The Importance of Diverse Training

Having a diverse background can sometimes elevate our creativity. Consider the case of Joe Davis, who has merged the fields of art and science to the benefit of MIT and Harvard Medical School.

Davis, who has been the subject of a documentary film and many magazine articles, has a mind that operates at light speed, churning out ideas at a dizzying pace. This active mind led to a lot of trouble early in his life, but after finishing art school Davis became fascinated with how art and science could feed each other.

In an article in Discover magazine, he discussed how he is working on tempered glass that can withstand bullets and sledgehammers, and an electrical instrument that can translate light signals into musical tones.  Following Hurricane Katrina he came up with an idea for a monument that would capture lightening and then discharge the energy back into the sky, a way of showing how we can stand up to the wrath of nature.  His proposal is still in the testing phase, but Davis’ innovative thinking could benefit many other fields of study.

He has also proposed numerous projects for NASA through the years.  But his biggest work involves developing a mobile biological archive that would safeguard all there is to know about humans.

Many of his scientific ideas start out by noticing patterns or cause and effect relationships, just like he would before dreaming up an art project. Approaching science like an artist has facilitated tremendous innovation.

Therefore, if you want to make your dental practice even stronger, consider how you can pull on non-dental work and life experience.  And do not just take dental continuing education.  Expose yourself to other disciplines and ways of thinking.  As Joe Davis demonstrates, what you learn outside of your profession may make tremendous contributions to your success.

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