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Doctor Creates a Tough Work Environment But Pays Well – Should Team Stay or Go

By April 19, 2019September 13th, 2020Dental Practice Fixers, Podcast Episodes
office reception area, work environment

A team member asks what can be done about the doctor. He comes in late every day, after the first patient is seated. He never says hello to anyone and it gets worse from there. Should the team members stay in this work environment, even thought the pay is good? Listen to what The Dental Practice Fixers have to say. Then of course we do the call of the week. What happens when an office next to a certain well known landmark is asked to describe their location? Simple, right? Well, listen in to see how this one was handled! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to We will do our best to get yours answered!

Doctor Creates a Tough Work Environment But Pays Well – Should Team Stay or Go

Female Voice: The Dental Practice Fixers Podcast is brought to you by the Madow Center For Dental Practice Success. To find out how we can help increase the success of your practice, check out or call us at 1800-258-0060.
[music playing]
Dr. David Madow: The dentist comes in late every single day. He never says hello, he doesn’t compliment. He’s confrontational, but he pays pretty well. You stay as a team member or do you leave? What do you do in this practice? We’re going to be talking about this Episode 8 of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. How are you doing? Dr. David Madow, along with Dr. Richard Madow.
Dr. Richard Madow: Hey, how’s everybody doing? In the old days in the podcasts when we used copyrighted music for each episode, this one would be – oh should I stay or should I go now.
Dr. David Madow: That might be copyrighted, we might not actually use this episode now.
Dr. Richard Madow: If the robotic team of Google can track my singing to the Clash, I’d be so flattered. I would care for…
Dr. David Madow: You always should say you’re a good…
[cross talking - 0:01:20.4].
Dr. David Madow: But this is a crazy situation. It sounds like this doctor is not very friendly or not really good to the team. Nobody likes coming in, but the pay is pretty good. So, what do they do? Do they stay? We’re going to talk about it.
Dr. Richard Madow: We’ll definitely find out.
Dr. David Madow: Along with the letter of this – by the way we have a great idea for a call today which we’re going to do just shortly.
Dr. Richard Madow: It’s going to be a good one.
Dr. David Madow: So welcome back. We’re glad to have you at Dental Practice Fixers Podcast.
Dr. Richard Madow: For those of you who are watching the video, you see two times in a row, we’re together at the studio. So it’s really good to be here. I have feeling the next one is going to be on the split screen. Split screen or something like that.
Dr. David Madow: One of those two. Should we get right into it Rich? Why don’t we read this question that comes from the listener or a viewer, by the way if you have a question, feel free to send it into us and we will get it. If it’s confidential, we’ll withhold your name. I’m not sure if this is going to be withheld or not but we’ll find out.
Dr. Richard Madow: We’ll find out in a second.
Dr. David Madow: But we’d love to help you out with any kind of question or situation or something going on with your dental practice. We are the Dental Practice Fixers. We want to fix so you practice.
Dr. Richard Madow: Well this person didn’t give their name, but they didn’t say anonymous. They gave like a Dear Abby type name.
Dr. David Madow: Oh I know what you mean.
Dr. Richard Madow: You know, like whatever. Lonely in Louisiana.
Dr. David Madow: Sleepless in Seattle.
Dr. Richard Madow: Exactly. Ask Amy, she’s the one, now the advice column in the newspaper.
Dr. David Madow: Oh wait the minute. That’s the Chinese restaurant?
Dr. Richard Madow: It’s a different – totally different Amy. It used to be Ann Landers and Dear Abby. I think there’s some other words now. Now it’s Ask Amy. I always wonder how many of those letters are actually real. Some of them just seem like a little too topical or a little bit too – the way that one piece works over the next to give the next answer. I always suspected that some of them are fake.
Dr. David Madow: I never thought about that. When we’re little kids we – dear letters, Dear Abby…
Dr. Richard Madow: You know, they were twin sisters.
Dr. David Madow: I didn’t know they were twins but I know they were sisters. That’s interesting.
Dr. Richard Madow: They’re both in Chicago.
