5 Things I Learned From My Dentist Wife That Apply to Engineering

1. The Importance of Continuing Education

Doctors are required by law to pursue continuing education every few years, and for good reason. Our knowledge of the human body and medicine continues to evolve, and doctors have to keep up if they’re going to treat patients.

2. An Owner / Operator Should Stay Technically Sharp

Most dental practice owners are the head dentist too. Some treat all patients. Others only perform the complex procedures and delegate the rest to their staff. But it’s rare to see an owner / operator who does not or cannot perform actual dentistry.

3. Sales is Part of Your Job

A big part of dentistry is “selling” treatments — i.e. getting the patient to commit to the recommended treatment. A dentist needs to educate patients, address objections, and *GASP* discuss money, or apparently many patients will actively neglect their teeth. A dentist who can only work on teeth, but cannot “sell”, will struggle in business.

4. Master Your Schedule

A dentist’s day is ruled by the schedule. Every hour should be utilized and optimized for profit. Dental software even has a “revenue calendar” which shows how much a practice can expect to earn based on the current appointments. Time is money, literally.

5. Produce Value ($$$)

This is very straightforward for a dentist. If the revenue you generate from your treatments exceeds the cost of your wages, your value add is clear. If not, that is clear too.

Summary

What I like about dentistry is that things are very clear cut. You invest X time, and produce Y revenue. The more you hone your technical skills, sales, and time management, the higher the revenue. The correlation between investment and return is simple.

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