All in the Family: The Story of Bailey Buckley Family Dentistry

 

May 18, 2021 | 3 min. read

 

Practice: Bailey Buckley Family Dentistry, Quispamsis, New Brunswick

 

  • Janet Bailey, DDS
    Dalhousie University, Faculty of Dentistry, 1983
  • Ron Buckley, DDS
    Dalhousie University, Faculty of Dentistry, 1982
  • Nicola Buckley, DDS
    Dalhousie University, Faculty of Dentistry, 2011
  • Tatum Buckley, DDS
    Dalhousie University, Faculty of Dentistry, 2015

 

Following in your family’s footsteps takes on new meaning at Bailey Buckley Family Dentistry. Not only are Dr. Nicola and Dr. Tatum Buckley practising dentists like their parents, but they also graduated from the same dental school. And as the parents, Dr. Ron Buckley and Dr. Janet Bailey, wind down their careers, they have transitioned from practice owners to associates at the practice – making their daughters their bosses as well.

 

THE PARENTS

 

Dr. Ron Buckley and Dr. Janet Bailey met in dental school and went straight into practice ownership after graduation. Dr. Ron Buckley opened a practice in Rothesay, while Dr. Janet Bailey started her own practice in Saint John. She eventually combined her practice with her husband’s, and then in 2008, they opened a new clinic with another dentist. Over the years, their daughters and an additional dentist joined them. However, the existing practice was quite crowded with six dentists sharing the space. This prompted Dr. Nicola and Dr. Tatum Buckley to decide to build a new family practice in Quispamsis. Despite being shut down due to COVID-19, they stuck with their plan, broke ground in April, and moved into the new clinic in November 2020. That’s how Bailey Buckley Family Dentistry came to be.

 

For Dr. Ron Buckley, the idea to pursue dentistry started with a hockey injury.
I was at Dalhousie University studying science, unsure of what I was going to do and broke my front tooth playing intramural hockey. I ended up going to the dental clinic and the dentist treating me was a third-year dental student. The process was eye opening for me, and I thought it was something I would enjoy doing.

 

For Dr. Janet Bailey, her mother’s work as a dental assistant factored into her decision.
My mother was a dental assistant for many years, so I had been around dentistry. One summer, when I was working for her dentist, an orthodontist there told me I should consider dentistry. I had never thought about it but over the course of that summer, I was exposed to the hands-on aspect of dentistry and knew it was for me.

 

Having your children work with you creates a collaborative environment.
We have had other associates, and it has worked out much better having our children instead. We found that it was extremely rare that other associates asked for our opinion – either because they were afraid, or they thought they knew the answer. But with your children, it’s a more open and relaxed environment.
– Dr. Janet Bailey

 

But maintaining boundaries with your children is key.
Although we have a personal relationship, it’s important to have a professional one as well. We like that our kids seem to share our values, but we don’t want to make them to practice a certain way. We’re available if they want guidance, but we don’t look over their shoulders and we give them their independence.
– Dr. Ron Buckley

 

THE CHILDREN

 

After graduation, Dr. Nicola Buckley went home and worked with her parents, while Dr. Tatum Buckley worked as an associate in Prince Edward Island for a year before joining the existing practice in New Brunswick. After spending some time in a shared practice with other dentists, they decided to start Bailey Buckley Family Dentistry with their parents. Although they ended up following in their parents’ footsteps, they never felt pressured to pursue dentistry and have two siblings who chose different career paths. Robin, the second oldest, works as a teacher in Calgary, and Ben, the youngest, works in business in Halifax.

 

For Dr. Nicola Buckley, Take Your Kids to Work Day sparked her interest in dentistry.
In Grade 9, I went to work with my parents at their dental office and got to learn more about the profession. I really enjoyed the hands-on aspect of dentistry, as well as the patient rapport. After that, I never really looked back.

 

For Dr. Tatum Buckley, working at the family clinic in university helped her make the call.
I always knew that I would be in a helping profession, such as a dentist, a doctor, or a teacher. Then throughout university, I worked at my parents’ dental office. I liked that as a dentist, you do diagnostic work like doctors do, but you also get to treat the patients instead of referring them to someone.

 

They have learned about patient care from their parents.
More than the hands-on skills, we learned patient care from our parents. We picked up their values when it comes to running a practice, and learned how to communicate with patients, which is an aspect of dentistry that you don’t necessarily get a lot of experience with in school.
– Dr. Tatum Buckley

 

They love working with their parents but know that it’s not for everyone.
Working with your parents is such a personal decision because it depends on your relationship. Will criticism be worse because it’s coming from your parents, or will you feel more comfortable because it’s coming from your parents? For us, we definitely feel more comfortable.
– Dr. Nicola Buckley

 

THE FAMILY

 

Working with family means everyone has each other’s best interests at heart. When I was on maternity leave, my family picked up extra hours to help out. There is a lot of support there and we know that everybody is there to meet the same end goal. We’re here to take care of the patients, each other, and the staff.
– Dr. Nicola Buckley

 

Working with your family also creates an inherent trust with patients.
When working with your family, there’s a certain comfort level there with patients. If for some reason you can’t treat one of your patients, you can send them to a family member and there seems to be increased trust there because it’s a relative and someone you trust who is treating them.
– Dr. Tatum Buckley

 

It’s important to separate your work from your personal life.
Sometimes we do let business get into our personal lives, but not the other way around. Every once in a while, we have to remind ourselves not to talk about work, but we have a lot of other interests as a family that don’t involve dentistry.
– Dr. Janet Bailey

 

Shared interests and family time go beyond the dental office.
All of us like to ski and look forward to when we can travel again and go on a ski trip. Nicola has three kids, so she’s very busy, and Tatum and her husband are big hikers. We have a lot of family time in the summer and enjoy swimming and boating. Janet is a very good cook, so food is always central to our gatherings.
– Dr. Ron Buckley

 

Dr. Ron Buckley and Dr. Janet Bailey have been with CDSPI since day one.
We’ve utilized a lot of CDSPI’s services over the years. They do quite a bit of extra planning that people may not know about. They also offer a variety of insurance products that are tailored to running your practice. This has been helpful and saved a lot of shopping around.

 

You feel a lot of pride when your children follow in your footsteps.
It’s quite fun and I think Janet and I have extended our careers a bit because we are working with our kids. We’re both currently working part time as associates. We’re doing it more for pleasure now, which is a nice way to phase out of dentistry.
– Dr. Ron Buckley

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