The Weekend Read – The Management of Dental Practice by Edward Samson

Samson_Edward

This book was published in 1969 and described as inheriting the character but not the anatomy from Samson’s (pictured left) 1931 book “Progressive Practice”. All I am going to say much about either book is that, although dated in some ways, much of their teaching is as relevant today as it was when they first saw light of day.

Below I have transposed the book’s forward by Professor Sir Robert Bradlaw (pictured below) CBE, FRCS, FDSRCS, FFDRCS. I think many of us could do with reflecting on his words. Sadly many of those who would benefit most will probably not bother.

“It has always surprised me that dental surgeons who have worked so assiduously to achieve diagnostic and operative skill are often so haphazard in their approach to practice management, for without good organisation and administration not only is efficiency impeded but professional ability poorly rewarded. It is true that a practitioner can learn from experience but this can be the most expensive way to learn, often far too expensive. The distinctive characteristic of a profession is that the welfare of those who entrust themselves to its care is paramount but that does not mean that the professional man or woman should be indifferent to his own – indeed, I suspect that those who neglect their own interests may not be well placed to look after other peoples.

07a74b3bb041a05fbea7ce44dbd8208bWe live in a world of changing values so that it is not surprising that there are those who, without having given much thought to it, think that the ethical code of our profession is obsolescent. This is ill considered; it was Samuel Butler who said that morality is the feeling of one’s peers. Ethical conduct depends not so much a formal code as on the right attitude of mind to both patient and fellow practitioner. Marcus Aurelius summed it up by saying, “What is not good for the hive is not be good for the bee”. So putting it at its lowest in terms of personal advantage, it is wise for all of us to adhere to the code prescribed by our fellows.”

Says it all.

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