Trust in Relationship-Based Practices

November 9, 2018 Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

What is trust and why does it matter in the relationship-based practice? 

Writer and public speaker Steven M. R. Covey says that trust is the one thing that changes everything. Trust lives at the intersection of competence and character. In other words, great skills alone are not enough because you might use them to benefit yourself and not your patient/client.

Trust in Relationships

Character alone is not enough because you might not be able to deliver great clinical results. When character and competence are both present, then what is possible within that professional relationship becomes different.

A strategy to establish and build high trust working relationships in a professional practice is equally as essential as developing high clinical competency. In fact, they are synergistic and will provide energy for one another.

Trust then is not just a philosophical construct. It is not just a means to bring your personal mission to life. It is also a critical business strategy in building a relationship-based professional practice. This is the face of the trust that lives between a dentist and their patient.

Strong Leadership

Much research has shown observable trust to be the number one factor in a patient’s decision to trust the practice as a whole and the dentist in particular. This is simply a measurable function of leadership and the culture that results when great leaders are at their best.

A high performing leader will have strong relating competencies, high integrity, courageous authenticity, self-awareness, and a focus on achievement. These competencies will attract like-minded team members, establishing a culture of respect, appreciation, accountability, and trust.

When this happens, trust will flow in both directions and be visible and experienced by all. This entire process is nonlinear. It is very interdependent and, by necessity, simultaneous. Much like each biochemical system in a cell is necessary for proper cellular function, each complex biochemical unit is also necessary for the other systems to form in the first place. Together, they ensure the entire cell functions properly.

Similarly, while the dynamics of respect, trust, appreciation, and accountability are essential ingredients to establish a healthy practice culture, they also rely on one another to sustain a successful system. They are necessary for the entire practice to function at its best.

Check out this article for quick and easy body language tips that develop trust! What’s your take on this oft-debated topic? 

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Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Dr. Edwin A. McDonald III received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Economics from Midwestern State University. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. Dr. McDonald has completed extensive training in dental implant dentistry through the University of Florida Center for Implant Dentistry. He has also completed extensive aesthetic dentistry training through various programs including the Seattle Institute, The Pankey Institute and Spear Education. Mac is a general dentist in Plano Texas. His practice is focused on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is a visiting faculty member at the Pankey Institute. Mac also lectures at meetings around the country and has been very active with both the Dallas County Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Currently, he is a student in the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a graduate certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching. With Dr. Joel Small, he is co-founder of Line of Sight Coaching, dedicated to helping healthcare professionals develop leadership and coaching skills that improve the effectiveness, morale and productivity of their teams.

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What’s the Benefit of Small Group Learning?

August 15, 2018 Denison E. Byrne, DDS, MAGD

Small group learning is the linchpin of lifelong professional satisfaction. 

My partner Nancy and I are excited to be the co-directors of Pankey Learning Groups (PLGs) at this time in the history of the Pankey Institute. Small group learning has always been one of our greatest joys.

It was in small groups that we really cemented our learning together. We had a chance to ask the professional and personal questions we might not have in other less safe environments without people who “understood.” We shared in good feedback with mentors and peers. Discussions were honest and helped us see others and ourselves more clearly. And we made dear friends for a lifetime.

So when we were asked to do this job three years ago, it was easy to accept the challenge. We did our best to build upon the program that Mark Murphy had initiated for us. With lots of hard work from PLG hosts, facilitators, our alumni that donated cases and workshop material, and especially a stellar in-house team, we feel good about where we are today. 

Pankey Learning Groups: Providing Support & Education Opportunities

We are really excited about what the future holds. With Dr. Lee Ann Brady on board contributing her vast experience in educational development, we all have a better sense of how PLGs can support the other components of the Pankey Institute. PLGs will now support the Essentials series, focus courses, and on-the-road courses like Worn Dentition and Pankey On the Podium.

We have a fantastic line-up of new modules. Treating doctors are interviewed and provide additional insight and understanding. We are also developing a selection of mini-modules. These topics include sleep medicine, practice management issues, and behavior.

In response to PLG requests, we are getting increasingly clear about how we can support our independent model (eight three-hour modules) and our facilitated model (two sixteen-hour weekend workshops) as well as how we can combine them with other educational offerings from Pankey. We feel this is consistent with the Pankey Philosophy to individualize our offerings for each PLG within our overall educational framework.

