Both of us graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine in 2000 and completed our residencies in New York in 2001. We then practiced in Puerto Rico for about four years, three of which were spent running our own office – which turned out to be high in stress and low in profit. In 2005, we moved to the mainland U.S. (Florida) and started out with associate jobs.
While we expected to eventually open up on our own, the hardships of running the Puerto Rico office made it clear that despite enjoying dentistry and patient care, we weren’t where we needed to be as business people. We knew we had the potential to run a successful office, but that there was much to learn to ensure it would be a success. With this in mind, we didn’t rush anything. We were going to do it right.
In 2008, we began looking to start a practice in the Orlando, Florida area. We also began looking at business solutions and systems with which to build the practice. We found out about MGE: Management Experts, Inc. through a doctor for whom Sheila was associating. With us going out on our own, this doctor thought MGE would be a good first move.
We planned on opening the office in early 2009. So, in August of 2008, we met with Dr. Winteregg and signed up for the MGE Communication and Sales Seminars. In the course of taking these seminars, the economic mess of late 2008 developed. In the past, we would have been nervous opening an office even with the economy in great shape, but the MGE training gave us the confidence to move “full steam ahead.” We spoke with MGE clients who had excellent success with the MGE Power Program and wished that they had done it early in their careers. So, in October of 2008 we decided to take the plunge and enroll in the entire MGE Power Program.
As we moved through our training, we began to formulate the type of office we planned to have. We wanted a productive, fee-for-service office – no insurance plans and plenty of time at home with our family. We would divide our duties with Sheila focusing more on the administrative side of the practice, while I was putting more time in clinically.
We started the practice off from scratch (zero patients, lots of debt) and Sheila stopped associating first to oversee construction.
We opened in February of 2009 which, if you remember, according to the news, was a pretty rough time economically. I kept my associate job through September of 2009 while also working in the office.
By the time the office opened, we had finished quite a bit of our MGE coursework, including the MGE New Patient Workshop, MGE Communication and Sales Seminars, and more advanced MGE training on case acceptance.
Having this information helped a lot. We knew how to attract new patients (we averaged over 40 a month our first six months) and we knew how to connect with them and build a comfortable rapport quickly.
Over the next year, we continued our MGE Power Program training, implementing all along the way. Having the information on organization, statistic management and financial planning before they became problems made life much easier.
Looking back now, there is no question that starting with the MGE Power Program was the right choice. In our first 10 months, we saw 555 new patients. In our first full year in the office (2010), we saw 621 new patients. This year (2011) we are on track to exceed 700 new patients.
With what we’ve learned at MGE, we have built a wonderful team in our office who all truly enjoy working together delivering excellent care to our patients. We are a fee-for-service office, our schedule is productive but not hectic, and profitability is excellent.
We have been able to virtually eliminate business related stress that typically accompanies a dental office.
Without MGE, we’re sure we would have ended up on a number of plans, working longer hours, collecting less, and complaining about the economy in our area. We recommend MGE for everyone. We know that you may not have the same vision that we have, but no matter what your goals are, MGE will help you get there.