Dr. David Madow: They both have the same vision to help people in life. That’s pretty cool.
Dr. Richard Madow: We feel it’s like growing up in their household. It’s probably horrendous.
Dr. David Madow: I think all the neighbors will come over like, what’s going on. So I want to give you an answer on paying you on this one.
Dr. Richard Madow: I think Ann Landers was not her real name.
Dr. David Madow: Well if you want to do that – what’s the Spencer…
Dr. Richard Madow: Mary Ann Spencer.
Dr. David Madow: Mary Ann Spencer. That was…
Dr. Richard Madow: Well she was a fictional character. Right?
Dr. David Madow: Yeah we heard there was fictional character. They were owned by like some Jewish company or something like that.
Dr. Richard Madow: Okay now we brought that up, Ann Landers and Dear Abby were Jewish as well.
Dr. David Madow: All these Jews today.
Dr. Richard Madow: I’m telling you man, okay you’ve got two of them right here. Ann Landers, Dear Abby, Mary Ann Spencer. That’s like the least Jewish name.
Dr. David Madow: Bruce Springsteen.
Dr. Richard Madow: Not Jewish. He’s Italian. He’s mom’s maiden name was [inaudible - 0:04:09.4].
Dr. David Madow: I’m glad you know that. I’m really glad you know that.
Dr. Richard Madow: Nobody else cares. Okay let’s get to our question. How did you – with some useless trivia about great musicians and advice columnists. This one said – I love the way she addressed this. Dear Dental Practice Fixers.
Dr. David Madow: Loved it.
Dr. Richard Madow: Please address this as the Dental Practice Fixers from now on. Dear Dental Practice Fixers, everyone in the office has a problem with our doc. He comes in late just about every day, after the first patient has already been seen. He never says hello to us, just expects us to jump to it. We never get thanked or shown any appreciation. He does pay us very well, and if anyone complains, he always points that out. I thought about quitting but I loved the patients too much and do like the pay. What is your advice? Frustrated dental assistant somewhere in Canada.
Dr. David Madow: Oh Canada, I love it.
Dr. Richard Madow: You couldn’t point out your province at least. Canada is a pretty large country.
Dr. David Madow: She didn’t say like “Eh” at all.
Dr. Richard Madow: No she didn’t.
Dr. David Madow: Frustrated.
Dr. Richard Madow: What’s your advice? Eh?
Dr. David Madow: I wonder if all Canadians say that.
Dr. Richard Madow: I thought they did.
Dr. David Madow: It’s like a prerequisite.
Dr. Richard Madow: They all say “about”.
Dr. David Madow: I’m going to go back to my host.
Dr. Richard Madow: What’s your advice about – and to The Dental Practice Fixers down south. I wonder how many Canadian listeners we have.
Dr. David Madow: We’re going to find out because they’re all going to be pissed off now.
Dr. Richard Madow: We love Canada and we’ll send you a looney [inaudible - 0:05:42.1]. So what do you think? What’s your take on this? What’s your advice? Frustrated dental assistant somewhere in Canada. Didn’t Marshall date a frustrated dental assistant somewhere in Canada?
Dr. David Madow: He dated a frustrated troll somewhere in Canada. I don’t know if she was a dental assistant.
Dr. Richard Madow: I think she was a dental assistant. She might have been there.
Dr. David Madow: I wonder if it’s the same one. So I’m going to give you my basic philosophy and this is kind of like very, very broad. It’s at least a head start. Life is short. I prefer to work in a job or business or profession. Whatever it might be, a place that I go to every day, that I really like. And in fact, studies have been done and say like, hey the amount of money you make is – although it might be important, it’s not the most important thing, but fulfillment, job satisfaction are like the most important things, being appreciated. So I would say that if you’re not working in an office that you’ll feel appreciated, you feel like you’re being abused or something. Let’s face it, you got a patient in a chair seated, ready to go. The doc is not even in the office yet. It’s a form of abuse I think. That’s not right.
Dr. Richard Madow: It’s the patient and [inaudible - 0:06:47.4].
