Maurice Clarett, David and Goliath, and Dental Practice Management

Inspiration to set your dental practice vision

Sat with my family watching a 30 Under 30 documentary on Maurice Clarett last Football inspires dental practice visionnight. Amazing what he is doing with his life after some incredible ups (first freshman to play at OSU & helped them win their first national title in 38 years) and some devastating downs (spent 3 years in prison for gun & theft charges). Now he is talking with kids through churches & youth programs & visiting prisons to share his story & how people can turn their lives around no matter their circumstances.

This story of intentional living through difficult setbacks matches up perfectly with Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, David and Goliath. As always, Gladwell takes an assumption that everyone knows to be true and then proves why its false. In this case, it is the idea that going through a difficult experience (such as having dyslexia or losing a parent at a young age) actually causes people to develop their personality and skills in a unique way that results in amazing accomplishments.

Gladwell shares stories of individuals with painful childhoods that shape them into “disagreeable” people (they are willing to take risks and disagree with their peers and supervisors) and they go on to help cure cancer or build successful companies or become President! So, what does all this have to do with dentistry?

Running a dental practice is tough. And there are times when you feel like a failure. You work hard to provide the best denture you can for your patient who refuses to pay you. You love your staff and know they would like a raise, but insurance keeps paying less and you just don’t have the profits to afford an increase. If you are facing serious challenges and setbacks in your practice, then taking some inspiration from Maurice Clarett might be helpful. Focus on your purpose in this life. Maybe now is the time when you will more clearly define your dental practice vision?

Dental Practice Management can be a Challenge

As the ADA identifies trends that suggest that dentistry will continue to be challenging in the future, this feeling that running a dental practice is harder than it should be or than we thought it would be, may affect more dentists. Facing serious challenges in private practice, dentists will have the opportunity to have this experience shape who they are and then choose what they will do next. One great example of this is a dentist I know who suffered an experience of embezzlement in her practice. The financial and emotional impact of this experience were devastating and she will be handling the financial impact. One day, she shared with me that she had a patient in her chair for a crown prep. Obviously, she must have diagnosed that in the past, but looking now, she saw no reason to place a crown. So, she sat the patient up and told her – no crown today. For a dentist working to cover payroll week to week, this was a difficult financial choice. However, she felt such pride knowing that despite her personal challenges, she could do the right thing and this gave her strength to face the reality of running her practice and the confidence that she could make those tough decisions and be true to herself.

Overcoming adversity¬†is just one way to run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog. One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 16+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.

Feel free to email me.

photo credit: aaronisnotcool via photopin cc

AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
jill@dentalpracticecoaching.com
1 Comment
  • C. Smith dds

    It seems like there is such huge emphasis on $$$$ today. It helps me to read about one of us doing “the right thing” at a personal cost. This sets a standard I’ll try to match!

    January 16, 2014