Day: November 25, 2021 (page 1 of 1)

Licensure Reform: The case for expanding interstate portability

The barriers for dentists to easily move across state lines, aka “portability”/”reciprocity,” has been a sore issue for the dental profession for many years. Dr. Jonathan Nash, who served as the American Student Dental Association chair of dental licensure reform in 1971, strongly believes that if the profession can summon the will to pursue an anti-trust initiative on a nationwide basis, it has a reasonable chance to topple this archaic and egregious barrier in one fell swoop.

Dr. Nash, the founder and chairman of the National Council for Improvement of Dental Licensure 1969-73, examines the state of dental licensure reform today and makes a case for bolder solutions to achieve meaningful reform.

Read the full editorial in the New Dentist News.

Did you miss our previous article…

Business side of dentistry: Becoming the leader you need to be

Editor’s note: This is the ninth article in a series exploring the business aspects of the dental profession, from starting a practice and marketing to hiring staff and finances.

Dr. Deshpande

If we don’t talk about leadership in a dental office, we aren’t really discussing anything valuable, are we? Because, what is a practice without a great leader? It’s a failure.

Contrary to what most people think, leaders aren’t born, they are made. Some of it comes with experience, other times it is learned. My personal goal is to one day become the most compassionate leader possible, to both my work family and my home family. Fulfilling this big hairy audacious goal means committing every day to reflecting, pivoting and learning.

Here are some of the best advice on leadership that I’ve received from my role models:

1. Based on John Maxwell’s book, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: “failure of a subordinate, is failure of the leader.” Always remember that true leadership begins with the doctor (not the office manager) and that you need to set the tone of the level of excellence and hard work you expect in your office.

2. According to Justin Short, author of the Lifestyle Dentist podcast, “Most of the time people will set goals of a top 10 practice. However, if you have a team of average or below average how will you achieve those goals?”  Consider carefully who you are hiring to be on your team of winners. Will this person help you reach your office goals? If not, why are you even hiring them? Wait for the right person.

3. True measurement of leadership is influence. “We must learn to inspire and motivate people, not manage people.” Think about how you motivate your team and your patients to take actions? Do they quickly follow your advice and treatment plans?

4. According to Guy Raz, author of How I Built This podcast by NPR, “an important aspect of leadership is reflection.” Make it a habit to spend some time journaling, meditating and reflecting on your day. Could some conversations have gone better? Where could you have done better?

5. What gets appreciated, gets repeated. Make it a habit to thank people and mention what you are thanking them for. “I appreciate your leadership in following up with patient S and getting them scheduled! That was very important to me!”

6. From Kim Scott’s book, Radical Candor, “be quick and firm in your reprimands.” Praise lavishly in public, reprimand quickly in private.

7. Communicate regularly with your team, sit down with them and ask for feedback. Sometimes, they are able to see problems before even you can spot them. They also have better solutions. Involve them in the decision making and leadership process. Use their talents to come up with a better system!

8. Make it a habit to read more books on leadership and mindset, listen to podcasts on entrepreneurship, and building authentic relationships within your community.

9. The most important thing we all can do is help others. We are lucky to be in a profession that has plenty of opportunity for us to give back. Are you helping your team members, patients, friends and community members achieve their goals? What more can you do for them?

10, “Find a mentor, hire a coach, and don’t stop investing in yourself.” This is something my dad, one of my biggest role models, told me in 2020 when I was sitting on the couch in the middle of global pandemic, and forced out of employment. I followed his advice and feel like a different person today. If we are not constantly iterating and improving who we are people and leaders, how can we expect that from our employees?

Let’s become role models worth looking up to!

Dr. Sampada Deshpande is a general dentist based in San Francisco. A foreign trained dentist from India, Sampada earned her DDS from the University of Washington in 2018 and is a 2020-2021 UW-LEND fellow. Outside of clinical dentistry, she enjoys teaching at the New Dentist Business Club and improving access to technology in healthcare via her involvement in Samsotech. You can reach her directly at @dr.deshpande on Instagram or visit her website for more information.

