When I was 15 and vying for my first junior hockey roster spot, the older brother of famed NHL’er Wendell Clark broke one of my front teeth when we fell and I caught his skate in the mouth. Until that time my dental experiences were simple in nature. This, however, was a big emergency and I had played an entire game with my tooth half gone and the nerve exposed.
I was quite impressed by the utter professionalism and technical skill of my care provider, the team dentist, Dr Bernie Trischuck. He was calm and gentle, and a large trauma was transformed into a routine event. It left me amazed at the manner and methods of Bernie and his team and the event left me contemplating the path to becoming a dentist, though at the time I was convinced that professional hockey was my future.
"It was, at the time, a massive investment and a huge leap of faith for me."
After my first year of university as a civil engineering student (and my obvious failure to make the NHL), I realized that my calling was more towards health care and people, not the calculators and technical charts of engineering. I chose dentistry over medicine because of my life-long love of working with my hands and that experience a decade earlier of being “rescued” by a good dentist in a time of great need. It was, at the time, a massive investment and a huge leap of faith for me, but 33 years later, I am able to look back and know that I made the best choice.
Dr Phil Kachanoski