THE NEXTDDS Blog

The "New Dentist Track" at the CDS Midwinter Meeting

Posted by John Papa on Mon, Mar 02, 2015 @ 09:39 AM

This year, the Chicago Dental Society offered a track of four courses specifically written and designed for new dentists. These courses were intended to give new dentists insight and tips in certain areas that might be overlooked or not covered in-depth in traditional dental school curricula. The four courses that were included in the “New Dentist Track” were:
  • Leadership in Social Media for New Dentists: Presented by Ms. Rita Zamora
  • Risky Business: What are the Dangers and How to Prepare: Presented by Dr. Roy Shelburne
  • Career Paths in the Private Practice of Dentistry: Presented by Mr. Peter Ackerman, and
  • Sales free Selling: The Death of Sales and the Rise of New Methodology: Presented by Dr. Steve Fretzin

In her social media course, Ms. Rita Zamora began by establishing the idea of creating and maintaining your online brand/identity. Her words of advice to the would-be social media savvy dentist were: know yourself, know your brand, live your brand, be visible, and lead by example. She went on to discuss social media marketing through Facebook ads or Google ad words, and suggested using small incentives to get patients to “Check-in”, “Like”, or “Follow” your social media outlets; such as giving out whitening strips (or some other one-time-use item) for check-ins before appointments. As for negative patient reviews on social media, her advice was to either ignore them or to reach out to the complaining patient personally via email or phone, talk to them, and see if they will take the review down afterwards. You can read more about Social Media Marketing and Integrating Social Media in your Future Practice on THE NEXTDDS.

Dr. Roy Shelburne’s presentation on risk management was focused on pointing out the small things that sometimes get overlooked by new dentists which could result in a visit from the IRS. He began his presentation by saying that every new dentist should know the legal definition of intent. He then went on to describe what, in his eyes, constitute the five biggest legal threats to your practice: failure to comply with HIPPA, OSHA, tax laws, the dental practice acts of your state, and other contractual obligations. He touched briefly on informed consent, malpractice claims, and record keeping; stating that keeping air-tight records of every procedure, why it was done, and how it was done is a good way to insulate yourself from malpractice suits, but that the biggest protection from malpractice suits is to have a good relationship with your patients.

Mr. Ackerman led off his “Career Paths” course by explaining his outlook about the future of the dental profession. Due to a number of factors including increased competitiveness in the field, growing student debt, distribution of new dental offices, changes in patient values, and older dentists being forced to work longer, the allure of “corporate dentistry” appears to be growing for new graduates. He does, however, still believe there are viable paths to private practice ownership for young dentists. He went on to discuss associateships at length, including why they sometimes fail, how to best insulate yourself from liability and failure, many legal issues that arise through associateships including contractual obligations, terms of agreement, compensation, "due diligence" research, and types of practice sales (retirement [full]) sales, delayed full sales, extended sales, and partial sales). Read more about making the transition from Student to Professional in THE NEXTDDS Magazine

Steve Fretzin ispecializes in coaching business owners on the finer points of sales and investment. In his presentation, Mr. Fretzin explained his new methodology of sales, which favors a much more consultative and relationship-oriented approach over the traditional sales model. He then explained how his sales model is specifically applicable in the dental/medical fields, especially during patient consultation and in attempting to garner interest and consent for treatment plans.

The New Dentist track at the CDS Midwinter meeting is a way for young dentists and current dental students alike to learn some of the finer points of business management, legal matters, and marketing that may not have been covered in depth during dental school. Each of the speakers were passionate their subjects, and gave easily applicable tips that could improve business, exposure, and revenue while reducing risk and liability for a new practice owner. As dental students attending the CDS Midwinter, the New Dentist track is one way to get a jump on one’s professional career, and to start thinking about the real-world business of dentistry in a new and exciting way.

Tags: midwinter, CDS, CE, continuing education, marketing, liability, sales, New Dentist Track, social media, legal, associateship

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