Hey everybody! Welcome to Conversations with Doc Martin, where we talk to extraordinary people doing extraordinary things!
In today’s interview, we are joined by Dr. Kyle Stanley, who’s been named one of the top 10 young educators in dentistry, one of the world’s top 100 doctors in dentistry, and is a researcher whose published in some of the top demo journals about topics relating to esthetics, implants, and plastic surgery. Dr. Stanley currently holds a private practice located in Beverly Hills, CA where he focuses on implant surgery and prosthetics. Through his company Pearl, he is changing the way patients are treated through artificial intelligence.
While Dr. Stanley has an impressive resume in dentistry through practice, he is also a leading advocate for mental health within the field. This led him to creating The Light Side, which is a course and community for those in dentistry to come together around mental health and how it relates to the career field.
Dr. Stanley starts out by telling us how he was at the top of his game, or so he thought. He was speaking for all of these companies and getting lots of positive engagement, but one day he came home and told his wife that he was just done and no longer wanted to be a clinician. He had been dealing with a lot of stress, had run into several bad situations with both patients and staff, and just didn’t feel like practicing was worth all the negativity he felt coming as a result of it.
When he would try to talk to his friends or non-dentists, he says people simply wouldn’t understand. They’d give him the usual “Oh you’re a doctor, you have a nice car, a nice life…” etc. When he spoke to fellow dentists however about the issues he was having, he was shocked to find out just how many of them shared the same issues and feelings he did.
This was when he first realized that he was not alone, and that mental health was a big issue in the dentistry field that, at the time, seemed like nobody was talking about. So he made the decision to use his platform and begin the conversation himself.
He says how at first, and admits kind of selfishly, he would just drip bits and pieces of mental health in his dentistry speaking gigs because he just needed to talk about it. What happened as a result though he didn’t expect. When he would be speaking at different events and organizations, sometimes for 6 or more hours, he would slip in about 45 minutes of mental health. But after hours of talking about things like guided surgeries or smile design, he said at the end, he realized no one cared about that. People would come up to him after his speeches and talk to him about mental health, stress, depression, and burn out.
Once Kyle started to see that this was a pattern and that he was not alone, he decided to go into research mode and find out everything he could about mental health in the dentistry field. He had heard for years that dentistry had a very high suicide rate, but he admits that he didn’t really believe it because all the dentists he had known and looked up to were all “rich and successful” — it wasn’t until going through this dark phase himself that he realized that the brain doesn’t care about how many letters are behind one’s name, or how many dollar’s are in one’s bank account; Mental health was something that needed to be cared for regardless.
Dr. Stanley goes on to tell us how this is what inspired his creation of The Light Siders, where he and his community go through the journey of identifying problems, defining purpose, learning specific research-proven ways of how to avoid some problems, and then understanding that while we can’t fully get stress to be gone from our lives, we can try to understand it which can help mitigate its effects.
Find More of Dr. Kyle Stanley’s Work Below:
Light Side: https://drkylestanley.mykajabi.com/light-side-course-2021