Right after a pediatric residency, I leapt into a thriving, bustling practice and from day one I was able to plug myself in with relative ease. It wasn’t until a little later that I realized my comfort in practicing in this practice centered on existing systems and personnel established by the leader of the practice. But how did the right people end up in their roles? How were they selected? How were they trained? These questions slowly became evident as I watched and learned.
As dentists, we’re in the business of prevention. But what happens when in spite of our preventive efforts, our patients develop a problem? We quickly move into damage control mode to protect our patients’ interests. Shouldn’t we do the same for ourselves?
That’s why we need insurance. When something happens, we want to control the damage and protect our interests. Would you ever consider leaving an auto dealer with your new car and no auto insurance? You have so much invested in your decision to become a dentist, and as a result of this investment, you have tremendous earning potential. Yet although you’d insure your car without hesitation, you still haven’t insured yourself.
Maybe you just don’t know what you need. Unfortunately, both of us got a quick education when we had to use our insurance plans early in our careers. We are hoping that our stories will help to illustrate which insurance coverage you need as soon as you get your license, and why.
For many of us, it’s in our nature to avoid uncomfortable conversations. Whether out of the fear of offending someone, hurting their feelings or being humbled by having to admit a mistake, we put those conversations off. But in our roles as health care providers, we can’t avoid conflict. We must be able to have the uncomfortable or unpleasant, but honest, conversation.
Dental students learn early on that they must learn to manage all forms of dental anxiety in their patients. While reassurance and a friendly smile can go a long way, effective communication is essential to helping patients feel comfortable in potentially stressful situations. In fact, many of us have already began working on these important skills before dental school, sometimes without even realizing it. I believe that the best way to maximize the development of your interpersonal skills is to immerse yourself in activities that require you to constantly interact with people, such as part-time employment.
Buying a car is the No. 1 way to practice negotiating skills. Countless hours are spent researching the specs, price point and availability of a desired make and model. It can take hours in a dealership to leave with a negotiated selling point.
Dentistry does not have the luxury of spending a whole Saturday to discuss treatment options with one patient. Some key points will help dental office negotiations become mutually advantageous for dentists and patients.
“Dentistry is the easiest part of your day.” Words by Boston University graduate Dr. Courtney Brady. One of the biggest challenges in a day is managing the people you encounter. Many leaders assume that extrinsic rewards, such as a raise, will motivate others to work harder. But researchers have found that what lasts are personal relationships and a sense of belonging by the provision of intrinsic rewards. In the busy environment of a dental office, it can be easy for dentists to forget to be understanding or working to gain trust from their patients and team. The workflow at a dental office can be stressful and fast paced; so slow down when it comes to managing people. I interviewed Dr. Brady on what she learned over the years as the lead dentist in a private practice. Here are some essential tips on managing people…
Graduating from the preclinical labs to the predoctoral clinic brought a lot of anxiety and the unexpected. The experience has been very rewarding though I wish I’d known a few little nuggets beforehand that would have made the transition smoother. Here are a few tidbits that have helped me the past two years in clinic. I hope they can be beneficial to you as well!