We are planning opportunities to support our hosts, facilitators, and ambassadors by developing resources and training to optimize the PLG educational experience. There has never been a better or more exciting time to supplement your professional growth by participating in a Pankey Learning Group!

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Denison E. Byrne, DDS, MAGD

Dr. “Denny” Byrne graduated from the University of Maryland Dental School and has been in restorative practice in Baltimore for 40 years. He is a member of the Pankey Faculty and Co-Director of Pankey Learning Groups. In addition to being the husband of a dentist, father of a dentist, and grandfather, he is keenly interested in facilitating small group learning, golfing and sailing. He enjoys cooking and is a fan of C.S. Lewis.

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Become a World-Class Listener Part 2

August 13, 2018 Bill Gregg DDS

Listening is a skill everyone likes to talk about but very few actually know how to enact. It’s more challenging than we might think to really shut our mouths and pay attention without constantly interrupting or adding our two cents.

In my last blog, I talked about offering an empty presence and letting the person finish their story. Here, I cover other important listening skills. We should all make the effort to speak less and hear more.

Become a Truly Great Listener

Listen for Their Heart

Listen for the feelings behind the words. Can you hear voice fluctuations? Can you read their eyes? Feelings of regret, fear, grief, hope, etc.

Using the balloon symbolism, I picture a red balloon filling with their emotions as I listen for feelings. There is no higher form of communication than heartfelt, empathetic listening. The balloon symbolism may feel silly, but it will help.

You cannot be heard until the patient’s emotional bubble is deflated through your quiet confidence and empathetic understanding.

Ask Permission to Go Forward

When you ask for and receive permission to offer advice, you are much more likely to be heard. This is truly one of the most intuitive questions you can ever ask and does wonders for building rapport: “May I give you some initial thoughts?”  or “May I have permission to consider what you have told me and study possible solutions?” 

Once a person has given you permission, they are more likely to become a partner in solutions. 

There is no greater gift of healing, expression of love and builder of self-esteem we can offer those special people we care about most, including our family, friends, patients, co-workers, and community, than listening. Everyone wants to be heard.

How do you practice listening skills? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Bill Gregg DDS

I attended South Hills High School in Covina, Denison University in Granville, Ohio and the University of Redlands in Redlands, California prior to dental school at UCLA. My post-graduate education has included an intensive residency at UCLA Hospital, completion of a graduate program at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education ; acceptance for Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD); and in 2006 I earned the prestegious Pankey Scholar. Continuing education has always been essential in the preparation to be the best professional I am capable of becoming and to my ongoing commitment to excellence in dental care and personal leadership. I am a member of several dental associations and study groups and am involved in over 100 hours of continuing education each year. The journey to become one of the best dentists in the world often starts at the Pankey Institute. I am thrilled that I am at a point in my professional life that I can give back. I am honored that I can be a mentor to others beginning on their path. As such, I have discovered a new passion; teaching. I am currently on faculty at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education devoting 2-3 weeks each year to teaching post-graduate dental programs. In other presentations my focus is on Leadership and includes lifestyle, balance and motivation as much as dentistry.

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Become a World-Class Listener Part 1

August 10, 2018 Bill Gregg DDS

Dr. Pankey had an advantage most of us do not that made him a world-class listener. Often labeled a disability, Dr. Pankey was hard of hearing. Because of this, he had to learn how to listen intently to his patients.

Dr. Pankey learned to listen for feeling over content. Listening is a skill that can be developed and improved. It requires intention and attention. One must practice! Here are a few tips that help:

Actionable Skills to Become a World-Class Listener

Offer Your Empty Presence

Most important of all is the intent to be present. Be here, nowhere else. Never enter a room without taking a deep belly breath to quiet the sympathetic, judgmental lizard brain and enhance the empathetic brain.

Empty presence is being fully available for the patient with no agenda, no busy talk going on in your mind, no judgment about what is said, no mental correcting or explaining chatter going on in your head for when you get a chance to talk.

I like to imagine an empty white balloon completely devoid of anything. My objective is to simply let the person fill it with their own thoughts and feelings. Really focus on what they say and how they say it and especially the feelings behind it. You are a gatherer of their information, not an explainer, corrector, teacher, or judge.

Let the Person Finish Their Story Without Interruption

Take a deep belly breath again once they have gone silent. What they just told you is simply what they first told you. There is probably more. When a person has finished their story, the silent period is when they are understanding what they just said.

