There is a fine line you walk as both a doctor and a business owner. On one hand, you want to make people happy, but you also need your practice to stay successful. My father taught me to be a mensch, a Yiddish word that translates to “a very good person.”
I apply the idea of being a mensch to every aspect of my business. Whether I’m doing something nice for someone or standing my ground, I always do what I think is right. I believe this has benefited my staff, my patients, and my community tremendously over the years.
Don’t Be a Stranger. In any service-based industry, a good relationship with your customers will take you far. As a dentist, I strive to know each one of my patients. I always say, “I don’t treat strangers.” It’s crucial to have a bit of insight into a person’s life, especially if you’re charged with their wellbeing.
Trust is Key. The most important element of a sustainable doctor-patient relationship is trust. Getting to know patients helps to build trust over time. I also aim to educate those I treat so they can be a more active and informed participant in their dental health. Whatever questions or concerns someone has about their treatment, I take ample time to discuss with them. I never want a patient to come to me later only to say, “I didn’t know this is what I was agreeing to.”
Stand for Respect. You’ve heard the saying “the customer is always right.” Well, I simply don’t think that’s always true. Sometimes a patient is rude, inconsiderate, or downright wrong. When you are faced with a situation like this, it’s better to respectfully inform the offending patient about your feelings towards their actions and future expectations than to sweep it under the rug.
Say a patient is very rude to your staff once, who’s to say they won’t be the same way to them the next time they come in? It’s better to be honest with a patient and lose them than to allow disrespectful people to bring down the morale of your practice.
Give Back Where You Can. In addition to going above and beyond for my patients, I also take pride in giving back to my community. For years, The Dental Care Group has put on an annual Dentistry from Our Hearts event for the community. One day a year, we give away over $150,000 worth of free dental work to anyone in need. This brings joy and a much needed service to individuals in the community who would otherwise go without.
I’ll leave you with a simple piece of business advice that you can live your whole life by﹘ whatever you do, do what is right. If you’re interested in learning more about me, my practice, or my way of doing things; please pick up a copy of my book, The Big Smile. You can also keep up with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.