As a doctor recruiter with Heartland Dental, I spend a lot of time discussing career options with dentists. I tell them that the first impression of who they are, even before talking with them, comes from their resume. Although resumes provide essential details such as work history, education and applied skills, all too often, they fall short of highlighting one important trait that I look for: leadership.
Of all the responsibilities in the dental office, one of the most important is building patient relationships. The entire success of the practice depends upon the result of our ability to understand your patients as individuals, recognize and respond to their needs/wants and your ability to guide them to an informed decision that is in their own best interest. The dental school tends to focus on the technical aspects every dentist should have; however strategies on how to effectively communicate with patients isn’t always a focus in the curriculum.
Dentistry is a teamwork-driven field: we must learn to collaborate productively despite differences in our working styles. After all, the relationships between dentists, patients and employees are all important. Being in a profession where you work closely with people can be rewarding, but also challenging. Learning how to work with all types of people can prevent conflict, reduce stress and help your team achieve a common goal. So where do we start building these skills long before we put on those white coats and see patients of our own?