Silently offer your open heart with compassion, allowing them time to spill out everything they need to say. Silently count to 10 before speaking, then use simple encouragements: “Is there anything more,” “Yes, I understand,” “I’m glad to know that,”  “I’m sorry to hear that,” or “Tell me more.”

To be continued …

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Bill Gregg DDS

I attended South Hills High School in Covina, Denison University in Granville, Ohio and the University of Redlands in Redlands, California prior to dental school at UCLA. My post-graduate education has included an intensive residency at UCLA Hospital, completion of a graduate program at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education ; acceptance for Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD); and in 2006 I earned the prestegious Pankey Scholar. Continuing education has always been essential in the preparation to be the best professional I am capable of becoming and to my ongoing commitment to excellence in dental care and personal leadership. I am a member of several dental associations and study groups and am involved in over 100 hours of continuing education each year. The journey to become one of the best dentists in the world often starts at the Pankey Institute. I am thrilled that I am at a point in my professional life that I can give back. I am honored that I can be a mentor to others beginning on their path. As such, I have discovered a new passion; teaching. I am currently on faculty at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education devoting 2-3 weeks each year to teaching post-graduate dental programs. In other presentations my focus is on Leadership and includes lifestyle, balance and motivation as much as dentistry.

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Trust in the First 10 Seconds

July 23, 2018 Bill Gregg DDS

Do you want to develop an emotionally engaged, relationship-based practice where people choose you over the insurance-driven option? It is not going to be your technical knowledge that does this. It is in how you touch people’s hearts.

Trust or the lack of it can be built within seconds. How can we best emotionally engage people? Immediately as you greet a person, focus on them – each and every time. Give the S-O-F-T-E-N approach a try:

How to Develop Trust in Only 10 Seconds

Smile: A welcoming greeting in any language.

Open up: Open body language – relaxed, welcoming, arms open, palms up.

Forward body lean: Again, welcoming, not aggressive. A slight forward lean can demonstrate attention, interest, engagement.

Touch: Lightly when and where appropriate. Studies indicate people feel a warmth of endorphins with a light human touch. A gentle handshake with the left hand also touching lightly can work. A light touch on the shoulder or arm is effective too.

Eye contact: This is the most important thing you can do to gain immediate connection. Immediately look the person in their right eye. Not to stare. Especially while you are speaking to the person. Recent studies indicate eye contact has dropped to the 30-60% range in today’s digital smartphone era. That’s a huge drop into disengagement. It drops even more when one is speaking.

We are losing human connection to the soul, yet 60-70% eye contact is ideal. Practice glancing into their right eye consistently. Yes it feels awkward at first and yes it takes conscious intent. Why the right eye you ask? Mostly so you don’t stare at the bridge of the nose and look cross-eyed, but also the right eye engages a person’s creative, intuitive parts of the right brain more quickly.

Nod: A slight affirmative nod as the person is speaking is a strong indicator to continue. Studies indicate a person even accepts criticism and correction better if one nods slightly while presenting bad news. A nod tends to indicate support, not just agreement.  

Interestingly, the reverse is also true. A shake of the head while giving supportive news can create a sense of skepticism. Yes, I can look like a bobblehead at times. Emotionally engaged attention is becoming a lost art. But it is the greatest way to touch a person’s heart.

In dentistry we have a huge advantage. We have multiple interactions every day with good folks who trust us enough to do scary things in one of the most intimate parts of the body. We can grow that trust to emotional engagement one person at a time.

What is the result of an army of emotionally engaged dental missionaries? Lots of loving people who say: “You have to go see my dentist. They’re the best in the world!” Whose world? Theirs.

How can you achieve an emotionally engaged, relationship-based practice where people choose you over the insurance-driven route? Practice, practice, practice – on people, not just their teeth. Start with your family! And love the practice.

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About Author

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Bill Gregg DDS

I attended South Hills High School in Covina, Denison University in Granville, Ohio and the University of Redlands in Redlands, California prior to dental school at UCLA. My post-graduate education has included an intensive residency at UCLA Hospital, completion of a graduate program at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education ; acceptance for Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD); and in 2006 I earned the prestegious Pankey Scholar. Continuing education has always been essential in the preparation to be the best professional I am capable of becoming and to my ongoing commitment to excellence in dental care and personal leadership. I am a member of several dental associations and study groups and am involved in over 100 hours of continuing education each year. The journey to become one of the best dentists in the world often starts at the Pankey Institute. I am thrilled that I am at a point in my professional life that I can give back. I am honored that I can be a mentor to others beginning on their path. As such, I have discovered a new passion; teaching. I am currently on faculty at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education devoting 2-3 weeks each year to teaching post-graduate dental programs. In other presentations my focus is on Leadership and includes lifestyle, balance and motivation as much as dentistry.