Dr. David Madow: Yeah. It’s just not right. So I personally would not want to work in a practice like that. If you’re really good, you can find another practice that’s going to pay you well. Maybe better, many a tiny a bit less, but somewhere in the range I would think. And you being enjoying life every – no. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with communicating with the doc and letting the doc know your frustration. Because nobody has talked to him or her about this. I think it’s worth the conversation. At least let the doc know that certain things are just not working for you and just not fair that you come in late. Patient’s in the chair, if you come in late every day, it’s not fair to the patients, it’s not fair to us. You never say hello, I don’t feel comfortable working here. Bring it up and see what the doc says.
Dr. Richard Madow: I agree with everything you said, and I think it’s interesting. You pointed out, studies have shown which you know what the heck that means. Studies have shown. We’ve all seen these numerous times. The pay is not at the top of what makes someone happy, and I think you hit the nail on the head as they say, being appreciated is always at the top or near the top of those lists. So obviously, frustrated somewhere in Canada and I don’t know where it could be. [inaudible - 0:07:54.9] maybe. [inaudible - 0:07:56.1]. I’m not sure. I think I mispronounced that. I think Canadians write in with that mispronunciation. Yeah people need to be appreciated and fulfilled at their job. And I think you’re right. It is worth trying to salvage. Don’t just quit. Have a talk with your doctor. I’m going to say maybe even get them a copy of the book “The Happiness Centered Practice” by Dr. Patty Lund. He addressed this. So many – it’s a great book, might a little outdated, but it doesn’t matter, you can pull so much from that great book. But I’m just like, thinking back to my practice. I’m not saying that I was perfect, but I knew from day one to make it a point to always be there. I’d like to be there first. I’ll always be there early. Greet every single team member as they come in. Hello, good morning Therese. It’s great to see you. Say thank you to everybody before they leave. Complement them in fact, throughout the day. Just to say like, hey well, oh my god, horrible.
Dr. David Madow: It may be sick to hear that one.
Dr. Richard Madow: If you do all these things correctly, you won’t have to pay that well.
Dr. David Madow: Because they’re paying half. It would be fun.
Dr. Richard Madow: And in fact, let me make a deal with you. I’ll be nice. I’ll be nice, pay you less. I mean this doc sounds a little bit of too much. And might be tough to cure.
Dr. David Madow: I’m not so sure he or she. I don’t know if it’s indicated as he or she.
Dr. Richard Madow: I think she said he.
Dr. David Madow: Oh he. I’m not so sure if he’s going to be able to change, but it’s worth the try. Because quitting, you know, it’s like anything, like any tremendous change. You’ll always try to make things better before you make a tremendous change. If you can’t make them better, then you got to see it’s on the other side I think.
Dr. Richard Madow: How many times have we heard team members complain that their doc gets in late? That the first patient at 8:30, and the doctor shows up at 8:45.
Dr. David Madow: A lot and it’s totally unacceptable.
Dr. Richard Madow: Horrible.
Dr. David Madow: You can’t run a practice like that.
Dr. Richard Madow: Don’t schedule a patient at 8:30 if you can’t make it there. Maybe you’ve got a reason or good solid reason why you can’t be there till 8:45. Well then don’t schedule an 8:30 patient. Lose that out. So your team member is telling your patients, oh fantastic news. We have early appointments. We have 8:30 but then they’re not seeing it at 8:30.
Dr. David Madow: But the doctor doesn’t show till it’s 8:45.
Dr. Richard Madow: Right. Sounds like they’re a little [inaudible - 0:10:03.8]. I left. And they recommended somebody else because the guy scheduled patients before he even got in. Why would anybody do that? And then you… could you imagine the tension; the doc finally gets in and everybody is all tense already. Then the doctor has no time to relax or do anything or talk to the team or see what’s going on. He has to jump right into the treatment room.
Dr. David Madow: What do you think about huddles every morning? They don’t have one.
Dr. Richard Madow: Non-existent.
