The Articulate Dentist - A Blog by the Metro Denver Dental Society

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

By: Dr. Janie Boyesen

August is a month full of changes—parents and children start thinking about the return to school, and the relatively “less” scheduled days of summer come to an end—signaled by my local King Soopers when they start displaying the pumpkin decorations by their entrances. For me personally, as well as professionally, this month is full of new and exciting changes—my 5-year-old will be starting kindergarten and I will be in my first month as President of the Metro Denver Dental Society (MDDS). These are two things I hadn’t thought possible when I arrived in Denver to practice dentistry 15 years ago. Parenthood was the furthest thing from my mind at that time and I knew nothing about organized dentistry. Indeed, reviewing my time in Denver so far has been a fun trip down memory lane full of changes – from being a periodontics resident to entering private practice, becoming a parent, changing roles from an associate to the owner and becoming increasingly involved in organized dentistry.

The French journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr stated, “the more things change, the more things stay the same.” I started my dental career with the 2008 recession, a tremendous financial crisis. Now with the COVID-19 crisis (hopefully) waning, we have a new possible financial crisis approaching, with the incipient impact being felt among our teams, colleagues and families. Last year I was encouraged by the trend of patients seeking more care, this year I am concerned as I was 15 years ago about patients delaying much-needed care due to financial worries.

When I started my dental career, I thought I had two choices: private practice or academics. I was not aware of the many different career choices in dentistry and how important each of them is to the dental profession. The wealth of choices we have available to us now is what makes dentistry an enriching and privileged profession—a profession I consider myself lucky to practice in.

The burden of small business ownership is greater than ever for new graduates of dental school and residency programs and those looking to start or purchase practices. There are more technologies to implement, and more guidelines and rules to follow in addition to dealing with the omnipresent social media—I didn’t have to think about the impact of social media in my nascent career. Now I am overwhelmed by the myriad of social media platforms.

Yet among all the changes, what stays the same is there will always be challenges, and with those challenges come opportunities, no matter what the profession or period in our lives. Some challenges (like COVID-19) I do not care to repeat, but all the challenges I encountered made me a better person, partner, parent and practitioner.

These challenges and changes also cemented the guiding principle I admired and adopted when I arrived in Denver and joined my current practice: “Service with Honesty and Excellence”—the mission statement originated by my mentor, Dr. Mark Shimoda. I believe our fellow dental colleagues are dedicated to excellence and want the best for our patients and our community as a whole. We are a community bound by purpose, performance and principles, which Douglas Ready, an MIT Sloan School of Management lecturer, states are the basis of a healthy organization.

Changes will continue to come in all forms. What will stay the same is the dedication of the dentists that comprise the Metro Denver Dental Society, our dedication to excellence in all things and our dedication to our purpose as health care providers. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve this great community, grateful for an incredible team at MDDS and am looking forward to the changes!

Dr. Boyesen graduated from Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery in 2003 with a DDS degree. She completed her Periodontology Certificate and Doctor of Medical Sciences (DMSc) degree at Harvard University of Dental Medicine in 2007. Along with clinical training in all aspects of Periodontolgy, Dr. Boyesen has conducted basic science research in Oral Immunology for her doctoral thesis. She was nominated as one of the four basic science finalists in the Balint Orban Memorial Comp etition at the 2007 annual American Academy of Periodontology meeting. She has published several peer-reviewed papers and abstracts on both basic science and clinical applications of periodontics. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and a fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Dr. Boyesen is an active member of several regional and national professional organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Society of Periodontists, the American Academy of Periodontology and the Colorado Dental Association. Her volunteer efforts include the Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) and the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention (RMDC). She is currently the President of the Metro Denver Dental Society (MDDS).