Dr. Sagar Shah – Part 2

“This side of me came out during chemotherapy, this urge to overcome my fears and make hurdles. One thing I’ve always wanted to do is put pen to paper; I’ve always wanted to write an article for a dental magazine. Lo and behold, I’ve actually gotten an opinion article published in Dental Economics. It amazed me what I was able to do in a reasonable amount of time just by giving some commitment… Before this all happened, I had grown out my hair and was really upset to see all my hard work go to nothing. One day, my wife and I were sitting in my living room and wondering what to do with my head. I came up with the crazy idea of doodling on my head—just playing tic tac toe. I always knew my wife was an artist when she was young, but being a dentist for so many years apparently left that talent ‘untapped.’ When she picked up the marker and started doodling, I was amazed… A lot of my friends wanted to see how I was doing but were hesitating to reach out. My wife and I were able to share my journey, with them, through art. We started an open-ended photoblog called ‘My Head is a Canvas.’ It’s a beautiful collection of paintings my wife has created alongside some of my literary expressions—her illustrations and my creative writing. I never thought I’d have done something like this or even stumbled upon it. It’s pretty incredible. If it weren’t for cancer, I probably would have never discovered this nor built that camaraderie with my wife. I always felt there was something in me, but there was always that hesitation or busyness… No matter what you’re going through or how busy you are in your field, I urge you to take the time to pursue your own goals and passion projects. You’ll be surprised where baby steps can take you… All of us go through things in life—whether it’s cancer or some other form of tragedy. In dentistry, it’s hard to slow down. Take some time off, though. I know we have goals—goals of owning a practice, goals of whatever. But I strongly urge people to never underestimate the time that they get. See it as a gift to nurture who you are. Time is a blessing. I stumbled upon this after the universe put this in perspective for me… Now that I’m on the other side of things, I’m now back in my field with a lot of energy. I’ve never been happier doing dentistry. I’m able to practice my profession without that level of burnout I had in the past.”