Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Disney and Dentistry

Some people who read this blog might know that in real life I am a dentist. And if it wasn't for dentistry, I may not have come upon my love of Disney, even as late in life as I did, because the reason we decided to first visit WDW with our kids back in 2004 (I think) was because the American Dental Association was having their annual meeting in Orlando that year. It also happened to be a really bad hurricane year, and we got to Orlando about an hour before they closed the airport. Hurricane Jeanne hit the next day and we spent our entire Sunday, our first day at Disney, cowering in our room at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort, munching on cereal and snack foods, waiting for the winds to pass. (It took them all day to do so because after Jeanne passed to the south of Orlando, she took a right turn and headed north. So we got the high winds and storms twice, sort of, with very little let-up in the middle.)

It so happens that the ADA held their annual meeting in Orlando again this year. We didn't go, because it's in the middle of October and our kids are in school. And school's important to us; we don't feel comfortable taking them out for Disney vacations anymore. But it didn't stop the ADA from having their meeting.

So what's the connection to Disney, you might ask? Well, apparently a hugely popular course titled "Disney's Approach to Quality Service" was on the course list, led by facilitator Tom Thomson of the Disney Institute. This course discussed Disney business philosophies and relating them to dentistry, mostly about anticipating and reacting "to patients' needs, wants and emotions." He drew parallels between the emotions people feel before they come in for their dental visit, perhaps their worries, and the emotions and worries that people have before signing up for a Disney vacation. How we deal with these issues might be different, but the need to deal with them is the same.

I found it interesting that even the ADA recognizes that Disney has something good to add to their program!


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