The Millennial Dentist is a podcast created to encourage all dentists, both new and seasoned, young and old, male or female to exceed expectations, enjoy dentistry more, and take more vacations. The podcast all began as a couple buddies, Dr. Sully Sullivan, Dr. Peyman Raissi, and Dr. Daniel Holsing (AKA Dr. Dan), were sitting around talking about dentistry, trying to figure out how to make it.
The three millennial dentists say, “We have a long way to go before we make it, but we do know that the collaborative approach of learning from each other will help us get there! The three of us have been very fortunate to have great mentors and this podcast is really just a way for us to pay it forward. We will try to interview smarter people, give a millennial perspective to different issues in dentistry, and provide a little entertainment along the way”
Dr. Sully, the host and creator of the Millennial Dentist podcast, is a 5th generation dentist. He is currently partner of Sullivan Dental Partners in Brentwood, TN with his father, Dr. Rick Sullivan. He graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2011. He then went on to dental school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN. Dr. Sully is currently a member of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
I sat down with the Millennial Dentist himself to talk about his podcast and what you can expect as a dentist of his generation. When he isn’t seeing patients at his practice, Dr. Sully is watching sports and hanging with his spunky yellow lab named Raley. He is a watersports enthusiast and was actually a part of the 2011 Collegiate Wakeboard National Championship team at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Sully is also very passionate about dental mission work and is heading to Ecuador this month for a dental mission trip.
(1) Tell me about your podcast and why you decided to start it…..
Wow, honestly the podcast started really organically. Like any young professional we tend to sit around after work over a beer or dinner and talk about more work. We talk about the problems, the things we want to do, and the struggles that we all tend to have. One day I was like…we should just start recording these conversations…interview smarter people who have done it before and just pass it forward to other young dentists. I also got a huge head start because I went into practice with my dad. I really decided that once I got there I wasn’t going to sit back but just push the pedal to the floor. It has allowed me to see what works and what doesn’t work and then pass that on to those who may not be able to risk certain decisions or investments at their stage of the career.
(2) What is your favorite podcast on the World Wide Web and Why?
One of my favorite podcasts, is the Dentists, Implants, and Worms podcast. It is hosted by Dr. Justin Moody and his crew of misfits. I love it because it is really down to earth. I just feel like I am in the room with them talking. He doesn’t realize it but through the podcast and other outlets he has he has become a big mentor of mine. I also love anything that has to do with financial planning and personal investments. I find compounding interest and investing fascinating so if it isn’t dental its probably financial related!
(3) Why did you choose to be a dentist? What has been the best part or experience of being a dentist?
I never really saw myself going into dentistry actually. I wanted to be a landscape architect! Once I got to college though I realized I was good at math and science and I wanted to do something to help people and be interactive with people. When you look at medicine as a whole dentistry is really unique because not only are you a healthcare provider but also a business owner. The work life balance a dentist can have is a huge perk and one thing I really like. The best experiences so far have been just when I have had the opportunity to really change someones life. That can be changing their smile or taking someone who has no teeth and restoring them to be able to smile and function again.
(4) What advice would you give to a student in dental school that you wish you had known?
The best advice I could give is to just soak up everything you can. Don’t stress to much about grades, unless you want to specialize it doesn’t matter. No patients ask where I went to school or what my grades were or where I graduated in the class. There is so much good free education out there through podcasts and other types of education. The best advice I could give though is to start to find a mentor. When you graduate you really know just enough to be dangerous and having a solid mentor has been a game changer for me.
(5) What’s something about Sullivan Dental Partners that people may not know?
What makes our practice special is that we really try to be a one stop shop. We treat kids to adults, we take out wisdom teeth, we place implants, we do fillings, crowns, root canals, and even treat sleep apnea. Patients hate going from doctor to doctor so it has been a big key to our success being able to keep a lot of services under one roof. The other thing a lot of people dont know is we have a therapy dog. She is a yellow lab named Raley and she is pretty much in the office every day!
Follow in Dr. Sully's philanthropic passion by serving in Haiti or Nicaragua through Spaugh Dameron Tenny's GOtoGROW scholarship.
Molly was the marketing director at SDT from October 2017 through November 2020. She is passionate about connecting with people, digital marketing, and serving her community.
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