Dental Business Training?

by Dr. Ron Arndt

In my book, Killing the Practice Before It Kills You–How Throwing Out My Business Model Saved My Life, I identified this idea early on. How does it resonate for you?  “While I’m not certain about your dental training, throughout my dental training, there was no direction or support for the big decisions ahead. No mentor programs existed for students. Sometime in my junior year of dental school, important questions started to swirl in my head, such as:

Should I join the service?

Should I work as an employee?

Should I become an associate or partner?

Should I consider a General Practice Residency or specialty training?

If I set up my own practice, how do I find the right location?

What kind of practice do I want?

Where am I going to get the money to begin?

Where do I go to get help and what questions do I need to be asking?

Equally overwhelming unknowns were related to the nuts-and-bolts of running the business itself, such as: How do I hire people? What’s the process, the pay, the position descriptions? How do I talk to a banker? What are the steps to negotiating a lease? The list went on and on. They never told us how to set up and operate a profitable practice. According to the late Walter Hailey, cofounder of an organization once known as Planned Marketing, the ability to establish solid business systems, caring patient interactions, and business savvy contributed to 85 percent of a dental practice’s success.”

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