What advice would you wish you took when you graduated dental school?
I wish that I would have done a post-graduate residency program in a different state, far from my home base, rather than nearby. It would have allowed me to meet and network with a totally different group of people than what I was used to and comfortable with.
How do you recommend that one finds a mentor?
Mentors don’t have to be dentists—they can be people who live their lives in a way that you admire or wish to emulate. Some of the best lessons in life I’ve learned have been from non-dentists.
What are some attributes of an exceptional associate position?
Transparency is so important! An office that is genuinely invested in your growth to take the best care of their patients as you can, will always be transparent with you, whether its about scheduling, expectations, production, clinical skills.
How do you stay healthy?
Life is all about balance, right? So I eat ice cream, but I also make time to work out regularly with my partner.
What advice do you have for managing your time?
Create to-do lists! I keep a daily list, a monthly list, an aspirational monthly list on me at all times in the Notes app on my phone.
How do you maintain the best work/life balance?
I let go of the idea of having it, and created my own mental peace by devoting time to things that are important to me outside of clinical dentistry, rather than trying to model my life after others.
Do you have advice to get more engagement or followers?
Add your social media handles to your presentations or writing. It gives people a way to get in touch with you that seems more personal.
If you weren’t a dentist, what would be your alternative career choice?
I really wanted to be an Egyptologist! Ancient history is my first love, and I’m lucky enough to have visited Egypt twice so far, with another trip coming up shortly.
Follow Dr. Patel on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram @thedramri.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the August 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.