From Dentistry IQ / Dental Economics
Ask Dr. Christiansen
Gordon J. Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD
Q: I was recently at one of your courses, and I heard you say that you have no plans to retire, in spite of being able to retire. Since retirement is a goal of many people, I would be interested in hearing why you are not planning to retire, and what suggestions you can share regarding what has kept you excited about dentistry.
A: Centuries ago, work was (in a religious sense) considered to be the curse of mankind for our sins, a sort of dreaded punishment. People worked only to make enough money for their existence. Many people feel that way today. Recently, I was standing in line in a grocery store waiting to pay. On finally getting to the salesclerk, I commented on how busy she was. She responded with a statement all of us have heard, “I like it to be busy because it makes the time go faster.” Since my feelings about my “work” are diametrically opposed to the feelings of that woman, I didn’t have a good response for her.
I’m often sorry I don’t have enough time for my profession to do the creative things I want to do. After many years of practice, research, and teaching, I consider myself to be in the best time of my life. I do what I want in the profession, when I want to do it, and for whom I please. Life is full of many joys — my wife, dentistry, my devoted and loyal professional staff, religion, grandchildren, hobbies, and thousands of friends around the world.