By Dr. Addison Killeen

May 9, 2023

Recently I had the pleasure of hearing from Dr. Tom Osborne, former Nebraska Football coach, former US Congressman, and overall great guy. Although he is a guy I sit next to in church and get to chat with every once in a while, he could easily be counted as one of the most interesting men in the world. A student of leadership: he played college football, played NFL football, and then got his PhD as he began his coaching career. After coaching, he went to congress for a few years before coming back to Nebraska to serve as Athletic Director. 

One of his passions in life now at an advanced age revolves around mentors. He sees this as a generational problem; he and his wife Nancy have dedicated the past 20 years to philanthropy and developing his TeamMates mentor program. Through this program, he encourages adults to go into schools once a week for 1 hour, to meet with a child who has been identified as needing extra support due to certain situations. This program has expanded over the years, but the proof is in the pudding: children who have one other adult in their life (other than a parent), do better in all academic areas and increase their chance of staying away from drugs, gangs, violence, and other negative life choices.

In childhood and adolescence, we need mentors to help us keep on the right track. Dentistry is no different. At a certain point, we sometimes think we have our degree and learning can stop. However, there is nothing further from the truth. These mentors could actually come from anywhere in the dental or leadership field. They could be clinical gurus or business geniuses. No matter what, we always have something to learn.

At the Dental Success Network, we have over 40 faculty members and experts who have accepted this role of mentorship. They share freely of their wisdom, support us with hard clinical cases, and give advice whenever things get difficult.

If you are struggling with certain aspects these days, look for a mentor either in DSN or in your community. Most of the time when you find the right person, both individuals feel like the relationship is valuable.