Bring your memories to the party

Blame it on Gore or Bush, depending on which political party you favor. On the date of this writing, there is no national crisis, and we`re being asked to vote for the guy we "like." I thought about it long and hard all week, and there`s no crisis at the RDH headquarters for me to write about either.

Oct 1st, 2000

I`ve met so many good people as a result of RDH, and I`m a better person for it.

Mark Hartley, Editor

Blame it on Gore or Bush, depending on which political party you favor. On the date of this writing, there is no national crisis, and we`re being asked to vote for the guy we "like." I thought about it long and hard all week, and there`s no crisis at the RDH headquarters for me to write about either.

I was planning on wagering on a little football. But Doc pulled out the intraoral camera a couple of weeks ago and showed me a nasty little crack on a posterior molar, and so, yes, it`s true that patients value dental treatment more than vacations, jewelry, and football bets. The difference, I think, is that I had to have this crown. I`m less certain about some of this other stuff that dentists say consumers should value more than luxury items. A trip to Ireland still sounds more fun to me than veneers. Call me crazy, but that`s the ethical dilemma of the week.

According to the Salary and Benefits survey in this issue, 30 percent of you earn more than $45,000 a year. Good for you! You deserve it! There`s this guy who`s popular on the lecture circuit who likes to point out what dentists earn compared to the rate of inflation in the country. He gets the doctors all riled up because the $150,000 a year that Doc Senior netted 20 years ago is still the same $150,000 that Doc Junior is netting today. Why only dentists? For what seemed like forever, I was mumbling while both asleep and awake, "The average hygienist makes $32,000 a year." It`s good to see that someone is smashing the ceiling of what hygienists are supposed to earn.

Anyway, since there`s no crisis to write about, I can resume what I was doing about this time last year - planning a birthday party. If you`ll flip back to the table of contents, you`ll see the very first thing that librarians presumably check - the date of the issue and the volume number. Last year, when I noticed that the volume number was going to change from "19" to "20," I mumbled, fully awake and proud of my mathematical skills, "Let`s party!" I ordered a birthday cake and asked the cover model of the January issue, Michelle Smith, to pose with it.

The very first issue of RDH, though, was published in January 1981. Let`s see ... one, two, three ... duh, the 20th anniversary is January 2001, not January 2000 - regardless of what the volume number implies. So I told Michelle and the photographer to enjoy the cake and mumbled something like, "The average hygienist makes $32,000 a year."

Section XXI, Paragraph 48, Line 97 of the PennWell policy manual states: "Each magazine is allowed to spend $15 on a cake for its 20th anniversary." Well, I`ve already blown my budget there, but I still want to celebrate.

I`ve stored away quite a few memories since my affiliation with RDH began in 1985. I still remember the first time I met Irene Woodall at a trade show in Boston. I still remember meeting Regina Dreyer for the first time. I remember unexpectedly meeting Trisha O`Hehir`s sister in a gift shop at a St. Paul, Minn., hotel. I knew that she lived in St. Paul and liked to make candy. The gift shop was displaying some delicious homemade stuff on the counter. The "chef" also happened to be standing there. Believe it or not, I just met Cathy Alty for the first time this summer. Our paths had never crossed, even though we`ve talked by telephone at least a thousand times. I`m also experiencing a sad memory this week. Cindy Biron, the author of the "Medical Alert" column, is taking a break from the column in order to devote more time to her responsibilities at Tallahassee Community College in Florida. I`ll miss her.

I`ve met so many good people as a result of RDH, and I`m a better person for it. Thank you.

Has RDH magazine, a specific article, or an author had a memorable impact on the way you approached your career? If so, I would like to hear about it. When we celebrate the 20th anniversary in January, I`d like for you to be at the party. Drop me a line at markh@pennwell.com.

Editor Mark Hartley can be contacted at markh@pennwell.com

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