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Q&A: What have you been doing — at work or home — during the coronavirus crisis?

New dentists share struggles, finding strength as work slows

March 27, 2020

By Kimber Solana

The ADA recommended dentists postpone all but urgent/emergency procedures until April 6 to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. What have you been doing — at work or at home — during this time?

Photo of Dr. Walbridge
Dr. Walbridge
“Our practice is strictly seeing and fielding emergencies. Our goal is to keep dental needs out of the hospital to free up physicians and resources to treat COVID-19 cases. We have been taking donations for PPEs to keep our physicians on the front lines, like my wife, protected. To keep my sanity, I have actually been keeping the same schedule in terms of going to sleep, waking up, getting ready for work, etc. The work part is different but it has been a huge help to keep my normal routine. With everything going on, I have only been able to see my wife for about 30 minutes every other day, and that is only after she disrobes in the garage and showers so as not to spread possible virus particles in our house. It's quite sad to be honest!”
Dr. Seth Walbridge, Allentown, Pennsylvania.
 


Photo of Dr. Barrera
Dr. Barrera
“My health center, Avenue 360, has served as a major resource for Houston's most vulnerable populations. Because of our role in the community, we are staying open with limited staff and seeing patients for emergency and urgent care. We are taking extra precautions around COVID-19 including screening patients both on the phone and in-person. Additionally, with much more time on my hands, I'm finding myself reflecting on things I had previously taken for granted. I'm learning to show gratitude by checking up on friends, family and patients, and being more appreciative of my career.”
Dr. Alex Barrera, Houston.




Photo of Dr. Stuefen
Dr. Stuefen
"I have been encouraging my team to complete their continuing education requirements online.  I have also been sending cards to our patients employed in health care thanking them for their hard work in caring for our community. I love sending notes of encouragement to our patients — it lifts their spirits and mine too!"
Dr. Sara Stuefen, Vinton, Iowa.


 




Photo of Dr. Champion
Dr. Champion
“As a dentist in a group practice, the dentists are alternating days to be in the office for emergency treatment only, and while there, I’ve been utilizing my down time to really learn Eaglesoft and its features. On my off days while I’m home, I’ve been reading, doing online workouts and organizing my house.”
Dr. Katie Champion, Deerfield Beach, Florida.







Photo of Dr. Deshpande
Dr. Deshpande
“I'm mainly working on putting together a best practices handbook, a pet project I've been slowly adding to for several months. I have tried to design management techniques I learned from business courses and leadership seminars that could be implemented in dental practices. My hope is to use this book for guidance in my future dental practice. This project has been keeping me very busy since I have a huge collection of books to add material from.”
Dr. Sampada Deshpande, Seattle.





Photo of Dr. Fairlee
Dr. Fairlee
“In our state, dental offices have been mandated by the governor to stop all non-essential dental treatment until June 15. As an associate dentist, I anticipate that I’ll be ‘laid off’ in some form within the next couple of weeks, so I plan on spending quality time with my spouse and kids. I also am going to try and focus on mental wellness in this time of uncertainty and stress.”
Dr. Amberena Fairlee, Redmond, Oregon.






Photo of Dr. Mattingly
Dr. Mattingly
“We have four offices. Two are closed completely and two are open limited hours for emergencies procedures. Only two of our six doctors have been seeing patients. Since I am not one of those doctors I have been cleaning and organizing our offices, hanging new pictures, catching up on emails, calling into numerous conferences calls and catching up on online CE during the day. I usually make it home mid-afternoon where during weekdays and weekends, I spend time with our kids doing home schooling activities and finding creative things around the house. Last weekend we made a giant cardboard fort out of old party decoration and treadmill boxes.”
Dr. Emily Mattingly, Chillicothe, Missouri.