PRESIDENT'S MESSAGES | SUMMER 2006
By: Jeannie Herriott
I'm not a "morning person". It's not so bad getting up early in the summer and driving my 35 minute drive to work, but in the winter, I truly believe it's just not natural to have to get out of bed before the sun comes up. What really bothers me, is when I pull up to the lab (right on time, I might add), and my first patients are waiting at the door. They seem to have much more energy than I do for that time of the day - too bad they can't get in and fix me a cup of coffee and get all the machines ready for the day! Well, it's a nice dream.
I do have time to think about my day as I'm dodging traffic, and I have to remind myself about how nice it is to work in an air-conditioned office, listening to music of my choice, chatting with the patients as I take their pictures. By providing the best diagnostic images to the best of my ability for each patient, I feel very fortunate to have even the smallest opportunity to change people's lives. What is one of the first things most people do when they get up each morning? They look in the mirror. And every time they look at themselves, a message is reinforced: "I'm okay, I'm worthy", or "I am ugly, I deserve bad things". They may smile, or they may frown. If they do smile, and see a mouth full of crooked, damaged or diseased teeth, that smile will quickly turn to a frown. The impact of this on their health and self esteem has far reaching effects, from poor personal relationships to lack of school success to reduced employment opportunities.
My ability to improve these patients' lives has been made possible and easier by all the work that has been done by the pioneers in this field. In early 1886, it took about 30 minutes to prepare one film, 5 to 15 minutes to expose it and 30 to 60 minutes to process the film. Can you imagine??
I have to thank the pioneers who had a vision in the early 1900's to initiate dental x-ray labs to do a better job and standardize oral radiography techniques. Kudos to the McCormack's, Gordon Fitzgerald, James Campbell, Arthur Quint, and Clifford Moore to name a few.
And whom do I consistently turn to for help and information for my job? The AADMRT newsletter, seminars and members. The AADMRT was formed in 1982 when two groups merged (CORLA and ASDXT) with 5 Board members: Bill Campbell, Jim Everett, Ed Ginn, Dan Halpert and Angie Saviez. Our newsletter was Devery Wallace's idea in the late 1970's and was called "Newsletter". If you follow the history, we have seen incredible growth and change in our profession, from making our own film to digital imaging in a relatively short time.
So, when I'm thinking of my day ahead during my drive, I have to remember how much easier it is for me and how much more comfortable and safe it is for my patients because of all the work that dedicated people have done and continue to do. I can look forward to those eager patients, knowing that I will, in some small way, change people's perceptions of themselves. Maybe this isn't really so small.