In the world of professional basketball, a journeyman is a player who is talented enough to continue playing in the NBA, but never classified as a franchise player. So, he continues to be traded from team to team, never staying in one place too long. Thus, the moniker, Journeyman.
Jesse Chai is a dentist from Ontario who certainly has earned the right to wear the name, Journeyman. Although, one would be hard-pressed to equivocate to way he earned his title to the way the term is usually used in basketball. You would also never confuse Jesse with one of his hometown Toronto Raptors as he isn’t quite 6 feet tall. Luckily for the prospective patients in his area, you don’t have to be 7 feet tall or 250 pounds to become a perennial All-Star as a dentist.
Jesse has one of those hearts of a champion. You know the kind. He’s one of those guys who decided way back in his career that he wasn’t going to let anything stand in his way of becoming the best dentist he could become. When it became apparent to him that he couldn’t max out his potential without learning new ways of doing things, he began to search out the new ways that would take him where he wanted to go.
He traveled to almost every corner of North America you can name in search of a better way.
Somewhere along the way he stumbled upon my tiny hamlet of Ripley, Mississippi, and we struck up a friendship that will last until we both hang up our drills. I instantly liked the soft-spoken Dr. Chai. His quiet, unassuming manner belies a white-hot, intensity to learn, grow, and do better. No matter what endeavor he is undertaking.
He has proved that distance or time away from home have been no obstacle. Just in this millennium, he has logged over 1500 CE hours and 15,000 miles of travel getting them.
And, don’t be confused about his motives. Jesse is not one of those dentists who confuse the taking of CE hours with accomplishment. He has taken gems home from each and every stop along the way and implemented them in his practice in Bradford. His practice has grown by leaps and bounds in the 3 years that I have known him and I can’t imagine how far he is planning on taking his growth. Just as far as he decides, I imagine.
The only thing that has managed to slow down this road warrior is life itself. You see, there is a new Chai in town. This one is just about the same age as the friendship that I have with Jesse and his name is Evan. The jury is still out on just how much of a wrench the future Dr. Chai will throw into Jesse’s travel schedule, but my own personal experience is that it will be significant.
The best news may be for Evan. When he needs advice in about 20 years, Dad will be right there with a world of knowledge to impart. A real life dental version of Indiana Jones and his father.
This should be interesting.