Peace of Mind

With HDC, Dentist Finds the Freedom He's Always Wanted

Peace of Mind

For Dr. John Adkins, dentistry runs in the family. Two dentists were born in 1959: his father, who graduated dental school that year, and Adkins himself. He just didn't know it yet. His mother ran his father's office, and all three of his siblings went into the dental field. After spending his childhood around the dental office, however, Adkins studied electrical engineering and started his career working for an electronics firm.

"HDC asked me what I wanted; it was all about what would make me happy, and no one had ever asked that."

John Adkins, DMD
John Adkins, DMD
practicing dentist at Citrus Tower Family Dental in Clermont, Florida

"I found out working in electrical engineering that I really liked working with my hands as opposed to book theory. I was really good at finding problems, and repairing equipment was a lot of fun," remembers Dr. Adkins. "So I started at UCF to prepare for dental school." Adkins then went on to attend the University of Florida Dental School, graduating in 1989 and opening his own practice. Though the road was tough on his own, dentistry was the right fit for Adkins. "It's very skilled," he explains.

"So you get a feeling of accomplishment when you do something for somebody that changes how they look, or you catch their oral cancer at an early stage or you give them a great smile. When you do something that changes their life, it makes you feel good."

Running a solo practice created stress along with satisfaction, so when Julie Thomas from the HDC Affiliation Integration team visited the office, the doctor's ears were open. "HDC asked me what I wanted; it was all about what would make me happy, and no one had ever asked that. I was surprised," he says. "They wanted to make me happy." Shortly after that encounter, Dr. Adkins decided to affiliate with Heartland Dental Care. He remembers making the decision, "I guess it came down to less stress and the abiilty to keep working. I'm still doing dentistry."

The initial process in June 2012 went very well, but Dr. Adkins feared that the transition for his office and staff might be difficult. "It was a smooth transition," he exclaims. "I expected to feel pressure, but it was great. There was no panic, no rush. They took their time, and everything went great."

Twenty-three years ago, Dr. Adkins went back to his family roots in dentistry, and now with HDC he is finally practicing on his terms. "If I could do it over, I would have started at HDC and stayed with them the whole time," he admits. "It would have been a lot less stressful over these years and I also would have been better off financially. Seriously."

Dr. Adkins is still enjoying practicing, as well as his newfound freedom. "It has really freed me up to do some things I hadn't been able to do for a while, and my wife and I are excited," he explains. "We go hunting, we built a little cabin, and we have a beautiful home that's paid for. It has changed our lives." He believes the changes since affiliating with Heartland Dental Care could be summarized in one word: "Peace," he says. "I'm at peace."