December 16, 2019 Paul Henny DDS

According to Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, he had to rewrite his book 150-200 times until he was happy with it. And he began by imagining the end of the story, then the beginning, then the chapter headings, then the writing…over and over again. In the end, Markus had a New York Times Best Seller, with 8,000,000 million copies sold and a movie deal. 

One might be tempted to view Markus Zusak as an overnight success but knowing what I have just told you allows you to understand that’s not the truth.

So too is the case with relationship-based/health-centered dentistry. The creation of the practice takes years, starting much like Zusak’s book—beginning with the end in mind. From there, each aspect is assembled from finding and forming the right care team, to developing them, and to finding better and better ways to connect with patients: truly hearing them, understanding their struggles, and sensing their desire to feel better about themselves. 

Along the way, you will make mistakes, have misunderstandings, and outright fail. This will prompt you to rethink, revise, and redo. This is the true nature of success. We learn and move upward with better understanding. 

It has been said that the main difference between a vision and a dream is the work involved.

The later requires none. The former’s work never ends. A true vision is a principle-centered thought capsule aching to be validated by reality. It has an inherent truth built into it which must be realized. And as with Zusak, if it takes 200 revisions to make it happen, then it takes 200 revisions. So be it! 

The simple secret to success is the willingness to be flexible and to accommodate new understandings combined with a sheer force of will and perseverance that only a few are willing to make. 

Related Course

Pankey Scholar 15B

DATE: September 4 2025 @ 6:00 pm - September 6 2025 @ 3:00 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute


Dentist Tuition: $ 3495

Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (per night): $ 345

“A Pankey Scholar is one who has demonstrated a commitment to apply the principles, practices and philosophy they learned through their journey at The Pankey Institute.”   At its core,…

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Paul Henny DDS

Dr. Paul Henny maintains an esthetically-focused restorative practice in Roanoke, Virginia. Additionally, he has been a national speaker in dentistry, a visiting faculty member of the Pankey Institute, and visiting lecturer at the Jefferson College or Health Sciences. Dr. Henny has been a member of the Roanoke Valley Dental Society, The Academy of General Dentistry, The American College of Oral Implantology, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantology. He is Past President and co-founder of the Robert F. Barkley Dental Study Club.