Volume 8 • 2021 • Issue 1

Dr. Joel Rosenbloom Staff dentist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and associate professor, faculty of dentistry, University of Toronto. HowCanadianDentists areDealingwithStressandUncertainty Attending the University of Western Ontario in the early 1980s, Dr. Joel Rosenbloom found dental school demanding and intimidating. “There was not a day when I didn’t worry about being penalized, failing or being spoken to in a punitive tone,” he wrote in an article for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). 1 He couldn’t imagine himself graduating. “B eing prone to anxiety, this situation was extraordinarily difficult for me to deal with. I had many dark days and barely a week went by when I didn’t contemplate dropping out,” adds Dr. Rosenbloom. In his third year, his close friend in the program and president of his class died by suicide. The devastating loss left Dr. Rosenbloom grieving and struggling to meet the requirements of his course work. He remembers this period of his life as one of the most challenging and painful. Even after graduating and building a career, his thoughts often return to the loss of his friend. Decades later, Dr. Rosenbloom worked as a dentist under a difficult supervisor. “I once again spiraled into a very dark place,” he says. He felt despair and hopelessness. He sought counselling and support from family and friends. He felt motivated to persevere for the sake of his young family. “I eventually came to the conclusion that the situation was untenable and I quit my job for the sake of 20 | 2021 | Issue 1