Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dr Tom Crist

On a continual basis we in the dental field hear, "I hate going to the dentist."
Without exception, the next line is "have you seen the movie Marathon Man?"

The life of a dentist is not easy.
A scene from Finding Nemo states, "the human mouth is a disgusting place!"
The movie Castaway...two words...ICE SKATE.  You get the picture.

We realize it is hard being a patient.  Women tell us all the time that they "would rather give birth than go to the dentist."  Now that is quite a metaphor.

Tom was asked at his recent retirement party "why did you become a dentist?"
He explained the blessings of flexibility and the responsibilities of having your own practice.  We laughed as he said, "you try working with 12 women on a day to day basis.  Believe me it is not easy.  That is a lot of estrogen!  I never knew from room to room if I was walking into a freezer or an oven.!!"
We have fans and electric heaters going continually.  Really!
He finally had to put a lock on the thermostat.  True story.

I was most impressed by his narration of what he can do because of his abilities.  His gift of dentistry has brought relief to children around the globe in orphanages.  Children terrified by their tooth pain, and by his gentle spirit, solace and hugs ensue because of his care.  It is not about how much money he can make.  It never has been.
"To whom much is given, much is expected."
Tom has been given much.  He is a husband, father, grandfather "papa", boss, friend, brother, son, colleague,  served our country early on in his career with the Air Force.  He is a man of great wisdom and integrity and is full of character.  He has given  us a great example of how to give back.  So full of humility.  Humble.  That is him.
I will miss our bantering.  We laughed a lot.  He is off to his next chapter.  More dental volunteering.  He works on a mobile unit now.  We all hope to join him from time to time.
Happy retirement Tom.          

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