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Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is known as a top dental consultant by Dentistry Today.

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Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

THE “LAST” TRANSITION

By: Dr. David Black, DDS, FICD, FACD

August 19, 2019

I had an accident at home in late spring, falling and landing awkwardly on my shoulder.  I did not break or chip a bone or tear any ligaments, but jammed it so badly I followed up with an orthopedic surgeon for all the right tests and images to be sure. 

He recommended 6-8 weeks of physical therapy and then a follow-up visit.  By late May, I decided I wasn’t progressing fast enough, so I also got some deep muscle massage.  On June 6th, my world changed.  I had severe pain from hips to neck. 

The doctor’s visit resulted in pain- killers to help me sleep and be able to get out of bed.  Many blood tests revealed nothing but the obvious increased inflammatory markers; no reason for the pain.  Even though I am a diabetic, we decided to give steroid shots to break the pain cycle.  It is now mid-July and my doctors and I still don’t have a definitive diagnosis. 

DENTIST RETIREMENT

The “Last” transition from dentist into retirement is the transition from being the strong, Alpha leader of my family to a person who is dependent on my wife and family to take care of some or even all of my needs.  I could not drive.  I could hardly walk across the bedroom and I needed a cane to help me get around.  I could not concentrate long enough to even write a blog, which is the reason you haven’t heard from me for weeks.

My hope is that this is a passing thing, but it seems there is an underlying systemic problem that remains to be found.  I am going to have to adapt to whatever life changes that come next.  The psychological impact that is a result of this change is something that we all will face.  It is not directly related to retiring, but more to the transition of aging.  As hard as it is for us to accept it, we are all mortal, and aging and becoming dependent is the last transition in our lives.

I was reflecting on some changes I was considering to make for one of my presentations to include this information. Then I realized we all need to do some planning for this part of life, too.  I never considered that I would become totally dependent on my family for normal everyday functions.  The truth is, we all will come to this point in our life, at some time.  The tricky part is that we do not know when that will happen, and in most cases it happens before we have planned for it.

I have a picture of me with a golf trophy from about 6 years ago, when I won my flight in a golf tournament.  That day I shot an 83, which is not a bad score when you have a 20  handicap, but today I cannot even think of swinging a club because of the pain.  Age,  pathology, and progressive deterioration of our bodies will slowly rob us of many of the things we consider to be normal functions. 

THE LIST TO CREATE YOUR FREEDOM

Below are a list of things I planned while making my transition from dentist & owner of a dental practice to FREEDOM to do what I want, when I want.

I worked and prepared for my retirement years and this included end of life care.  Usually this is something we will stay in denial about, until reality is thrust upon us.  I am going to discuss a couple of the things I have done to plan and possibly some insights into some things we will all need to do before this final transition sneaks up on us.

  1. Long-term care insurance
    Like all insurance, the younger you are when you buy this coverage, the cheaper it is.  With the average cost of nursing care at over $8000/ month, the more you can afford, the better.  You can often use in-home care with the better companies, but any of this type care is becoming increasingly expensive.  Without this, you can quickly drain your retirement funds.
  2.  
  3. Cancer and intensive care insurance
    This is a specialty add-on to other supplemental insurance coverage, but with my family history, it seemed like something that was inexpensively added to my coverages.
  4.  
  5. Handicap accessible design of home
    We designed and custom built our home to have large hallways and doors into our bedrooms and bathrooms.  All necessary rooms are on the ground floor and handicap accessible.  We also had a family room that accommodated my father-in-law when we had hospice care for his final days being comfortably spent in our home.
  6.  
  7. Will preparation and legal council
    Make sure you have everything you wish to happen when you are no longer here planned out and written down.  Also have a good estate lawyer help you make the proper plans, before you have health issues, and with enough time to structure your finances so your spouse will be taken care of when you are gone. Be sure that your spouse has signature rights on all bank and investment accounts.
  8.  
  9. Consideration about how you will spend your life and time post-dentistry
    If you are planning to continue doing everything you are doing today, with no limitations, either you are a really strong and healthy person, or delusional.  The vast majority of us will have physical limitations as we age. Even those who are healthy until their last illness are often surprised to suddenly die.   I had plans to continue to do a lot more physical work and travel, but as my condition changes, I have to reassess what I am going to do in the next year and years.  I spoke to a widow several years ago about my surprise at the news of her husband’s death.  She informed me that he also was surprised at his death.  When my father died several years ago, he had terminal cancer and we knew death was imminent, but the day of his death, we all seemed surprised.  I think it is human nature to think it will be “later”.
  10.  
  11. Family discussions about retirement plans and transitional care if disabled
    Nothing can be worse than a sudden, premature death of a spouse.  Possibly the next worst thing is long-term disability.  Even for young families, you should have discussions and plans in the case of the worst possible situations.  Insurance policies and wills are the bare minimum of planning all of us should do.

