Orthotown June 2019 - 8

embrace progress

Practice and Healthy Skepticism
by Dan Grob, DDS, MS, editorial director, Orthotown magazine

Last month's column finished with a
statement about the reality of being a professional in a business-namely, that to earn
a living, one must perform piece work in a
procedure, a process or an hourly environment.
Granted, our rate of pay is much better than
the $15/hour many politicians believe is all
that's necessary to earn a "living," but still,
no matter how you analyze your business, it
will be with a production formula at the end.
In fact, the more you investigate, every one of
your processes, procedures and employees is
evaluated as such-production per hour, per
employee or per patient, etc.
It's relatively easy in the beginning to evaluate your success and profitability (or lack

thereof), because there
just isn't that much business or cash to worry
about. However, as patients start appearing,
referrals are arriving and you're busy hiring,
purchasing and doing-doing-doing, it's easy
to get sidetracked by other life influences like
marriage, children and activities.
It's about this time that a number of outside
events start to cause stress and anxiety in the
practice, and one reaches out for help. This is
when and where we all need to take a step back
and become somewhat skeptical-or, should
I say, cautious-about the next steps. My wife
has always been the calming influence in my

8

JUNE 2019 // orthotown.com

life, trying to keep me grounded from my
more impulsive moments. We're all educated,
calculating and inquisitive, but we often fall
victim to promises, guarantees or the latest
greatest thing.

The biggest bugbears of practice
I just returned from the latest AAO annual
session. How many new products were displayed
that promised to revolutionize your practice,
deliver the best clinical result and, yes, do it for
less and in a shorter time? As an experienced
orthodontist, I've almost heard it all-I can't
tell you how many new appliance systems,
delivery options or diagnostic

devices have been promised to make
my life simpler, my patients happier and my
results more stable. Yet, more than 30 years
later, I'm still arguing about wearing this,
brushing that or replacing something else.
All after school, of course!
These tendencies can be beneficial and
sometimes detrimental to our practice existence.
Everyone, it seems, wants to take a piece of
you during your moment of confusion or
disorganization. It's always difficult to strike
a balance between growth and saving for the
future and prosperity.
In the next few paragraphs, I'll share with
you some insight into the various times in my


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Orthotown June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Orthotown June 2019

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