Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra was a professional baseball catcher, manager and coach who played 19 seasons of baseball. While Yogi has great accomplishments in baseball, he may have achieved more notoriety for his “Yogisms,” his comments about his observations of life around him.
The following are some of his Yogisms that have spoken to me in my life and my practice.
“The future ain't what it used to be.”
Some people think that the “golden age of dentistry” has passed and it is all downhill from there now. Some believe our future in dentistry is that we are destined to work for corporate dentistry. Fee-for-service dentistry is dead; the future ain't what it used to be.
This is true if you believe it is and will be true if you are not willing to work to change your future. One of the many beautiful things that our profession has given us is the ability to change our future if we choose to do so. We can have a different practice tomorrow than what we have today. But it will take leadership, a good vision of what you want your future to be and the team that can take you there.
If you do the same thing over and over but expect things to be different, some feel this is a definition of insanity. As Yogi would say, “It’s deja vu all over again.”
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”
Yogi was a visionary in helping to see the future. So where are you going? Can you see your future? That is the first thing you need to determine.
What level of dentistry do you want to provide? What will the patient experience be in your office? What do you want your office to look like? And so on. Look at all the details of what you want your practice to be.
Can you be an effective leader to take your team where you want to go? Do you have a team that wants to go where you want to take them? Do you have time set up on a regular basis to share the road map and get everyone on the same page? Are you ready to implement what you want to do?
“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
One of my favorite things about being on campus in Arizona is that we are surrounded by like-minded people. I get to interact with people who have been on this journey before me and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Some of the best conversations happen during non-classroom hours.
At home, find a practice or two that you admire and ask to spend some time there. Shadow the doctor, the assistant, the hygienist and the front desk. All of these people share the same practice philosophy. I am certain that many hours have been spent developing and sharing this office culture. You can observe a lot just by watching.
What is it that you observed that you want to take into your office? How are you going to make it your own? Remember that tomorrow is for what you have not done today. “It ain't over till it’s over.”
Carl E Steinberg DDS, MAGD, LLSR