Chris Salierno, DDS
THERE HAVE BEEN SOME TROUBLING REPORTS about the state of our
profession. According to analysis from the ADA’s Health Policy Institute, a third of
dentists say they aren’t busy enough.
1 Dr. Roger Levin’s 2016 Annual Research
Report stated that 27% of respondents are experiencing high or extremely high
2 Then there are stagnant dentist incomes, plateaued adult dental services,
rising numbers of dentists . . . I could go on.
But there’s one statistic that has yet to be reported. It’s
not something that could be easily measured or polled. It’s
the number of dentists who are passive managers.
Passive business owners wait for success to happen to
them. They wonder when the economy is going to “turn
around.” They get frustrated by employee errors, but they
don’t correct them. They don’t invest in better technology
or accommodations for their practices because they believe
what they have is “good enough.”
Active business owners make success happen. They
pay attention to key performance indicators. They strategize
how they can attract more patients. They think about
return on investment.
I don’t have a clear statistic about the numbers of passive
dentist business owners in the United States in 2017 to
share with you, but I suspect we’re in the middle of an
epidemic. It could be argued that much of the troubling
data we do have shares a common contributing factor: a
passive manager at the helm. An active dentist will attract
patients, manage overhead, and lead his or her team
regardless of the larger economic forces at play.
The good news is that becoming an active manager is
not an insurmountable task. There are resources with
which we can avail ourselves. We can read Dental Economics,
hire the services of a consultant, and attend meetings that
foster a healthy exchange of ideas.
This leads me to Principles of Practice Management
conference, where I recharge my batteries and expand my
business acumen with other like-minded dentists. I’ll be
in Charlotte July 20–21 to get inspired by lecturers covering
all aspects of the business of dentistry. I’ll also hang out
with dentists from across the country who want to better
themselves and their practices.
Whatever means we choose, we can lead our profession
by becoming more active managers. If our businesses are
strong and our spirits are high, we can face any economic
challenge that may come our way.
for more information and registration
1. Vujicic M. Solving dentistry’s “busyness” problem. J Am Dent
Assoc. 2015;146( 8):641-643.
2. Levin R. Research report: Business practices for dental practices.
Dental Economics website. http://www.dentaleconomics.com/
business-practices-for-dental-practices.html. Published October
26, 2016. Accessed May 2, 2017.
MACRO & OP/ED