I started practicing dentistry about 20 years ago as a Naval officer. Once I retired from the military, I spent five years as an associate before buying a very successful, well-established practice. Keeping it successful turned out to be much harder than I expected.
We were floundering. After a few years, the practice had stopped growing. It was no longer profitable. We had lots of personnel problems. We weren’t getting any new patients. I dreaded coming to work in the morning and then would take the office problems home with me at day’s end. I was seriously considering going into another line of work.
Rather than giving up, however, I started investigating different practice management companies. Sterling was different. They didn’t just offer a quick fix, but a substantial program of training my staff and me, and then follow-up consulting to ensure practice success. About eight months ago, my wife (who is also my office manager) and I went to Sterling for management training at Sterling’s offices. We gained a much better understanding of what we were supposed to be doing as the owner and manager of the practice. I left invigorated because I now knew what I had to do to turn the practice around and get it moving in the right direction.
I then had a Sterling consultant come to my office for a week to start putting the new management system in place. She trained my staff and got everybody in the office up to speed on what we were trying to accomplish. This got them motivated and they started working as a team to grow the practice.
Since then, my consultant and I have been in touch over the phone. With major problems under control, she now helps me fine-tune the office so it keeps running just the way I want it to.
Although we have only been doing the Sterling program for half a year, our production is already up by almost 20% over the previous year. But the best part is how it has changed the lives of everyone working in the practice. We are no longer floundering. The staff feel like we are on top of things now and they take a lot of pride in the practice. My wife now feels in control of her position and is able to take more time off. I no longer feel physically ill at the thought of coming into the office, but feel excited about what I am accomplishing, both as a business owner and a dentist. And, when I leave at the end of the day, I am no longer taking the business problems home with me.
As doctors, we are well trained in how to treat patients, but not in how to run a business. Sterling gave us the complete treatment plan we needed to build the practice we always dreamed of.
Michael Minten, DDS