My journey has taken me through the Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education where I studied and ACT Dental Coaching where I studied and taught, among many other learning centers and study clubs. In all these experiences, I have become a part of several communities of like-minded dentists who seek to be the best we can be while we help our patients and each other.
Two months ago, I was shocked to learn of the tragic death of a universally beloved and respected colleague and friend. Dr. Andrea Beerman of Leawood, Kansas, took her own life this past summer. She was bright, vivacious, talented, and successful beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. She was 34 years old.
Dr. Beerman is not the first professional to commit suicide. And it is very likely that she will not be the last. Knowing this, I called my good friend Dr. Jim Otten in Kansas City. Together, we put together a program to educate dentists about depression in Dr. Beerman’s memory.
We have been invited to present our program this Saturday at the Pankey Institute’s Alumni Meeting in Orlando, Florida. I have accepted this invitation with a sense of honor, humility, and, frankly, a bit of trepidation.
None of us is perfect. No one’s journey through life is without a bumpy road here and there. I am determined to help some of the finest dentists in the world—including the very same people who have helped me become who I am—maintain their emotional wellness in stressful times in a stressful but rewarding career.
As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I believe to the core of my being that even the most horrific tragedy can give rise to something good.
It is my fervent hope that my teaching efforts in memory of Dr. Andrea Beerman will help someone in a profound way and make her life a blessing to others for generations to come.