Recognised to offer a great work life balance, dentistry also leans itself to taking an extended break out of the profession and being able to return at a later point whether that be in a permanent or part time fashion. Raising a family, furthering education or simply getting away from it all, are common reasons for dentists to take a temporary time out.
According to an article published by the Australian Dental Association (ADA), statistics show young dentists are now predominantly female, thus making flexibility in the workplace key during pregnancy. It also notes that many men similarly are taking time out to raise young families. Other reasons for taking a break from active practise include returning to study or taking time for self-care and travel. Many dentists may wish to pursue studies in other areas which may be complimentary to their profession such as business management.
Dr Alex Holden, Senior Lecturer in Dental Ethics, Law and Professionalism at the University of Sydney Dental School and ADA Federal Councillor believes that dentistry is setting an example in term of workplace flexibility within the healthcare industry.
“People take time out for a variety of reasons, and then when it suits them, come back into it and get straight back to work,” Dr Holden says.
While taking a step back is easy to do and supported within the profession, it is important to keep a few factors in mind for your return. Staying on top of the standards of care is essential. The ADA encourages members to maintain their memberships to receive regular magazines and newsletters. Furthermore the ADA CPD portal offers members a great resource to maintain continuing education requirements throughout their time away.