DewDish: Cris Duval

In My Story, Print Issues by Anne Duffy

What is the best part of your job?

Being of service to others, helping patients get what they want.  We practiced “wants” dentistry. 

Who has been the most influential woman in your life?

My mum! She has taught me the most about resilience, which is the ability to bounce back and continue with life in the midst of adversity and trauma.  She was abandoned by her parents at age 2.  They got a divorce and neither of them could stand the site of her because she reminded them of each other.  Her mother adopted a little girl just the same age as my mom.  She wanted a daughter, just not my mom.  2 of her sons died at age 9 and 13 in separate childhood accidents.  My dad died at age 46.  Geriatric physicians say that resilience is the main determining factor in how long you live. My mom just passed away December 2019 at age 100 +3 months.  She had great abilities of understanding others and their challenges in life. 

How do you measure your success?

I strive to be better every day than I was the day before.  If I can do that, I consider myself successful.

What obstacles have you overcome in your career?

Specifically, I overcame burnout! I grew out of burnout.  I don’t believe that I would be where is am today if I had not had the experience.  When you hit rock bottom—the only way out is up!  Also, I learned to stop being an “expectation whore.”  That I was going to be upset or sad if events didn’t turn out the way I expected it to.  I overcame the obstacle of thinking that I couldn’t change my approach to how I took care of patients.  I shifted my thinking, my message and my clinical habits from repairing the damage to preparing patients for health.

What obstacles have you overcome in your life?

My attachment of meaning to events….nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning that I choose to attach to it.   

What do you do to turn around a bad day?

I turn around a bad day with gratitude.  Realizing how blessed that I am makes the shift for me.  And realizing, in most cases, things could be worse.

What advice do you have for the new person in your office? 

Always put the patient first, team second and then yourself.  Do not listen to gossip or subgrouping.  With gossiping, it is the listener that is the problem.  If no one listened, the gossiper would have no one to talk to.  

What “DeW” leaders do? 

Lead their vision with their heart, with kindness, and with a spirit of service.

What is your favorite place on earth?

I really enjoy Hawaii and have been there many times.  I chose to work on staying in the moment and being conscious with my thinking.  In doing that I find happiness where ever I am and I don’t have a longing to be somewhere else.

What is first on your dental bucket list?

First on my list is to watch our son fulfill his dream of having his own practice.  This bucket list item will come true this month as Ryan and his wife Jennifer are opening his practice at the end of September!  The two of them have an outstanding vision and mission of who they are committed to BE for their referring doctors, their patients that they see and their community.  

What does balance look like? 

Not sure what it looks like, but I can sure tell you what it looks like when I am out of balance…’s not pretty!  

What movie always makes you laugh? 

Any comedy that Robin Williams or Billy Crystal is in!

What is the best gift you ever received?  

God’s love and the ability to see the “gift” in good or bad events in my life.

How do you take your coffee?

I am not picky about what my coffee has in it…..but it must be decaffeinated! I am not pretty on caffeine! 

What is your motto?

When you change the way you “think” about things, the things you think about change!

What scares you the most? 

People scare me the most….specifically, people that are not committed or interested in growth, closed-minded with an inward mindset.  They think about themselves and how they can benefit rather than thinking of others and how they can help others grow.