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Five Dumb Things That Smart Dentists Do

by Wes Read, CPA, CFP® | August 1, 2023

You’ve got to be pretty smart to be a dentist.

You went to college, excelled in a difficult major like biochemistry, physics or molecular biology and made it through dental school.

But then you were thrown out into the real world, where it takes more than clinical mastery to run a successful practice.

And even the smartest doctors make dumb mistakes when it comes to managing their business.

Dr. Richard Madow is Cofounder of The Madow Center for Dental Practice Success, a consulting practice that helps dentists achieve success and happiness in their practice through truly personalized hands-on coaching.

Having been named a leader in dental consulting by Dentistry Today for many years running, Dr. Madow’s publications, articles and blogs are some of the most popular in the dental profession, reaching over 100,000 practices across the world.

On this episode of The Dental Boardroom, Dr. Madow joins host Wes Read to share five dumb mistakes smart dentists make, beginning with focusing too much on new patients—while ignoring existing ones.

Dr. Madow explains why it’s a mistake to depend on new equipment to bring in new patients and describes how dentists get distracted by other ventures and lose focus on what brings in revenue.

Listen in for insight on the value of properly training your front desk employees and learn Dr. Madow’s five tips for turning your staff into a cohesive team that truly cares for the patient.

Topics Covered

[3:59] How Dr. Madow’s personal experience inspired his list of ‘dumb things smart dentists do’

[6:00] The problem with focusing too much on new patients while ignoring existing ones

[9:16] How existing patients can be just as clinically rich as new ones—and even more primed

[12:06] Why it’s a mistake to depend on new equipment to bring in new patients

[16:52] How dentists get distracted by other ventures and lose focus on what brings them revenue

[20:03] Why it’s crucial to provide proper training to team members at the front desk

[23:46] Dr. Madow’s 2 quick tips to dramatically improve your team’s phone skills and double your number of new patients

[30:26] The importance of dental practice operations vs. leadership and communication

[32:14] Dr. Madow’s 5 tips for building a true team rather than just having a staff

[40:01] The power of a leader who shows up with consistent optimism and energy (even when there’s conflict on the team)

Connect with Dr. Richard Madow 

The Madow Center for Dental Practice Success

The Dental Practice Fixers Podcast

Connect with Wes Read & Drew Phillips

Practice CFO

Practice CFO on Instagram

Practice CFO on Facebook

Practice CFO on YouTube


Is Your Frog Boiling? Ten Signs That Your Life May Be Spinning Out of Control and What You Can Do About It by Dr. Richard Madow

Dr. Madow’s Membership Program

The MOD Resource Library

Tony Robbins

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