We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Doornbos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mary, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I was pregnant with my twin girls when I decided to start my own dental office. I had three year old twin boys at home. I had a husband who worked long hours, often overnight and on the weekends. We were moving to a new town. From the outside, my circumstances didn’t exactly scream “it’s a great time to start a business.” But here’s why I had such peace. First, I got wise counsel from my husband, parents, in-laws and close friends; the people whom I most trusted and who knew me, my values and my goals for my family and career. I also stopped listening to advice from those who meant well but did not really know me, my path or my gifts. I would often hear things like, “Oh, Mary, are you sure? Don’t you think this is too much?” but I learned quickly that these people were speaking from a place of their own reservations. They were really saying that they would never do that. And that’s okay because they are different people with a different set of gifts. My path will be different from what their path would be. It was important to separate those two. Secondly, I would have never been able to take the risk of opening my own practice without the support of my husband and without adopting his big picture view. He does not shy away from temporary difficulty for a long term goal. He makes decisions not based on what the short term looks like but on what the big picture looks like, even if it is years in the future. With this mindset, I was able to overcome the difficult days and realized the obstacles I face make reaching my goals that much sweeter. Lastly, I believe when decisions are made prayerfully and with God’s will at the center, there is a sense of peace that God gives us. God gave me that peace and even when days are hard, learning curves are steep, or uncomfortable situations arise, I have never questioned my decision to open my own office. It was right for me, for my family, and for the precious patients I get to call mine!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am so proud of what we do at Parkside Pediatric Dentistry! We are intentional, thoughtful, and aim to give outstanding service to our families. We find great pride in caring for our pediatric patients in a way that makes their experience at the dentist exceptional. We sing, paint fingernails, blow up balloons, take pictures, and give popsicles. We dim the lights and show them their favorite movie. As we let them brush Mr. Crocky’s teeth, we talk about how important it is to keep our teeth nice and shiny! We educate parents, walking them through getting rid of the paci or thumb, and how in the world to brush a toddler’s teeth. We encourage, hold hands, and love our patients (and parents) through difficult appointments. That extra service, going above and beyond what is expected, makes all the difference. Yes, we do exceptional dentistry. But our patients just know of the love and joy the feel when they are here.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
On my list would be a long walk at Kennesaw Mountain National Park. It is so nice to get outside, especially at this time when we feel so confined and isolated, and enjoy the natural beauty that is all around us. The park has miles of peaceful trails with hidden creeks and gorgeous scenery. There is always a new path to explore. It is great for exercise but also just to have time to relax, be thankful, and see things from a new perspective. Being outdoors is therapy! And let’s be honest, we can all use a little of that these days.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have had many dear people in my path who have had significant impacts on my journey. Most recently, I have been showered with the most generous gift of service from colleagues who are also women pediatric dentists and office owners. A little over a year after starting my practice, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. Five precious women offered their time to work at my office to keep it going, insisting on no pay in return. This enabled my practice to continue seeing patients and stay afloat in my absence. While I was recovering, the very thought of these women at my office made me feel so encouraged and thankful. I will forever remember their kindness.