3 Lessons from My Netflix Binge


Over the holidays, two very rare things occurred ~ one, our NY skiing plans got cancelled due to lack of snow and two, my husband and I had several hours each day over the course of two weeks that were totally open and unplanned.  What to do?!  The last time that happened I think I was 11 years old and hadn’t started babysitting yet.  So, with highly rated recommendations, we binged on Netflix movies.

And this is what I learned:

  1. Get the full story first. With services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, you can access seasons of shows at the click of a button. No waiting each week to see what happens.  It’s so tempting to watch season 1, episode 1 then skip to season 5, episode 16 to see how it all ends, right?  But it’s the story in between that makes it interesting and allows us to appreciate the characters (and the ending) all the more.

Even if you’ve been in practice for 30 years or 30 minutes, if you aren’t asking open-ended questions during your patient conversations, you aren’t getting the full story.  Ask questions. Listen. Pay attention to the answers and write them down.

  1. Things aren’t always what they seem. A chemistry teacher turned drug manufacturer.  A private investigator with supernatural powers.  You get the idea.  Consider this: a recent post on a dental forum told of a dentist who learned that a new patient with severe tooth pain was in room 1.  He looked at the FMX and immediately saw the problem with tooth #2, an infection.  Easy diagnosis: root canal.  When the doctor met the patient who was in obvious discomfort, he confidently said, “I see your problem on the upper right” to which the patient asked, “Your right or my right?”  Uh-oh.  The dentist hesitantly responded, “Your right.”  The patient then said, “But the pain is on my left side.”  So much for the ‘easy’ diagnosis.  After the clinical exam and the discovery of a mesial-distal fracture on tooth #15, the patient had the tooth extracted and the asymptomatic root canal scheduled for tooth #2 on another day.

It might seem like a ‘slam dunk’ at first glance but if you don’t follow your systems and perform due diligence, something important could get missed.  Like a patient’s pre-med or a latex allergy.  That administrator’s resume who looks amazing on paper?  He could be the next profile in Prosperident’s Embezzlement newsletter.  Follow your systems and change them if they aren’t working.  You just never know.

  1. Anything is possible with the right attitude (and hard work). In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, inspired by a true story, Chris Gardner and his son literally had nothing but the clothes on their backs and a deep desire for a better life. With an unbelievable depth of determination and a knack for numbers, this seemingly destitute man rose above his limitations to land a coveted position at a prestigious financial firm.  Thus, he secured a better future for himself and his son.  It was truly an inspiring story.

Chris could have easily fallen into society’s welfare system, given up and become bitter.  And yet, each morning this man awoke believing ‘today is the day that our lives change for the better’.  And it came true for him.  So, dream big.  Work hard.  Believe in yourself.  And maybe, just maybe, today is your day to change for the better.

I can’t explain the simple joy I experienced watching television, sitting on the couch next to my husband. We rarely get to do that, especially with raising two active teenagers, a dog and full time jobs.  Heck, we’re hardly ever in the same room at the same time!  Did we solve world problems? No.  Were we entertained? Absolutely.  And did I learn anything profound?  Without question … don’t get into the drug business and stick with dentistry.

Robyn Reis

Robyn Reis

Robyn began her dental career in 1998 as a marketing and communications director for a large group practice, and instantly fell in love with the world of dentistry. She has spent every waking moment since learning, growing and collaborating with dentists and their teams utilizing her expertise in all aspects of dental practice management, marketing, communications, HR, continuing education, and laboratory sales. Robyn's personal goals are to make a difference in someone's life every single day and to give the best of herself to those around her. Robyn and her family live and play in Northeast Ohio.