Oral Health Group

Making Lemonade From 2020’s Lemons: Finding the Space for Transformational Change in the Midst of Uncertainty

September 3, 2020
by Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, CEO and Founder of Cellerant Consulting

This month’s issue of Oral Health Office is a perfect snapshot of fall 2020, with articles on COVID-19, patient retention, and taking better advantage of social media. These are three separate pieces, but I can’t help but see the narrative thread connecting them.

Putting the health and safety of our patients first has been a priority for many dentists long before COVID-19 was in the headlines. However, the pandemic provides an opportunity to reestablish the dental practice as a site of critical care with doctors and staff who are deeply invested in the communities they serve. As trust for institutions creeps ever lower– especially among young people–carving out an authentic message of caring alongside the standard “oral health matters” email or seasonal promotions is certainly one critical step in any patient retention strategy. Which brings me to social media…


So many dentists I speak to avoid social media because they are uncomfortable with it. Facebook is “too political.” Instagram is “too cute.” Twitter is “too confusing.” Truth be told, meet them where they are. Take the time to really learn or make the investment and hire a professional. This isn’t just about getting the word out about your practice–though that is important. This is about valuing patients enough to step out of your comfort zone.

This isn’t the September any of us had in mind; that’s for sure! My hope is that as we head into a new season that you use this as an opportunity to do what you do best, learn, grow, adapt, and try new things. Good leaders don’t hide from a challenge. They use it to push for transformational change. Be safe. Be well. You can do this!

About the Author

Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media, a member of the Oral Health advisory board, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.