Recently a group of ROI employees and vacationing canadian dentists along with their spouses went on a cruise in the Mediterranean. It was a blend of professionaldevelopment, team building, friendship and pure leisure. What a great way to unwind, socialize and learn at the same time! Several canadian and a few American dentists shared common experiences, best practices and career concerns.
What follows is a summary of some of their wisdoms learned over the years:
On Health, Habits and Holidays
- It is necessary to get away from the office and simply recharge, rethink and relax.
- Socialize and work with positive, upbeat people.
- If you have a problem, do not procrastinate – take action.
- Laughter is truly a very fine medicine.
On Practice Management
- Professionals can never underestimate the importance of their staff to the success of their practice.
- Focus on and build a team you are proud of.
- Customer service and patient education should be a priority.
- Develop a financial plan with achievable goals and employ an accountant who understands dentistry.
- Professional development for practiationers and staff alike is a major building block of a successful practice.
- There have been significant advances in all aspects of dental software from sophisticated imaging tools, account keeping and patient follow-up procedures.
- Most practices would benefit from a treatment coordinator.
- A retirement plan can take many forms and should suit the individual.there is no one-size-fits-all.
- Retire early enough to enjoy it.
A surprise guest seminar speaker on the cruise was Major General Bill B. Lefler. The major general graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in 1956 and received D.D.S. training in Prosthodontics at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. he served 35 years in the Army Dental Corps. His last military assignment was Assistant Surgeon General and the 20th Chief, Army Dental Corps.
For the past 16 years he has practiced privately along with his dentist son, Thomas
and Dr. Edward E. Blaine in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.
Dr. Bill Lefler is a dynamic and engaging speaker. He related both practical advice and
humourous accounts experienced in his many years in dental practice. He has agreed to write an article for a future issue of the magazine.
Some of the advice the Major General offered follows:
- Dental graduates should never stop learning.
- It is difficult to practice alone. Practicing with other dentists gives you flexibility to attend courses and reduces your everyday stress levels.
- Dentists should not retire unless they become disabled.
- Dentistry is a wonderful profession that allows you to continue to grow in knowledge and experience.
- Dentists should take cruises/holidays that allow for both leisure and learning.
In this issue of Profitable Practice – Dental Edition, a number of topics related to practice management and professional care concerns are addressed. For example, one of this issue’s articles deals with treating patients with cancer. Safety issues and compliance in the dental office are examined in relation to the health and safety act. Leadership qualities as they relate to dentists and their practices are identified. In addition, a dentist and his spouse relate their journey into retirement with all of its emotional ups and downs.
As always we welcome your comments and suggestions for future issues.