I heard this song on the radio this morning, and it went really well with an email I received from a Dentist today:
I keep my eyes in new employment cases in Ontario but also across Canada. There was a recent case about policy manuals that caught my attention because I know a lot of Dentists operate their practices in a similar way.
Here’s the main takeaway: an Employee Policy Manual has to be introduced and used properly if the policies are to be effective. Read more
We’ve just looked back at the last 50 transactions we’ve been involved with (for buyers and sellers) and here’s what we learned:
Please don’t rely upon the above if you’re looking to buy or sell a specific practice. This data came from transactions throughout Ontario over the past many months and things change over time. If you want specific insights into a particular practice, contact DMC LLP.
This is my 5th and perhaps final blog about our 2016 Jamaica dental outreach program. Here’s the first blog, wherein I mainly talked about preparing to go down and how much better we were at it (compared to 2015!). In the second blog, I talked about clinic set up, equipment failures and how we had to adapt. In the third blog, I talked about how we worked hard and played hard. In the fourth blog, I talked about some shock and awe that we all experienced. And in this blog, I’m going to tackle the interesting topic of REVERSE culture shock.
Reverse Culture Shock
Papa Joe and I warned everyone from the beginning: when you get back home, you’re going to be in for a shocker. You won’t be used to anything. You may find yourself missing your team and ESPECIALLY your patients. You may be wondering what the heck you’re doing up here and if it’s making any difference at all. That’s what Papa Joe calls reverse culture shock.
For me, when I did this trip the first time, I had difficulty adjusting at first. I kept thinking: I had such a big physiological impact on the lives of so many in Jamaica over a short period of time; I feel like I’m wasting away up here. I need to be back there, helping out. I’m definitely not making the most of my life by typing and talking and phoning, etc. I wasn’t depressed; just in a daze for a few days. And I wasn’t the only who felt that way. This time around, I felt it a little bit; but not as much as some of the other volunteers. Here are some examples:
Dental hygienist Nina Nguyen after returning:
“I was missing going to the beach after work (every day). So I did a painting last night of the sunsetting at Negril beach.”
Dr. Irish Malapitan after returning:
“I was sad when I got home. I was more thankful for the things that we have. I truly loved the patients in Jamaica. They had so little but gave us so much”
Dr. Jacqueline Geroche after returning:
“I walked into a store and bought a patty. It was 5:00 p.m. and I need a patty. I’ve never done that before. I’m withdrawing and I can’t deal with this right now. I see the privilege that we have as Canadians and we have it so good and we take it for granted. And I know there’s still barriers to dental care up here, but it’s nothing like they have down there.”
Dental hygienist June Jennings:
“I have been missing our group already.”
For my fellow lawyer at DMC LLP, Jonathan Borrelli, it sunk in when he returned home and saw the tall buildings.
FYI, in Jamaica, they’re just called Patties. Here, they’re called Jamaican beef Patties. I saw this at the Toronto airport upon arrival and had to take a pic:
So what’s my recommended treatment for reverse culture shock?
Step 1: Reminisce about the good times, the challenges, and think about how good we’ve got it up here.
Step 2: Call up other volunteers and meet up.
Step 3: Come down and volunteer every year. It’s guaranteed to be the best 10 days of the year and some of the best memories of your life!
As I mentioned in the Oral Health Office article that’s coming out about our mission trip: this is a temporary solution. Papa Joe has a wonderful dream of acquiring a piece of land close to Montego Bay (currently listed for USD$1.2-million) and developing it as a public dental clinic. A clinic that can accommodate 50 people and which will see dental and non-dental volunteers from North America and Jamaica spend 1 week at a time providing free dental treatments and education to impoverished Jamaicans. I believe we can help Papa Joe with his goal. It won’t be easy. We need to fundraise, and also get donations of sundries and equipment; and we also need volunteers to work there all year round.
This is the fourth blog about our second dental outreach trip to Jamaica. Here’s the first blog, wherein I mainly talked about preparing to go down and how much better we were at it (compared to 2015!). In the second blog, I talked about clinic set up, equipment failures and how we had to adapt. In the third blog, I talked about how we worked hard and played hard. In this blog, I’m going to talk about some of the shock and awe that we saw at the clinics. In the next blog, I’ll discuss reverse culture shock.
Shock and Awe
Dental hygienist Nina Nguyen:
“What definitely shocked me was the line up on the first day outside our door. There were so many people. I guess it was my first experience with something like this. I didn’t know that there would be so many people. When I heard that so many of them had been there at 6:00 a.m. and we only got there at 3:00 p.m. to start setting up. It’s a long time to wait in the heat. I felt emotional just seeing that. Seeing all of these people so desperate to seek dental care. And knowing that they wouldn’t have the opportunity otherwise. It made me very eager to help. It made me appreciate how good we have it. I felt emotional just watching them. I guess I’ll always remember that.”
The scene outside of Grange Hill community centre on day #1
Dr. Irish Malapitan:
“The kids. That’s what shocked me. When they opened their mouths, I couldn’t believe how rampant the decay was. How could they have it for such a long time and not be in a lot of pain? Either poor education, treatment not being available, too expensive. It also seemed to be cultural: the mentality is once it’s broken, I don’t need it anymore. People seemed to function with gums. One older patient had only 1 tooth!”
But what also shocked the dentists and hygienists was how appreciative patients were.
Dental hygienist Jazz Chohan:
“The thing that touched me the most were how appreciative they were. My first patient was 80. She had to save up USD60 to get 1 cleaning – basically 1 week of salary. She saved up and did it once. She told me: ‘The fact that you are doing this, thank you. Lots of people wouldn’t do anything like this.'”
Dr. Millie Calko:
“Patients were really grateful. A lot of them would say ‘ what can I bring you?’ One lady left and came back and brought me an exquisite candle holder. I did some work for her; she was so happy and made me feel like I literally changed her life. She was jumping out of her skin with gratitude.”
We can’t use the word “AWE” without mentioning baby Mathew over at Grange Hill. Basically, Christine Martel was working as patient check out. She left her spot near the door and the next thing everyone knew, she showed up with a cute little baby! That got our attention. Here are some great shots with 5 month old baby Mathew:
Baby Matthew with Christine Martel and Dr. Joseph Fava.
Tashi Malcolm with baby Matthew.
Interesting story: my wife Parastou Carabash had brought down a baby Bjorn baby holder (pictured above). We didn’t really have a use for it (our pudgy 7 month old Daniel had outgrown it). I noticed that Mathew’s mom, Tashi, was lugging this cute little guy everywhere. He was not light 😉 I couldn’t believe they didn’t have some kind of strap or stroller, etc. So I gave her this thing and showed her how to use it. I was so happy the baby passed out while she was wearing it. I hope it makes her life easier!
P.S. if anyone wants to send anything down to Tashi for little Matthew, her address is:
3686058 Belle Isle Rd
Grange Hill, Westmoreland
David Mayzel is your legal risk manager. He is a trained courtroom lawyer and has spent many years resolving disputes both in and out of court. He knows how to prepare documents and execute transactions in a way that avoids or mitigates legal risks. He can be reached at 416.528.5280. or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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