One of the great benefits of the conference is the ability to network with new dentists from across the country, as well as with key ADA leaders. But we know that not everyone is immediately comfortable in a networking environment.
“If you see a pair of people talking, the chances are that they arrived together and know they should be mingling. Or else they’ve just met and are, in the back of their minds, worried that they’re going to end up talking to this one person all night. (You’ve just made it easier for one of them to exit.) Either way, they’re relieved to see you. And your chances of having a decent conversation are better, because now you’re talking to two people, not just one.”
What about you — do you have any strategies that work well in a networking event? Leave your answers in the comments.
Sometimes it seems we’re wired to correct the negative. So when it comes to making a change, we’ll wonder, “What is the problem and how shall I fix it?”
Author Dan Heath suggests that this approach probably works fine most of the time — if your kid has a single F on his report card, by all means focus on that problem. However in a post on the Fast Company blog, Heath suggests it isn’t always wise to focus on problems:
There’s one time in life when this problem-focus backfires on us, and that’s when we’re trying to change things. In times of change, our report card doesn’t look almost-perfect. It looks mixed. Parts of it look like a failure. And if, in those times, we slip into problem-solving mode, we’ll spin our wheels, because there are problems everywhere. That’s a recipe for inaction, for paralysis.
What’s the answer? Instead of focusing on the problems, identify the parts that are going right and try to reproduce those results. Heath calls this a bright spots focus.
Here’s an example — let’s say you set a New Year’s resolution to get more exercise, and that looking back you haven’t been as consistent as you hoped. You probably exercised on some days – what made those days different? If you do some detective work to identify those bright spots (“I woke up earlier on those days,” or “I had my gym bag ready-to-go by the front door,”) you can focus on increasing the number of good days, rather than scolding yourself for having bad days.
Have you found any bright spots? Leave your answers in the comments.
A new law called the Sunshine Act requires certain companies that provide payments, gifts, food, education, and other “transfers” to dentists to submit an annual report to the federal government with information about each dentist and what was provided.
The Act is intended to make the financial relationships between industry and providers transparent on a national scale, and to give consumers information so they may ask questions and make more informed decisions about their healthcare providers.
If you have questions about the Sunshine Act, you are in luck—the ADA has answers. ADA members may access the Frequently Asked Questions online. This member-only resource addresses twenty questions about the Act, including:
What information will be included in a report?
How can a dentist find out that a report has been filed?
On occasion, you may wish to terminate a contract that you feel is not working for you. In many cases, it would be best to fulfill your obligations under the contract and then elect not to renew it at the end of the contract term. But in some cases, you may decide that you would like to get out of the contract before the end date.
By the time you’ve navigated your way through the pages of a contract you might have given yourself a headache. It’s important you understand what you’re signing. But it’s also important to understand there is help available.
The ADA Contract Analysis Service provides members with information about a proposed contract to make it easier to analyze its terms. The service analyzes:
dental provider contracts with third party payers
dental management service organization contracts
contracts that offer dental school students scholarships or loans in exchange for a commitment for future employment
The analysis is not a substitute for legal advice.
Utilize this free ADA member benefit by submitting an unsigned copy of the contract and a request for analysis to your state dental society.
When it comes to work/life balance, one common piece of advice is to avoid working on the weekends whenever possible. But productivity writer and blogger Laura Vanderkam, writing on the Fast Company blog, suggests that work on the weekends might just be the key to a successful work/life balance.
Working on weekends is the flipside of having flexibility during the week, notes Vanderkam. Taking the time during the week to have dinner with your family or attend a child’s event might create a deficit in your number of working hours, and it makes sense to fill that gap over the weekend.
Of course not everyone uses Saturday and Sunday as days off — we’ve chatted with numerous dentists who see patients on one or both of those days. What about you — do you ever take time on your days off to catch up on paperwork or address other work obligations? Leave your answers in the comments.
Whether you are tackling a new year’s resolution, juggling a change in your home or work life, or facing another challenge, you probably have a preferred conation.
Conation is a concept developed by Kathy Kolbe, a specialist in learning strategies, and it refers to the way you like to tackle a task. Kolbe identified four conative styles:
“Quick starters” swing into action, using trial and error.
“Fact finders” need information and research
“Follow through-ers” use methodical systems
“Implementers” figure things out by building models or using tools.
It’s easy to see how a conative strength could also be a weakness — for instance a fact finder could become stuck in “analysis paralysis.”
Author and blogger Martha Beck suggests that we often have friends who share our own conative styles, so the solution is to find a friend (or a group) with a different conative style. For instance, if you are a fact finder, you might benefit from chatting with a quick starter in order to get your project off the ground. Beck asserts that she never starts a new project without building a team of friends with different conative strengths.
If you are looking for a group of dentist friends it’s a good idea to attend a local meeting. And it’s a great idea to attend the 28th Annual New Dentist Conference July 17-19, 2014, where you can get to know colleagues from across the country who are tackling the same challenges you may be facing.
What’s your conative style? Leave your answer in the comments.
Mark your calendar and make plans to join more than 125 countries taking part in World Oral Health Day on March 20. The theme for 2014 is Celebrating Healthy Smiles. Find a toolkit of resources including logos, web banners, and resource guides all in multiple languages. World Oral Health Day is organized by the FDI(…)
Principle 2 of the ADA Code of Ethics relates to nonmaleficience – that is, do no harm. Section 2G specifically states that dentists should avoid interpersonal relationships that could impair their professional judgment or risk the possibility of exploiting the confidence placed in them by a patient. So, while the Code does not specifically state(…)
We are well underway with plans for the ADA 28th New Dentist Conference taking place in Kansas City, Missouri July 17-19, 2014 at Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center (registration is open now!) One of the great benefits of the conference is the ability to network with new dentists from across the country, as(…)
We’re hard at work on the next issue of ADA New Dentist News, including a piece about FQHCs and dental student loan repayment. An FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) is part of the dental safety net — these centers serve locations or populations with limited access to care. They may be located in urban or(…)
Ever had the experience of avoiding something you know you should be doing in favor of refreshing your newsfeed or checking your email? Emily Schwartz, author of The Time Diet: Digestible Time Management, feels your pain. And over at the Fast Company blog she offers a simple suggestion to triumph over those distractions: Log out(…)
Dental patient napkins used during routine dental procedures are often disposable, but napkin holders typically are reusable, although they can be tough to disinfect. There are both disposable napkin holders and disposable napkins that don’t require a separate holder on the market. Dentists need to make informed decisions on whether to use disposable or reusable(…)
Canceled appointments are part of operating a dental practice, but they can be managed to minimize their effect on your bottom line. The ADA Center for Professional Success has an article about minimizing cancelled appointments that includes: What to say (and avoid saying) when leaving a reminder on a patient’s voicemail How to handle changes(…)