease myself, which for those of you who don't know is a auto-immune disorder where your small intestine essentially can't process the gluten protein found in wheat and other grains, and so it can slowly destroy your intestines. After I had that diagnosis, I decided that my website, where I share these recipes was going to have a bigger reach. Whenever I can, I try to post on there, but as you know, it's hard to run a practice and do everything you want to do, so I'm not doing that as regularly as I would like. If I could clone myself that ideal, because I'd have more time to do everything I wanted to do.

 

Howard:

If you could clone yourself you'd own a modeling agency, too. You'd kill 3 birds with one stone. If you ever want a press release on that sharingmom.com, send it to me and I'll post that on Dental Town, Facebook, Twitter, all that stuff.

 

Josie:

Thank you.

 

Howard:

I'm also interested in that gluten-free and all that because I'm low thyroid. That's the only medication I take is low thyroid. My doctor tells me, versus what I was I told a decade ago, that it's showing up that it's a cluster because these auto-immune, Celiac, Diabetes, MS, gluten, and thyroid are kind of like in this cluster she's telling me. Sure enough, one of my sisters is Celiac, and then my other sister's son is Celiac, me and my sister are low thyroid. My brother's a insulin-dependent diabetic. The only thing we're missing is MS, and she's telling me that with my big old Irish Catholic family, that someone's going to get MS because it's part of that ... Have you heard that? Have you heard that these cluster of 5 are related?

 

Josie:

Yeah. I don't know what the problem is, but it does seem to be more and more these days that if you're suffering from any type of auto-immune, or thyroid problem, Hashimoto's, it seems to be the growing trend, at least out here in California, that practitioners are recommending people go on a gluten-free diet, remove the common irritant, and over time people do much better. I don't think people realize how pervasive wheat is in our diet. I mean, for breakfast we eat toast, then for lunch we're having a sandwich, for snacks we're having pretzels, then dinner-time, if we're in a rush, we're having pizza or pasta. I mean, we eat wheat all day long, and it's not balanced by any means, our standard American diet. I think, for sure, that if we were more whole food based, more vegetables, more grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, all the buzzwords that I'm probably going to get nailed on for talking about ... I think that definitely has something to do with overall health, for sure.

 

Howard:

You moved from Chicago to southern Cal. Wouldn't it just be a lot easier just to move to China, where it's a rice-based society of a wheat-based? If you're gluten-free in Shin Jin, you wouldn't even need to know you're gluten-free, pretty much. Wouldn't you agree?

 

Josie:

Yeah. I definitely agree. As far as I know, the latest studies aren't really showing that they have much Celiac or gluten intolerance problems in those countries, so I think there's something to be said for that.

 

Howard:

We're wheat-based, they're rice-based.

 

Josie:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

I always tell my brother if I was gluten-free, I'd move to China.

 

Josie:

I know. Try being an Italian, and I have to be gluten-free, right? No cannoli's, no [inaudible 00:06:11] pasta, pizza. I mean, it's been brutal, but I've gotten the hang of it now. When I really have a hankering for it, I've figured out how to convert some of my favorite Italian recipes, and I'm good.

 

Howard:

I'm just trying to figure out where you got that word "hankering"? I'm from Kansas. I only hear that word from Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Where did you learn "hankering"?

 

Josie:

I don't know. I have a lot of crazy words in my head.

 

Howard:

You just picked it up somewhere? I don't want to start with this topic, but I'm going to start with it, because it is Dentistry Uncensored, and the only reason I can start with asking you, is it different you being a girl dentist, me being a boy dentist, because in my own backyard, the Arizona State Dental Association ... Nothing to do with me ... Had a actual symposium on women's issues in dentistry. I never see conventions like that having like issues for bald dentists in America, or issues for fat bald dentists in America, but you do see symposiums for special issues for women dentistry. As a man, I can't really weigh-in on that, but you're a woman. Are there any special issues being a woman versus a man in dentistry today?

 

Josie:

I definitely think there are. It's funny that you say that there's a specific symposium for that. I do see the value in that. In fact, I will relate a story to you. I mentor a young lady, who's going to dental school in Arizona actually, and she had mentioned to me that at her school, they were having an Association of Women Dentists club meeting, and some of the male dental students were saying, "Well, how come there's no male club for guy dentists," and the girls replied, "Well, there is. It's called dentistry." Like, that's the club. Dentistry is the club that all the men are part of.

 

 

I think it is valuable to have an association for women to discuss women issues. I think as a man, it would be hard for you to relate. I'm happy to be here today to discuss those issues that have come up in my career. I've also touched base with a lot of my colleagues, who are female of course, and gotten their input. I'm excited to talk about it today. I just don't think ... A male dentist has a different frame of reference. They have different roles in our society. As a result of that, they don't really understand the challenges that women dentists go through.

 

Howard:

They say never talk about religion, sex, politics, or violence, or you mentioned women, and I'm just going to start with politics, and the fact that a lot of my friends are mad at me because ... What percent of male dentists in America are Republican would you guess?

 

Josie:

I have no idea.

 

Howard:

Pretty high, though.

 

Josie:

Okay. I mean it's a conservative profession, so I can see [inaudible 00:08:59].

 

Howard:

Plus, most of my friends are all you know, in their 50's. I would say 80% of 50 year-old, white, male, dentists are Republican. I grew up with 5 sisters. I never understood why I could swim in the river and my 5 sisters couldn't. Maybe my mom was hoping I would drown, I don't know. You know, I'm voting for Hillary, only because I have 1 granddaughter, and I just cringe at the fact that if she's going through school, and every President has been a man, and you look at the S,P 500, every CEO but about 3 are men, and when little Taylor sit on my lap, I don't like that. My friends are saying, "You're going to vote for Hillary just because she's a girl," and I say, "Look, all of the politicians will not let me down. They'll all deliver lying, cheating, stealing in equal amounts. None of them will do what they say, so yeah I am. I'm actually going to do that, as repulsive as it sounds." Do you think there should be a woman President, just because you got to break the all-male American President club?

 

Josie:

No. I love you Howard, but I am disappointed that you're voting for Hillary.

 

Howard:

I'm voting for my granddaughter. I'm voting for Taylor.

 

Josie:

I'm breaking my husband's advice, who said, "Don't talk politics today," but, no, I will not vote for Hillary just because she's a woman, because I think that's actually sexist in and of itself. It's just reverse sexism. I think a candidate should be voted on their values, their ethics, their ideas, and their record. I'm happy that women are more prominent in politics, but I will not base my voting decision on the mere fact that they have female body parts.

 

Howard:

Okay. Fair enough.

 

Josie:

I understand your perspective. I'm hoping that in your granddaughter's lifetime, that we will have multiple women dentists. I was thinking about that as I was preparing for this podcast. I am a woman, obviously, but I realized that I don't really go through life looking at it at as a woman, necessarily. I feel like, unless people remind me that I'm a woman in the workplace, or out and about, I just go through life as a person. I try to look at each person that I'm interacting with based on their integrity, their skill-sets, their positive influence in the community.

 

Howard:

That is interesting, because some people, you ask them a question ... It's coming down to what is your identity?

 

Josie:

Right.