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On Providing a Fix vs an Experience: Part 1

July 9, 2018 Will Kelly DMD

What makes dental care a valued investment versus a fix patients choose begrudgingly? 

One morning I had an automobile breakdown in my “beater” weekend truck. We have all been there – filled with the inconvenience and anxiety of dealing with a problem that came up unexpectedly. I was hoping to find a place that could get me home that day.

I googled around until I found a reasonable looking repair shop close to the breakdown. They worked me into their schedule so I could get the old truck back on the road. It was pleasing to have the problem fixed, at least for that day, but I measured this against how I have experienced service at the shop that takes care of my daily driver car.

Dental Service Emergency vs Dental Relationship

There were many aspects of the breakdown with my old pickup truck that reminded me of a dental emergency. I found someone convenient and they had the best intentions to provide a fix.

It was a shop I didn’t have a relationship with. They were kind and helpful, but there were so many things missing that would have been unlikely to happen if I treated my old truck like I do the car I have been so much more diligent in taking care of.

The shop focused on the problem that was presented to them, not looking beyond a simple fix to get me back on the road. While I was appreciative, it is very unlikely that the next problem (or even the true cause of this one) was looked for. I did not leave with any feeling that I wouldn’t be in a similar situation as soon as the next problem arose.

I reflected on the years I have spent with the auto shop that takes care of my primary car. I have a valued relationship with them. They know me and know that I appreciate them taking the best care of the investment I have in the vehicle I drive every day.

When I take my car to an appointment, they look over everything. They tell me when to expect maintenance and repairs in the near future and throughout the life of the vehicle. I trust them and know that they have my best interest in mind. In return, I am very appreciative, expressing gratitude when I write them a check for their services. I have never broken down in the cars they take care of for me.

To be continued …

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Will Kelly DMD

Dr. Will Kelly attended the North Carolina State University School of Design and received a BA in Communications. He went on to spend two additional years in post baccalaureate studies in Medical Sciences at both UNC Chapel Hill and Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Kelly graduated from the top ranked UNC School of Dentistry in 2004. His good hands and clinical abilities led to his being chosen as a teaching assistant to underclassmen in operative dentistry. In addition to clinical time in the dental school, Dr. Kelly had valuable experiences working in both the Durham VA Hospital and for the Indian Health Service in Wyoming. As a child, Dr. Kelly had the opportunity to assist his father on several dental mission trips in Haiti. After completing dental school, Dr. Kelly joined his father in private practice and served on the dental staff at Gaston Family Health Services, where he maintained a position on the board of directors. At this time Dr. Kelly also began his studies in advanced dentistry at the prestigious Pankey Institute in Miami, a continuing journey of learning that has shaped his philosophy and knowledge of the complexities of high-level dentistry. Today Dr. Kelly devotes over 100 hours a year studying with colleagues and mentors who are regarded as "Masters of Dentistry".

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Powerful Questions in a Pre-Clinical Dental Conversation

June 20, 2018 Brad Weiss

As a maximizer, I’m always tweaking processes to try to make things a little better. A few years back on the advice of a wise mentor, I made a small change to the last question I ask of patients in my Pre-Clinical Conversation. This change required a dramatic difference in how I view my “job” for patients.  

A Powerful Pre-Clinical Conversation Question

For years, I thought I was so unique to finish my time in the consult room with the question: “Is there anything else I should know about you to take good care of you?” Patients genuinely seemed to appreciate that question. I felt great about the responses I got, almost always along the lines of, “Nobody has ever asked me these types of questions!”  

A few years back, I was diving deeper on Locus of Control of Oral Health with my small growth group, The Sinking Stones. I was hoping to help my patients increase ownership of their condition and shift the “locus of control” from the doctor/expert (tell me what to do, when, and how) toward a true partnership (I can be the expert of the technical pieces, but you are the expert of you).  

The elegance of this transfer relies on our ability to do so without the patient feeling abandoned and unguided. I was gently reminded by Dr. Rich Green that a small change to that question could help frame the relationship differently right off the bat.

