A "spicy soap opera" appeared in the February 1998 issue and described the dissatisfaction of many hygienists with the wives of employer dentists being in the practice. There are some realities which must be noted:
- Most wives and their dentist-husbands (it could be female dentist and husband) are an economic team and, due to marriage and friendship, file taxes and spend the income from the practice together.
- Wives are not "one of the girls." They occupy a management position because they are the wife of the boss.
- If you have problems with the wife, you will have problems with the dentist.
- The dentist can (and generally will) fire you if you cannot get along with the wife (there are exceptions). It is less costly for the dentist to get rid of a hygienist or two than a wife.
- If the wife is squirmy, the dentist- husband will follow suit. If he lets his dumb wife into the practice and allows her to do dumb things, then he is squirmy and dumb too, and you will not fare well in his employ.
- The dentist (or his wife) writes your check. I know of no hygienists who pay dentists money so that they can clean teeth.
- The catty comments quoted in the article (example: "currently our wife breaks out in a rash if you ever infer...") are immature and unprofessional. It`s time to act like an adult.
- Life is unfair. Being an employee is unfair. Being an employer is unfair. The only hope is to live and let live. A mindset of professionalism also helps.
- If you don`t like it... then quit and go somewhere else where they will appreciate you more. Complaining does little for you.
E.J. Neiburger, DDS