 

Howard:

Like, some people, their identity is a football team. Some, it's a religion. Some, it's their heritage, that they're Irish, or this ... You're saying a big part of your identity is not that you're a woman?

 

Josie:

I guess I would say that, yeah. I mean, I'm definitely a mom. I would say I'm a girly-girl, but I don't walk around expecting certain things, necessarily, because I'm a woman. I just go through life being Josie, and hope for the best, you know?

 

Howard:

I get it too, because probably 80% of my identity is a dad, and grandpa, and dentistry is a very small part of my identity, and growing up Irish and Catholic is a much smaller ... I mean, 80% of the thoughts in my head are Greg, Ryan, and Zack, and little Taylor, not root canals, fillings, and crowns, so I get that. Let's get back to dentistry. Let's try to focus. For all the men out there, my age, because I asked some of my friends about, they really don't know what an issue would be, being a woman. Talk to my 50-year old drinking buddies at the bar. What issues would there be, being a woman?

 

Josie:

All right. I have a handful of them. I guess if we're going to talk about sexism, let's just go there first, right? This is Dentistry Uncensored.

 

Howard:

You know it.

 

Josie:

I think for the most part ... If you're a woman in the dental field, like when people figure out I'm in dentistry, they seem shocked when I tell them I'm the dentist. I think people automatically assume if you're a woman in dentistry, that you're either an assistant, or a hygienist, or an office manager. They don't automatically go to the you are the actual provider of the care. It doesn't necessarily bother me anymore. I mean, I've been doing this for 20 years now, but initially it was annoying. Now, I have other things in my life that occupy my brain, so I don't get bothered by that stuff anymore.

 

Howard:

I always make this analogy. Like, say you're in a hospital, and some guy walks in. He's got a tool-belt, and a drill, and a plumber, and all this stuff. He goes to start an IV. You'd like, "Woah, woah, woah, woah. Shouldn't the nurse do that? You look like you're here to fix the cable TV." Do you ever try to make the receptionist look different than the assistants, versus the hygienist, versus the dentist, to avoid some of that confusion? I think hospitals do that. Don't the doctors in the hospital usually always hang a stethoscope-

 

Josie:

Yes.

 

Howard:

Or something.

 

Josie:

You know, it's funny that you say that. I do, at work, try to dress up so I can look like "the doctor", and wear lab coats. You know, but some days frankly, I'm just too lazy and I want to wear scrubs like everybody else. I'll put my hair in a ponytail, my scrubs. When I have a new patient, unless I walk in and specifically say, "Hi. I'm Dr. Dovidio. Nice to meet you," they will automatically assume that I am an assistant. I do try to do that at work.

 

Howard:

Do you try to wear a different color scrubs? All the assistants in 1 color, and you're in a different color?

 

Josie:

I probably should do that. I've thought about doing that, but I'm just too lazy to make that happen. I'd rather just dress-up and be done with it. You know what's funny, like here's a minor issue, which sounds trivial, but is actually a problem. When I have to get dressed-up, you're wearing nice dress shoes, if you're going to wear nice cloths. It is impossible ... I don't know what the shoe manufacturers are doing ... To find normal, sensible, shoes for women to wear to work. I mean, I don't think men have that problem at all. Right now, they sell shoes that are either the style my grandmother would wear, or that a hooker would wear. I don't understand what I'm supposed to be wearing to work. It's like, if I buy the hooker shoes with the big stilettos and the big platforms, and I'm walking around at  that, what does that say to may patient? Grandma shoes are terribly ugly. It's a minor challenge, but it is a challenge that men don't ever have to think about, I'm sure.

 

Howard:

I actually have to think about that, because if I wear [Asic 00:16:00] tennis shoes all day, my feet are fine at the end of the day, but if I wear the dress black shoes, my feet start hurting at about 3 o'clock. Same thing when I lecture, because I can't stand behind a podium and lecture. My lecture's more like a caged animal roaming-

 

Josie:

I've seen it. I love it.

 

Howard:

At 53, I just dress for comfort anymore. I did find some black tennis shoes, so at least it kind of looks like dress shoes at a 100 yards away. Yeah, at 53, I'm not going to tear up my feet-

 

Josie:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

To have a look.

 

Josie:

I can tell as I'm getting older, I'm definitely sacrificing fashion for comfort. I mean, all the consultants will tell you, you have to dress the part. You have to look a certain way, if you want to have that respect as the doctor, and I totally get that. That's just a minor, like I said, challenge that women deal with, that men don't really have to deal with. At dental conventions, that's another problem ... When I go to a dental convention, you're at the convention all day, you're walking around, you're going to [CE's 00:17:02], you're looking at vendors. If I dress, no matter how I dress actually, I go up to a vendor to try and place an order and even though my badge specifically says, "I am the dentist," they'll say, "Well, okay. Who's your office? Who's your doctor?" I'll say, "Me. I'm the doctor. I'm paying this bill."

 

Howard:

You still get that in 2016?

 

Josie:

Still. Still.

 

Howard:

No kidding?

 

Josie:

It's fascinating to me. Like i said, depending on my mood, I don't necessarily get bothered by it. It's just funny to me.

 

Howard:

Huh. When I walk up to a booth at a convention, they always say I didn't valet park my car. What other challenges? I want to get to this challenge. You were talking about consumer challenge. You're talking about when the consumer comes in, the patient, that you're getting, "You're not the doctor."

 

Josie:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

Another big one I always hear, and I don't know if I get this more than others because I have an MBA, but they always say that when the man says to the staff "do this," they jump. When the woman says, "do this," they all ask, "why?" Do you see that, or is that ... ?

 

Josie:

I do. I have seen that over my career. I own my own office now. I've done that for about 5 years now. I don't see that now, because I've hired great people to work with. When I interview people, I let them know that there's no drama, this is what I'm expecting. For the most part, I've had great staff. Over the years as an associate, I have seen that. I've been thinking about whether that's truly a male/female issue, or is it because typically the male boss is the owner of the practice, and they sign the checks, and so they're much more likely to listen to the male dentist than me as a female associate.

 

 

Now, me personally, in my experience, I haven't really had that issue, but I also try to be easy to get along with. I'm trying not to be harsh, or rude, with my staff. As an associate, I'm just trying to get along with the team and be part of the team. You have to know how to present yourself, and how to interact with people, and I have seen and heard of some lady dentists who can't really meld that. They can't really figure that out. They either up having the trouble where they're getting walked all over by the staff, and just being ignored, or they come off like a bitch. I think there's something to be said for that. I think if you can be a strong leader, and a strong female dentist, and role model, and the staff will follow you, but you got to know how to do it. You can't just be a bulldozer. I think that is true.

 

 

I think it depends on the different parts of the country, too, or the age of the staff. You know, if you have staff, hygienists or assistants, who ... I once subbed in an office where the hygienist had been there for 25 years, and I was working for a small chunk of time for someone who was a male dentist, and she was not going to listen to anything that I said. I don't know, again, if that's because I was a lot younger than her, and as far as she was concerned, she ran the roost, or if it's because I'm a woman. I'm inclined to think it's the former, not the latter, but ...

 

Howard:

True or false? Some of the older males think that some of the younger dentists, and period, regardless if they're boys or girls, have management issues because they blur the lines of boss and friend. Do you think millennials, young dentists, blur that line? Do you see younger dentists, first 5 years out of school, doing things with their staff that you wouldn't do? Do you think that causes a management, leadership, issue?