My new question is: “Is there anything I should know about you to work well with you?” Rather than facilitating a dependent/top-down/expert doctor relationship, I now have a much better chance of a patient understanding how important it is for me to be in partnership with them.

I can look them in the eye and tell them my healthiest patients are those that view me as their partner. This is better than looking for “experts” to tell them when it is appropriate to take on a particular procedure or make a decision for them without knowing their temperament, circumstances, and objectives.  

Though I love taking care of people, a change in those four words has allowed me to do so in a partnership according to the context of the patient’s life.

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Brad Weiss

Following dental school, Brad practiced in Kenilworth and Winnetka and gained experience with Lasers and Computer Aided Design and Machined Dentistry. Brad continued his education and the L.D. Pankey Institute in Florida and is honored to be a part of the Visiting Faculty since 2008. Brad has also been co-facilitating a study group for dentists interested in developing relationship-based practices in Vancouver, B.C. since 2010. Brad practices in Evanston, IL.

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Becoming a Relationship-Based Advocate for Patient Health

June 19, 2018 Bill Gregg DDS

Dentistry is rapidly segmenting into two distinct professions.

One will be what most patients think of as traditional dentistry. The tooth fixer and cleaner. The technician. These dental offices will focus on bits and pieces of treatment to get full insurance dollars from each patient each year. The staff will likely also be fragmented by tasks.

The other profession will be the doctor of the oral-health system. The valued family advisor on health and wellness. As Pankey-trained dental offices, we are well positioned to become the relationship-based advocates for our patients’ health.

Training Your Team to Advocate for Patient Health

How about your team? Have you put in the time to train and behaviorally change your most valued support?

A most important person in that team approach is the hygienist. Are they having conversations about total health? Social conversations don’t lead to behavior change that improves the health awareness of our valued patients.

Again, as Pankey-trained dentists, our hygienists can have a huge impact on our patients’ perception of our unique thoroughness. Occlusal awareness should be part of hygiene discovery about their health.

Bringing Up Occlusion in the Hygiene Appointment

This can involve simple questions: What have you been noticing about your bite? Chewing? Jaw? Headaches? “What have you been noticing about [fill in the blank]…?” can begin a discussion.

Depending on the conversation, one can follow with: “We are noticing that, as people live longer (keep their teeth longer), we see things slowly develop that can lead to big concerns. In our office, our purpose is unique – we want you to be able to enjoy eating all the foods you love the remainder of your life. I will look at potentially traumatic bite forces for you.”

How do you introduce occlusion in your hygiene exams? Let us know in the comments! 

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About Author

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Bill Gregg DDS

I attended South Hills High School in Covina, Denison University in Granville, Ohio and the University of Redlands in Redlands, California prior to dental school at UCLA. My post-graduate education has included an intensive residency at UCLA Hospital, completion of a graduate program at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education ; acceptance for Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD); and in 2006 I earned the prestegious Pankey Scholar. Continuing education has always been essential in the preparation to be the best professional I am capable of becoming and to my ongoing commitment to excellence in dental care and personal leadership. I am a member of several dental associations and study groups and am involved in over 100 hours of continuing education each year. The journey to become one of the best dentists in the world often starts at the Pankey Institute. I am thrilled that I am at a point in my professional life that I can give back. I am honored that I can be a mentor to others beginning on their path. As such, I have discovered a new passion; teaching. I am currently on faculty at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education devoting 2-3 weeks each year to teaching post-graduate dental programs. In other presentations my focus is on Leadership and includes lifestyle, balance and motivation as much as dentistry.

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Please Bring Your Smartphone: Part 1

March 16, 2018 Will Kelly DMD

It’s been a decade and a half since I hung my shingle. While setting up and decorating my first office, I printed several signs stating, ‘PLEASE POWER DOWN CELL PHONES’ and strategically placed them around the office.

Why Smartphones Work in the Dental Practice

Fast forward to today and my attitude towards mobile devices in the office has taken an about-face. We now harness the power of having them in the clinical area. Where years ago we viewed smart devices as a distraction, today I acknowledge that they are a part of who we are and how we relate. Perhaps they even store some of our Cartesian sense of self within their connections to the cloud beyond them.

I’d love to share a few tricks that use smart devices for obvious uses in documentation and communication, but more importantly, impress their magical power as a tool in behavioral development and patient assessment.

Consider this: A consult appointment has reached a critical moment. You are knee to knee and eye to eye with your patient. Your diagnosis is clear and it is the opportunity to pass ownership of the patient’s condition to them. Your eyes are connected and gleaming — then a loud siren blares from the patient’s pocket.

