Hoping For My Dental Practice To Change
I’m Dr Rachel Hall and I’ve been a dentist for over 25 years. Since 2005 I have owned my practice, which I started from scratch. I’ve had my fair shares of ups and downs, challenges, struggles and frustrations during my career, to the point where at times I felt so stressed, flat and exhausted that I seriously considered throwing in the towel and walking away from dental completely.
It seems I went to the ‘Dental School of Hard Knocks’.
However, it hasn’t been all struggle and frustration, sure its been a lot of hard work – I didn’t say it was easy. Thankfully for me even in the tough times I have found a way to bounce back, overcome and learn from my life experiences. And because of that there have also been many victories and rewarding moments.
I consider myself to be very successful, and fortunate, as I have be able to find a work life balance that provides a lifestyle that supports me in many ways. But it took me 20 years of trial and error to reach this point. So what changed for me? I’ll come to that later. . .
Ask yourself, does this sound familiar?
Trying To Juggle Your Dental Practice
You go to the office day after day, diligently treating your patients and doing your best yet you don’t seem to be generating the kind of income you need or deserve.
You take as much continuing education as you can fit in around your clinical hours – learning new techniques and honing your skills, you buy the latest and greatest whizz-bang dental equipment and read as many dental journals and publications you can get your hands on, you are part of every online forum and dental group – yet nothing changes!
You still don’t have enough new patients and the patients you do have never say yes to big treatment cases. You feel like you need to discount your prices or reduce your fees to have patients say yes. You offer compromised treatments over optimal dentistry because the last time you told someone they needed more than one crown they didn’t go ahead with treatment, instead they went to the dental office down the road for a second opinion and had the work done there.
You find it hard to manage your time, you’re working all the hours God sends and are constantly having to juggle everything in your office because your team simply can’t do things as well as you can.
You’d like to take a holiday but can’t possibly take time off, you miss out on your kids activities because you are always in the office and even when you are at home you don’t seem to be able to switch off.
You’re doing tasks you aren’t particularly good at or don’t enjoy. All you want to do is drill teeth but the team bombard you with stupid questions and you are constantly putting out fires.
Your appointment book has multiple personalities – its either crammed full and double booked and you’ve spend all day chasing your tail, only to end up making hardly any money or it’s so empty you are terrified that you aren’t going to be able to pay your bills, let alone yourself.
You have a team member who upsets all the patients and the rest of the team yet you can’t let them go as without them things would be even worse because she’s the only one who knows how to do things around here.
And on and on we could go!
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results.
How Can You Make A Change In Your Dental Office?
So why as dentists do we keep thinking if only I do more education, get the latest technology, discount my fees, do more in the office things will change? Why do we let ourselves put up with team members who hold us hostage as they have us believe things will fall apart without them? Why do we not value ourselves, our time and our service to charge what we are worth and to take charge of our dental office?
It’s time to get real . . . to take a reality check. If you want things to change you need to change. The problem is you often don’t know what to change or how to change it, as you don’t know what you don’t know.
I was just like you – my mentality was if I work harder it’ll get better – and all I did was end up wearing myself out, damaging my health and putting a strain on my relationships.
So what changed for me? I decided to take charge and stop being a dentist who owns a dental office and become a business owner who runs a dental office. I sought help and support and got myself coaching and mentoring in business and life skills. I worked on my mindset and honed my communication, management and leadership skills. I learnt from others who had been there done that and then applied what they taught me and what they had done my way in my office. I was willing to give things a try and take calculated risks as I was determined that I was going to enjoy my dentistry and have a successful career.
By working on my business and on myself things have fallen into place in my life that I could never have dreamt of and I want to share those lessons and insights with you so you can be successful and happy now.
Don’t waste years expecting things to change without making any changes. Seek the support and guidance that you need, learn from those who have been there before you. Working in isolation and thinking you can doing it all on your own is tough – its a slow road to nowhere fast. You don’t have to do it alone to be successful, in fact that is a recipe for failure or just getting by.
Together we can develop so much more than you could ever imagined was possible.
How long are you going to keep doing the same things over and over, expecting different results?