Bloggin' along with 'MUSCLES'
a monthly blog
MUSCLES: ' .......so WHY a Dental-"Studio"-Setting? '
Well, there are several reasons. But reason #4 below crystallized the decision
for me, and it was a large inspiration for moving the Hartford practice out to
a smaller & more "personal" setting in Manchester.
1. Three times in my career I have temporarily worked in larger clinic/offices.
They look more "bustling & busy" because generally they are more "bustling
& busy", with larger overheads & staff to maintain. Making the patient a
commodity in the phrase "time equals money" & "faster production" never
sat well with me.
2. Over my career, I have found that taking time with less distractions, less
politics & a less "noisy" atmosphere, allows for a more comfortable & per-
sonal time with the patient. In my humble opinion--eliminating a "height-
ened sense of urgency" & "need-to-get-it-done-fast" feeling, reduces patient
fear & anxiety. A more subdued atmosphere also allows more time for com-
munication and understanding, which also increases patient comfort. The
more understanding--the "less fear of the unknown". The more gentle and
unhurried the environment where all can breathe and relax---the better
focus for creativity and conservative treatment-planning, treatments &
performing the actual dental techniques.
3. A more personal one-on-one calm environment focuses on the patient-
doctor relationship, and seems to lend itself to everyone and everything
being more calmly in control.
4. AND THIS FOURTH REASON was the crystallizing experience for me--when
I finally decided to move from downtown Hartford and To-GO "STUDIO"!
Before I was to care for my elderly mother for almost a decade-and-a-half, I
took a trip to St. Andrews, Scotland. A-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend owned
a Bed & Breakfast (B&B) there. It was the middle of the 90's and late October.
It would be a non-"touristy" time there, and the owner promised me it would
be very peaceful. I was to have the whole B&B to myself---and all I had to do
was promise not to lose the key!
' This trip happened WAY before I was born! I did some traveling too---I came by
truck from Arkansas to Connecticut! And I made it just in time to rescue YOU
thru' the 'FUZZLES-THE-MUZZLE' Faux-"PAW"!!! '
' Oh, I know--and you were more than worth the wait, Muscles!
You were MORE than worth the wait!!!
' "NO-sweat-and-NO-'ruff'les". Please continue...... '
I know I had never felt more welcomed, respected and safe ANYwhere or by
ANYbody, as I did on this Scotland trip. And I have learned that when a female
is TRULY going at it FULLY ALONE (on a trip or not), it is it HOW she is acknowl-
edged that shows the TRUE weight and spirit of the souls she encounters. And
it is not limited to any particular "type" of person or business! In this far-north-
ern country---whether it was going into a pub, asking for directions, buying an
item, riding the local bus, walking alone among castle ruins, being greeted at
a restaurant, walking the streets at night, or riding in a taxi-cab---I'd never
before (nor since) experienced such respect, warmth & acceptance as a PERSON!
There were no apparent presumptions, no "hands-out-stretched", no need to
impress (nor be impressed). I don't know if it still would be like that today--or if
it was only luck then--or if it was because there were mostly locals and so few
tourists present at that particular time. However, I'd never before (nor since)
experienced such trust and safety in my surroundings. The true weight and
spirit of the souls I encountered in this eastern part of Scotland, radiated the
dignity and reverence of and for human life. I've since concluded that it's not
about the location, location, location--but it's about the people, people, people!!!
' Maybe you feel the way you do because Scotland was and is so dog friendly?!!
My "Scotty" dog cousins came from there. Dogs are even welcome at the Byre
Theatre Cafe in St Andrews, and on the world-renowned golf-courses there!
Of course there is a strict law for "dog-fouling", but that one always falls on you
people. It never bothers us--"no sniffs, ands or butts" about it! '
You could be right! While there, I spent my time "doing & going" places like the
St Andrews Castle ruins by the sea, on a beautiful cold blustery day--and walk-
ing in & out of residential streets. One night I took a "Ghost Tour" hosted by a
a local pub, and local actors tried to make the experience extra scary for the dark
October season. One time at this same pub, I sat with a couple of local women
who stopped in on their way home from work--they asked about the affects of
"women's lib" in America, and were genuinely interested in conversing about it.
I walked to and throughout the beautiful relaxing St Andrews Botanical Gardens
--and took a bus along the Fife's coast, which had a past-history of a heavy fish-
ing industry--stopped at Crail where I found an open-air pottery shop to admire,
and walked down to an area with active fishing-boats at the harbour. Burned in
my memory was the scent of a true working fishing-port, and posted signs warn-
ing about the quarantine laws of the U.K. I continued further down to the quaint
and charming seaport village of Anstruther, which had active boat-moorings and
the Scottish Fisheries Museum--& made a stop at a local tavern for some home-
made chowder. I spent one day traveling pastural roads to Cupar, home of the
Scottish Dear Centre where I fed baby "bambis"--& was thumped on the back of
my head by an owl named Pepe during his falconry "take-off". I cried my eyes out
during an evening performance of "Terms of Endearment" at the small warm Byre
Theatre--and I enjoyed a taxi-cab ride from the train station, during which the
cab-driver shared his thrill about Scotland winning "The Open" golf tournament
for the first time in 11 years. I don't do golf, but it was interesting to see the rough
& "lumpy" courses at the edge of the sea. The golf-hoopla had just ended the week
before--and with St Andrews University on a college break in October, everything
lined-up for a quiet peaceful time.
Click PICTURE & Click PLAY to start SLIDESHOW
' ......oh, "fur-balls"! Stop! This is like a travelogue having nothing to do with
our topic-at-"paw". Can you please cut-to-the-"chase"?
What does any of this have to do with Complete Dentistry "Studio"???! '
I'm sorry---but I got caught up in reminiscing about this wonderful time. This
trip's inspiration was to play a large role in the practice moving from Hartford
to Manchester in 2000.
To the Point then---
One day when I was strolling the cobblestone streets of St Andrews, I came
across a "general dentist studio" sign at the street level. The office was located
on the 2nd floor, and I thought to take a peek. The whole inside office was small,
warm & charming like the whole town and it's people. It didn't need to bowl any-
one over--it offered a quiet calming friendly atmosphere. There was only a tiny
front area and 1-1/2 rooms for dental treatment. I took a business card, not
knowing how long the persons in the closed treatment-room would be--and I
sat and pondered a bit as I waited. Just about 5 minutes before I planned to
leave, the doctor & patient exited from the operatory. The patient left--and
before a next patient arrived, I introduced myself as a dentist from America. In
a true Scottish brogue which endearingly took me aback, he genuinely welcomed
me with no condescension nor chauvinism. We exchanged pleasantries, and I
asked if I could book a dental-cleaning before I was to leave in 4 days time. And
so I did--and so I returned 2 days later. I left impressed that even this dental
atmosphere could mirror the impression I had of the world right outside this
MUSCLES: ' And THAT was part of the inspiration in the gigantic decision to
move the Hartford dental practice? THAT was part of what inspired
you To-GO "STUDIO" at the Manchester office?
That's It......???!!! '
Dr Skerpan: That's It.