I’m a working dentist.
However, all my success has come because I run my practice as a business.
If there is one major complaint I have about dental schools, it’s that they focus on the skills you need to perform exactly one half of your job – clinical skills.
But being a successful dentist who runs one or more practices takes a lot more than knowing your way around the gumline. It takes business sense.
When I was starting out I had to learn these lessons. I wasted a lot of time and a lot more money making mistakes and learning from them. In the end I figured it out and was able to grow my business to include 14 practices.
I did this by developing processes and procedures that I was able to replicate over and over again.
Today’s young dentists have it even harder. Many of them graduate with so much debt that setting up a practice of their own right out of school is prohibitively expensive. So they join an existing practice as an associate.
Even then there is very little preparation provided in schools to help them land that first job or succeed and prepare for a financially secure future.
That’s not to say established dentists don’t have their own issues when it comes to the business of running a practice.
With Managed Service Organisations (MSOs) and Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) growing and expanding into just about every marketplace, established practices are increasingly feeling the competitive pinch.
It hard to compete when your competitor has the power to muscle suppliers and vendors because of the scale of their purchasing power.
So can an independent dentist succeed in this environment? Of course they can. But it means managing the practice as a business first. Dentists need to constantly reevaluate processes and procedures and offer superior service that makes every patient a brand ambassador who happily refers them to friends and family.
So how do you develop the skills necessary to manage your career in this business? If you are struggling at the beginning of your career or you are worried about MSOs and DSOs eating your lunch then you might want to start by looking at coaching programs for new dentists or advanced business coaching for dentists.
I’m happy to chat and help you decide what your next steps should be so that you can enjoy the success you deserve without wasting a lot of time trying to figure it out yourself. Drkevin@ascent-dental-solutions.com
And he knows that once you “get it right,” it’s not a great leap to replicate that success over and over again.
Today, in addition to his work as an actual dentist, Dr. Coughlin coaches, consults and speaks to dentists across the country on how to build the practice of their dreams – based on proven processes and procedures.
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