 

Josie:

Yes. I do think that's a problem. I think it's becoming harder to navigate now with social media. I'm very active on social media. My staff and I are friends on social media, so they know probably a lot more about my life through social media than I actually present to them in the office. Like I said, I have great staff, and I love spending my days with them, and they're always trying to get me to go out and hang out with them. I can't really do that because I have kids, and I have a very busy schedule, but it would be, as a woman, very tempting to do it, because I like them, and I want to hang out with them after hours, but I could see why that would be a problem because there's a different relationship then, and it's hard for people to turn that on and off, depending on what time of day it is.

 

Howard:

I want to ask you another true or false question. Some of the older guys are propelling a lot of words, and articles, and blogs that one of the reasons we're having the rise of corporate dentistry is because we went from all males, to half females, and they're trying to balance getting married, having children, and they want an 8-5 job. Do you think that's over-simplistic, or do you think that's true, false, crazy, a small variable? What are your thoughts on someone writing a blog like that? If it wasn't for half the class being women, there wouldn't be [Heartland's 00:22:29], and [Pacific Dentals 00:22:31], and [Aspen's 00:22:31], and all that stuff like that?

 

Josie:

I think that's over-simplistic. I mean, I think there's definitely a place for corporate dentistry. I used to actually detest corporate dentistry. In southern California, on every block we have like 10 dentists. I mean, we are over-saturated with dentists. Corporate dentistry came in. They're way over-treating in my area. In fact, now I love corporate dentistry because I live in the area where I practice, and they're my biggest referral. I know a lot of people, they go there for whatever reason, their insurance assigned them there, whatnot, and they come in for a second opinion with me. They know me and they trust. I tell them what they should do. They stay with me. Now, I love corporate dentistry. They're my biggest referrals.

 

 

There's definitely a place for it, both for the consumer and for the practitioner. In fact, the girls that I'm mentoring in dental school now, I tell them, "When you get out, you should definitely get some experience in corporate dentistry. They do offer a lot of nice perks. They have CE. You get to do a lot of different procedures. They definitely have a full schedule for you. You learn how to increase your speed. You also learn how you don't want to practice, because it's not necessarily run the way a small private practice would be run."

 

Howard:

I think what's a 10 times huger variable of that having women who want to just have a job, and have a balanced lifestyle, is actually why I started Dental Town in '98. I sensed that when all the solo-practicing dentists seemed to be more burned out, more fried, more scared, and every time I walked into a group practice, they were more bubbly, and lit up, and whatever. When I saw the internet come out in '98, I said, "With the internet, no dentist should ever have to practice solo again." Then Facebook came out in 2004. I always thought, going into office with a buddy, or 2, to show an x-ray, to talk ... I remember, someone would walk into the room, and say, "Man, I've been looking for this [MB2 00:24:33] for 20 minutes. Will one of you go look for it," or whatever. I just think it's so much more fun to work with a buddy, than alone.

 

Josie:

Yeah. I agree. I mean, in my career, I've been lucky enough to work either, as an associate, with really great dentists, or have colleagues upstairs for me that I can go to lunch with and say, "Oh, my gosh. This killed me this morning," or just to [kvetch 00:24:55] with.

 

Howard:

Just to what with?

 

Josie:

Kvetch. It's a Yiddish word. I'm in southern California. I know a lot of random words, I told you. Just you know, commiserate with. It is helpful. That's why Dental Town is brilliant. I mean, I remember I met you, you came down to do your one-day Dental MBA at the [Braemar 00:25:21] Country Club in Encino for [Jay Resnick's study 00:25:21] , and that's early on when you had first started Dental Town. I remember walking up to you, when you were eating your dessert, just saying, "Howard, this is brilliant. What you've done with Dental Town is brilliant. It's going to be huge," because it's true ... Just the other day, I had a procedure with a complication, and it's totally standard, but I was still like, "Ah, I wish I could bounce this off of somebody. I went to Dental Town. I put in my keywords, and I read thread after, and they did exactly what I did, and I felt so much more comforted just knowing that other people, not only have experienced that, but did the same thing, and that I was doing the right thing for my patient.

 

 

Yeah, there is that benefit in corporate dentistry. You can have that in private practice, too. You just have to seek it out, not necessarily right in your suite. Later on, when we talk about advice for new grads, that's huge, is you have to keep your professional colleagues, your professional peer group, active and interact with them because now that I've been practicing longer ... Next year will be 20 years ... It is more isolating as you get older. I don't know what that is. I don't know if it's because I'm busier, and I can't interact as much because of my kids' schedules, but it is more isolating as you get older, so it's very important to have colleagues to kind of keep you fresh, and bounce ideas off of, and just keep you from burning out. Burnout at this stage is very prevalent. Having that base of people, or having a forum to go to, it can really do wonders for your mental health. Let's just put it that way.

 

Howard:

You can't say that girls have to do more parenting than guys, because some guys, like 3 of my kids live with me full-time. What advice would you give on balancing work and life? There's a lot of people listening to you right now that want to have a kid or 2 or 3. Would you just say, "Don't do it. Get a tubal ligation now. Stop. Stop the madness"? What advice would you give?

 

Josie:

I mean, I think you have to go into your career knowing what you want.

 

Howard:

I have to sound like I'm promoting children, because my son Ryan's sitting right next to me right now. I'm going to say, "Yeah. Go ahead and start a family," but that's only because Ryan's sitting right next to me right now.

 

Josie:

Yeah. I mean, I think you have to know what you want. When I was in my residency program ... Which I loved and I highly recommend that to students who are getting ready to graduate, by the way. It was a great experience. When I was in my residency program, I was doing a lot of surgery, and some of the surgeons would say, "You know, you really have a knack for surgery. You should go on and become a oral surgeon." In my head I was like, "Well, that's a lot more school. That's a lot more commitment." I knew that I wanted to have a family. I knew I wanted to get married, have a family. Maybe it's sexist to say, but yes, parenting is equal in responsibility, but the bulk of the work does fall on the mother, for most people. I knew that that was a commitment I was not going to be able to make.

 

 

When you are getting ready to think about that ... Again, some of the girls I mentor have said to me, "How do you do this? How do you have a family, and run a practice, and do all the extra activities that you do?" Now, my answer is that I'm insane, but plenty of people do it who are not insane, but you have to know what you want. At this stage, I'm very happy with where my practice is, what I've built it to be is for me, great. I know I could be doing exponentially better. I know I could be working way more days. I know I could build this "dental empire" if I wanted to, but that's not what I want. I feel more of a millennial in that sense, in that I'm searching for balance. I'm searching for a way to make my life not just about dentistry and the business, but to be here for my family.

 

 

When I had my kids, they're 14 months apart, and I took time off for maternity leave, like off, didn't go to work for 6 months with each of my sons. My colleagues would say, "What are you doing? You're committing practice suicide. That's terrible. You can't be gone for that long," but I just always stuck to my guns and I said, "You know what, I can regrow my practice. I cannot re-raise my kids. They need me now, and I'm going to be there for them now." Since then, in raising them, I've altered my schedule to be as available as possible for them. Could I be available more? Sure. I have a lot of other female friends who work full-time jobs, and I go to way more of my kids' events than they do, because of dentistry.

