Real doctors look at patient history as well as the reported and apparent symptoms and then diagnose to the best of their ability and recommend a treatment plan. Hairdressers, cosmeticians and nail techs offer suggestions based on what they see and their experience but basically just do what they are told to do by the customer.

Which sounds more like what we do? What does that make us? How does it influence how we do our job? What obligations do we have to a patient who won’t follow our suggestions or tells us “they have done their research”? How are we different from any other form of hired help? I know we are called doctors and have a terminal degree but is that deserved or just good fortune?

I don’t have the answers but I think this is an important discussion that needs to be hashed out because I’m not sure we orthodontists have a great self assessment or any understanding of where we are heading as a profession.

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