Last week I sent out a request to each and every one of you: A rare request to stand up and make some effort to mitigate the advantages corporate practices have over us in purchasing, marketing, and management. A few responded but nowhere the numbers we need in order to create a “movement” in our profession to take back the lost profits and opportunities we could have if we chose to stand together. I know that this blog is not at the top of your daily to do list, but I am including a link to the previous post so that you can have the opportunity to join in.
Today I want to revisit and hopefully reinforce to you the need to take action and save the private practice model. In a sense, I want you to take any action today that would improve your own practice.
Let me remind you of what history and statistics have shown us about why our patients leave our practices, and use this as an analogy of why most of you are not taking action now to save the practice of Dentistry as we know it.
Patients leave a practice because:
• 3% move away;
• 5% form other relationships;
• 9% leave for competitive reasons;
• 14% are dissatisfied with the product or service;
• 68% leave because of an attitude of indifference.
You can’t do anything about the 3%, and possibly not the 5%, but the others are fixable. 9% that leave because you fail to embrace the threat of competition and for a lot of us this is corporations and insurance companies. 14% stream out of your practices because your clinical and personal handling of the treatment delivery fell short of the expectations of the patient.
Finally we face the big “I”, or indifference. The patients see that you just don’t care: You’re disengaged, and just won’t make the effort to make a difference. Most of the practices I see are rife with this attitude of just bareley showing up and far from actually trying to make a difference. I think that’s really why I have written these hundreds of emails, newsletters, and blogs. I don’t think that “good enough to get by” is how I want to run my business or live my life. I want you to decide that you control your practice and your destiny.
I admit that when I sent out last week’s blog, I was hoping to right a wrong, to stir you to action, and set something in motion that would matter to you and our profession. Yet, out of the thousands of doctors and staff members that receive this blog, just a handful responded. Indifference has ruled the day and will define the demise of Dentistry as we know it.
Some may have said, “I’m fine the way things are”, and they will be found incorrect.
Many will assume it’s impossible or unlikely that we can pull this off, and they might be right, but I know I will fail 100% of the time that I don’t take the first step in trying. I will not abdicate my future to anyone else.
Sadly, most will just not care enough to do anything. They say that one form of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. How’s that working for the silent majority of dentists that default to indifference, and let someone else define your destiny?
Read last week’s blog, sit down and look at how even a little indifference has robbed you of your greatness, and reconsider how not acting now could allow corporations and insurance companies to define what Dentistry is tomorrow and beyond.
Michael Abernathy, DDS