Dr. David Madow: I mean, you got to get there early and just go over the day. It’s a business.
Dr. Richard Madow: I would say it’s a rule of thumb which is really not such a great time. But everybody should be there at least 30 minutes before the first patient scheduled.
Dr. David Madow: Absolutely.
Dr. Richard Madow: You know, some people like to wind down, get a cup of coffee, a little socialization. That’s all part of comradery. But you can’t do that if there’s a patient sitting in a chair. It’s ridiculous.
Dr. David Madow: Yeah. So what’s her name again?
Dr. Richard Madow: Let’s see. Most are not watching on the videos [cross talking - 0:11:00.1]. Frustrated dental assistant somewhere in Canada.
Dr. David Madow: Frustrated, and hopefully you can get this straightened out. We’d like you to be able to stay in the practice if your doc can work this out and you want everybody to enjoy their practice. But if not, time to move on I think.
Dr. Richard Madow: We never get thanked or shown any appreciation. We need [inaudible - 0:11:16.7].
Dr. David Madow: Well I’ll tell you what, we’re going to be the first people to thank you. Thank you so much for writing in. We appreciate you. We hope your doc appreciates you as much as we do, because we really do appreciate you.
Dr. Richard Madow: Docs who are listening, even if you think that you’re much better than this doctor in Canada, try to even do better than you’re doing now with your appreciation, with your good morning, with your thanks for coming in today. Say please and thank you all the time. Always being kind. Not gossiping, backstabbing, any of these things. Some nice doctors complain to us that their team is that way. But it always starts from the top. It always starts with great leadership. So please take this to heart and hopefully there won’t be too many frustrated dental assistants around anymore.
Dr. David Madow: Totally agree. Let’s get into the call of the week. But before we do that, we got some things to talk about. It will help you in your practice for sure.
Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah. A frequently asked question. An FAQ that we get is what’s it like to work with you guys with coaching? How does the whole thing work? And it’s a really tough question. It’s tough to explain the whole thing. Everybody wants to know what we do, what our secret mojo is to improve practices through our coaching because we do. That’s why people call us the Dental Practice Fixers. David and I thank you. David and I and our fantastic team of coaches really help practices grow. We really help dentists and team members enjoy their jobs more and what can be better than that? Making more money and enjoying your job more. So if you really want to find, if you’re really serious about finding out what it’s all about, come to our Masterclasses. They are no charge. They’re for docs who own practices who just want to learn a little more about what would it be like to work with us and our team. We have them throughout the year. Usually in Baltimore, at the home office of the Madow Center for Dental Practice Success. So go online, See what it’s all about, sign up for one, you get to hang with us Meet some of our great coaches, probably meet Sylvia and Whitney from Team Madow. Two of the nicest people you’ll ever get to meet. Along with Ann and Hope of course who are in our office every day. So come join us, we’d love to see you there. It could be the most valuable day you ever spend in dentistry.
Dr. David Madow: Yeah. I’d like to see you there. And while we’re talking about things that are going to help you in your practice, something that you’re doing now that you can be doing much better. There’s no question there. Because every dentist in North America I believe accepts credit cards.
Dr. Richard Madow: I hope so.
Dr. David Madow: We’re not sure. That could be like a whole another topic. But while you’re accepting credit cards, you’re paying fees through the process that are really not necessary. It’s a brand-new way to do this and we’re trying to spread the word all throughout North America. It’s called Fattmerchant. And what they do is there is a monthly fee. Monthly fee for Fattmerchant only and it’s a much easier, much newer way to process your credit cards and to save a lot of money every single month. You’ve got a lot of docs already. A lot of offices all over the country using this. We’re getting fantastic reviews. There’s really no reason to do it the old way and to pay excess fees that you shouldn’t be paying anymore. It’s simple, and the old days, to switch processors, you had to go through a whole regular [inaudible - 0:14:29.2] which is very complex. Now it’s basically a press and a click of a few buttons and maybe a phone call or so. And they get you changed really, really easy. It’s seamless, you don’t even know it’s happening. But you start to save money almost right away. Find out more, simply go to – if you’re watching the video, the link is going to be right below us. It’s BIT.LY/FATTMAD. So I’m going to spell the whole thing out for you in case you’re listening with the audio. BIT.LY/FATTMAD, and you’ll start – as I said, you’ll start saving money right away.
