By Chris Salierno / DDS

I was recently listening to The Dental Hacks Podcast episode entitled “The Dental Hacks Celebrate their Independence!” I was interested in their candid discussion about holidays. Hosts Drs. Alan Mead and Jason Lipscomb admitted that they don’t take vacations very often and that they should probably be better about that.

I’m pretty fortunate that I have a business partner. Dr. Erin Thomas and I cover for each other when one of us needs to take some time off, and our office doesn’t skip a beat. But what if you don’t have a business partner? Do you close the office? Does your staff still get paid?

My favorite option, which I use when Erin can’t cover for me, is to employ the services of a retired dentist. I met a group of guys at my local dental society meeting that run an informal business providing coverage for absent dentists. They mostly provide hygiene exams but they’re available to help triage emergencies as well. Thanks to their help, we can keep our practice doors open, earn some money, and pay our front desk and hygiene employees. We even make a deal with the assistants that they can come in for part of the day since there’s always work that can be done, e.g., organize the lab, order materials, help with recall, and much more.

I’m a firm believer in balancing work with play. It’s easy to let time slip away and then realise you haven’t explored the world in a while. Regardless of your particular situation, surely you can find a way to take that much needed holiday.