Sunday, September 11, 2005
In the past, most dentists (and pediatric dentists) opened their doors as solo practitioners. Over the years, there has been a shift towards partnerships and group practices. Our practice started when Dr. Charles Hall opened up in the 60’s. Dr. Richard Cannon joined shortly afterwards. Their partnership is near legendary in these parts. (Dr. Cannon is seen above on the left. Dr. Hall is on the right). Dr. Hall eventually became president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. I joined in 1992 after being in solo practice for a couple of years.
The practice was renamed Alabama Pediatric Dental Associates (APDA). Since then we have added a second office in Madison, Alabama and added three other pediatric specialists and two orthodontists. That necessitated a change in the name again to APDA “& Orthodontics”. Although, we still call it APDA because the whole thing became a mouthful. You can visit our main website with the link on the sidebar. Above you can see us opening our new Huntsville office with Huntsville Mayor Loretta Spencer.
Our staff has grown as well. I often wonder how we keep our sanity working with around 40 women! With such a large practice, management and the business aspects of the profession become more important and certainly demand more time. We know all about patient treatment, but are ill equipped initially to understand the business of dentistry. Often we say, “ I don’t care about all that, just let me treat the patients”. However, we soon find out if you can’t stay in business, you can’t offer the best treatment for your patients. Like it or not, these days you must understand business.
Our doctors and management meet often on business and patient issues. We also meet annually with our accounting firm Cain, Watters, and Associates, P.C. in Dallas about once per year. They helped us with transitioning in our new dentists to the practice.
In addition to the intensive education to become a dentist and the continuing educational requirements to keep up with current techniques, etc., there is the real need for business and management skills development. Just look at some of the following things you need to master, but never really get much in dental school:
Hiring personnel, government regulations such as OSHA and HIPPA, licenses, tax laws, supplies and inventory management, financing and banking, employee benefits, bonuses, pension plans and pension law, long range planning, and practice transitions. By the way, have I mentioned anything about patient treatment? We are just scratching the surface here. I’ll add more regarding these topics and more especially including our wonderful patients and their dental care.
If you want more, go back to the home page or click here:Pediatric Dentistry