And now I think I understand.
After getting a pretty minor procedure, having it go well, then passing out in the chair, I ended up being held for a half hour so they could monitor me. I was talking to the assistant, who's going back to nursing school this summer. She "likes blood and guts", and enjoys this kind of work. The surgeon, I found out, was a drama major who shadowed a periodontist. She got to watch a surgery where they had to pull this fellow's gums completely back, said "cool!", and went to night school for bio, then to dentistry school.
This morning, I couldn't understand the appeal of cutting up peoples' mouths at all. This afternoon, I think I get it. Because I think most of us have had a moment where we get a peek into something bizarre or disgusting, and say "cool!".
These guys were great, and it's really nice to know that your surgeons really enjoy their work. A++, would do blood and guts with those guys again.