The gifts from patients have started pouring in. It’s very heartwarming to know that the people you serve appreciate what you do for them. I don’t ever expect anything from them, but I usually receive some thoughtful gifts from my patients. The work I do is very tiresome and sad at times considering the patient population I serve. The numerous stories I’ve been told, and the number of times my heart has broken because I wished I could do more to help let me know that their funds could be used for better things than gifting me something. Knowing their struggles yet they put my name on their list to give to makes me feel so special. It makes me grateful where I’ve been placed to work.
I had a new patient today ask me what I’d like as a gift. Ha! My regulars know not to ask me this question. In my sweetest voice ever, I said “the best gift you can give me is to follow my dental health instructions to the best of your ability.” They laughed it off, but I was so serious. The most rewarding thing you can give to me is being compliant, which shows me that you value my hard work and professional advice. Whether it’s a handwritten card or a traditional cultural dish, nothing beats seeing a returning patient who has minimal plaque biofilm, no inflammation, and all other dental treatment has been completed. To me, that’s the best gift a patient can give to a dental health professional.