 

 

Dentistry's been a great career for me, in order to be able to do that work and have a family. That's one of the pressures of being a female dentist, that male dentists probably don't get. I'm not as easily available to go to study clubs in the evenings, or I can't just drop everything and go to a CE class, you know, out of town. There's a season for that, and right now's not that time for me, but when they're a little older and in high school or out of the house, then I'll be much more available for that. Thanks to Dental Town, I can get a lot of great CE from there. Online, there's a lot of great CE. Locally, in LA, there's a ton of great CE. I'm not missing out on that necessarily, but it is harder to get to some of the courses around the country that I would like to attend.

 

Howard:

If you ever need a evening hands-on oral surgery course, I will call Jay Resnick right now, and tell him when to meet you at his office. Yeah, people always ask me, "Well, how come you don't have a chain of dental offices," or "How come you don't have 3 or 4 locations?" I said, "Because I had Eric, Greg, Ryan, and Zack." It was just everything to try to get a magazine and a website going on the side. I'm a big fan of yours on Facebook, too. I think we both agree that a minimalist lifestyle is more rewarding than having ... I mean, I don't have a condo or anything, because I don't want to take care of it.

 

Josie:

Right.

 

Howard:

You know what I mean? I always tell people, "You don't need a boat and a condo. You just need a friend who has a boat and a condo."

 

Josie:

That's right.

 

Howard:

I want to go back to the boy/girl thing on one thing, from back to the consumer. I just think it would just have to be the hugest advantage, because you know, when we talk about dentistry, I know everybody only hears the patient say, "I want my crown on the same day," whereas I only hear that like once or twice every 6 months. I mostly hear cost, you know, "How much is it? Will my insurance pay? Can I pay you Friday?" Half of my questions are cost.

 

Josie:

Right.

 

Howard:

Man, the other half are pain. I would just think if I was some hillbilly from Oklahoma, and I was afraid of getting a shot, I'd rather go to Josie than Howard.

 

Josie:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

I mean, you just like you're going to hurt me a hell of a lot less than that guy that looks like Grizzly Adams that just came out of a forest.

 

Josie:

Right.

 

Howard:

Don't you think ... I also have seen some local girls who were, when she goes to get an associate, it's a girl because the whole marketing theme is about soft, and gentle, and we won't hurt you, and a loving touch, and all this, and I just think, man, that'd have to be a huge advantage in a industry that's just made fun of with pain and suffering.

 

Josie:

Yes. I definitely agree that that is a big advantage of being a female dentist. I have patients actually tell me that that's why they chose me, is because I was a female dentist. I had a lot of nice Yelp reviews, I have a lot of Google reviews, but I have colleagues who are also highly reviewed on Yelp and Google, but they chose me specifically because I was a female. I've had big, burly, patients with tattoos and piercings everywhere, and they'll tell me you know, they're scared of the needle, which I laugh and say, "Don't tell me that. You got all this stuff going on," but they say, "No," but again it gets back to they chose me because I am a small person. I'm, you know, 5'2" on a good hair day, and I don't look like I can do any damage, and that's why they chose me.

 

 

Having said that, sometimes it works against me. You know, like if I have to do an extraction, they'll say, "How are you going to get this tooth out," as if an extraction is all brute force. I guess it depends, again, on the consumer's frame of reference and their frame of mind. I think in general, you are correct, that it is an advantage to be a female dentist, in terms of marketing.

 

Howard:

That's funny because when I was at [UMKC 00:34:08], the 2 oral surgeons were [Charlie White 00:34:10] and [Greg Ferguson 00:34:10], 2 big, huge, amazing athlete men. There was this little girl over there named [Susan Wires 00:34:17], in the department, and she'd get them out faster. I gravitated right to her, and she'd just tell me, "Dude, it's leverage. It's not bicep. You don't put your quad into an extraction." Susan Wires, bless her heart, taught all of the smart ones how to pull teeth just because she wasn't even breaking a sweat.

 

Josie:

Right.

 

Howard:

Then it was like the big, burly, men were more likely to be torquing the head, and you could see their tricep popping out, and then there was just little Susan just bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, and I thought, "Man, she's onto something." It was called leverage.

 

Josie:

Definitely technique related, and some people, I mean, some patients, their mouths are so small I can barely get my tiny pre-pubescent hands in there. I don't know how you guys can get your hands in there.

 

Howard:

By the way, I thought you were Italian. I haven't even seen your hands in this video yet. I thought you would just be ...

 

Josie:

You know what, I am trying very ... [inaudible 00:35:11] hard to keep them down, below the camera, because it'd be very easy to do this the whole time.

 

Howard:

Let's just go forget the boy/girl. They're coming out of school ... You know, I was talking to the Senior class last weekend, and they're all scared, mainly because of the debt. They're just so [emotional 00:35:33] about their debt. Let's switch to the young kids-

 

Josie:

Okay.

 

Howard:

That have been out of school 5 years, less, or are just coming out of school this year. Let's say they're going to graduate in May, May of 2016. They got 350,000 in debt. What advice would you give them? You just mentioned earlier, you said that you really enjoyed your residency program.

 

Josie:

Yeah. It was great.

 

Howard:

Would you recommend that as standard operating procedure, go try to do a residency?

 

Josie:

Absolutely. I think that should be required. I don't know why it's not. I mean, you definitely have to a residency. You get way more procedures under your belt. You try all the different kinds of materials. I mean, I remember I left dental school thinking that every prep had to be done with the [Brasseler 00:36:12] [inaudible 00:36:13], you know like, there was no other [bur 00:36:16] that I can use to do that prep, but you know, you get just much more exposure to different burs, different materials, different techniques, different ways of thinking. You do way more procedures in a residency than you did in dental school, so it's definitely for me, a must do. Plus, most residencies offer a stipend, and you get to defer any loans that you have, so you're getting paid, plus you can defer your loans, and it's just a win-win all around, as far as I'm concerned.

 

Howard:

What are your thoughts on their debt?

 

Josie:

I remember feeling that way. I mean, when I went to dental school, I graduated in '97, I had a ton of debt. In fact, I remember, I worked for, I'm going to call him out, [Alan Wolfson 00:37:03], who's on Dental Town all the time. I hope you're listening, Alan. I worked for him. I was his dental assistant. At the time I was applying to dental school, and I said, "I'm just worried about all this debt I'm going to be in when I graduate," and he just said, "Just sign the loan papers. If you're smart about it, you'll pay it off in no time," and that's true. I want to thank him for his encouragement on that, but I think that's the thing.

 

 

You have to be smart about it. You know, when I graduated, I was in a lot of debt, but I wasn't out partying every weekend. I wasn't out spending money. I didn't buy myself a new car. I didn't go on any vacations. In fact, my friends who had government jobs were living high on the hog, and I was eating top Ramen for awhile, because I just wanted to be wise and frugal. Now fast forward, I live a much nicer life than they do. I have virtually no debt, but you have to be wise. I think, maybe some of the newer grads sometimes get caught up in the title or the lifestyle, but no, you don't graduate with that right. You have to earn it, and you have to be wise and prudent with your debt, and your lifestyle. You have to manage that, for sure.

