Dentists go to great lengths to try and build their practices. They invest a tremendous amount of time and money to become dentists and set up a practice by getting through college, dental school, and continuing education courses. They invest heavily in office space, dental equipment, office equipment, supplies, computers and many other expenses. In spite of all this they still have problems achieving the practice they would really like. This could be for a multitude of reasons, but the majority of these reasons are because of the blind spots they have in administration at the office.
What dentists consider their dream practice is certainly different for each. Regardless of what that is, some basic principles apply. Effectively managing a practice is paramount and often a major problem that is not addressed advantageously. How effective can they be at juggling the duties of doing the dentistry and being what others call the Chief Executive Officer? How much of their time is taken away from doing the dentistry to try to manage the office effectively? Why is it that some offices get so much more production than other offices while working approximately the same number of hours? They can do it because they are very adept at BOTH the technical and administrative responsibilities of dentistry.
If you are a dentist reading this, you have most likely had a dream to have a beautiful and productive practice at some point in your life. This may have been right out of school, when you started your practice, when you had children and needed to educate them or at some other time in your life. Some pursue this dream for the love of dentistry, some for the love of the money, but most dentists simply want to do great dentistry and be rewarded for it. I have seen so many dentists that really had a rough go trying to provide their families with the amenities that any good professional deserves. In order to do so, many have resorted to unusual solutions to try to generate the income they felt like they needed.
Many dentists just give up too easily and therefore don’t achieve their dreams. It’s not their dreams that fail them, we all can dream, but it is the lack of follow through to gain the needed knowledge that prevents their dreams from becoming reality.
Most dentists are absorbed into the technical aspects of the dentistry and aspire to do great dentistry and want to do just that: be dentists. A very small percent wants only to manage a practice and have someone else do the technical part. These diametrically opposed responsibilities can lead to a big dilemma when one is trying to do a good job with both. The vast majority are however strapped with doing both, like it or not. The question is “How does a dentist do a good job with both, at the same time?”
The typical scenario in dental practices is the doctor gets overloaded and overburdened because his employees are not organized or trained to handle the multitude of duties and functions needed to make an office highly productive and run smoothly at the same time. This is because he or she is dealing with front office personnel (i.e. receptionist, scheduler, financial coordinator, insurance coordinator, accounts payable staff and other administrative personnel) as well as back office personnel (i.e. dental assistants, hygienists and inside or outside laboratory technicians).All of these people must be dealt with, supervised and trained as well. All of the front and back office personnel are there solely to aid and expedite the efforts of the doctor(s) and the hygienist(s) to deliver higher quality dentistry without getting burnt out and actually enjoying the art and science of doing good dentistry. Being overwhelmed by the superabundance of duties and functions only adds to the problem and handcuffs one from overcoming it all.
You can rekindle some of your dreams to have the kind of practice that you have always wanted. For you that may be in a small part time or boutique practice, practicing a few days a week, an average 8-5 practice four to five days a week or a mega practice with high production statistics. Whichever is right for you due to your family, financial obligations and other needs is only known by you and is not for someone to advise you otherwise. So, stick to your goals and be true to yourself rather than what someone else tells you what you should do. Row your own boat the direction you want.
Taken from the works of my mentor and founder of Classic Practice Resources, Inc., Robert D. Westerman, D.D.S.
Get your practice organized and reap the benefits for years to come. If you do nothing, nothing will change.
Come see us in New Orleans at our Spice Up Your Practice Seminar and let us help you go for your dreams!