I recently met up with two old school friends and I was reminded how easy it is to see life through rose-tinted spectacles.
Thirty years on two of us were in fairly regular contact and shared the view that Presentation Brothers College in Cork (known colloquially as Pres), our old alma mater, was the greatest school in existence and we couldn’t wait to see our sons walk through its gates. Our other friend, however, didn’t share our views for a variety of reasons.
Although we didn’t agree, it was good to hear a different voice to our own and be privy to another perspective. The same holds true for dentistry, both in our individual practices and in our profession as a whole.
A practical perspective
Returning on the Monday following the IDA’s successful Galway conference, I was shocked by an assessment of my practice by Paul Nelson of The Dental Plan. I had been of the belief that I had one of the top practices around, having only revamped 4.5 years previously.
Paul spent the day observing, questioning and assessing all areas of the business. Clinical and business realms were gone through with a fine-tooth comb. Each member of staff was interviewed individually, as were my associate and I.
We went over the whole questionnaire briefly and I’m glad that the final report is another few weeks away to let me prepare for it. It appears that my rose-tinted glasses had been firmly in place and going home that evening I appreciated the ‘outsider’s’ view. I didn’t like it, but I did see that it was necessary.
I believe that the forthcoming report will benefit my business over the long term. Doing nothing isn’t an option in today’s economy.
Stephen Covey writes about win-win scenarios in his book The 7 habits of highly effective people. The Dental Plan needs me to thrive so it can too, and a consequence of this will be staff and patient benefits – in essence a winner all round.
The profession of dentistry
We need more members of the IDA, both older and younger, to engage with the structures of the association.
We simply can’t always expect the same people to donate their time and put in the effort, and then take criticism from those dentists who are unwilling to get more involved.
Given the current state of dentistry in Ireland, we need to be more focused and driven than ever before. A few new pairs of eyes and ears can only serve to benefit us all.
‘Tis the season to enjoy
By the time you read this, the new home of the World Cup will be well on its way to being decided, clarity on the GMS will be hopefully more evident and holidays will be beginning. My Leaving and Junior cert daughters will be able to relax and, hopefully, the only sign of any ash will be on the barbecue! Plus, around that time my report will be in and probably feature in a future Outlook. But, for now, enjoy!