By Laura Thill
The world is an interesting place, and we are the reason why. As our communities and professions have grown to include broader, more diverse groups of people, we have learned to share new and different perspectives and experiences. In fact, for many of us, diversity is what drives and defines some of our closest relationships. Not surprisingly, the dental industry reflects this.
“I believe it is the professional responsibility of a business owner to recognize diversity and create an office culture that promotes acceptance,” says Dr. Kimberly Haynes, the owner of four Aspen Dental branded locations in Central Texas. “Given the unique patient population we care for in Central Texas, our offices see patients of different nationalities, ethnicities, socio-economic status and genders,” she explains. “As with our patients, our staff is equally diverse.”
When the staff and doctors can relate to their patients, it helps put them at ease, she continues. In fact, dental offices incapable of providing an environment of acceptance will likely face challenges recruiting and hiring new staff, she points out. “Acceptance is a basic human desire. Having a dental team who can relate to their patients enables the practice to provide a judgment-free zone.”
For Lubbock, Texas-based Abbeville Dentistry, a regional partner of Mortenson Dental Partners, it’s very important to unite across differences in ethnicity, religion, race and more to provide exceptional care to patients. “When we take the time to learn from, understand and accept others, we remove barriers,” says Dr. Mayada Khater, regional president, and Dr. Britt Bostick, co-founder, of Abbeville Dentistry. “Ultimately, we want our dental practice and DSO to mirror our communities and embrace diversification.”
The year is young and the decade is new. Our shared differences will continue to unite us in 2020.