Author's note: Special thanks to Resident Faculty member Aimee Fletcher for her contributions to this article.

There's no question that 2020 has been challenging for everyone, though the year has also given us some significant "gifts." Facing so many unexpected issues through this era of drastic transformation, we've seen dental professionals unite to support one another unlike any year prior. The past several months in particular offered you the opportunity to forge lasting and meaningful relationships with your teams and referring practices. But 2020 has also given us a fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate Masters Program and consider how to better serve specialist dental practices.

It's fair to say that air travel won't feel entirely comfortable for some time, and we understand that it will be challenging to attend a campus-based course for which you'd have to shut your practice down so the entire team can travel with you. We are committed to providing specialist practices with a Masters Program 2021 course schedule that offers reliable, flexible and meaningful resources that address key clinical and practice management issues such as:

  • Leadership and goal setting
  • Study club growth
  • Improving quantity and quality of referrals
  • Hiring for success and creating aligned teams
  • Optimizing practice capacity

How do we serve independent specialist dental practices while considering the challenges of COVID on endodontists, periodontists, surgical specialists, and their practice teams? How can we continue to provide content to you and do it efficiently?

We sat down with our faculty and created a list of 85 different topics that we feel drive success in the specialist practice and Masters Program. Those 85 elements reflect the "4 Pillars” of Masters Program and are woven into our 2021 course curricula.

If you're a current Masters Program member, reach out to your coach to discuss your goals and register for one of our upcoming courses. If you're a periodontist, surgical specialist or endodontist but are not a current member, learn more by contacting a Masters Program Advisor.

Masters Program '4 Pillars' reflected in 2021 course schedule

While designing the 2021 courses, we considered countless feedback from member practices that we've collected over the last five years. As with everything we do in Masters Program, your opinion matters to us.

For 2021, not only is each course tiered to provide a more focused learning environment, but they are also designed to be prescriptive. Together with your Masters Program coach, you'll determine specific goals for your practice and receive a recommended course pathway to help you grow and attain your goals.

“We are committed to providing specialist practices with a Masters Program 2021 course schedule that offers reliable, flexible and meaningful resources that address key clinical and practice management issues”
See details button for the graphic details.

Everything we teach in Masters Program falls into four categories: Leadership, Referral Relationships, Team Dynamics, and Analytics and Scheduling. For more information about the Pillars of Success, watch this short video in which Aimee and I discuss how we created the new courses. These four pillars drive patient success, but they can only be shorn up by the patients that come through your door, which we refer to as your pipeline. Everything we are teaching moving forward falls into one of the pillars that supports your pipeline; to build, serve, manage, and maintain the flow of patients coming from your referral sources, whether that be the referring office or other avenues.

With this framework in place, we are moving forward with 11 three-hour virtual courses that fit into one of the four pillars of success. Many of these courses will be offered multiple times throughout 2021 on standard days of the week so that you can plan around them without negatively impacting patient care and productivity. We are thrilled because these changes to our courses allow you and your entire team to engage with Masters Program with greater focus and clarity for your unique practice goals.

Everyone on the Masters Program team is thrilled about the program's progression and is eager to present new, tailored courses to support dental specialist practices in overcoming their challenges and attaining their goals. As we designed the recently announced Masters Relaunch, your educational content and coaching on how to apply the lessons within your office are now better intertwined to provide a cohesive strategy for sustainable practice growth.

After each course, you'll have a defined action plan to implement the concepts taught. And our new advanced courses will feature topics, like hiring and compensation, that we've briefly touched on in the past but have room to thoroughly explore.

2021 Masters Program courses

Leadership courses include:

Foundations of Practice Leadership

Not everyone is a natural leader, yet specialists must be team and business leaders in order to achieve the best possible outcomes in their practices. Fortunately, the essentials of leadership can be learned. In this course, we cover the fundamentals of practice leadership and show you how to use Masters Program resources to become a more focused leader.

Leadership in Action: Strategies and Tools for Focused Performance in the Practice

It's one thing to understand the philosophical underpinnings of what effective leadership is. Putting those philosophies into practice is another matter. In this course, we discuss tools and strategies for the practical application of leadership initiatives that drive consistent results.

Advanced Leadership

The highest levels of success in the practice occur when the highest levels of leadership commitments are made. In this course, we cover the finer points of leadership at an advanced level, including practical strategies for implementation.

Courses on strengthening referral relationships include:

Building the Right Foundation

A well-functioning, focused and inspiring study club remains one of the best ways to build long-lasting, high-quality referral relationships. In this course, we examine the essentials that go into leading a study club that helps all participants grow and generates reliable results.

Engaging with Your Pipeline

While your study club meetings are a central focus with your Inner Community core referrers, they must be seen within the context of a greater mission of developing those key relationships. In this course, we widen our scope to look at the philosophies and strategies that help create engagement among referrers that supply your pipeline.

Elevating Your Pipeline

This course is about using specific, tailored strategies to take your referral relationships to the next level. We address how to decide who to target and with which strategies, how to create a plan for your Inner Community and study club members, and how to identify opportunities to drive outcomes in specific areas of the practice.

Courses to reinforce stronger team dynamics include:

The Right People in the Right Seats: The Foundations of Team Alignment

It's a topic of great frustration for many practice leaders, which makes it an important issue to address: how to get the team aligned and motivated to support the practice's goals. In this course, we look at the fundamentals of establishing and maintaining a team alignment framework that is focused on the intersection of team and individual growth.

Managing Team Success

Success in every facet of practice management will always depend, to a large degree, on the efficiency of your systems and processes. In this course, we focus on the key systems to implement to keep team alignment purposeful and effective.

Advanced Principles of Team Leadership

It's no secret that the practices with the most consistent success are usually the practices where there is a strong commitment to leadership and team accountability. In this course, we focus on what it means to make that commitment.

Courses related to analytics and scheduling include:

Scheduling for Success: Building a Template that Works for You

Time is the most precious commodity you have – both inside and outside the practice – so it makes sense to develop a system for deploying your time strategically. In this course, we explore the principles of strategic scheduling and walk through the basic components of building a template that ensures that your time is working for you.

Using Scheduling and Data Analysis to Accelerate Your Practice Growth

The more you see success from focusing on priorities, the more you discover what other priorities you can turn your attention to. In that respect, a scheduling template will not just manage daily activities – it will reveal possibilities. In this course, we examine how to use your template – and other analytics – as a springboard to help you develop your overall strategic plan for the practice.

In Masters Program, we wholeheartedly believe in mutual accountability because accountability isn't a four-letter word. The evolution of the program is based on holding our member practices accountable to their goals by refining the communication cadence.

We're also holding ourselves accountable to change how we deliver education and resources that are directly reflective of what our specialists want and need for their entire interdisciplinary teams. We are so excited to share the new virtual courses with you and help you attain the level of success you desire through the reimagined Masters Program.

Martin Mendelson, D.D.S., C.P.C., E.L.I.-M.P., is a member of Spear Resident Faculty.