Have you ever wondered why people say that? Sometimes it’s their brain going all mushy from the fear they are experiencing. Sometimes, it’s a reflection of your perceived earning capacity based on an individual’s political leaning. Other times it’s the patient just being deliberately rude.
Ask yourself now, which of those three types of people do you want to keep. Ever since the new contract, I have never let that comment go without addressing it. And as far as I can remember, I haven’t heard it said to me in the last 10 years.
The bulk of those who are afraid can be treated with compassion and caring, given dentistry that no way matches the experiences they had previously.
The bulk of those who object to the fact you want to earn a decent living can be invited to seek their care elsewhere. The same goes for those who think they can be abusive and get away with it.
There should be a revolution happening in dentistry, but I don’t see it. Oh, there are select practices that are beacons on how dentistry should be delivered, but many are far away from where they should be. Which type of practice do you work in/own? The fact you are reading this suggests to me that you aren’t the ones we need to worry about.
Yes, that’s the word I would use. Through the Dentinal Tubules network, I’ve met a lot of dentists who are right at the top of their game. They are skilled clinicians with excellent communications skills. The practice owners amongst them gather quality staff and quality patients. Underperforming staff are rooted out. Shoddy business practices are banned. Dubious sales techniques are eradicated. All to build an environment where trust can blossom, where patients feel safe, valued and respected. And where clinicians and support staff can thrive.
And then you hear about the utter sh*t that still goes on and you realise how far we have to go. Associates not being paid. Associates entering into agreements and then reneging on that so they can work somewhere more “lucrative”. Treatment done for the £££ rather than for the wellbeing of the patient. Staff taking the piss. Bosses abusing their staff. Supervised neglect and shoddy record-keeping. Abusive patients and people who constantly fail to arrive.
THERE IS NO REASON FOR ANY OF THAT.
Sooner or later, this sort of stuff gets smoked out. It’s the hidden hand of the market, backed up by regulators, lawyers and social media. More and more, the only way to survive will be:
- Working ethically
- Having good clinical skills
- Having good communication skills
- Having good systems in place
- Respecting dentists and support staff, whilst knowing when to remove those who don’t make the grade
- Knowing what you want as a dentist.
- Working towards financial freedom rather than the next flash car payment
- Keeping up to date with the laws and regulations.
- Being selective in who you treat and using your patient base as your primary referral tool (for none referral-based practices)
If you aren’t able to do that, then I would question why you aren’t making the change. With commitment and maybe a bit of help, I would say we could transform dentistry in this country. It’s already started, like the Beacons of Gondor, the example and the message spreading across the country. So if you aren’t working in/owning one of these stupendous practices, what’s stopping you.
- You don’t need marble floors and blue mood lighting … you just need well kept and clean premises.
- You don’t need to have the composite skills of Newton Fahl … you just need to be competent at the treatments you choose to do
- You don’t need to have the hypnotic powers of Paul McKenna … you just need to be able to talk to people openly and honestly about what you can do for them.
- You don’t need to be a doormat or a dictator … you just need to know the tolerances in patient behaviour of you and your practice and then avoid treating those that you have no rapport with.
I’ve been involved in dentistry since 1990 when I first stepped through my dental school’s hallowed doors. If you want to know what those decades taught me, well it’s all in this book:
“How I wish this book had been available 30 years ago” – NA
“An insightful and interesting collection of hints and tips suitable for anyone working in dentistry” – SS
“The true reality of what being a dentist is really like and what they have to face” – AS
Oh and it’s not for everyone, let’s be clear about that.
“Contradictory waffle” – M ;)
Why not have a read and decide for yourself. It’s now even available on Amazon kindle unlimited.