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COACH’S CORNER – We’ve Only Just Begun

Our new Practice Management Coaching program maps a clear path to excellence for dentists all across the country

JANET HAGERMAN, RDH, BS

NEW BEGINNINGS CAN BE challenging, interesting, tricky, tough, inspiring, exciting. Lucy Hobbs — America’s first female dentist, to whom we pay tribute throughout this issue — was certainly no stranger to new beginnings. She no doubt experienced all these sensations and emotions as she began, over and over, to defy odds and surmount obstacles.

What changes she wrought! Today, a century and a half after Hobbs received her degree, almost a third of professional dentists are women, and nearly half of dental students are. This year’s fifth annual Lucy Hobbs Celebration lauded some of those new beginnings — those of the women who are redefining their careers and their industry contributions.

Right now is a new beginning at Benco Dental, too: the start of the Benco Practice Management Coaching program. As the old song goes, we’ve only just begun — but we have big plans for supporting our dentists, their teams and their patients at every turn.

Benco’s coaching team offers diverse expertise derived from a cumulative 300-plus years of experience. (It’s true, we all started as babies.) There are currently eight of us — four clinical and four business coaches. We strive to pair coaches and dentists according to geographic location, of course, but even more so by linking our expertise to a practice’s particular needs. Our leader, Kay Huff, a seasoned pro who has recently returned to Benco, is a practice-assessment expert, identifying growth opportunities to boost team improvement and practice improvement in tandem.

A practice-management coach’s primary goal is selfless: to help you achieve your goals. Who do you want to be in your community? What do you want your practice to look like? We’ll help you develop the leadership skills that will help you attract, train and develop a topnotch team that supports your vision for your practice.

Our program covers clinical expertise, business acumen and the communication skills necessary to achieve peak performance for health production and stellar patient care. We’ll help you implement the business systems (insurance, overhead, scheduling, recordkeeping, patient retention, marketing) and the clinical protocols (diagnostic tools, a productive hygiene department, exemplary new-patient experience, strong periodontal) you need for a thriving practice. All of these are vital, especially given how much more we now know about the connection between oral and systemic health.

Perhaps most important, of course, are the communication skills (comprehensive evaluations and treatment planning, case presentation, treatment acceptance, strategic planning) you need to put all these pieces together and ensure that your patients get the treatment they need and want.

If that seems like a lot to achieve, well, it is. But great coaches can help throughout the journey, from new beginning to everyday excellence. Consider the words of Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Regarding the pursuit of such excellence with our partner dentists across the country, stay tuned: We’ve only just begun.

JANET HAGERMAN, RDH, BS is a speaker, author, consultant and Benco Practice Management coach. You can reach her at jhagerman@benco.com. To obtain a practice assessment, please contact your local Benco representative.