Dr. Richard Madow: Alright. I knew you’re going to use the word [inaudible - 0:15:13.2]. It was way in anticipation and sure enough, boom.
Dr. David Madow: You know, like five years ago, if you wanted to switch credit card processors, it’s a whole – it’s a must. Very difficult. Very very difficult. Now basically, click here, click there, they move you over to Fattmerchant and you’re saving money right away. I’d like to know why anybody wouldn’t do this.
Dr. Richard Madow: It’s a very low [inaudible - 0:15:38.1] factor.
Dr. David Madow: Very low [inaudible - 0:15:39.6].
Dr. Richard Madow: Sounds like [inaudible - 0:15:40.7] doesn’t it? Tonight it’s special [inaudible - 0:15:42.7].
Dr. David Madow: I’ll take it.
Dr. Richard Madow: Alright let’s do our call of the week. Are you ready?
Dr. David Madow: All set.
Voice Recording: This call maybe recorded for quality assurance.
[phone ringing]
Female Speaker: Good afternoon, thank you for calling. This is Kristine. How may I help you?
Dr. Richard Madow: Hi! Are you seeing new patients currently?
Female Speaker: Yes we are.
Dr. Richard Madow: Can you do cleanings and fillings and things like that?
Female Speaker: We do.
Dr. Richard Madow: And cosmetic dentistry too?
Female Speaker: Absolutely.
Dr. Richard Madow: Great. Can you tell me exactly where you’re located?
Female Speaker: Sure. We’re directly next to [inaudible - 0:16:23.8].
Dr. Richard Madow: Okay. Is that a strip center with other businesses, what are you near?
Female Speaker: It’s a strip center. There’s a coffee shop. We are directly across from the field where they have the beach volleyball, the sand.
Dr. Richard Madow: I think I know where that is. Okay. Are you next to that weed shop? I know where you are.
Female Speaker: Yeah.
Dr. Richard Madow: Okay. Now I know. Thank you so much for the information.
Female Speaker: You’re welcome.
Dr. Richard Madow: Okay, bye.
Female Speaker: Thank you.
Dr. Richard Madow: Bye. What do you think?
Dr. David Madow: I’ll tell you something. I loved that call. You know why I love it? it started off innocently like, what kind of dentistry do you do, do you this type of dentistry, do you do cosmetics? And then where are you located, you kind of led her right down and then finally, are you next to the weed shop?
Dr. Richard Madow: I got to tell our listeners; this is right next to my house. Like two blocks from where I live in downtown Baltimore. And there’s this kind of like this little old – it’s really not an area where there are strip centers because it’s very urban with mostly high-rise buildings. There’s this little like old strip center, used to have, I don’t know, like an old dinky real estate business and some neighborhood bank. And you know, the neighborhood bank kind of changed. They went out of business and then there’s really hip coffee shop one in there, and then another business is in there…
Dr. David Madow: I think I know that.
Dr. Richard Madow: Three B. And then another business went in there and then there [inaudible - 0:17:56.1]. This big beautiful medical marijuana store went in there. I mean there’s – you could just tell they put a lot of money into it.
Dr. David Madow: It’s like the Apple Store of marijuana.
Dr. Richard Madow: That’s what it looks like. I’ve never been in. But when you try and buy, you can see that it looks like an Apple store.
Dr. David Madow: I don’t know the part.
Dr. Richard Madow: It just looks beautiful. And then there was this little space still for rent next to the weed shop. A record store or a taco stand.
Dr. David Madow: A yoga studio.
Dr. Richard Madow: Something like that. And then the dentist office goes there which is so funny, but you couldn’t you tell like she was avoiding saying they’re next to the weed shop. We’re across the street from this or two [inaudible - 0:18:40.2] from this.
