Advice For General Practitioners

by | Nov 29, 2013

Recently Vancouver Dentist Dr. Lowe was interviewed by the Dental Products Report during DenMat’s recent destination education event. Dr. Lowe who was a speaker at the event sat down with Advanstar group editorial director Kevin Henry to talk about what it really means to “stay busy” in their dental practices. Here’s the video:

Here’s the Video Transcript in case you missed it:

Dr. Lowe: “I think that dentistry has changed. We think as general practitioners, we seem to be doing less-and-less. We would be happy if it was easy, but as we always want new patients; we always want the big cases; right? We want to be busy! You know, people say that all the time.

So, in order to be busy; and the economy affects it a little bit too, but in order to be busy, they’re looking for things to do. Well, if you’re looking for something to do, there isn’t some magic new group of patients that are going to come in! If you take a course, you’re not all of a sudden going to be busy. It just takes a bit of work. Just go back to spending time with people.”

Kevin Henry: “And talk about… we talked about the patient as the President. Talk about the priority of making the patient the king or the queen, whatever it comes to deciding things?”

Dr. Lowe: “Well, I’ve learned that from spending time with my Coach, the Richardson Group, Alan Richardson. We’ve always had this saying, and it’s called “Patient. Team. Self!” – Patient comes first, they provide you with an income, they’re the whole reason you’re there. Why you got into this profession, hopefully. And the team that supports you are important also, because without your team, you can’t provide what you provide. And then yourself. But if you put yourself in front of that; say: “you know what, “I arrive late everyday, I run late into lunch”, you know, “just pretend I’m not here”, or not be diligent in your business. You know there are many that run a half million to a million dollar a year business, and anyone that owns that size of business in the business world don’t treat it like dentists do”.

Kevin Henry: “Can you just rehash the story of the patient that did want the diastema (tooth gap) and how that was tough for you, and yet you knew that was what she wanted?”

Dr. Lowe: “It was interesting because she was such a great patient, and you know, every practitioner wants to deliver great care and do the ideal thing. Well, after she went through oral surgery, she had her jaw advanced. She got orthodontics to straighten out her teeth. We got to provide her with the prep-less veneers. And when she put them on, it took her, literally ten-minutes and she said: “I don’t like it!” I said: “Why? You know, they’re perfect?”

If you look in a book of aesthetics they’re perfect, we hit every “notch”. You know, I had a great lap, that would give me the aesthetics I want. And she says: “no I want my gap back!”

And it’s interesting because you know, you as the dentist you may say: “I’m the dentist, you’re the patient!” But if you go: Patient. Team. Self. The patient is right, the patient is the president. I’m just here to be your advisor, if you want to have a gap between your teeth, I should be able to provide you with it, and provide you the best gap you’ve ever had!”

Kevin Henry: “Was that a struggle for you?”

Dr. Lowe: “It wasn’t a struggle for me because I’m comfortable. If you put the patient first it’s comfortable. If you have a need to be right. And you want to be right, then it won’t be comfortable. So I think to myself: “do you want to be right or do I want to be in a relationship with my patient?” And I think I’d rather be in a relationship!”

Kevin Henry: “And do you see that as one of the main mistakes most G.P’s are making? They’re trying to put themselves first rather than the patient, or…?”

Dr. Lowe: “Well I don’t know I think it’s… I think they take the patient for granted. Some people are in a bit of a hurry. Some people do have a need to be right. They have the: “I’m the dentist you’re the patient, you should listen to me?” attitude. But in todays day and age, to be honest with you, I can go to Wikipedia and look everything, anything, up on the internet. I can find everything about the procedure. Most patients that come in now know all about the procedure before you even open your mouth. So I like to think that they are as well educated. I’m just going to assume that. And treat them as an equal, rather than the “Doctor Patient Relationship!”