I’m a graduate of the University of the East in the Philippines. I graduated in 1985, and practiced for about four years before moving to Canada in 1989. My husband and I just had a daughter when we moved, so I took several years off to settle in before getting my license to practice in Canada in 1996.
Once I acquired my license, I began working as an associate for two offices in Toronto. But with two daughters, my husband and I felt that Toronto was too big of a city for us, and we decided to move to a smaller town. So in 2000, we purchased a small office from a retiring dentist. When I purchased it, there were about 700 active patients and the doctor had been working three days a week.
What motivated you to come to MGE?
The practice grew steadily until 2006. Around then, I realized I needed a bigger space and was blessed to purchase a great new location: a converted old house originally built in 1872. We moved and things remained stable, but I didn’t see as much of an increase as I would have liked to support the larger office space. Then in 2011, things took a turn for the worse, and production began to drop.
I knew I needed to do something, so I went to a number of practice management seminars, and would even send my staff when I had a scheduling conflict. By the end of 2013, I felt like I’d tried every “trick in the magic hat” and nothing of note had changed in my office. It felt like I was at a very real crossroad.
When I returned to my office after the Holidays, I found a flyer for a free MGE practice management seminar in Toronto. I went and liked what I heard. So much so that at that free seminar, I enrolled in the MGE New Patient Workshop and MGE Communication & Sales Seminars.
What benefits did you see from the MGE New Patient Workshop?
The first thing MGE wanted me to do was survey a cross-section of my patient base— 100 patients, to be precise. I’d never done this before and was nervous to see what they might say—what if I found that my patients didn’t like me or something about the way the office is run? In the end, I was extremely pleased that we did this step. Their answers had a definite impact on how to better present my practice. For example, I found that my website came across to potential new patients in a way that was difficult to understand. I felt that the MGE New Patient Workshop gave me an easy way to fix this and other problems along with helping me identify how to communicate easily and professionally with prospective new patients so as to better resonate with them. I also learned a number of avenues that made it easier to reach them.
At the same time, we’re seeing more patient referrals (their friends and family) since implementing a system I learned on the course.
Prior to the MGE New Patient Workshop, we’d average between 4 or 5 new patients per month. Now we average 17 new patients per month.
What impact did the MGE Communication & Sales Seminars have on your practice?
When I came to the first seminar in March of 2014, one of the first thoughts I had was “I’ve never heard anything like this before!” I felt that Dr. Winteregg was an extremely animated speaker and I was drawn to what he was saying. I learned so much, but the initial difference-maker for me was gaining the confidence to tell my patients, without any concern or worry about what they might think, that “You need this treatment,” (regardless of the cost) and having the confidence to work with them to follow through. I feel that this alone helped me to get treatment accepted that I’d been recommending to patients (and they’d elected not to do) for quite some time! That month, production increased by $10,000!
The seminars gave me a skill-set that also helped me to better understand my patients, and form a stronger connection with each one. Treatment presentations became a comfortable two-way conversation instead of just me talking at them and hoping they understood or followed through. And in my opinion, that’s what it’s all about: helping patients fully understand their treatment plan, any potential health ramifications connected with it, along with the importance behind doing it. I find that when patients are well-informed and understand what’s really going on, they will usually make the right decision for their dental health.
You could say that the results from the seminars “sold” me on MGE. I felt they had exactly what I needed to successfully build my practice so I went ahead and enrolled in the MGE Power Program (editor’s note: for more information on the MGE Power Program, see page 7 of this publication).
What has the MGE Power Program done for your practice?
In my opinion, the MGE Communication & Sales Seminars were fantastic, but to use an analogy, if they’re the “appetizer,” then the MGE Power Program is the “main course.” I’m trained to be a dentist. I was never taught how to run a business. What I’m learning on the MGE Power Program is, in my opinion, teaching me to be a better businessperson and executive in my practice. I’ve also seen a positive impact with the communication training in my personal life with family and friends.
I’m still moving on the program, but so far I feel like I’m finally getting a handle on subjects such as teambuilding, planning, delegating to staff, how to analyze business performance and controlling overhead, just to name a few.
When running a business it’s valuable to set goals and have a systematic approach to achieving them. Before MGE, I didn’t really do this. We’d do our work and whether or not we had good production seemed just a matter of chance. This has positively changed as a result of the MGE program. My team seemed to “gel” and together we all know, “Okay, this is what we need to do.” And then we go about more or less doing it!
With staff, I’ve learned how to:
Recognize traits that indicate someone could potentially be a productive team member.
Train them properly so as to boost their confidence and help them do the best that they can on their jobs.
Implement an effective organizational system that divides office responsibilities and stresses accountability. Everyone has a defined role and can do their part.
I’m not going to say I don’t have stress, but I feel that I have a far better handle on it, and possess tools to help me through any number of practice management issues that might arise. Many doctors I’ve spoken with over the years tell me that their biggest “headaches” are staff related. On the MGE Power Program I’ve learned methods for managing my staff and am more than pleased with my team. I feel like we get along great and work well together.
Statistically, in the past year, my collections have more than doubled from an average of $36,000 per month to an average of $82,000 (with our highest month, December 2014, at $104,000).
And while statistic improvements are wonderful, the most important benefit in my mind is that we have the organizational capability and potential to help more patients improve their oral health.
How has doing the MGE Program affected your life outside the office?
Since becoming a client, I’ve gained the freedom (in terms of more time and resources) to pursue other interests of mine, including charity work in my community. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to be able to branch out and make a difference beyond my normal job.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to continue my office growth and help more people. Perhaps in the future open another location. All in all, help more patients improve their oral health. That’s the goal!
What advice would you give another dentist considering MGE?
I would say, don’t be fearful to jump in. For me, it has been all worth it. It helped to rekindle my passion about what I’m doing, build my confidence as a business owner and reduce my stress. We can’t know exactly what the future has in store for us, but now I can see the steps ahead of me, and I know where I’m going. Just give MGE a call. And yes, it absolutely works for Canadian dentists, too, not just Americans!