It’s been said that the concept of work-life balance doesn’t exist; that it’s a meaningless term and that, in the search for well-being, we’ve become disconnected from the value of hard work. But Dr. Pamela Wigle – entrepreneur, dentist, practice owner and mother of two children and three pets – will tell you differently. When asked why she decided upon practice ownership, Dr. Wigle answered in a way that proves work-life balance is real and necessary for a truly fulfilling life. “(For) my children, my health, feeling the need for balance, and timing.”
As a graduate of Fanshawe College, Dr. Wigle began her career as a dental assistant in the late 90s. She made the decision to return to school for an undergrad Science degree and then continued her education at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University. After graduating in 2006, she immediately (next day) began working as a dentist in London. A few years later, she moved back to Thunder Bay (she’s a Dryden, Ontario native) to work for a busy practice that focused on different levels of sedation and care of very anxious patients. With some solid experience under her dental coat, she decided to return to London, and as if she wasn’t busy enough, it was around this time that Dr. Wigle started her family (she’s now mum to Wyatt, 5 and Georja, almost 4). But even as she learned more and deepened her passion for dentistry and being a mother, something didn’t feel quite right.
“I had a wonderful career as a dental associate at a busy London practice for many years where I had the opportunity to work with amazing dentists and a supportive team. Over time, I was finding myself feeling like I wasn’t being the mom I wanted to be while at home or the dentist I wanted to be while at work,” said Dr. Wigle. As the saying goes, the stars aligned when, just as she decided she needed a change, a small, centrally located practice was put up for sale in London. Through an old friend and colleague from her days at dental school, Dr. Wigle purchased what is now Pamela Wigle Family Dentistry and opened her own practice on January 5th of this year.
Located at 366 Oxford Street East in suite 102, Dr. Wigle’s practice focuses on children and family dentistry, offering clients and patients an experience that is comfortable, accommodating and trustworthy. “Our plan was to create a downtown boutique dental office; a welcoming environment with up-to-date equipment. There are so many times we have a family with two, three or four children here all at the same time, running around playing or getting their teeth cleaned. I wanted to take some of that stress (of visiting the dentist with multiple children) away by providing activities for the kids or the TV with Netflix to watch a movie or show while patiently waiting for their turn,” said Dr. Wigle.
Although they do enjoy assisting families, all are welcome at Dr. Wigle’s practice for varying procedures such as teeth whitening, extractions, cosmetics and more. To better accommodate patients of all ages, the office has recently been renovated (it does include a kid’s corner for their younger clients). The recent updates have brought in the most contemporary technology and have created an open-concept, comfortable feel. For Dr. Wigle and her team, it is their home away from home, and family away
“I think the main reason our team is one of the best in London is because of the true connection we have with one another. We are friends and have all been friends prior to starting this practice together. Our patients can see and feel the closeness we share which, for patients, translates into more consistent care because we communicate well and are on the same page,” explains Dr. Wigle.
Although the practice itself is relatively new, the team at Pamela Wigle Family Dentistry comes with a lot of experience. Andrea Bos started the practice with Dr. Wigle as the team’s office manager and dental receptionist and assistant. Having worked closely together for the past five years, Bos now, according to Dr. Wigle, “runs the office and runs my work life. She knows me better than anyone.” Lori Gicante is the practice’s registered dental hygienist with over 16 years of experience. “Lori is a very passionate person, at home, at work, as a friend and as a mom. She arrives every morning, ready to give 100% with a huge smile on her face and a cup of coffee.” The practice’s dental assistant is Anna Marcoccia. She’s the office veteran, having come to Dr. Wigle’s practice after spending 22 years at her previous dentist’s office. “Anna and Lori are friends and so I met Anna early in our practice opening. I knew from our first meeting that she would be a great fit for our team. We were just waiting until her previous employer retired (for her to
Dr. Wigle says she is inspired by her parents and the work ethic she learned from them. “My parents are so proud of me. I remember when I graduated dental school, my dad had one request: if I were to get married, to not change my name because he is so proud of ‘Dr. Wigle!’ I told him, ‘Deal!’ and so far, no marriage proposals.”
Dr. Wigle sees the practice continuing to grow and provide both a comfortable, family-oriented experience for her clients and a fantastic, close-knit working environment for herself and her staff. And it seems that Dr. Wigle’s stars have been kept in line, as the practice has grown from operating just two days a week to now four days a week, including evenings, in just 8 short months.
“I feel like what I’m doing right now is my greatest professional accomplishment. I have always worked hard and had a strong work ethic, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to go to work every morning and take pride in what we are building every day.”
With feelings like that, Dr. Pamela Wigle clearly demonstrates that there is meaning in finding a work-life balance.