Dr. Whitecoat is a devoted clinician. She loves being a dentist and she’s driven to providing the best care for her patients. She’s always on top of new treatments and new technologies. But when it comes to things like financial appointing procedures, patient payment policies and team training, she tends to hide behind her office manager. For her, being a dentist is about what goes on inside the patients’ mouths and that’s where her focus stays.

Dr. Pinstripe knows how to run a practice. He knows how to lead his team, is great at developing and refining systems that maximize efficiency and is always looking for growth opportunities. But he usually only does the minimal mandated amount of CE each year and his clinical skills have not advanced much since his graduation from dental school.

Yes, these portraits are caricatures of two extremes, but I think the point is clear: great dentistry requires both mindsets. It requires clinical success, which is based on great patient care, and it requires great business success, which is based on great practice care.

You can be a great dentist in terms of your level of education and your ability to diagnose and treatment plan, but if your practice does not provide an environment where this level of care can be easily embraced and accepted, you’ll never get to deliver at the level of your capability.

Likewise, if your level of clinical mastery isn’t always evolving, no matter how well you manage your practice, you’ll feel unfulfilled. There will always be that feeling that you’re missing out on bigger and better things.

To really have a great practice, you’ve got to have clinical success and practice success in equal measure. You can’t truly aspire to great dentistry without a commitment to both.


Are great patients born or made? Just about any patient has the capacity to become a great one. To find out how, download the free eBook: Trust and Value: A Field Guide to Today's Dental Patients.




Commenter's Profile Image Muna Strasser
June 8th, 2012
Thank you for contributing so much to make the Whitecoats and Pinstripes meet in the middle and gain better appreciation for each other!