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Posted by Paul on 3/27/2012 8:50:00 AM

Recently I returned to my hometown of Atlanta to attend a wedding. I was pleased to run across an old friend, Ralph Lehr. Ralph is a dentist so I was excited to share with him my new role working with dentists across Missouri. He thought it was cool, but then again, Ralph was always positive and supportive. See, he was not my dentist. He was my mentor. As a volunteer Young Life leader, Ralph played a huge part in shaping my life in high school just by sharing his life with me. He hosted memorable pool parties. He took me water skiing. He listened to my teen anxieties. He believed in me.
In my youth I never made any connections between Ralph’s role in my life and his career as a dentist. Now, as I get to know more and more dentists, I see some common threads. In many cases, dentistry affords flexibility of time and a good salary. Ralph was generous to share both with me and many others. I see that same generosity and community involvement in many MDA members. It makes me proud to work with your profession. Perhaps I was subtly drawn to the MDA based on the example of one dentist who shared his life beyond his practice. Let’s keep that example going. You never know who you are influencing!

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