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Who is in charge? The practice or you?

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Is it your dental practice or you that controls your daily life? If you're busy doing things that others in the practice could be doing - at a much lesser cost - then the practice is running you.

One of the biggest causes of stress in dental clinics is our focus on being busy. In other words, we are constantly working IN our business and not ON our business.

Time consumption

The legendary dentist Pete Dawson, has told how a management consultant once observed dentists working 8 hours in a day. Of those 8 hours at work, they spent on average less than 3 hours being productive.

Later, the consultant looked at dentists who worked 9 hours a day and found that productivity there dropped to 2 hours a day.

The management consultant concluded that there was a trend that the longer dentists worked, the less productive they seemed to become.


Production and management are 2 completely different tasks in the clinic. The dentist is - and must be - the productive element. Of course there are tasks that need to be managed, planned, organised or coordinated. They are just not tasks the dentist should take care of.

You may be under the impression that this is an unmanageable task. I'm not claiming it's easy. But any clinic, can get to the point where the dentist is freed from the vast majority of management tasks.

It's all about responsibility and accountability.

U.S. President Benjamin Franklin once said: "Tell me something and I'll forget it. Involve me and I learn." The best way to create accountability in our employees is to give them responsibility.

How can we do that?

In short:

  • Tell the employee what needs to be done

  • Show what needs to be done

  • Let the person try for themselves

  • Observe how it works

  • Praise every improvement or help to correct

It sounds so easy. It's not... and the worst part is, it takes a lot longer than we expect.

But trust me. It's worth all the hours and frustrations.

An example

When I had my clinic, I experienced several times how I could leave the clinic for 2-3 months. During that time, I would typically receive 1 phone call in order to complete a task that only I could complete. When I re-entered the clinic, after my extended absence, it was as if I had left the clinic the day before. Everything was running smoothly. EVERYTHING was working and had worked perfectly without my interference.

Everyone is different. They work at different speeds and value different ideals. Not everyone finds change easy to accept. But no matter how we try to delegate tasks to our employees, there is one thing that is guaranteed to always motivate them: "Show them your love and respect and make sure to praise them for even the smallest positive details". It is far better to claim respect through our actions than our words.

Is the clinic running you?

  • Are your employees working with you or against you?

  • Are your treatment rooms working with you or against you?

  • Does your laboratory work with you or against you?

  • Is your waiting room working with you or against you?

  • Etc. etc.

It is a management responsibility to implement its knowledge.

I'm not a superman.

So if I could do it, I'm sure you can too.

If you want to brainstorm with me on how to minimize stress while producing more. Feel free to write or call me at +4561272228

Patients as missionaries

Next week i write about how we can get more missionaries for the clinic. It's about patients being raving fans who praise us, come on time, follow our recommendations, pay with gratitude and refer other great patients to the clinic.

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On our online portal, you can read about the courses and workshops we are conducting during 2021.

Thank you for reading.

Jesper Hatt DDS

T: +4561272228


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