Do you have a mentor? Do you have mentors? Is there a person or are there people in your life that you look up to that teach you how to be better?  That you, yourself, would like to be more like.  I have been fortunate to have had a few mentors throughout the years that have changed not only the way I practice dentistry, but have helped shape the person that I am.  But recently I have become a blog-stalker. Yes, I coined a new word.  Hello Webster’s New World Dictionary!  And when I think of a mentor, I am now including someone that I never met.  He is a careful teacher that communicates his passion of sleep apnea so well that I cannot wait for his next blog.  His blogs are far reaching and diverse.  Even though his blogs center on sleep, they have a renaissance approach, bringing observations that one would not expect from a physician that specializes in sleep apnea and Ear, Nose and Throat medicine.  

I have had some very special mentors.  People throughout the years that have changed the way I approach things. Personal and professional.  A few years ago, David Hornbrook of San Diego, California spent hours teaching me Smile Design, and honed my reconstructive dentistry skills to a higher level.  A beautiful synergy of art, science and creativity.  More recently, Kent Smith of Dallas, Texas introduced me to sleep apnea.  It has profoundly changed the way I look at my patient’s health history. (The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine, of which I am an alum, did not entertain sleep in the curriculum.)  So, here I pay homage to  Steven Y. Park, M.D., who, over the last few months has been writing blogs that when I read them, they open worlds of associations in sleep that informs and teaches.

Dr. Park’s most recent blog, “Dog Sniffing, Sleep Apnea and Facial Profiling,” sings to the observations that Dr. Kent Smith has taught me.  Trying to figure out who has apnea before doing any testing.  Not only in our offices, but, perhaps, at the supermarket.  Dr. Smith will look at a dentition, the alignment of the teeth, mandibular tori, maybe, and declare “I would bet this guy has significant apnea.”  Dr. Park plays his own personal game of trying to figure out who has apnea.  He states in this recent blog that he is “95 to 98% accurate.”   He goes on to say, like a true mentor, “With some practice, you can be as good as me.”  Dr. Park, with all due respect, I doubt it.  But this brings me to his point.  Observation of our patients and people, in general, is just as important, if not more, than all the testing that we could do.  That would be Day One in Physical Diagnosis. 

Some of the observations and causal relationships that Dr. Park has written about in his blog include:

—Why college students are stressed?

—The wide jaws on the singers of the Lawrence Welk Show.

—Hearing Loss and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

—Hot Flashes and Sleep Apnea

—Kidney Stone and Sleep Apnea

—Psoriasis and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

—New Year’s Day Heart Attack Rates Soar (guess why?)


There are many great people in our world that do extraordinary things. But you can be the very best and not be able to communicate about it.

It is great to find a fine clinician and a great blogger in Dr. Park.  This coming from the blog-stalker. 


Thank you for visiting.  Sleep well.  🙂