Checklist for Associate Success
But if you’re the senior dentist it’s important to remember that it’s not just the new dentist’s responsibility to become the practitioner you want them to be. Their success will depend largely on the measures you take to assimilate them into the practice. As with anything else in business—or in life, for that matter—if you want to control the outcome, you have to control the process.
Here’s a quick checklist of things you can do to create the right conditions for success:
- Pair the new dentist with your best assistant. Pairing the new person with your most efficient veteran staffer is the quickest way to get the newcomer up to speed. It also maintains continuity in the eyes of the patients, who will still be seeing a familiar face, and it gives the new dentist a valuable and influential ally in the practice.
- Conduct regular case reviews and case plan collaborations. Get involved as a mentor by reviewing your cases, as well as the new dentist’s cases, and working with them on devising treatment plans. It’s not a matter of checking up on them; this is about collaborating to achieve the best results for the patients and the practice.
- Manage their mix of cases. There’s nothing wrong with having the new person do a number of hygiene sessions at first—it’s a great way for them to spend time getting to know the patients in a low-pressure atmosphere. Eventually, as they become established, they won’t need to do hygiene services anymore, and they’ll take on more challenging cases as the practice—and their ability—grows. If you’ve been doing regular case reviews with them, you’ll both get a good sense of what is required to get to the next level.
- Oversee their ongoing clinical education. Establish early on that you put a premium on continuing education and remaining current. To begin with, guide them toward practical courses presented by industry leaders. After all, it’s one thing to learn in school how to do a restorative procedure, it’s another thing to see how the masters do it with optimal efficiency. And when it comes to learning leading edge techniques as they emerge, it pays to attend together so you can be aligned about implementing in the practice.
It’s all about using your considerable authority and influence to enable this new important person in your life to be their best. It’s about mentorship and guidance. Once you have embraced this philosophy you’ll find that the real question is not, “Do I have the right person?” but rather, “Have I created the right environment for this person to be successful?”