There are several alternative versions of how this vignette continues . . .

1.  The patient giggles with embarrassment and says, “Sorry I didn’t turn that off Doc.”  

2. The patient halts your conversation, answers the phone with unapologetic alacrity, and discusses weekend plans with the caller, index finger up, signaling “hold-on.”

3. The patient gives a meek apology, answers a call, and speaks softly with their head down. When you return from checking hygiene, they explain that their mother is in hospice care.

4. The patient lowers their eyes, returns a text message, and gives a subtle nod as if they didn’t miss a word of your conversation.

To be continued …

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Will Kelly DMD

Dr. Will Kelly attended the North Carolina State University School of Design and received a BA in Communications. He went on to spend two additional years in post baccalaureate studies in Medical Sciences at both UNC Chapel Hill and Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Kelly graduated from the top ranked UNC School of Dentistry in 2004. His good hands and clinical abilities led to his being chosen as a teaching assistant to underclassmen in operative dentistry. In addition to clinical time in the dental school, Dr. Kelly had valuable experiences working in both the Durham VA Hospital and for the Indian Health Service in Wyoming. As a child, Dr. Kelly had the opportunity to assist his father on several dental mission trips in Haiti. After completing dental school, Dr. Kelly joined his father in private practice and served on the dental staff at Gaston Family Health Services, where he maintained a position on the board of directors. At this time Dr. Kelly also began his studies in advanced dentistry at the prestigious Pankey Institute in Miami, a continuing journey of learning that has shaped his philosophy and knowledge of the complexities of high-level dentistry. Today Dr. Kelly devotes over 100 hours a year studying with colleagues and mentors who are regarded as "Masters of Dentistry".

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Know Your Patient: Part 1

December 11, 2017 Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Knowing your patient beyond their surface structure is essential. It is a process of discovery that is fueled by curiosity. In my view, the critical elements include:

  1. Building trust
  2. Understanding the value and uniqueness of each person
  3. Uncovering the patient’s emotions about their dental health
  4. Facilitating the development of heath, function, and esthetic goals
  5. Exploring what is possible for them

Leadership Through Understanding

Why is this leadership? It is leadership because the practice leader is responsible for defining reality. The reality of what is important and how we act on those foundational beliefs. Those foundational beliefs that we call ‘values’ are the building blocks of our practice culture. That culture is defined by:

  1. What is our WHY? Is our WHY what we reference to make our decisions and manage our practice?
  2. What are the unique rules of behavior in this culture?
  3. How do we spend our time and resources?
  4. What defines success?

Knowing Your Patient

If practicing in a high trust relationship-based culture is what you desire, then knowing your patient is a cornerstone of your practice structure. It can act as a model for the rest of the critical relationships in and around your practice. If this is your culture, then all aspects of your practice are built around relationships.

Next are the relationships with and within your team. I was recently doing a presentation at a major dental meeting in which I was highlighting team roles and responsibilities. From the back of the room a dentist asked me how I attracted quality team members. My answer was simple:

“You have to be attractive to them.”

What I meant was that you have to study the marketplace and understand what the best candidates are seeking. Then, you actually have to deliver it.

To continue reading Part Two..

How do you get to know your patient? 

Related Course

Mastering Dental Photography: From Start to Finish

DATE: October 10 2024 @ 8:00 am - October 12 2024 @ 2:00 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute

CE HOURS: 21

Dentist Tuition: $ 2495

Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (per night): $ 290

Dental photography is an indispensable tool for a high level practice. We will review camera set-up and what settings to use for each photo. All photos from diagnostic series, portraits,…

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About Author

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Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Dr. Edwin A. McDonald III received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Economics from Midwestern State University. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. Dr. McDonald has completed extensive training in dental implant dentistry through the University of Florida Center for Implant Dentistry. He has also completed extensive aesthetic dentistry training through various programs including the Seattle Institute, The Pankey Institute and Spear Education. Mac is a general dentist in Plano Texas. His practice is focused on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is a visiting faculty member at the Pankey Institute. Mac also lectures at meetings around the country and has been very active with both the Dallas County Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Currently, he is a student in the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a graduate certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching. With Dr. Joel Small, he is co-founder of Line of Sight Coaching, dedicated to helping healthcare professionals develop leadership and coaching skills that improve the effectiveness, morale and productivity of their teams.

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