3 Things to Prioritize in Order to be a Successful Dentist
What do you prioritize in your dental practice? What can you do to just make it work? Is it really that complicated? How come there are dentists who just makes it work and others don't? Does it mean they are just simply better than you are as a dentist? Or, is it something else? Through the years of meeting so many dentists in different geography, culture and beliefs and what I personally learned from my own failures and success I learned there are 3 important things a dentist should prioritize in order to make it work whether in private, group or corporate dental practice.
I. Your Investment
One has to make an investment in whatever we do to make something out of what we want to happen. There's simply no quick fix to get there. Investment in our dental practice just doesn't mean money because believe it or not it is the least you have to consider and money will just follow if we do invest first to what are critical and makes who we are as a dental practitioner. So what are they:
- Materials & Equipment
I've often mention in any of my lectures and training that knowledge is power. What we know helps us to make proper decisions in any aspect of our practice. The more we learn that more we get to see choices on what we can do. Even if you didn't like or believe the lecture or training you attended, you get to see another perspective. There's nothing wasted. There's always one idea we can get out of any lecture.
We have to invest our relationships with people may it be our family or the people we work with. Love your family and relatives but don't handle their treatments. Why? There's a reason why medical surgeons are ethically prohibited to operate their own family. Even lawyers are discouraged to handle cases of their immediate family. The reason is we are too close to be impartial and they are too comfortable to appreciate your efforts. You may not agree on this premise but in general it is truly the right thing to do.
We also need to invest on the people who work for us. Give them what they deserve to get and train them to be better than who they are. Our clinic staff are the first people who will handle your patients. You don't provide for them the proper compensation and training, you will actually lose more than you should. You also need to appreciate the "other partners" who makes your business and manner of treatment better. They are your salespeople. You may just think that they are just there to sell but in actuality if you listen and harness what they know, they will actually provide you more knowledge on what's better for your practice.
Most of all, you also got to invest good relations with your patients. Do your treatment like the way you wanted to be treated. Often time due to financial need, we ended up doing more harm than good to our patients. They are not just your cash cows but they are the building blocks of your success. Give them the best and they will do the same. Just follow the golden rule, Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. It is truly as simple as that.
Invest on good materials and equipment, they are your tools to implement what you know. There are 5 critical materials and equipment you simply can't be stingy about:
- Dental Chair
- Your Basic Dental Instruments and Instruments Your Specialized In
- Infection Control...Face Mask, Gloves and Autoclave
I will explain why in my other blogs why...but I believe if you are a professional you already know the reasons why. We can't simply confine ourselves with materials we used when we were students. We are NOT dental students anymore, we are dentists who needs to appreciate and know the proper tools for our trade.
I often wonder why our rules in our profession in regards to marketing are so restricting. I believe we are the only few countries left that has so many prohibitions and restrictions in regards to it. It is ironic that we prohibit legitimate marketing methods for our dental practice to flourish yet most of us practice unethically do things that we shouldn't. Some of us ridiculously lower prices like bargain deal stores. Some resort to damaging others reputation to ambulance chase patients. Some resort to treatments unnecessary to do. True, word of mouth is still reliable but we go back to my premise earlier of the road less traveled, and definitely this is the total opposite of it. Marketing ones profession is not bad if done right. No matter how great you are you can never be what you want to be as a dentist if you are the only one who knows that.
Most often than not we fail because of our attitude. We are restricting ourselves to be the best of who we can be because of wrong attitude. I have met a lot of successful dentists who are not that good academically and clinically but became successful in their craft because they have the right attitude to become successful. Successful people take the road less traveled. First of all, you are not competing with others, you are competing with yourself. You can't control what others will do but you can control yours. And, believing in what you can do and putting value to it is the first step to make it work. You got to value who you are as a professional and the way you charge your treatments is a reflection of how you value yourself and what you can do as a dentist. You charge less means you look at yourself less. You are just in it to survive. Unfortunately, majority does that, hence, dental practice in the Philippines is cheap. We got to simply change that. We also need to be open to possibilities and opportunities. Restricting ourselves because that's what the general society demands us to be will never make us great. We will just be like everyone else. Learn to explore in what you do and discover other venues that can make your dental practice better than you can imagine. Be determined and don't look at your failures as a bane of your life but a blessing in disguise. Most of the time, our failures not only makes us better dentists but better human beings...In the end it is not our failures that define us but how we react to it. And, success is never about how rich you are but how you look at who you are.
As they say "No man is an island". Precisely. We need to take care of our support system. You need to be surrounded by people who can provide you inspiration and determination to be the best that you can be. This is not only your family and friends but people in your environment that can provide you opportunities to make you shine, I would never have gotten to where I am without the support of the people around me. I learned that your interaction with your support system is a two way thing to make it work. You have to give as much as you receive and sometimes even more. All the good tidings will bounce back to you. You also need to look at opportunities given to you. Most of the time opportunities given to you to be the best at what you can do is more worthy than just providing you financial gain.
Bottom line...learning to prioritize according to what is important to you, will provide you the best possible environment to be the best of who you can be as a professional dentist and as a person. And, remember we can't give the best service if we don't have the capacity to give...so...NEVER short sale yourself as a professional.
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