May 24, 2010

The Secret Lives of Dentists

I remember the first time that I ran into my family dentist in town rather than in his office. I was a teenager at the time, so I should not have been shocked that my dentist had interests other than plaque removal and collecting issues of Highlights. In reflecting on this incident I got to thinking. What do dentists do when they aren’t in the office?

As a grown up (sort of), I now have the answer.


I am a recruiter who focuses on finding associates, partners or buyers for dental practices around the country. As such, I have access to over 30,000 CVs and resumes saved in our computer system. Using our software’s keyword search functionality I was able to query the system for key words as they appear in the Hobbies and Interests sections of those documents. Keep in mind, only 10% of CVs or resumes list personal hobbies or interests. Also, certain keywords (running, reading, writing) appeared too often in job related descriptions and so are not included. Still, the results are fascinating, even if not altogether scientific.


Dentists are an active, open minded group. Over 90% list travel as a key interest or hobby. Of course, the dental industry magazines are filed with ads for CE events in exotic and otherwise beautiful locations, so this comes as no surprise.

Dentists are also avid participants in sports. 30% list an interest in “sports” while those who mention specific sports prefer Golf (18%) over Basketball (17%) and Tennis (16%). Others of note: Soccer (12%), Football (10%), Volleyball (7%), Baseball (5%) and Hockey (3%). Cricket comes in as a statistically irrelevant 1%. Incidentally, Yankees fans mentioned their team by name more than Red Sox fans by a 5-4 margin.

Outside of traditional sports, Dentists also enjoy skiing (14%), swimming (14%) and long walks on the beach (13%). Yoga trumps Aerobics and Pilates 4% to 1.4% and 1%, respectively. 9% enjoy camping while 6% garden and 4% appreciate the outdoors in general.

The arts are clearly an important outlet. Painting is the preferred release of 9%. 2% prefer poetry. Music is listed by 23%. Dancing occupies the evenings of 7% while 4% prefer to play guitar and 3% like to sing. Those 3% are brave souls – karaoke received a scant 6 total mentions. Presumably that 3% sing sober, but 2% of dentists enjoy wine enough to mention it on their CVs. Only one claimed to be a “partier”. 18% enjoy cooking and 5% confess to shopping.

Collecting is a passive hobby. 1.1% collect coins, .8% collect stamps and .4% collect antiques. 7% prefer to spend their quiet time watching a good movie.

Horseback riding stimulates 3.7% of dentists. 3.4% prefer to drive with 1.2% of those enjoying a good race. Safety first, though. Fast cars (3%) are preferred to motorcycles (.5%).

Companionship is important to all of us. While a keyword search of “family” returned too many unrelated results, it was also an extremely popular mention. Pets are also popular with dogs preferred over cats by more than 3-1.

While not representative of most dentists, we have also spoken with a dentist who enjoys clamming, one who writes musical compositions for Wii games, one who was a “Who” in a movie and one who performed with Men Without Hats.

It is not all lab coats and fluoride. Clearly Dentists do have a life outside of practice. The logical follow up question? How many of the above activities are claimed as a business expense?

Posted by Morgan Pace, Dental Recruiter with ETS Dental. You can reach Morgan at (540) 491-9102 or Check us out at


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