The transition from dental student to dentist is full of challenges and exciting changes, and it may very well be one of those times in your life you will always remember. Like marriage or childbirth, the very beginning of your practice is one of the most important moments of your life. If you are about to graduate or at the beginning of this path filled with change and opportunities, here are some things to consider:
You are the captain of your ship
You are about to assume a leadership role that will determine the success of your clinic and its employees. Set the tone and lead by example; your strong leadership develops from the attitude of expectations you have for yourself. Communicate your goals clearly, and encourage everyone on the team to hold themselves and others (doctors included) accountable.
To ensure team collaboration, include everyone when mapping out your clinic’s goals: what would you like to accomplish this week/month/year? As a leader, your job will be to listen to your team and facilitate the environment that brings your clinic success and satisfaction.
Collaborate with your ship’s passengers
Good patient care is a collaboration: while patients need the guidance that your extensive training allows you to impart, they should also feel empowered in their healthcare decisions. Explaining procedures, answering questions, and demonstrating that your patients’ health is your highest priority all create the connections that will make new patients into life-long patients. You will build patient trust and confidence not only by providing great care, but by listening and collaborating with your patients in the same way that you do with your dental team.
…And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You are human, and everyone you work with– team, and patients– is human too. Stick to your goals of openly communicating with your team and your patients, and “messing up” becomes just another learning experience.
One great way to learn is from the experiences of others. You can do this by building relationships with experienced dentists, and by working with Green Sail Transitions’ professionals to find and create the practice that fits you. When choosing your first practice, there is no better resource than Green Sail Transitions to make the transition from student to dentist smooth sailing to a successful future!
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