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What Happy Dentists Know

February 12, 2013

Filed under: ARTICLES,Business of Dentistry,Philosophy,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Barry @ 10:00 AM



I have a pet peeve.  It bothers me when dentists look at the very best people in the field and believe they will never achieve that level of success, because they don’t have the “hands” or the technical skills necessary to do great work.  This problem isn’t restricted to dentistry...artists and writers look at great works and judge only the result rather than looking at the process that the person went through to achieve the result.

No matter how many times I hear the story about what Michelangelo told an admirer when she called him a genius, he said,   “If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn’t call it genius, ” and I truly get it…so many of us turn to the beautiful photography on Facebook or the work displayed by dentistry’s masters, and say we can never do that because they are “genius’s”  and I just don’t have the hands or the skills to do that work.

The other day a dentist commented on some work I did, saying it wasn’t up to the “Pankey” standard.  He expected that every piece of work would be perfect if done by a Pankey dentist.  Well we’re all on the same journey.  When starting out our work can be just plain shitty.  Then after a few years it just sucks.  But eventually it gets good with the potential of becoming great.  The problem is that most people expect great every time.  Maybe the masters can do that and I certainly shoot for that, but the reality is we do our best and grow to be better and better.

And that’s all we can do.

But there is a problem… (more…)

Do You Recognize the 9 Signs of Practice Stagnation (Part II)?

June 26, 2012

Filed under: Business of Dentistry,Philosophy — Tags: , — Barry @ 10:20 PM

In my last post I wrote about why most people are immune to change.  In that post I explained 5 of 9 reasons I have discovered for this hesitation.  This post will describe 4 more.  I am sure there are others and I urge you to chime in.  One thing I know is that if you want to change anything in your personal life or business it will require a lot of thought, courage, hard work to create a better future.

6. We get too comfortable.  Guess what…the Golden Age of Dentistry is over.  It officially ended (more…)

Do You Recognize the 9 Signs of Practice Stagnation?

June 11, 2012

Filed under: Philosophy — Tags: , — Barry @ 10:05 PM

I am a different person than I was twenty years ago. Back then I hated dentisttry.  I think burnt out would be an appropriate term.  I was twenty pounds heavier, out of shape and spent most  nights at the Meadowlands Racetrack running away from my responsibilities.  I made money in my practice because back then everyone made money in dentistry, but I was pretty unhappy and  clinically depressed.

Then things changed.

Those who have read my book, The Art of the Examination know that the event that changed my life was getting Type II diabetes.  My life hasn’t been the same since.  I changed!  It wasn’t easy and it took incredible discipline.  Now twenty years later, I have a successful practice that I enjoy going to and work with staff and patients that I feel I make a difference in their lives.  I don’t gamble anymore.  I have lost all my excess weight.  My Body Mass Index is an incredible 23.  How I did it isn’t the point of this post…what is the point?

That most dentists get stuck in a rut and watch their practices and lives decline over time because of a natural immunity or resistance to change.  In today’s much tougher environment it is essential that we continue to reinvent ourselves in order to keep up with the current conditions. The following are 9 reasons why we resist change and some tips on how to break out of this.  This post will be continued as a 2 part series.

1. Lack of a financial safety net.  When I graduated from dental school I made up my mind that I would retire by thirty-five. Heh!  That was my first deception.  I incurred debt and and got behind the eight ball.  I got caught up in buying toys and neglected the softer side of practice, or trying to provide patients with meaningful work.  This left me unhappy.  I used to say that when I made more money (more…)