Dr. David Madow: But you know what I found that’s really funny, when you said, oh wait a minute. I think I know you. You were next to the weed shop. She was going like, yeah. Yeah we are.
Dr. Richard Madow: Like it’s still covert.
Dr. David Madow: It’s a weed shop. It’s legal.
Dr. Richard Madow: Perfectly legal. And honestly, when you drive by there, the largest signs of giving a landmark, you just could have said we’re next to the [inaudible - 0:19:03.1].
Dr. David Madow: But here’s the question. She did not ask for the appointment. I don’t think you said you know but you asked her a lot about the office like you’re going to be a new patient.
Dr. Richard Madow: Do you do cosmetic dentistry?
Dr. David Madow: Obviously you’re looking for a new dentist, but do you think the reason that she didn’t offer you a appointment is because she just generally doesn’t do that anyway or the fact that you mentioned the weed shop. She doesn’t like a stoner patient coming in now. What do you think?
Dr. Richard Madow: I think that they would probably enjoy a patient that was a little bit relaxed than stoned coming in. So I don’t think that’s it.
Dr. David Madow: I need 12 on this, oh yes sign me up right now.
Dr. Richard Madow: It’s legal in Maryland. Certainly nothing illegal that has a medical marijuana card. No I think she just didn’t know how to ask for an appointment. I would say if I said oh I know exactly where you are and you’re close to the beach volleyball…
Dr. David Madow: I think she would say would you like an appointment.
Dr. Richard Madow: Well not certainly.
Dr. David Madow: Well you said that we [inaudible - 0:19:55.6]. We don’t want stone…
Dr. Richard Madow: These volleyball, wholesome, athletic, healthy weed shop.
Dr. David Madow: We don’t know like a bunch of stoners lined up. 
Dr. Richard Madow: Or she should have said we have a 4:20 appointment.
Dr. David Madow: We would have given her A.
Dr. Richard Madow: Or any appointment if she would have said anything like this. Again, it seems to be a very typical pattern. Some of the people on the phone are just horrible. But many like her, super nice, very kind with information. Didn’t ask for the appointment.
Dr. David Madow: Yeah. Next time you’re anywhere near the weed shop, just stop in the dental place and say hey I’m the one that called. Hey man you’re next to the weed shop.
Dr. Richard Madow: We don’t know exactly – they’re like playing Pink Floyd and Bob Marley.
[cross talking - 0:20:40.1]
Dr. Richard Madow: Capitalize on it.
Dr. David Madow: Absolutely. No question.
Dr. Richard Madow: I’ll make a special section for the people coming right from the shop.
Dr. David Madow: The weed shop. It’s a great call. I love the way you just started off gently and let her right and then the last thing was, oh wait a minute, you’re next to the weed shop. It was so good.
Dr. Richard Madow: Nevertheless, she should have asked for the appointment. And you know what, I was very careful not to turn it into an obvious phony phone call and starting asking crazy questions like can I come in stoned or you have a 4:20 appointments. You know that, it’s not what we’re after. So we don’t want to make it into a comedy call or a phony phone call. Those are legit calls from somebody who knew the businesses in the area, and she did not try to get them to come in by offering the appointment. Got to say F.
Dr. David Madow: I agree, F and listen, whoever is watching and listening to us, we say it every time, offer the appointment and you’ll be getting at least a B+ probably.
Dr. Richard Madow: Maybe even an A. So hey we’d love to answer your questions, give it to us. or whatever you want to do. Message us on Facebook, call the office, it doesn’t matter. Get us your question however you can. You go onto our website and click and have a little chat. Hope will – she’ll take care of you. Whatever it takes. Get us your questions. So hey, fantastic Episode 9 Season 2 of the Dental Practice Fixers. Thanks for being with us. I’m Dr. Richard Madow.
Dr. David Madow: Dr. David Madow, we will see you next time. Thanks for being with us.
[music playing]




If you enjoyed this podcast, check out our previous podcast, A Confrontation With a Patient Ends With a Bad Online Review

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