A few words from Dr. Jim
So, who IS the Dr……REALLY?
…And why do I care? you may ask. Well, here goes. First I’ll tell you that I am truly fortunate to have chosen a profession to which I am so well suited. I look back on my upbringing and realize that all of my family members have some sort of artistic talent, and in some of us, it really shines. My dad was a dentist and practiced nearly his whole adult life. My mom, my aunt, my sister, and brothers all have hobbies that revolve around the creative process. My grandfather and great grandfather were both master wood carvers. Their heirloom work will forever be passed down to future heirs.
Me, well, beyond my formal career as a family dentist for over 30 years, as a youth, I would go down to my Dad’s dental office and help out in his lab. I started from the ground up sweeping floors and pouring models. Eventually, I learned to apply some of the skills that I’d gained in the lab and began making things for fun….I’d cast and finish jewelry for family members because…. Well, It was FUN. Really, I loved it. Little did I realize then that this genuine enjoyment from work like this is a necessary foundation for a fulfilling career in dentistry. You see, no other profession allows us to take known elements of science and healthcare and apply that knowledge and background to solutions that often, if not usually, require a hands-on creative eye.
Like my grandfathers before me, I fell into wood working just after high school and have been turning out “projects” ever since. Over the years I’ve managed to finish one or two projects a year including furniture pieces for the home, gifts for others, and my latest passion, boat building.
I finished my first cedar strip canoe the summer after taking a Memorial Art Gallery workshop. That kind of “spring boarded” to Skin-on-Frame (SOF) canoe and kayak construction which is a little known but fantastic boat building process where a boat’s frame is constructed and then covered with a waterproof coated fabric. . To date, I’ve made 2 ultra-light SOF canoes (each are 13’ long and weigh only 26 lbs) and I’ve just completed a touring kayak; all 3 from scratch. Beyond woodworking and jewelry, my interests also extend to photography where I’ve documented our paddling adventures around the Finger Lakes and deep into the Adirondack interior. My office is lined with many of my images from these places and although I may never be an “accomplished” photographer, it sure is fun to work on.
So how does any of this apply, well, think about it. Boat building, jewelry making, wood working, photography, .....Dentistry. It all follows a common thread. In all of these endeavors , you not only have to be “able to”, but inherently “WANT to” follow through a process of sequential steps from the first to the last; patiently and carefully working through the process to see it through. It’s like: “follow the directions, as such, get things set, then work through the steps to an optimal result. And in the back of your mind, be thinking, OK, that worked great but how could I make this better”? .……You have to LOVE IT! To be truly fulfilled in our profession of dentistry requires an inherent pre-conditioning, a kind of “hard wiring” if you will that motivates us to be seeking an ideal outcome while also continually searching for better methods or materials that will lead to superior results. That’s what we do. That’s why I care so much about each and everything we do here and why I thought you might as well.
“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play,
his labor and his leisure his education and his recreation.
He hardly knows which is which. He patiently pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does,
leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.
To him, he is always doing both.”