 

Howard:

I feel like I'm messing up your podcast, because you are so organized, you have all these things. I think I should just shut up and you should just go through your notes, because your notes are amazing, and I feel like I should shut up and quit interrupting you.

 

Josie:

No, I love talking to you. You know, so I would say first and foremost, yeah the debt is overwhelming, but again, you have to work hard. When I graduated, I worked 6 days a week. Anybody who would take me, I would go work for them. I worked 6 days a week, and any money that I made went straight to pay off my loans, and I just focused on that. While you're waiting to find all that work, you go volunteer at a free clinic. Again, same experience as a residency, in a way. You get to have a lot more procedures under your belt, work with different materials, different staff. You learn a ton from other dentists who are volunteering there. You make connections in the community. You make connections with the staff there.

 

 

We have a local free clinic. I volunteered there for about 4 years. It was very rewarding, and the best benefit of it all, is that now when I'm looking for staff, I just call the clinic and say, "Hey, who you got volunteering right now? I need an assistant, or I need a hygienist." I want someone who has the ethic to want to give to back to the community and to participate in that way. That's the kind of person I'm looking for. That's another great way to get your fingers wet, so to speak, when you graduate.

 

Howard:

And a lot of these [dentals 00:39:47] [inaudible 00:39:46] up the street from me in Mesa, Arizona. When you apply to dental school there, if you don't have any hours logged in, volunteering, missionary dentistry, charity dentistry, they just throw it in the basket.

 

Josie:

Yeah. I think that's smart. If you're actually someone listening to this who's applying to dental school, I don't understand why you wouldn't volunteer. I mean, in dentistry, it's not about making money. You're doing dentistry to help people, so if you're not naturally inclined to help people, maybe that's not a good fit for you. I mean, you should go into offices and volunteer. I have a gal who just stopped into my office. She's in Dental Assisting school right now. She's not even ready for her externship, but she just said, "No, I just want to volunteer in an office, and learn whatever I can." It's like, "Wow. This gal is sharp." Like, that she knows what she's doing. You have to get that experience, to make sure you even know that that's the career you want to do.

 

Howard:

I wanted you to focus on another issue. The young kids, they come out of school, and they're overwhelmed with everything that a dental school can't put on the curriculum. I know older people are saying, "God, how come they didn't teach them this, and this, and this," and dental school's like, "Dude, I'm in the dental schools. It's amazing to take a kid off the street and turn them loose with a legal license in 4 years. You can't teach them everything." They're coming out of school and they're overwhelmed, because they're like, "Should I learn to place implants? That's a whole lot to bite off. Should I learn [sleep 00:41:09] medicine? Should I learn short-term Ortho and Invisalign? Should I learn Cad/Cam [CEREC 00:41:15] machine restorations?" I mean, there's not enough hours in the day. Can you give them a stair step or some guidance on what would be a smart use of their limited time and resources, as they're crawling out of dental school?

 

Josie:

Absolutely, Howard. I've heard you say this on other podcasts, and I can't agree with you enough. You have to learn how to crawl before you can walk. Like, how about you just get out and figure out how to do like an occlusal amalgam in under like 30 minutes? I mean, in dental school they give you like 3 hours to do an occlusal amalgam. When you graduate, it's not like you can automatically do it in a half hour. You know, just focus on your basic skill-set, and get that honed down before you move on to something else.

 

 

My experience was, no one's hiring you to place implants in their office. They're not going to hire a new grad to do perio-surgery. They're hiring new grads to do all the [pedo 00:42:09], all the kids, all the stuff that they don't want to do, all the routine fillings. These Senior dentists are the ones who want to do the implants, and the [all on 4's 00:42:19], and you know ... You just need to hone your basic dental skills, and increase your speed. Even with hygienists, if they're listening to this, I would say the same thing. No one wants to be in your hygiene chair getting scraped out for an hour. Like, figure out a way to streamline your appointment. You want to be effective. You want to be thorough, of course, and you want to be efficient, but you can be all those things at a faster pace. That's what I would say. Focus on that.

 

 

You want to build longevity in your career. You want to stay physically fit. I loved that podcast that you did with the yoga lady and with the physical therapist. Now, my body's feeling it. Dentistry will take it's toll on your body, so you have to think about that now when you're graduating, not in 20 years when you have signs of deterioration or body problems. Yoga is a great tool. Figure that out before you figure out how to place an implant. Every day you need to undo what dentistry has done to you [crosstalk 00:43:24].

 

Howard:

I want to go back to implants, because you've taken the [Kellogg's 00:43:29] Dental Business Program. You're business savvy, big time. When I'm just looking at the business, I wanted to ask you personally ... I mean, the guy who did the most implants, I mean take old [Jensen 00:43:43], clear choice, out of Colorado. They would open up the centers, and they would just bring in periodontists and oral surgeons, and just pay them a percent. Forget about the love of, "I want to be an implant surgeon. I want a [bone guy 00:43:57]." Forget about the love. Just on dollars and cents, do you think it would be smarter for a kid to go out from dental school and take all these hours of continuing education in implants, and [bite 00:44:08] systems and implants, and all that to make a return investment in their dental office or just to set up the business and have an oral surgeon, or periodontist from 20 miles away, come in 1 day a week and do them all for a percent? What do you think would be a better return on investment?

 

Josie:

That's a tricky question. I mean, I think a lot of that depends on where you're located. If you're located in like the middle of Wyoming, it might make more sense to do it yourself. If you're located in a much more cosmopolitan area, it might make more sense to do something else. You can't go wrong with CE. You're only investing in yourself, if you're learning more, to do better, and you're doing better for your patients. You won't go wrong.

 

 

I think there are certain business decisions that need to be made, and that you have to look at your environment that you're planning on practicing in, and what your consumers want. I, years ago, wanted to buy a CERAC, and now I'm thankful that I did not buy a CERAC, because that would've never worked in my practice. In my practice, people come in, they need to get out because they got to pick up a kid at school, or you know, they have to take another kid to a different doctor, or they got to go to soccer practice. They don't have time to sit around and wait for something to be milled. You have to be smart, and buy technology, and do the procedures that make sense. I know that I-

 

Howard:

I'm going to tell Michael [Ditolla 00:45:37] and Fred [inaudible 00:45:37] that you said that, and they're probably going to drive over to your house, and give you a spanking. Yeah. How many dentists bought a CERAC machine, and now it sits there, it's a coat rack, because they realized they spent 150,000 dollars and now they're a 3 hour lab tech, and it just dollars and cents, it's easier to [prep 00:45:56], temporize, and get them back in 2 weeks? You're a busy mom. If I had you come into my office, Josie Dovidio, and I said, "Hey, here's your options. One hour today, come back in 2 weeks for 30 minutes, or 2 hours right now, what would you pick?"

 

Josie:

Yeah. I'd need to get in and out.

 

Howard:

I know. That's the Phoenix market.

