27 May 2008

Doctor De Soto



Author/Illustrator: William Steig

Few know this, but Doctor De Soto was inspired by a speech given by Doctor Franklin De Soto, considered to be one of the earliest pioneers in the field of Dental Medicine. (Interesting fact: D.D.S. = Dr. De Soto.)

In his commencement speech to the West Virginia School of Dentistry Class of 1927, Dr. De Soto described, in surprisingly candid detail, the pains of devoting one's life to dentistry. Here is an excerpt:

"All of you have given years of your lives studying the field of dentistry. What was it that drove you? It definitely wasn't the lifetime of halitosis and plaque-caked mouths that inspired you to complete this grueling degree. So why did you do it? For the same reason I entered the field: the simple desire to help your fellow man. You were born with the impulse to alleviate the sharp pains of daily life and to soothe the dull and persistent hurt that plagues your neighbor. But I'm here to warn you: your idealism will not be rewarded.

This is what you will receive for your trouble: You will be the nightmare of the young children who come screaming into your office as if you were the devil himself. You will be subjected to an endless parade of adults who brazenly lie to your face... yeah, you "try to floss everyday", my ass. You will devote years to straightening the teeth of spoiled adolescents who will use their flawless smile to convince some poor soul to marry them--and you won't even get an invitation to their wedding.

So I'm warning you now: Dentistry is a thankless profession. For those of you considering a career in dentistry, do not for one minute expect accolades or even simple gratitude for your efforts. No amount of free toothbrushes or sugarfree lollipops will sway the fickle souls of your patients. Your clientele is like an ungrateful and unholy wolf, just waiting to take a bite out of your youthful idealism. That being said, I encourage you to proceed because yours is still a noble profession. But if you do choose to travel down this thorny path, do so with eyes wide open, or else you will be consumed by the very people you are trying to help. If my years of dentistry have taught me one thing, it is this: An open mouth is just a bite waiting to happen. With that, I congratulate you, Class of 1927. Best of luck. You're going to need it."

Rumor has it that a young William Steig was an undergraduate student who took Dr. De Soto's words to heart and decided to change his course of study from dentistry and pursue a life as an artist. Yet, as his book shows, he never lost his respect for the dental profession or the mousy old curmudgeon who took the time to tell him the truth.

8 comments:

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

...who will use their flawless smile to convince some poor soul to marry them--and you won't even get an invitation to their wedding.

It's true! I didn't even invite the endodontist who gave me a root canal right before my wedding, and he was nice enough to buy me a latte after the treatment.

Minh Le said...

and Endodontist who buys lattes?!

That's a surefire vote for Obama if I ever saw one!

Anonymous said...

[url=http://bariossetos.net/][img]http://hopresovees.net/img-add/euro2.jpg[/img][/url]
[b]filemaker pro activation, [url=http://vonmertoes.net/]top software resellers[/url]
[url=http://vonmertoes.net/][/url] microsoft academic software free windows vista download
academic coredraw software [url=http://vonmertoes.net/]discount microsoft office standard[/url] nero vision
[url=http://hopresovees.net/]buy microsoft publisher software[/url] discounts microsoft office
[url=http://hopresovees.net/]windows vista problems[/url] nero vision express
linux software store [url=http://vonmertoes.net/]software developers canada[/b]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://vonmertoes.net/][img]http://vonmertoes.net/img-add/euro2.jpg[/img][/url]
[b]open view print coreldraw files, [url=http://hopresovees.net/]adobe software uk[/url]
[url=http://hopresovees.net/][/url] office software systems cheap oem software for
windows xp pro oem software [url=http://bariossetos.net/]discounts on software[/url] filemaker pro 8
[url=http://bariossetos.net/]kaspersky updates[/url] buy cheap software coupon
[url=http://bariossetos.net/]egghead discount software[/url] office 2008 software
software online shop [url=http://bariossetos.net/]where to buy pc software[/b]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://vonmertoes.net/][img]http://hopresovees.net/img-add/euro2.jpg[/img][/url]
[b]www macromedia software flashplayer, [url=http://bariossetos.net/]adobe educational software[/url]
[url=http://hopresovees.net/][/url] a+ educational software windows vista home basic question
adobe photoshop cs3 free download [url=http://bariossetos.net/]free kaspersky license key[/url] how to price software as
[url=http://vonmertoes.net/]buy adobe photoshop com[/url] microsoft fax software
[url=http://hopresovees.net/]coreldraw torrents[/url] website shop software
Mac WinZip 12 Pro [url=http://bariossetos.net/]cheap graphic software[/b]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://hopresovees.net/][img]http://vonmertoes.net/img-add/euro2.jpg[/img][/url]
[b]website shop software, [url=http://bariossetos.net/]autocad trial version[/url]
[url=http://vonmertoes.net/][/url] quarkxpress 6 english educational software office
pharmacy shop software [url=http://hopresovees.net/]Standart Edition Mac[/url] is it legal to buy oem software
[url=http://hopresovees.net/]buy ms office software[/url] cheap software licenses
[url=http://hopresovees.net/]academic software no[/url] linux software price
software programs to buy [url=http://hopresovees.net/]medicine store software[/b]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://vonmertoes.net/][img]http://hopresovees.net/img-add/euro2.jpg[/img][/url]
[b]stores software, [url=http://bariossetos.net/]nero 9 and windows 7[/url]
[url=http://hopresovees.net/][/url] discount software canada cracks for adobe acrobat 9 pro extended
filemaker pro printing functions [url=http://hopresovees.net/]windows vista activation crack[/url] sell your software to
[url=http://hopresovees.net/]Enterprise 2007 Retail Price[/url] windows media player for vista
[url=http://hopresovees.net/]adobe acrobat 9 standard[/url] media composer software academic
buy microsoft office 2003 software [url=http://bariossetos.net/]printer software downloads[/b]

jism singh said...

I almost got all the information on this topic which i required to do my research. Keep up the amazing work!!
cuteboudoir