Rules Learned As A Certified Dentist – Part 2

Here is the continuation from the last post – Rules Learned As A Certified Dentist – Part 1

4) Learn To Relax

In the start, I was one of those individuals who would think about everything and look to micromanage. If a team member wasn’t doing their job, I was right up in their grill looking for answers and telling them to do better. This got to the point where I got mad if they wanted days off too. I was only thinking about my bills, scheduling, and how my job would go if these things didn’t line up. In the end, this made things worse!

It was at one point when I realized my team members were human beings and had to live their lives too. I had to value their loyalty at the clinic because they kept things running even when it got hard. These were trained professionals who were an important cog in the machine with their roles and responsibilities. They deserved my trust because they had earned it and being in their business was only going to bog things down. I didn’t have to question them as long as I knew they were competent.

One of the biggest things I have changed my mind on would be the idea of bringing children/grandchildren to the clinic. In the past, I would have got in their way and said “no” to the idea. Now, I don’t mind at all and the children are a pleasant addition to the clinic.

The reason they’re bringing these children to the office has to do with their loyalty to me. They want to work hard even if they have to take care of the children. So, getting mad at them is unfair. Their children should be welcome.

It is the same for other things to whether it has to do with vacation time, health insurance, sick leave, or even retirement. You have to give when it comes to the team as a dentist.

5) Run Clinic Like A Business

Yes, everyone wants to think about running a clinic that helps people but you also want to make money. The goal is to run things like a business and not just assume it will take care of itself. The expenses should never eat into the profits. You want to ensure you don’t end up going bankrupt after all! This is why you want to have a look at everything including work hours, benefits, and job descriptions for your employees so there are no gaps in how things function at the clinic. You also want to keep tabs on the accounts receivable (money being paid to you) and not overspend.

Of course, you will have to make investments from time whether it has to do with new equipment or training. You want to learn to optimize it all so you are running a good clinic that brings in money year-round. Learn to use the time at your clinic and focus on the details.

You should look into booking the schedule so you have enough time to carry out treatments without major gaps. Timing procedures can be good and something you will learn over the years as you get steadier as a professional. Sometimes, patients want to be in and out as soon as possible, so you are doing well.

Being efficient is not a bad thing and patients will appreciate it as long as you have good “bedside” manner.

6) Use Guidelines Not Strict Rules

The last rule is to remember these are guidelines and not strict rules you have to adhere to. The same applies to any rule. You want to learn and adapt as much as possible because becoming static is not a good thing as a dentist. You want to think about everything.

Look at avoiding rushing into a solo private practice. Yes, you want to be your own boss but there are so many things to look at such as the bills in such a position. Can you handle it right off the bat?

This is why splitting the burden can be a good idea. Yes, I am lucky to be a boss but it does take time and you have to make sacrifices.

The last tidbit to focus on would be to learn to find a good group of people such as your family and friends to share with. This is the caring environment you want to be in.

Here are A Few Things Dental School Might Not Have Taught You

Dental school is what forms students into future clinicians. Successful graduation launches a successful career for most. The core education of dental school is crucial, but you’ll discover sooner or later that it doesn’t teach you everything you need to know. As your career moves forward, you’ll continue learning certain things. So, regardless of whether or not you’re in an established practice or just looking for your first clinic or office, there are a number of things you should know:

Patient care is far more important than your patient base is. Most dentists dream of the ideal plan where they graduate dental school, pay down student loans during their few years of working for someone else and then get rich with their own practice. Many probably expect to work in a fee-for-service practice, where every patient has the means to pay for all their needed dentistry. These lofty expectations can create disappointment later, as they wind up in an office whose core patients aren’t as ideal. If that was your own thinking, don’t let disappointment get you down. The individual care that you provide every patient is more critical than the larger patient base you’re providing it to.

When you treat various patients without worrying about any socioeconomic status they might have at the time, you’re able to ramp up your speed, adapt to an increased patient count, and perform increasingly complicated procedures, all the while enhancing cost-effectiveness and efficiency. You’ll gain both professional experience and self-confidence that eventually makes you stand out on your own.

Don’t go chasing a perfect schedule, because it just doesn’t exist. Disruptions are going to be a part of a normal day, and consistent focus is necessary to get through them. You’ll have far more relief when you realize that your ideal day will never happen, or just not happen that often. Then, you can cut it out with the frustration, free to deal with any surprises efficiently, promptly, and with a smile on your face. You’ll learn how important it is to convert an emergency into a full exam. Learn time management and practice it, rather than hoping for some smooth routine free of distractions or interruptions.

Never fear failure. Being afraid of failure can cripple you. A lot of dentists get anxious that making mistakes means patients aren’t going to like them. They also dread giving patients bad news or saying something they’d rather not hear, since they might think poorly of them and not come back. Facing your fears, even failures, is crucial in all areas of life, be it public speaking, romance, or just presenting a patient a treatment plan. If you never fail, you’re not pushing yourself enough. Seeking out challenges regularly helps you prevent fear from ruling your life, so you can grow as a professional, a team, and an entire clinic, practice, or office.

Communication always proves critical to a thriving practice. If things at your office are going through a downturn, take a look at enhancing your patient communications. Having said that, look at improving your communication with team members too. Altering your methods of communication can actually grow your patient pool and enhance the first impression your brand makes. You’ll cut down on no-shows and boost the acceptance of treatment plans. Additionally, team members that communicate smoothly with each other offer higher-caliber care with increased organization.

Do you know how to spell the word leadership? Try T, R, U, S, and T. In the end, being a great dentist isn’t enough to run a thriving practice. You’ll also be a leader, and you need to invest in the people surrounding you. That’s going to mean you trusting them, just as much as they need to trust you. There are quite a few dentists later in their careers who look back and realized they could have made better use of their assistants instead of juggling everything on their own. Delegate responsibilities to team members to illustrate your trust in them. Learn with them, help them out when they struggle, and let them have room to grow and learn, together and individually. Everyone on board benefits from this.

Dental school gives every student crucial skills they can use to make lives better, every day of their career. However, there are some lessons that don’t get learned until you’re a professional. You’re not going to have perfect days very often, but keeping in mind what you’ve read here and it will enrich the experience for you.