When and why did you decide a career in dentistry was right for you?
As an 18-year-old. I had just finished the first year of Health Science at The University of Otago. I missed the selection to Medicine by 1% grade average and thought ‘dentistry sounds interesting’ so accepted the place I was offered. I really didn’t know if the career was right for me, but decided to give it my best shot, and it’s stuck. I really love my job.
If you could give a patient ONE piece of advice on how best to look after their oral health, what would it be?
Do everything I say!
Where would we find you when not in the practice?
Sneaking around in the peloton at a cycle race, volunteering at my church, or telling my kids big stories about how good I used to be!
What do you MOST enjoy about dentistry?
Creating a beautiful result, that I can be proud of, and that my patient appreciates also.
I understand you’re quite a sportsman also?
I used to have delusions of grandeur as a cyclist. I raced in a national level road cycling team for a number of years, and had some great results, but nothing threatening the pro level. Now I train less but still love being active on the bike and skiing.
And you’re passionate about volunteering your time and skills, is that right? What inspires you do so?
My inspiration to help is linked with my Christian faith and the skill set I have. It’s very satisfying to make a difference in someone’s life, especially for those who have limited access to oral health care. Read more about Jacob’s volunteering.
You also teach at the University of Otago? Tell us some more about what motivates you to do that?
I give a guest lecture once a year, on business management in a private practice. I’m fascinated with the challenge of creating a healthy team environment, and want to explain some principles that have worked for me.
You also moonlight as a podcaster, is that correct?
Yes, I launched the NZ Dentistry Podcast in Feb 2018, with generous support from Henry Schein. It’s a great platform to bring helpful, NZ specific dental content that can be listened to while driving or at the gym. I personally have been inspired by international dental podcasts, such as the Dental Hacks and the Thriving Dentist. One of the aims is to showcase those presenting courses in NZ, so we can understand their background and be inspired to attend the courses when possible. Please check it out (and give me a 5-star rating!).
And lastly, what makes you smile?
Mad jokes. In almost all situations there is a chance to say something to lighten up the mood. I’m still learning when not to do this, I’ll have it sorted in about 8 years.
Learn more about Jacob Grieve and follow his podcast.