 

This final transition is not something most of us want to discuss or even consider, but ignoring this obvious life event will not eliminate the need to make a plan.  Doing these simple, but possibly hard things will help you to be proactive in your life, instead of having a very negative surprise when you least expect it.

Make your last transition from dentist and owner of your practice into FREEDOM – retirement, one of the best adventures in your life.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Black owned his own dental practice for over 30 yrs. There he developed an understanding of the critical importance in development of the owner-doctor’s leadership abilities, in addition to having great clinical skills.

Once he built a high-level of productivity in his dental practice, he was able to sell to a group practice; and the rest of his career as a dental practice owner is history.

In 2015, Dr. Black decided to share his knowledge to help other dentists duplicate his level of success, so he became a leadership coach and practice management consultant. His niche is treatment planning and case presentation.

Dr. Black is currently an associate coach and consultant, for Dental Practice Solutions, one of the leading consulting firms for nearly twenty years. As a seasoned practitioner, Dr. Black adds to the proven hygiene profitability coaching that Dental Practice Solutions is well-known for providing, to dental practices around the world.

Dr. Black’s expertise as an EQ and DISC trainer, makes him the best person to help more patients to say “YES!” to your patient care, as well as to enjoy working together as a team and loving what you do for your patients!

Grab Dr. Blacks Free eBook called Transition Now! here.

Dental Practice Transition How Do You Create A Saleable Practice?

By: Dr. David Black, DDS, FICD, FACD

June 12, 2019

You cannot have a dental practice transition unless you have a practice that someone else wants to buy. It is critical that you have many factors working in your favor to sell your practice.

There are both physical and esthetic attributes, along with sound business metrics and positive staffing considerations.

The question when considering a dental practice transition is, How do you create a saleable practice?

Dental Practice Transition

PHYSICAL AND ESTHETIC ATTRIBUTES

Location is always an important factor in any business or real estate deal.  How much traffic goes past your office will help drive up new patients.

● How easy it is to enter and exit your office will help get new patients?
● Are you close to a school or a shopping center?
● Are you in a new or growing part of town or are you in a tired area that is not showing growth?

Next you have to consider the appearance from the road and what the interior of your office is like.  Make sure trim is painted and not peeling.  Is the landscaping inviting?  Is the upholstery on your furniture torn and dirty or bright and comfortable.

● Do you have a physical barrier between the reception area and the receptionist?
● Is the carpet or tile in good shape?

Buyers look at all these things and it will affect their attitude about buying the office.

● Is your dental equipment modern or antique?

Both will sell, but the old stuff will bring a lower price.  You will need to calculate what buying new equipment will cost against what the buyer is willing to pay for the old equipment.

Also you need to consider whether you can recoup the cost of replacement against just reducing the price to offset buying new equipment.

● Are you digital?

Any more the standard in any modern office is to have computer records and digital x-rays at the very least. A digital Panorex is prevalent in most offices also. If this is not the case, you will need to consider buying the digital upgrades or recognize that this is a big liability when selling.

BUSINESS METRICS AND STAFFING

If someone is going to buy a business, they have one of two approaches. The first is to buy an office that is profitable with good systems in place. They expect to pay a reasonable price.

The second type is looking for a bargain basement sale. If you are not making a good profit, if your production and collections are not high, if you are not seeing many new patients or have a sizeable group of patients of record, you are not going to get a good offer.

A few years before I sold my practice, I approached an older doctor who was going to close his office without selling it. He had run it down to nearly nothing and the physical plant was old and dated. I bought his phone number and his charts for $5000. I could not activate all his patients of record because they had left because of the state of the practice, but I did activate enough of his clients to more that pay for the cost to buy out the practice and not have another doctor come into our community in his office space.

You have two choices if you do not have good metrics:

1. Sell for less or improve your metrics.

When I sold my office, I had above average numbers, but I wanted to get the maximum return on my 40+ years of practice.

2. Hire an expert to boost your performance and profitability.

I hired consultants to help me improve all the key performance indicators that create success.

This is what you need to make the practice very attractive to the buyers.