 

Josie:

Yeah. Like I was saying earlier, I think it depends on where you're practicing. I know obviously a lot of people have CERAC and they're doing great with it, and you know, kudos to them. It wouldn't have worked for me. I'm basically a bread and butter practice. I refer out. I keep my specialists very busy. I feel like, for the most part, my patients are happy. I have good reviews. It's been great for me. I could do a lot more surgical dentistry. I could do wisdom teeth if I wanted to. I could do surgical placement of implants. It would be fun for me to do it, but it wouldn't necessarily make business sense for me to do it at this stage in my career. Now, check back with me in 5 or 10 years and it might be different. When you graduate from dental school, I think you feel like you can conquer the world, and do everything, and then you have to really be business-oriented to know what's smart, and what's smart for me might be different than what's smart for you. You have to just really know what your market is.

 

Howard:

By the way, your from Simi Valley, California?

 

Josie:

Yes.

 

Howard:

When you grow up in Kansas, in Geography they just teach you that there's San Diego, LA, and San Fran, and then you never meet anyone your entire life in California in those 3 towns. Where's Simi Valley?

 

Josie:

We are northeast of LA.

 

Howard:

Okay.

 

Josie:

Kind of [inaudible 00:47:43] Malibu. People know where Malibu is, usually, so we're inland from there.

 

Howard:

I was wondering, you've already mentioned Yelp reviews, and Google reviews, 3 times during this podcast. All my buddies in [Ahwatukee 00:47:55], we've never looked at or read a Yelp review. Is that a California thing, or an age deal, just because you're a decade younger than me?

 

Josie:

I think it's an age thing. A lot of people my age or younger ... You know, we ask on our intake form how people heard about us. I would say, overwhelmingly, it's much more internet now, internet reviews, than anything else. I mean, obviously word-of-mouth is big for us too, but I don't even basically do any other marketing anymore.

 

Howard:

Just reviews?

 

Josie:

Just reviews.

 

Howard:

Is it half Google, half Yelp? 80-20? Break it down.

 

Josie:

I think right now I'm about even. You know, Yelp is funky. They hide a lot of reviews. I don't particularly like Yelp. Sorry, Yelp people. I use Yelp. I use Yelp when I'm going to a restaurant or if I'm in an area and we're going to stop for the kids to grab a quick bite, "Okay, let's Yelp and see what's near here, what has good reviews, and we'll go eat there." I am a Yelp user, but as a business owner, I am not a fan of Yelp because if you don't advertise with them, they do hold back some of your reviews. I think right now-

 

Howard:

Do you advertise with Yelp?

 

Josie:

No.

 

Howard:

No? Do you actively try to manage your Yelp reviews? Do you do things in your office to try to get more reviews?

 

Josie:

Yes. I have TV screens in each of my rooms, or monitors, so people can watch videos, or movies, or whatnot. We have a running slideshow that says, you know, "If you've been happy with us, we'd love a review on Yelp or on Google." We do do that. We do send out patient emails, after a new patient has been in, basically asking them for a review. I'll always ask somebody, "How did you hear about us?" They'll say, "Oh, I found you on the internet. You had great reviews," and I'll say, "Oh, awesome. Well, you know, if you're happy with your visit today, we'd love another review so that other people like you can find us too." For the most part, that's all I do. I know there's a ton of programs that help you get more reviews. I've interviewed some of them. I'm just not ready to ramp it up that strong, but what I have right now's been working great for me in my area.

 

Howard:

Josie, I want to ask you a very broad question. It seems like when you read so many blogs, and journals, and posts, that to be a great dentist, you got to like do sinus lifts, or be a CERAC, or do short-term ortho, or do this, but it just seems to me that if I just met 100 successful dentists, almost all of them don't place implants, don't do ortho, don't have a CAD/CAM machine, don't have a laser. They don't do any of that stuff. They're just good people like you, who relate to their patients. You don't focus on building teeth. You focus on building relationships. It seems like if I lined up just 100 dentists, just having a great life in dentistry, they don't build teeth, they don't take courses on building teeth. They just build great relationships. Do you agree with that, or disagree with that?

 

Josie:

I totally agree with that. I don't do any of those things that you mentioned, but I do have on my waiting room wall, we had a laser done. It says, "May all those who enter as patients, leave as friends."

 

Howard:

Wow.

 

Josie:

Our staff tries to do that, because it's much nicer to work on patients, people who are your friend. They don't complain nearly as much. They're more compliant. They will listen to your advice. We try really hard to make everyone have a good experience. We engage them on Facebook. We shout things out to them. If we know a patient's been in the paper, we try to help promote that. We're really just trying to create relationships. I would say that works best for us.

 

 

I think that's probably what we're known for. You know, I don't try to up-sell people on anything. I give them their options. I let them decide what they want to do. I say to them, "Hey, if you were my sister, this is what I would do. If this was my kid, I would do this." They believe me because I feel like I'm genuine about it. I like to sleep at night. I worry about people. If they have an endo flare-up, which it can happen, I'm worrying about that patient overnight. I'm going to call them the next day and see how they're doing.

 

 

You have to be a people-person and care about people if you're going to be successful in this profession. People who come in, I always ask them why they left their last dentist, and almost always, it's because they were "all about money". That's what they say to me. That dentist was all about money. They wanted to do this. They wanted to do that, and I look in their mouth and sometimes I agree with that treatment plan. "Yeah, you know what, you really do need a crown there. You really do need this." I think it's just because of how I present it, they accept the treatment.

 

 

I think that's another thing we ought to tell new grads is to really focus on your people skills, because you can have great hands, but the patient doesn't know that. I've seen patients who their dentist retired, now they're coming to me, and the dentistry in their mouth is not exactly great dentistry and they have a lot of problems now as a result of it, but that patient will talk that dentist up and down, "They were the best dentist ever," and it was all relationship-based, so I think that's huge for new grads to get right away.

 

Howard:

Have you seen the new mentorship program we started on Dental Town?

 

Josie:

I have not.

 

Howard:

Will you look at that-

 

Josie:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

And send me an email? Because of trying to hook up kids with someone like that, we started a new mentorship program where older people are tolling out their name, and they'll take a younger kid, and obviously we have 10 kids signing up for every old guy. If you're an old guy listening to this podcast ... It's a brand new program, and I wish you would just look at it, because Lori [Lisowski 00:54:00], the President of our company knew I was podcasting with you today, and she said to ask you about it, because we'd like to have your feedback, while still tweaking it. I'd like to get your feedback on that.

 

Josie:

Love it.

 

Howard:

What else did you want to talk about? I only got you for 5 more minutes.

 

Josie:

Let's see here. I think another thing that, what I usually mentor with my gals with is to surround yourself with people who make you better. There's a lot of areas of your life that you need mentorship in, not just dentistry, or your career. You need to seek out those people that you can admire, and try to emulate, right? I mean, everyone has their own identity, their own personality. You have to "do you,' as they say. You should try to always be doing you at a greater level. Like, Howard 2.0. Dental Town is a great spot for mentorship in dentistry, finding a local dentist you admire. You know, like you always talk about when you were younger in your career, you would go to the local specialist and just ask to watch them for the day. That's awesome, you know. I think that we should definitely encourage that.

 

Howard:

They all loved it.

 

Josie:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

Who the hell doesn't want a young guy to come and say, "Help." I mean, you'd have to be a sociopath not to like that.

