3 Methods To Improve Dental Practice Management & Finance
This article is by Dr.Varun Bajaj who has been practicing for past few years and has seen the change in the scenario of dentistry from a close quarter.
3 Methods To Improve Dental Practice Management & Finance
The Rule of Demand & Supply
A simple rule of economics,
i.e., demand and supply are equally applicable to our profession also.
In the present scenario supply of Dental Surgeons is more compared to the demand. So the economic value of a dental professional in India is decreasing every day. (Taking into consideration the urban locations where majority of the dentists are concentrated)
For example, these days almost every patient getting treatment from a fellow dental colleague or me has his/her some 1st relation a Dental Surgeon. Now the question which arises is that why don’t they get themselves treated from their relation?
The answer is simple – They are not sure if their relative dentist knows the work. They are not confident in his/her skills.
Sounds funny! However, it is a hard fact. The level of Dental Education in India, Especially many private dental schools (Except few who have excelled) is sort of ‘Based on Luck and a low number of Patients.
REASON why graduates of many private colleges are struggling after passing when they come to the real world of professional dentistry
- No patient/few patients in the college OPD’s.
- Even worse news for the present dental graduate students is now that most of the colleges have Post Graduation course (PG) and preference is given to PG Students for the Patient Treatment.
- If a dental Graduate does not know work, it is a point of worry. However, if a MDS qualified dental professional does not do, it is a matter of BIG BIG Worry.
Personally speaking, I started my dental practice with an experience of 2 RCT’s,
near to 50 Amalgam Restorations, 7 extractions, 8 Composite Restorations, 3 Dentures (that too done with the fellow batchmate) and 2 RPD’s.
Whose fault was it? Mine, my college’s or of the governing body?
The answer does not lie in the blame game. How can I blame governing body which increased the number of BDS seats in Dental Colleges? If they would not have done so. Then I would not have been a Dental Surgeon. I cannot dare to utter any wrong for my Alma Mater. Whatever I know, has been taught to me over there. Today just because of that knowledge, I am earning my living.
So this debate will not give any results.
SO we should concentrate more on improving our skills, dental practice and dentistry.
So here are the 3 practices, that according to me will help uplift Dental Profession in India.
Remove The Word Bargain
The Dentist in your Neighbour is not your Enemy.
Humbleness is the key to unlock the door of success and peace.
We will look at each point separately
See Next Page for the 1st Point
That will alone take dentistry to Higher Level
#1. Remove the word bargain
from your clinical practice
Fix your treatment charges that are
respectable/affordable and never give any discounts.
This habit is spoiling the name of our esteemed profession.
The current scenario is such that even a vegetable or fruit vendor does not let his customers bargain.
Then why we?
Have you ever seen any patient bargaining with a Heart Surgeon or an Eye Surgeon?
Then why do we give our patient such liberties at our practice???
It is not at all a healthy practice.
we think that we have snatched a patient from our neighbor
colleague by doing the treatment at a lesser price.
However, in reality, we are merely digging a grave for our profession.
This habit and notion that by decreasing the prices of dental treatments lower than the competing dentist we can gain a better a dental practice is a complete myth.
In fact, patients take advantage of these situations.
Also reducing prices creates an impression in the general public that Dentists are money minded freaks who can stoop low for it.
It brings down the level of respect that a dentist truly deserves as a surgeon.
See Next Slide for The Next Point
Neighbour fellow Dental Surgeon is not your enemy
#2. Neighbour Dental Surgeon is not your Enemy
Most of us live with this mindset that a dental surgeon practicing in near vicinity of our clinic is our professional rival.
However, over the time we start to consider them as a personal enemy.
Sadly some of us go to any extent to ruin his/her name.
It comes from professional insecurity and an individual dentist’s thought that by ruining the name of a nearby dentist (who is apparently doing well), his/her practice will pick up more.
This attitude comes from a misplaced sense of insecurity that the only way to succeed and do better than your next dentist is to harm them in some way somehow.
This type of thinking is deplorable but seems like this is gradually creeping into the mind of dentists which is affecting the profession as a whole.
However, my dear friends, if you want to become the bigger dentist than your neighboring dentist, then right way is to draw a more prominent line rather than erasing the line drawn by the other dentist, i.e., earn a name by doing even better work.
Please remember these points:
We should never speak wrong about our co-professional.
- Some of us think that the patient is dumb? Patient understands what we speak.
- Maybe sometimes the patient becomes a party in our defaming act. However, they will take advantage of this situation later.
- We should be on good terms with our neighboring fellow dental practitioner.
- Rather than cribbing, put efforts to improve your dental skills as well as communication skills with patients.
This approach will help us all to uplift our practice.
The most effective way is to discuss and fix “a minimum treatment charge” in the locality you are practicing in and strictly stick to this commitment.
Then who will be benefited?
The answer is only and only us.
We all know a “Team” that works as a cohesive unit ends up benefiting all the individual members in the long run.
So its high time that we all dentists act like a team and help each other get to clinical success.
Please understand that when dentistry as a profession/team will improve then you as an individual dentist will also grow financially and socially.
See Next Page for the Final Point to Lift Dentistry
Be Humble and Be Practical
#3. Humbleness is the Key
Most of us have met some of the successful people in our life.
What is the most positive point in their personality?
It is in spite of achieving so much and becoming so successful in society; they are very humble (down to earth).
So, you want to be successful and uplift dentistry.
Then Be Humble & Thankful & Smiling
Moreover, please don’t have a Poke Face & Attitude Like the Pic above.
This attitude always makes even easy tasks difficult.
I am fortunate to learn Oral Implantology from the best dentist in Chandigarh.
The doctor is so polite with his patients.
Although a significant name himself. However, he always talks to each and everyone with much respect.
We are Indians and it is our culture to greet everyone with folded hands (Namastey).
Then how can we be impolite (sometimes rude) to our patient?
One should respect the patient (irrespective of whether he/she is rich/poor) as a guest at our clinic
(Atithi Devo Bhava).
Remember: If you are impolite to people and patients, your practice will never be successful.
Conclusion: Like any profession in the world Dentistry is also getting more and more competitive with time. That does not mean the doors to success are getting closed. Remember dentistry is a profession that is based on the trust of the patient. Once the patients have faith in you, then they are inevitably going to refer you when they think about a dentist.
Also, you need to respect and take care of your fellow dentists. The three points we discussed above, will go a long way in uplifting dentistry if followed seriously.
This article is by Dr.Varun Bajaj who has been practicing for past few years and has seen the change in the scenario of dentistry from a close quarter. He is also an avid blogger and shares his experiences with fellow dentists on a regular basis via his articles.
Yes, having our clinic is a moment of pride, joy and happiness. It does feel like owning a piece of the world. But it’s also a fact that by 2015 dental profession has become too much competitive due to over saturation.
You know ! when I joined Dentistry in 2004 ! That time dentistry used to be very different. When I say different I mean the outlook of a fresh graduate. In my first year of BDS I was envious of my Intern seniors. They were so full of life and confident in themselves and their skills.