Editor’s note: We know that finding the right practice can be overwhelming and time consuming. That’s why the ADA created ADA Practice Transitions (ADAPT), a service that matches you with practices that fit your practice approach and lifestyle. We provide customized resources to ensure you feel confident in your decisions and an ADA Advisor supports you during each step of the journey. Learn more at

Did you miss our previous article…

Dental school: If I could do it all over again

I might be branding myself as a super-nerd here, but I love school. So much so that I switched paths in dentistry to be in academia full-time, fulfilling my dream of staying in school forever. For those students currently in dental school, class and clinic probably never stopped, but for our D1s, their journey is just beginning and it’s going to be one heck of a ride. As I reflect on my time in dental school, there are some things I certainly don’t miss (I’m looking at you all-nighters) but there are definitely parts that make me nostalgic and I wonder — what would I do if I could do it all over again?

Dr. Champion

As a new dentist switching to an academic role, and helping start a dental school from the ground-up, has certainly been a humbling experience. I never fully appreciated the time and effort it takes to map out a comprehensive curriculum and make sure students are learning up-to-date, evidenced-based dentistry, while still trying to keep things interesting.

I keep saying  to our team as we embark on this project “I just don’t want to make students feel afraid to fail.” This is such an important piece for me, because for a very long time I had an intense fear of failure, and focused on trying to attain “perfection” rather than truly learning, and that prevented me from absorbing all that I could from extraneous sources outside of didactic or clinical information. I believe there is much to be learned from your surroundings and not only what you will be tested on.

A beautiful piece of our curriculum mapping has been the opportunity to integrate all different disciplines into our courses, and plan very intentionally how to teach that dental medicine involves a whole team of professionals — it’s not, nor should it be — segregated by discipline. Having input from psychology programs, biomedical sciences, and even behavioral science has been incredibly helpful to hear how other programs can influence our holistic curriculum to develop students into the best overall practitioners they can be.

Additionally, planning very intentionally for the future of dentistry has been a goal of ours. Whether it be in physical clinical design, equipment selection, or assessment techniques, we are trying to make our systems as seamless as possible throughout the four years of dental school, and also looking toward where dentistry will be in 10 years. I would have loved to have relevant courses on digital dentistry and design as well as more business-focused courses so that when I got out of school I wouldn’t have been so shell-shocked. Behavioral management is such a big piece of practice after graduation and it’s something I was never taught, and I am eager to help instill techniques in our students on how to adapt their leadership styles to those of others.

Outside of the crazy intensity of a dental curriculum, what I miss most about school is the camaraderie amongst my peers and the time we spent together all working towards a common goal. It’s strange when you leave school and the people you had seen every day for four years become somewhat of an afterthought. I would love if initiatives could be made in all schools to continue to meet and update each other on our work/life struggles and triumphs so that we don’t feel so alone in our pursuits. I know that I wasn’t the only one who felt burnout after a few years in practice. Being able to lean on and learn from others who are having similar experiences would be so beneficial. I actively try to seek out mentors and continuing education groups that fuel my passion, but there is something about your dental family that is truly hard to duplicate.

I wish nothing but the best for the incoming classes into our profession, and I hope that the eagerness they enter with can be sustained throughout their four short years in school. My advice would be to always keep an open mind, absorb everything around you, and never be afraid to try something, even if you “fail” at first.

I believe strongly that we learn by doing, and failures are simply stepping stones to success. Focus on yourself and what fulfills you in your personal and professional life, and don’t become overly concerned with what others around you are doing. Everyone is on their own individual path in dentistry, and what you think it is today may not be what it will be tomorrow. We can shape our paths any way we want, and that malleability is a wonderful gift, so enjoy the journey.

Dr. Katie Champion is a New Dentist Now guest blogger. She grew up around dentistry her whole life, working in her mother’s dental practice until she went to college. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in 2018. Katie is now the Director of Clinical Operations at Kansas City University College of Dental Medicine after having transitioned from a clinical career in Florida. She is passionate about all things dentistry, and enjoys spending time with her husband and three dogs now exploring their new home state of Missouri.