Oral Health Group


June 1, 2005
by Catherine Wilson, Editor

Politicians sometimes tell untruths. Not surprising. ESPN tears up its contract with the NHL, meaning no hockey on television south of the border. Not surprising. The CBC doing the same thing? That would be surprising. Some homes along the Atlantic seaboard are susceptible to hurricanes. Shouldn’t be, but apparently is, surprising to some folks. Celebrity marriages sometimes last. Very surprising. Recently self-outed ‘Deep Throat’ W. Mark Felt is in frail physical and mental health and his family can really use the monies that will come from ‘selling’ his story. Surprise. Athletes with huge necks may not have taken performance-enhancing pharmaceuticals. Fantastically surprising.

There are all kinds of surprising things going on in the world, even in the dental world. Here’s a good one: a story was recently conveyed to me that when asked if he reads Dental Practice Management, the dentist replied, “Is that the one with the million dollar office makeovers in it? No, it just makes me feel inadequate.”


Hmm. If I were to follow this fuzzy logic, I would have to cancel my subscriptions to Cottage Life; Fish Alaska; American Cowboy; Tango Magazine; Bow & Arrow Hunting; Arabian Horse World; Crochet!; Ancient American and Men of Integrity. I mean, why bother?

That attitude reminds me of a time long ago when editing a magazine for the Canadian food processing industry, we were profiling successful companies for a ‘special issue.’ Not necessarily successful in revenue alone, but in attitude, ambition, creativity, vision, goals. The president of one company declined the opportunity to be profiled as a ‘success’ because it would mean more phone calls, which would lead to more orders, which would mean longer hours and having to hire more staff, which would mean more cars in the parking lot, which would mean fewer opportunities to leave early and golf. And don’t even think about advertising or designing a website. Sheesh. And don’t call here again. Agnes. AGNES… Call Bell Canada and see about gettin’ us an unlisted number. Damn reporters.

And this is the person RUNNING the company. Head cheerleader. CMO (Chief Motivational Officer). CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer). You, Mr./Ms. Dentist. The only thing that should be infectious in your office is you, or at least your attitude.

Donald Trump did not write the classic business books, The Art of the Deal I Almost Made or The Way to the Top: The Best Business Advice I Chose to Ignore. No one wrote Think and Grow Poor or The Seven Habits of Highly Mediocre People or Barbarians at the Gate: Crap, Somebody Shut the Gate!

As for the dentist with office envy, I say duct tape is not an accessory. Do not buy office furniture from the back of a cube van (particularly if it’s being pursued by lights and sirens). Avoid stores with names ending with ‘Rama’ i.e. Desks-O-Rama. You’re not afraid to face a challenge, you became a dentist, didn’t you? Shouldn’t you, of all people, be putting your best face forward? What about your team? Don’t they deserve a first class environment? Adjust that attitude, invest in yourself, your practice, your staff, your patients.

And throw away that bean bag chair while you’re at it!

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