…a conversation with Dr. Ola, Associate with dentalcorp
Today we shine the spotlight on Dr. Ola, who values her relationships with her patients and co-workers and absolutely loves the variety of challenges that she gets to tackle on a daily basis. Dr. Ola practices at Evergreen Dental in Dartmouth.
Tell me about your career path, from when you started practicing dentistry to where you are today?
I started practicing dentistry in Happy Valley Goose Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador. I was presented with an opportunity to work in this wonderful small community upon my graduation. Coming out of dental school I wanted to go somewhere rural where I could gain experience and build relationships with patients. Little did I know, I would meet my boyfriend in this small town.
During my time in Goose Bay my boyfriend spent time away for training and a deployment with the military and I decided to travel to Newfoundland to work while he was away. In Newfoundland I was able to work at a central clinic as well as a satellite clinic in Baie Verte. Working in these small communities allowed me to help offer care to people where access may be limited.
In 2017 my boyfriend was posted to Ottawa with the military. We packed the car and off we went. We stayed in Ottawa for two years where I worked full time in private practice and part time at the Civic Hospital. Once the pandemic hit, we re-evaluated our priorities and decided to make the big move back to my hometown of Halifax. I am currently working at Evergreen Dental in Dartmouth and travelling every second week to Yarmouth where I see patients, primarily children, in the operating room at the hospital.
What sort of challenges have you faced in your career so far?
I’d say the biggest challenge is starting over! It’s not that I mind being new – I actually enjoy change and meeting new people. The challenge for me is more about having to leave patients in the middle of treatment plans. Over time, those patients get to know you and trust you – they come to see you as their partner in care. I’m really interested in my patients and their families so I recall the little details like trips they’re going to take, siblings they’re going to see, etc. I remember because I care. So picking up and starting over is a challenge because it can feel like I’m leaving really close relationships – almost like family.
What do you find most rewarding about practicing dentistry?
I value the relationships that I build with my patients and my co-workers. I understand that many people have a fear of the dentist or do not look forward to appointments. However, being able to make this experience better for my patients of all ages and seeing them at ease when they come in for treatment puts a smile on my face.
What does excellence in patient care mean to you?
Excellent patient care means taking the time to properly explain treatment to patients, have them fully understand, and be happy with the treatment plan and the results.
Of all your accomplishments, what are you most proud of?
Leaving my comfort zone, Halifax, was a big accomplishment for me. As an only child who was very shy, I never would have pictured myself making a move to an isolated community alone. This experience allowed me to gain experience as a dentist and grow as a person.
How has the dental industry changed since you started practicing?
What do you plan to accomplish next?
I am really happy with my situation right now. I work with a great team and have a fantastic assistant “shoutout to Tammy!”. My goal is to continue working, helping patients, and helping to make peoples’ experience at the dentist a positive one.
What has your experience with dentalcorp been like?
People have asked me if I was worried about joining a dental services organization, and truthfully, I think I was at first. But now, seeing the connections I’ve been able to make, and the opportunities that have been presented to me – I love it! I think dentistry is changing and being part of dentalcorp allows me to focus on what is the most important to me – patients, staff, as well as my own well-being.
What advice do you have for emerging dentists?
Take care of your patients, take the time to get to know them, don’t rush, do quality work, no shortcuts, and everything else will come together.