PMA | 7 Habits of Highly Effective Dentists

7 Habits of Highly Effective Dentists

Lynne Nelson

The first few years of practicing dentistry can be intimidating. From financing your practice to hiring staff and creating your brand, developing the foundation for your career in dentistry takes much hard work. While mistakes might be inevitable, you can be proactive in your efforts by fostering habits of highly effective dentists.

  1. Continuing Education: What is considered a healthy overhead for my practice? Am I on target within each of my expense categories? Not wanting to trip over dollars to pick up dimes, how do we maintain a cost-effective approach to ordering supplies? What is my return on investment for my practice marketing? Dental schools can teach you how to be a great dentist, but most don’t show you how to be a successful business owner. Continuing your business education is a critical factor in developing your ideal practice in the future. While success won’t happen overnight, you’ll benefit from building a solid business foundation earlier than later in your career. The effective young dentist and their practice never stop evolving or improving.
  2. Communicate: To be a great dentist, you have to be a great communicator. Strong, purposeful communication skills will allow you to effectively manage staff, help patients to understand their treatment options and grow your practice. Understanding that there are many ways to communicate a messages means that you are continually perfecting and improving the way you communicate as a dentist – and effectively reaching your listeners.
  3. Identifying Weaknesses: Successful doctors typically aren’t experts in every aspect related to their dental practice. Being self-aware will allow you to identify your strengths so that you can focus on your weaknesses. From leadership skills, accounting to marketing, knowing which areas will require improvement will make a positive difference for your practice, staff, and patients.
  4. Build Financial Awareness: Micromanagement can be harmful to your practice, especially when it comes to managing finances. By letting your team know what is needed to maintain and grow larger, you can enlist your staff in reaching new goals on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Empowering staff with this information is mutually beneficial and allows everyone to stay on track and maintain efficiency in all aspects of practice productivity.
  5. Network & Engage: Surrounding yourself with like-minded professionals is a practice that is effective for professionals in any industry but is especially powerful in dentistry. Aligning yourself with professionals who share your vision for growth and advancement will mean you can depend less on luck, and more on strategic planning, to be successful.
  6. Goal Oriented: Knowing where you want to be in 20 years means you can begin taking steps to accomplish those goals today. By breaking down large goals into smaller steps, you can monitor, evaluate and adapt as you work toward long-term objectives. Don’t be afraid to revisit and evaluate your plan to confirm you’re still on the right path.
  7. Celebrate Success: Purposefully taking time to appreciate your hard work in achieving milestones is important so you can recharge and continue to be effective in your pursuits. Be sure to examine any unrealized goals for what didn’t work and adjust when you need to. Know that it is okay to not reach a goal on your first attempt and be sure to celebrate any progress – no matter how big or small – you make along the way!

This article was written by Lynne Nelson co-founder of Practice Management Associates, LLC (206) 455-5388. For a no-charge consultation or questions regarding study club presentations, please call us! Copyright © 2018

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