I am writing this from the airport as I prepare to board my flight home. I just had an amazing weekend with some incredible friends who are master clinicians and awesome leaders in orthodontics. I’ve always been a fan of the statement “You don’t know what you don’t know” but whenever I’m around other orthodontists, it blows me away to see how much I still have to learn for better practice management and clinical outcomes. It leads me to ask all of you to challenge yourselves with the question: “Where do you do your learning?”
Sure, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting you practice and clinical education from journals or online, but I would submit that the aforementioned methods do have significant limitations.
I love meetings because of much more than just the speakers who hear their information with the group. In the movie, “The Color of Money”, Paul Newman is a mentor to a young pool hustler played by Tom Cruise. At a tournament, Newman quietly tells his young protege that the real money isn’t made in the tournament, but rather in the informal games in the back rooms when the day is over. In our field, it’s the same way. It’s the “behind the scenes” and after hours conversations with my peers where I really get the most pearls to help get better outcomes and reduce stress in my practice. If you don’t know anyone at a meeting, I’ll guarantee you that if you make an effort, you’ll leave with new friends and lots of new tips.
However, the most useful thing for me is visiting other offices. I try to make it my goal to visit at least one office a month and observe for a few hours. Yep, I fly out in the AM and fly back mid afternoon. A full day tends to be too much.
I try not to get in the way as I watch how they answer phones, handle new patients, present care, treat patients, market their office and every other aspect. Of course, I ask for their ground rules before I come and I try to leave their practice better than I found it; That means that I go out of my way to throw a little “Your doctor is so amazing that I came from Dallas to watch him/her” when I get a chance.
One thing is certain in today’s rapidly changing orthodontic landscape. If you never venture out to meet other orthodontists at meetings or in their offices, you are certainly missing out on one of the greatest ways to improve your practice bottom line and reduce your stress. So, go out there and have some fun!
What are you waiting for?
If you want to come to learn more about an amazing business meeting for orthodontists, simply visit OP2018.com . We’ve got a world-class lineup of speakers, amazing food and an ambiance that will make you want to come back year after year. You can always email me at Glenn@OrthopreneursRD.com or message me on Facebook. I’m here to help.