After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry from UC Davis, I completed my D.D.S. at NYU College of Dentistry. Then in 2003, I moved back to California to practice and began as an associate.
Just one year into associating, I had an opportunity to start a two-operatory practice from scratch with another dentist in Northern California and I jumped on it. I was still associating three days a week and working in my own practice three days a week—which was supposed to be a temporary arrangement while the practice built up.
Fast-forward two years and things hadn’t changed much. I was still working six days a week, three in my own practice and three associating to pay the bills. My wife Trang, who is a pharmacist, was working full-time because we needed the income.
I enjoyed the actual dentistry side of practicing very much, but the business side was not working out. I couldn’t afford to give up my associate job because my own practice sometimes wasn’t making enough money to cover the overhead. Income was a big issue. I saw a lot of new patients, 25-30 a month, but perhaps 98% came from PPO plans, and even then I had problems with case acceptance.
I had hardly any time with my wife and son at home, which stressed me out even more. I’m not the type to complain, but Trang could tell that I was stressed out and unhappy because of the situation at the office and it was affecting our lives at home.
By 2008, the other dentist and I decided to part ways and I ended up practicing on my own. The practice still had the same problems and I was beginning to see that if things didn’t change, I was headed towards bankruptcy. I realized that I needed to do something about it before it was too late.
I found out about MGE: Management Experts, Inc. (MGE) and decided to check it out. I spoke with Dr. Greg Winteregg on the phone and I could tell that he had real solutions, so I signed up for the MGE Communication & Sales Seminars. Trang and my office manager, Adrianne, came on board as well so we could build the practice together, and together we went to the seminars.
When we arrived at our first seminar, we were very skeptical. We walked into MGE’s seminar room filled with what looked like 250 people, including dentists and their staff, and Trang kept saying “These people are doctors, they can’t all be stupid enough to come here and buy these seminars if there’s no benefit or profit!” We tried to be optimistic, but we didn’t know if we should believe the incredible results that MGE claimed yet.
As we progressed through the seminar material, it started to make a lot of sense. By the end of the weekend, we knew exactly what we had to do and were excited to get home and start doing it!
Coming home after that seminar, any remaining doubts we had were blown out of the water. Applying what we learned, office income jumped immediately. After the second seminar, we collected over $40k for the month. And after the third seminar, we collected over $58k for the month! I was finally able to drop my associate job and run my practice full-time.
While I wanted to be a success financially, the real goal for our practice had always been to provide the best possible care for our patients and give them fully healthy mouths. And here’s where the MGE seminars really paid off: with our improved communication ability, we were able to connect with patients and get them to see and understand why they needed certain types of treatment—which in turn made them interested in doing it. There’s nothing more frustrating than having patients seem to understand the importance of treatment, then not do it. But we found that when patients really got it, they accepted and got started with their treatment plans right away.
Based on the results from the MGE Communication and Sales Seminars, we knew right away that we wanted to do the MGE Power Program and learn everything we could about managing a successful practice.
The Power Program wasn’t easy and wasn’t quick, but everything about our practice expanded and improved as we progressed through it. Collections, production, and new patient numbers steadily climbed higher and higher, and now our collections have almost quadrupled—and still rising!
We cut out almost all of the PPOs (down to only 10% of our practice now), and we’re going to keep cutting it down until we are a completely fee-for-service practice. And our second practice is now in the works.
Trang is now able to work with me to build the office full-time, and we know that if she ever wants to go back to being a pharmacist, it will be because she loves doing it, not because we need the paycheck.
The amount of stress from day to day at the office dropped dramatically. We are in the driver’s seat. Problems at the office get dealt with and handled quickly, and what we want to get done gets done.
Our office is efficient. We have a great staff and a wonderful office manager (also MGE trained) and we love them. We’re less stressed out and money isn’t a problem anymore. In short, life is better in general and we’re happier!
Our advice to you is go to MGE! We’re sure you’ll be skeptical like we were, but try out the MGE New Patient Workshop or the MGE Communication & Sales Seminars to find out for yourself. You will see the results. Whether your practice is just not doing well or if it is doing absolutely great, MGE can help you take it to the next level.