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Can a Creative Pursuit Make You a Better, and Happier, Dentist?

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For Dr. Jerrett Rosenborough, who goes by Dr. Rose, both dentistry and music feed his passion for life.  

Dr. Rose faced a difficult childhood and constant struggle with poverty, but his mother’s insistence on staying focused gave him the motivation needed to get an education in dentistry. During his school years he knew he always had a passion for the entertainment and music industry. But, he also understood he had to become well-established before he could explore those passions.

“I got good grades in order to become a dentist because it was a safe zone. Go the school route, get established, then go do what you want to do.”

So he set out to become fantastic in dentistry. In an interview on my podcast, Nifty Thrifty Dentists, he talked about the passion with which he serves those in the community as his goals to help others gain more confidence who may be struggling. 

“Dentists are ministers,” he said. As he continued he discussed what many of us as dental professionals see daily. We see many insecure patients who come in and want a whole set of teeth. But they have a history of abuse and trauma, and they hope this new set of teeth will fix it. He adds part of loving and serving your patients is helping them understand a new smile won’t relieve the pain, but it will give you a better outlook on life. “With a new smile, you can manifest a new job because I restored some of your confidence.”

Using Purpose to Combat Burnout

This is something many of us in dentistry forget but it is required knowledge for every dentist. Because dentistry is hard. It can beat you down. Patients do come to you with serious problems they have faced in life, and they hope cosmetic changes to their smile will solve those problems. And we are taught to truly listen and emphasize with our patients, which takes so much energy out of us. Many of us are burnt out of dentistry because of this. 

Instead, when people come into his office, Dr. Rose, listening to their needs, tells them where he can truly help (even if it isn’t what they had in mind) then takes care of them to the best of his ability. He does his best to leave the emotional weight behind so he can move forward as a professional. 

“That is what we learn in dental school.” he said, “We turn off our feelings and mask each time we step up to a patient. In one room you may have someone happy, and in another room, someone is in pain. And I have to reach both at their level.”

Exploring Creative Pursuits to Find More Joy in Dentistry

As Dr. Rose became more established; he felt he now had the ability, and the credibility to explore his music. He began his musical career and has more than 350,000 followers on social media. In our interview, he said, “My competition became myself, the artist versus the dentist. When people told me to pick and choose I knew I didn’t want to stop doing one or the other, so I would say, nah, I’m gonna show you all.” 

As he grew his music, he used teachings in dental school to help him. “They teach us voice control in dentistry. Which is one of the biggest things in the arts.” He also told us, “I use what I learned in dentistry about talking to a patient to better articulate what I am trying to say in my songs.” This has allowed Dr. Rose to use his dental knowledge to become a better artist. And in addition, his dental career has also fed his art. Through his songs, he gets the chance to address the issues he sees within his patients and his community. 

His audience and customers enjoy both parts of his career. He is authentic. And he embraces that his work as a dentist makes him unique in the rap world, and his work as a rapper makes him unique in the dental world. But both worlds feed each other, and ultimately, who Dr. Rose is a person. With his passions, he has gained the ability to help others who may not have considered dental work at all walk through his door.

Overcoming Trauma from an Attempted Robbery

As he gained in popularity however he experienced some surprising consequences. In November of 2020 he got shot in the back during an attempted robbery. “You learn about yourself in those times. That day solidified my faith. I was leaving my office, just finishing work, when it happened. It was the first time I realized there were people out there that hated me for my success.”

Though the experience was traumatic he didn’t change his mind or want to step back from the work. Instead, it showed him just how important reaching out to those around him was. He now knew firsthand how hard it was for those who had struggled all their lives to see another succeed. And so he put the passion of this pain into his music, and into his dental work by serving those who continually experience struggle. He currently runs two charities. The first is called ilift, and the second is called ManifestYourSmile.org. 

iIift is focused on helping those who feel they got left behind to build consistency, credibility, and commitment. He gets the opportunity to help traumatized kids who need help finding their way in the world. And manafestyoursmile.org centered around helping underprivileged kids who are interested in STEM with an emphasis in dental. It’s where he lets his creativity flow to help grow their ideas. But overall, both are about lifting others up. 

“I am blessed,” he said, “with the opportunity to help others. And I want to give others a hand up.”

Using Dr. Rose’s Story to Fuel Your Own Creative Pursuits

No matter what struggles he has faced, this dental professional has stayed true to himself and his passions so he can live his best life and better serve those in his community. 

Dr. Rose’s story is an iconic example, one which has an important message; it is possible to step outside of the box people expect you to sit in and still find success. Especially when focused on authenticity and empathy for those around you.

Be sure to check out his latest album, Flight 717, at ManifestYourSmile.org.

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