Q: What was the craziest thing that happened to you in your 35-year career?
A: Well, although I practiced in Manhattan for four years after my residency program, all my “crazy” stories all took place on the Island of Palm Beach, FL USA.
Sure to be a chart topper in the history of dental practices, how can anyone forget when I got hit below the belt by an 80+ year old female. For purposes of privacy, I will use a fake name, but will give you her social security number and mother’s maiden name. (Just kidding).
Mrs. Periwinkle came running into the office to hunt me down and complain that after she had her teeth whitened by our hygienist, her teeth are darker than when she came in.
I took out the Polaroid pre op and post op photos we took which clearly showed her teeth got significantly whiter after the treatment. She became so infuriated that she was incorrect, she grabbed the paper chart and pulled, while I resisted. Suddenly, the chart split in half, followed by her right upper cut to the “family jewels.” Legend has it that my scream was heard all the way to Mar a Lago.
After she left the office, and went upstairs to her condo (my office is on the second floor of residential condo), my dental assistant at the time, a daughter of a sheriff, told me I should have the police come to fill out an incident report; incase Mrs. Periwinkle comes up with a different version of the unusual method of birth control she inflicted on me.
Two patrol cars, a fire engine and one motorcycle cop arrived in seven minutes. It looked like an episode of “COPS”. Bad boys- bad boys- watcha gonna do….. “
The motorcycle officer sat at my desk and called Mrs. Perwinkle and told her Dr. Josephs will be happy to give you a refund to put an end to this matter, and we will accept your donation of the fee refund to our Police Benevolent Society.
I have shared this story for many years on the dental lecture circuit to the point that if you ask most dentist across the country what does it mean to be “Periwinkled”, they will no what it means and cringe with fantom pains.