 

Josie:

Right. Yeah. I mean, I think that's brilliant advice. You have to find someone to keep you accountable. I think it's easy for people to have goals, and then not really to have anyone check in with them and say, "How are you doing on that? Are you struggling with that? Are you doing what you set out to do," you know, just someone to hold you accountable, someone who will tell you when you're screwing up, but is still going to be your friend anyway.

 

Howard:

You're preaching to the choir, because I know you like podcasts. You like other podcasts too.

 

Josie:

I do.

 

Howard:

What other podcasts do you like, for my homies out there, who are saying, "I'm sick of that Howard guy." If you're going to listen to another podcast, what would you listen to?

 

Josie:

I really like the [Relentless Dentist 00:56:07] podcast series.

 

Howard:

You had to pick the good-looking dentist with hair, didn't you?

 

Josie:

I don't even know what he looks like. I listen to them all.

 

Howard:

Oh, you listen to them all? Okay. He's really old, and fat, and ugly. Seriously. If you saw him, you would puke.

 

Josie:

I listen to [inaudible 00:56:22] when I'm running or exercising, so I don't know.

 

Howard:

You listen while you're exercising?

 

Josie:

Yeah, when I'm exercising, or when I'm doing the dishes. I hate doing dishes, so I'll listen to the podcast while I'm doing them [to get them 00:56:33] to go by faster.

 

Howard:

It's not a commuting to work?

 

Josie:

No. My commute's only about 15 minutes.

 

Howard:

Your normal podcast behavior is house chores, would you say?

 

Josie:

House chores, exercise. If I'm running errands, I will have it on in my car, because I can Bluetooth it on, so I can continue on as I'm driving around.

 

Howard:

So, Relentless Dentist. Why do you like the Relentless Dentist?

 

Josie:

I like it because it's short. If I know I only have like a half hour before my destination, I can get a podcast in. I like the variety. I think he has a lot of different people. I mean, you do, too. It's just a different take on it, I guess. I like that one. I like [Dental Hacks 00:57:21]. I'm starting to listen to some Dental Hacks, and those have been fun.

 

Howard:

For someone listening to this, what's the difference between Relentless Dentist and Dental Hacks? What would you say? That [Alan Mead's 00:57:34] funnier?

 

Josie:

You know what, the few Dental Hacks that I've listened to, I've liked. They have like a bunch of dentists talking, kind of like if you and I were at lunch with 3 or 4 other dentists, and they're all chiming in. That's fun, just to hear a bunch of different dentists talk about one topic.

 

Howard:

What I try to do ... My whole deal of the podcast, my whole goal ... I have [expanded 00:57:58] down time for it ... Just that after you've done this for 30 years, you notice that going back 3 decades ago, the people who would go to the most CE, whether that be the monthly study club or the Saturday course, whoever did the most CE, I saw, was the happiest. I only ask my homies to do 2 things. I want them to be happy and healthy, that's all I ask. Not the perfect margin, not the perfect overhead, just be happy and healthy.

 

 

It seems like the ones, because when you're going to the CE, you met other people, you met friends, you had people to go to, you had networks, and the reason I release one every day is because I know that average person is only going to listen to maybe 1 every week or 2, or 3, and I wanted them to be able to scroll down ... Like, if endo's make them not sleep at night, I want them to have an endo one. If it's implant, you know ... I try to give them ... Kind of like when you walk into Barnes and Noble, there's not 1 book. I'm just doing volume because I think that, you know, it's 5 o'clock, they know it's the last Thursday of the month. They know the study club's on the other side, they're tired, they're exhausted, they got 2 little kids at home. I'm just trying to make it so damn free, and easy, and a big menu, because I think the more hours of free online CE on Dental Town, or free podcasts, whatever, will correlate with them being happier and healthier.

 

Josie:

Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, I've binge-listened to Dentistry Uncensored, over the last few months. I love them all. I learn a pearl from every single one I listen to. You can't go wrong with podcasts. They're free. Why not listen to them? It doesn't make any-

 

Howard:

No one's ever asked for their money back, after a Dentistry Uncensored podcast. I have to say that.

 

Josie:

Yeah. I am a dental geek that way. I go on vacation, I bring my dental journals to read when I'm at the pool. I download the podcasts, I listen to them on the flight to my vacation. My husband's like, "Don't you get tired of reading that? Aren't you sick of that?" No, I love it. I love reading everything.

 

Howard:

Speaking of vacation, was a Mission Trip to Uganda, do you see that as like a spiritual retreat, or is that part of a vacation? What made you go to Uganda? Furthermore, back to the woman/male thing, didn't all your women friends say, "Dude, that's dangerous. You need to take a vacation to Utah, not Uganda"?

 

Josie:

Yes. I mean-

 

Howard:

Talk about that.

 

Josie:

I'll give you the summary. My husband likes camping. I detest camping. I never thought, ever, that I would go to the African bush for 2 weeks, and basically be that far out of my comfort zone. I was sitting in church one day, and honestly it sounds corny, but I just felt like all of a sudden God was saying, "Hey, you're going to go to Uganda and do dentistry out there." I thought, "No, I'm not. I hate camping. I don't like being in dirt," but sure enough, next thing I know, that's what I'm doing. Yes, everybody said, "Why are you going there? That's a terrible place to be." There was a lot of political unrest, a lot of drama happening, and I just said, "You know what, the safest place for me to be is in God's will. If he wants me to go to Uganda and do charitable dentistry, then that's what I'm going to do."

 

Howard:

[inaudible 01:01:08]

 

Josie:

I did it, and it was the most rewarding experience. It's eye-opening. It's life-changing, you know, all those stereotypical phrases that you hear. It is definitely all of those. That's another thing I would highly recommend young grads, dental school students, and even seasoned practitioners like you and me ... Dental mission trips like that are a must-do.

 

Howard:

Uganda is right next to the Congo, which is the poorest country on Earth, because of their [tenual 01:01:43] civil war. I mean that's right next door to rock bottom.

 

Josie:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

Were you afraid? What did you think about it?

 

Josie:

You know, I was initially afraid, but then I just had an incredible sense of peace when I was there. It's beautiful. The people are beautiful. I can't even describe how beautiful the Ugandan people are. We went there to treat orphans. I think in our 2 week trip, we saw, I think, anywhere between 3 and 600 orphans. I mean, we saw definitely about 600 orphans. I don't know how many I personally saw, but I know it was around 300-something. It was just an amazing experience. Everyone's so welcoming and kind, and they love the fact that you're an American dentist coming to see them. They're just so grateful and thankful.

 

 

I got to share this story real quick. We were out pretty far out in the bush. They had a church ... When I say church, it's really just like a building with a roof on it. I mean, there's nothing inside. We had set up a little clinic, of all the stuff that I brought. All the kids were lined up, and I'm seeing them, and in the back of the church, there was a young girl, who was very sick, and after I was done doing the dentistry ... She had waited for me all day. They wanted me to go over and see this girl. Now this girl had a distended belly. She had a raging fever. I mean, there was something seriously wrong with her. They said, "Is there anything you can do for her," and I was trying to tell them, "I'm a dentist. I'm not a physician. I don't know how to help her," and they said, "Well, you are the only doctor that this girl will ever see," and that ... I'm not going to cry, Howard.

 

Howard:

No, cry. It's all right to cry, because it's true. I've been in the same boat.

