I get emails or FB messages at least every other month from orthodontists in distress – the vast majority of which I’ve never met. The names vary but the message is always the same and go something like this…

  • I’ve been out of school 7-20 years.
  • I’m struggling to make ends meet.
  • Competition is tough.
  • I’m having trouble at home with my spouse/family.
  • I’m feeling hopeless and it seems things beyond my control are slowly sinking me.
  • I don’t know what to do, can you please help me?

It’s incredibly sad that so many of our peers have such a tough time. I sympathize whenever I get these notes and always spend time responding to these pleas for help but I’m certain that only a small percentage of orthodontists who feel this way reach out to anyone and, of course, even fewer reach me. I’m also worried that this kind of thing will become more common as the world changes and I wanted to share this in the hopes that people having a tough time won’t feel unique or alone. I also wanted to share my response to an email I received today for what it’s worth.

Doctor, this happens to more people than you think.
The first order of business is to reconcile with your spouse. That’s the most important from a family and a financial point of view. There are lots of great books on the topic. Read them with an open mind.
Second read OrthoPundit.com. Use the code ****** when you sign up and it will be free at least for a while.
Third it’s time to cut expenses and WORK. Cut expenses in the pracrice and at home.
Finally, if you believe it’s too competitive in your area then sell and move to a better place. If you’re not going to sell then get your head right and get to work. You got yourself into this and you can get yourself out!
If you’re facing issues in your practice and your home, don’t lose perspective. This is not life and death stuff. You’re smart and you can work through it. Reach out to a friend or family member… or call me!
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