As an NYC dentist, my philosophy has always been to treat all my patients as family members. I do this not just in theory but also in action. Putting myself in their shoes and doing what I would do for myself or a loved one in that situation is the best and most ethical way to treat patients. I use this approach irrespective of my connection, friendship, and familiarity level with patients.
In addition to discussing treatments, I spend at least an additional five minutes, before and after appointments, talking to my patients about life in general. Conversations can range from the most prevalent issues on their minds to any other topic of mutual interest. This attitude has helped me build a strong connection with my patients, and a number of them have become good friends over the years. Some of these patients have also volunteered for and supported a non-profit I have co-founded, the Virtue Foundation.
Whenever I have had an opportunity to help, I have been there for them. Sometimes I have provided simple financial advice or parenting tidbits. At other times, I have shared business and investment suggestions or have told them about my own past experiences. In reality, healthcare practitioners often only see the patients through a narrow prism of their professional discipline’s subject matter. A dentist may only see the patient’s teeth and oral cavity while ignoring everything else. I believe this to be very myopic, and as dentists, we need to remind ourselves that we are treating the whole person and not just their mouths.
We need a wholesome approach that considers the psychology of the patients we are treating, with all their concerns, fears, expectations, etc. We ought to also be good psychologists, in addition to being great healthcare providers in our fields. To achieve this goal, we need to spend the time necessary to know our patients a little better, one appointment at a time. We have to commit to treating everyone like family, wanting the best for them, and going out of our way to help them whenever possible. By so doing, we will provide our patients with the best service that they could ever receive.
Dr. Joseph Salim
Sutton Place Dental Associates (Midtown East, NYC)
Schedule your appointment online today! Visit suttonpda.com
433 East 56th Street, Suite 1D New York, NY 10022(212) 644-1011