Is your associate dentist a second class citizen?
How would an associate dentist be a second class citizen? Imagine this scenario.
You are at a very nice restaurant (yes, we can dream!) – an expensive one that you may only visit once a year or so.
You order the special of the night, which sounds fantastic, and then the server says to you…
“There’s been a disturbance in the kitchen, and our head chef is running a bit behind tonight. If you like, we can have the line cook prepare your dinner. He just started last week.”
It’s doubtful that many people would say okay to that.
Yet, we see many dental practices make the same mistake when bringing a new associate dentist into the mix. Often they are treated like a second-class citizen. How is that done?
“Dr. Marley isn’t available for three weeks, but if you like we can have his new associate, Dr. Tosh, do your crown. She has plenty of time on her schedule.”
Ummmm…. No thank you.
When you bring an associate into the practice, it is imperative to give them every chance to succeed. That means sucking it up and getting behind them one hundred percent! Put their name on your business cards, on your door, on the website, and everywhere else. And please – if you want them to succeed, don’t refer to them as the “Associate Dentist.” To your patients AND your team they must look like a fully embraced member of your practice, not an inferior alternative to the “real doctor.”
“Dr. Tosh has an opening next week and can do your crown on Tuesday. She is fantastic and really gentle – you’ll love her!”
Bringing on an associate is a great way to grow your practice, and to give the owner doctor some needed extra time off. The right associate can eventually become a partner and part of your ultimate transition plan.
The bottom line is – don’t bring an associate into the practice unless you are fully dedicated to their success. And that means treating them like a first-class part of your practice, not a second-rate afterthought!