5 simple ways to enjoy being in your office more and rejuvenating your love of dentistry!
It’s no secret that whether it be at work or in our personal lives, we often fall in to routines or “ruts”. In my surveys and conversations with colleagues, there are a few things that I find interesting:
- When asked what they like most about being a dentist, the #1 answer is always “doing the dentistry” (as opposed to owning a business, the lifestyle, etc.)
- Everyone wants to stay current with clinical breakthroughs and advances in technologies, but more importantly they want to do procedures that are “fun” (i.e. give patients comfort or make them look better) and are also “challenging” to them
- Office teams take great pride in the “physical aspects” of the office itself (creating a better overall patient experience and a nicer work environment)
While these findings are neither “earth-shattering” nor “surprising”, they got me thinking as to ways to (almost immediately) improve the “mindset” of being AT the office and/or practicing dentistry.
These are in no particular order of importance:
Yes, renovating or updating equipment in the operatories is great, and often very much needed, but it is amazing as to how great you feel when you look at the “other parts of the office” and decide to take on the task of improving their look or feel. Specifically, here are three places to consider (these are in order of my suggestion):
- Reception area – still the first impression for your patients, and I’m surprised as to how many offices I go in where it looks as if there is little to no attention being paid as to what’s going on there (other than it is formally cleaned regularly). This is simple: For starters, take a few minutes and remove old or outdated brochures or magazines. Consider a new subscription that may be of interest to your core patient base. What about technology? What can be added? How’s the Wi-Fi reception?
- Your private office – often messy and unorganized, and many dentists spend lots of time there! Take a weekend and clean it up, or paint it a different color. Re-arrange the location of your desk/computer. These little things add up and get you in a better frame of mind when treating patients.
- The staff/team room – many offices have a recreation/lunch room or something like that. Have a meeting with everyone and decide on THREE ways you will give it a facelift or add something to it that could make it a more comfortable place to be!
This is an easy one for me. If you look at your monthly or regular orders, you’ll see they’re often almost identical—what you order and the dollar amount. I’ve found that by challenging colleagues to try at least 2-3 new products every order, they look forward to then using them chairside and finding out what they are “missing”! Next time you order from Safco, try an ADDITIONAL (order what you already like and try another within the category) composite or bur or impression material or bonding agent or cement or all of the above!
I’ve had at least a dozen conversations with colleagues the past month that have told me that by getting trained on a new procedure or system, it’s literally “rejuvenated” them and they can’t wait to get to the office every day. The best programs, of course, are those that offer both additional income and patient “thank you’s” for helping them feel or look better. What have you considered? Examples include: sleep apnea, mini-implants, chronic pain management, or Botox.
Yes, we can’t fulfill ALL our CE requirements by doing this, as it is a bit time consuming and costly, but to do so once or twice a year makes sense and absolutely refreshes you (and it’s a write off obviously!) I’m not talking about just doing an overnight by going to a major or local trade show. I mean a VACATION too! Here’s a great choice to consider: A CE cruise like Smiles at Sea! (www.smilesatsea.com) – just a few days, affordable, great locations, great faculty, and great networking! Take the entire team! Enjoy!
88% of dentists say that they would enjoy practicing even MORE if they also had another dental related income coming in, as to break up the monotony a bit and lessen the financial ‘stress’ of running the practice. Many don’t know what else is out there or available for them. Years ago, I created a unique two day workshop called “Beyond the Operatory” that offers an overview of how you can leverage your dental background and experience in 20+ areas such as consulting, speaking, writing, corporate positions, product development, etc. Check it out at www.beyondtheoperatory.com. There are a just a couple of seats left for April session and if you contact me at email@example.com I will offer those that come from this post a $200 discount!
Dr. Anthony Stefanou, D.M.D. – “Dr. Tony”