I had long-term employees that had good relationships with our patients. This makes a buyer feel better about patient retention after you are gone. We had put in place many systems so that the team knew how to run the office without me micromanaging each and every thing going on in the office. I had many long-time patients that created the base for a smooth transition. The result of these efforts was to increase the sale price by about 30%.

The choice is yours:

Create a great, saleable practice, or bail out of the practice with less return on investment than you could have realized.

If you need help with your transition, give me a call for a free thirty- minute consultation, or engage us for coaching you all the way through your TRANSITION. Also you can get my free E-BOOK at our website, dentalpracticesolutions.com/resources

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Black, DDS, FICD, FACD

DAVID BLACK, DDS, FICD, FACD

Dr. Black is an associate coach for Dental Practice Solutions. He is “The go-to-expert for all dentists who are thinking about transitioning into retirement or buying their 1st dental practice.

Dr. Black owned his own dental practice for over 30 yrs. There he developed an understanding of the critical importance in development of the owner-doctor’s leadership abilities, in addition to having great clinical skills. Once he built a high-level of productivity in his dental practice, he was able to sell to a group practice; and the rest of his career as a dental practice owner is history.

In 2015, Dr. Black decided to share his knowledge to help other dentists duplicate his level of success, so he became a leadership coach and practice management consultant. His niche is treatment planning and case presentation.

Dr. Black is currently an associate coach and consultant, for Dental Practice Solutions, one of the leading consulting firms for nearly twenty years. As a seasoned practitioner, Dr. Black adds to the proven hygiene profitability coaching that Dental Practice Solutions is well-known for providing, to dental practices around the world.

Dr. Black’s expertise as an EQ and DISC trainer, makes him the best person to help more patients to say “YES!” to your patient care, as well as to enjoy working together as a team and loving what you do for your patients!

Want to have Dr. David Black speak to your study club or dental association?

Click to know more about Dr. David Black’s courses: Speaker Packet

Thinking about taking your dental practice to the next level?

We are looking for a few dental offices to beta-test our Dental Practice University training.

The training has video modules for the doctor, front office, dental hygienists and the entire team. There are scripts, forms and written processes.

You get information about Creating your culture, vision, team huddles that creat big productivity, hygiene video trainings on time management, treating the gingivitis and periodontal patient, CAMBRA, Lasers, phone skills, time management for the front office, handling cancellation calls, reactivating overdue patients, treatment planning, case acceptance, presenting financial arrangements, etc, etc.

There is a lot of training you receive over the next year. There will be hundreds of training video modules. You will also receive 24 AGD CE Credits for participating.

As a beta-tester, you pay nothing. We do ask that you provide feedback and give your opinion and ways to improve the University trainings.

To learn more about the University and to see if your dental team qualifies to be a beta-tester please TEXT: DPU to: 949-351-8741. Please text us: your name, your office name, your best email address and phone number. We will schedule 15 minutes to share more and let you know what we need from you and your team should you be chosen as beta-testers.

Happiness is NOT an Option!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

March 25, 2019

 

The Inspired Dentist

Most dental professionals begin their career with a very noble passion to serve others.

Doctors, dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, physicians, nurses, etc., want to make a difference in the health care industry and help people live a healthy life.

Once you graduate dental school and begin work in the real world as a dentist, life, for many, begins to feel overwhelming.

You may now decide to buy a dental practice. Now you find yourself overseeing your practice marketing, looking at your P & L, dealing with HR issues, managing people and so much more!

And on top of all this, as if this were not enough, you must keep up with all the changes in our dental industry, rising costs of supplies, equipment, technology; updates and repairs.

I can totally relate because I have experienced this in my life personally as a business owner.

The days, weeks and months, move so quickly that we lose sight of ourselves and our own needs.  We forget to put self-care on our list of priorities.

Our families and loved ones suffer because of this overwhelm.

  • We arrive to the office irritable and out of focus.
  • We leave the office and return to our family, our loved ones, worn out.
  • We are physically in our home but mentally we are absent.

As a result, our loved ones cannot connect with us. 

  • We miss out on a lot of relational cues that our family is giving us and there is a big disconnect that happens.

This happens because usually IQ (Intelligence Quotient) doesn’t match the EQ (Emotional Quotient).  Growing your IQ is great for many reasons however, growing our EQ is equally just as important.

We are learning that EQ is actually more important than IQ when dealing with people and living your best life.

If we leave our emotional quotient behind there is usually an imbalance that happens and we think the more we do, the more we achieve.

The truth is that more equals less; we’re less efficient.