 

Josie:

That was just the most eye-opening thing for me. I mean, I'm positive ... Obviously, I don't have the direct knowledge, but there is no way that that young girl's alive today. I mean, she was very sick. To think that, me, a little family dentist from Simi Valley, California, is the only doctor type of person that she would ever see, out in the middle of the bush, that's crazy to me. I would highly recommend everyone who has a skill-set, who has the knowledge, just to go out and serve people. You don't have to go to Uganda. There's people in your own town you could be serving and helping, but if you can go overseas to do it, I can't say enough good things about that experience.

 

Howard:

I hear you. I was at the same deal in a Mexico mission once, and I felt so helpless, but I actually cheated. I just went and got in the Suburban and drove to the town, and then hired a Mexican doctor and [inaudible 01:04:37]. I didn't come back because I just knew that this kid ... You did your African missionary for all the right reasons, and I just love you and adore you so much. I did mine for all the wrong reasons. I first turned it down, said, "Nah, I don't have the time," but then when one of my friends called back and said, "Dude, that's at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. We could do the orphans the first week, and climb Kili the second week," so I said, "Okay. I'm in," and then when I was down there, I felt bad, because I thought, "Okay, dude, you really didn't come down here just for that. That was just a ... " Yeah, I just think you're just so amazing. I always say, you know when you grow up ... I grew up Catholic-

 

Josie:

Me, too.

 

Howard:

My mom always made us go to retreats. What I like about Missionary Dentistry is by unplugging from cell phones, faxes, email, staff, everything, just completely unplug, that type of solitude [crosstalk 01:05:27] ... You think you have all these problems, and then you go there, and see all these Tanzanian children so smiling and so happy, and they're so happy and they have nothing, then you sit there and say, "How could I be stressed? They have nothing, and you can't beat the smiles off their face."

 

Josie:

Yeah. You can't understate that. I mean, there is something to be said for that. They don't have the burden of material things, and having to take care of them, or look after them, or trying to keep up with the Jones' so to speak. I mean, they're just happy to be alive, that someone came to see them, and that you brought them food. I mean, one day we went to another bush area, and they had a school. By school, again, it's just a couple of walls with a tin roof, and their classroom is outside on some picnic benches. I just walked up and this little girl ... She must have been 8 years old ... Ran up to me, and just attached herself to me. She hugged me. I don't speak Ugandan. She doesn't speak English. She was just there, and thankful that someone was interested in seeing her. Literally, we held hands and hugged, and walked around all day, and she just wanted some of my attention.

 

 

That was really profound to me. I mean, with all of our distractions here, you don't realize that at the core of every human being, that that is just what they want, they just want someone to notice them, and pay attention to them.

 

Howard:

You know what, these kids are walking out, and they're talking about, you know, "I got 350,000 student loans." That's all they talk about. They don't realize that what bothers them about that is it's going to slow them down from getting a million-dollar house. What they don't realize about the million-dollar house is that's just pain and suffering. I call it the "giggle factor". I actually want to write a book about it, because I've been to so many countries. There's a hell of a lot more smiles in the third-world than the first-world.

 

Josie:

Absolutely.

 

Howard:

You don't associate Korea, and Japan, and Germany, and Connecticut, with a bunch of smiley, happy-go-lucky people. Them are some of the most stressed out people in the world. Then you go to Kathmandu, and you go to Tanzania, and they're barefoot with a soccer ball, and everyone's giggling.

 

Josie:

Yep. They're loving life. They're thankful. I mean, they're just the kindest, sweetest, people. That's another thing. You know, when I came back, it was very hard to assimilate back into my life when I came back because ... I mean first of all, I was glad to be back, because I missed our food. Like, after awhile you start to miss American food.

 

Howard:

I lose 5 pounds a week when I go to the third-world. 5 pounds a week, just because I'm afraid to eat half the stuff in front of me.

 

Josie:

Yeah. I mean, what we had was good, but they eat the same thing over and over again, and so I was happy to get home and have our normal food. After that, it was very hard to assimilate. You know, like I was at a dinner party soon after that, and somebody was talking about their cat was sick, and the vet wanted like 1500 dollars to fix their cat, and in my head I thought, "1500 dollars? 1500 dollars could build a house for those orphans in Uganda." Like, everything had a new frame of reference for me. It's hard to kind of rethink your life, and how you're doing life, and what's really important in life, and you can't help but change the way you approach the world after that.

 

Howard:

Again, would you call that a vacation or a Catholic spiritual retreat?

 

Josie:

I would call that a spiritual experience, for sure. I mean, we did go afterwards and do a, what do you call it, safari, so I would call those 2 days a vacation. Vacation for me is more about indulging in my pleasures, so to speak. You know, I eat a lot, I have cocktails, it's all about what I want to do. The Uganda experience, the intention was for me to go and serve the orphans, and the people of Uganda. I believe I got way more out of it than they did, honestly.

 

Howard:

By the way, just for the record, you said your husband enjoys camping. Nobody enjoys camping, because the people who say they enjoy camping, always bring a miniature house with them.

 

Josie:

That's true.

 

Howard:

If you have to bring a miniature house to go camping, I don't know if you're really camping. Yeah, I just think that the ... It reminds me of when I was little, a lot of my friends would complain, because the first ... You know, my mom took us to mass every single morning our whole life. I always started the morning with an hour-long mass. The first 10 years, that was in Latin. We had no idea what the hell they were saying. I remember my friend Mark [inaudible 01:10:17] and David [inaudible 01:10:17], would always complain because it was so boring because you didn't know what they were saying, and I always thought, "You know what, it's actually the best hour of the day", because you can't do anything you want to do, so you just have to sit there and be peaceful with your own thoughts, and your thinking would turn inwards, and you'd reflect, you'd think about your day. When the hour Latin mass is over, I just felt ready for the day. I felt totally rejuvenated. Now, my Catholic Latin mass, is even bigger [in Yoga 01:10:47].

 

Josie:

Yes.

 

Howard:

Where you can't do anything. No talking. You just do that, and you just get ready for the day. Hey, seriously, I am your biggest fan. When I grow up, I want to be you. I just think you're just the greatest person. Oh, and last before you leave, one last thing. Tell my homies again what they're going to find on sharingmom.com.

 

Josie:

On sharingmom.com, you're going to find some gluten-free recipes, healthy recipes. I'm just trying to rethink our standard recipes and make them healthier so they're more nutritionally dense, and just better for you. And some tips on helping your special-needs child, and whatever else I find fascinating. They're welcome to follow me there. I have a group on Facebook. It's sharingmom group, on Facebook, if they want to follow there. I post a lot of articles on there. I'm definitely on Facebook a lot, as you know, but yeah, I'm happy to help out whoever needs any advice or input.

 

Howard:

If you ever want me to post that, I can put that in front of 300,000 [inaudible 01:11:53]. If you ever just email exactly what you want me to post, I'll just post it across social media.

 

Josie:

Thanks, Howard.

 

Howard:

Like I said, totally love you, adore you, respect you. I think you're one of the greatest people I've ever met in my life. [crosstalk 01:12:04] Thank you so much for spending an hour with me today.

 

Josie:

Thank you. The pleasure's ...

 


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