Lisa Newburger shares two things with her dental readers after looking through the comments that people left on Facebook after reading her story on why patients leave the dental practice.
Editor's Note: The following was written by Lisa Newburger after she read comments that were posted on both the Dental Products Report and Modern Hygienist Facebook pages about her most recent article.
It has stirred up a lot of talk. In case you haven't seen it, click here to read it. Now ... here's Lisa...
I have only written a “follow up” once before, but I figured … why not? I will share two things with you after I read the comments that people left on Facebook after reading my story.
First, I promise (heck, I will even pinky swear) I had two different practices that thought it was OK to use my chest as a tray for dental tools. No, I am not making this up. I swear this is a true scenario that left me thinking these dentists are asking for a harassment or assault charge. Seriously, why would I make that up? Fact is truly often stranger than fiction. Just because it hasn’t happened in your practice (thank goodness) doesn’t mean that someone out there isn’t doing this behavior.
Second, my best friend asked me, “Why can’t you write something positive about your experiences in a dental practice? I have been treated like a queen for 25 years and never had the problems you write about.” So, why am I always so negative? I have had phenomenal service and care in the dental world, but I have also had some bad situations come up. My editors feel that I am a voice for some patients or people within the practice who can’t speak up for themselves. I’m not trying to insult anyone here but, let’s face it, every business/practice has a pecking order. I have nothing to lose to tell it like I see it or to take their experiences (those of you who email me) and say what you feel should be said.
Also, honestly, not many of you read my “feel good” articles. Would you read a story about how I arranged for $14,000 worth of free dental care for a total stranger in California who, by chance, Googled me and found one of my articles? The answer is “no,” yet my partners in the dental field worked with me to change someone’s life forever. This woman is graduating college very soon and has built back her confidence because of what we did. Those “partners” didn’t want me to name them at all. Why? They were afraid that patients would come out of the woodwork asking for free dental care.
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It’s truly a double-edged sword. On one hand, they should be acknowledged for their incredible generosity both financially as well as with their time. But, on the other hand, if they do that, they would be inundated by going public.
Here’s my point. After 75 articles and six years of writing to dental audiences, I have found that YOU, the dental professional, witness the good, the bad, and the ugly that goes on in your own practice. You see AMAZING customer service, AMAZING management, AMAZING dentists, AMAZING dental assistants, and AMAZING front office staff. But, and that is a big but, there are also a lot of challenges in your office. These challenges exist in ALL industries. Any place where you have human beings interacting with other human beings, you will have “turf” issues, “personality” clashes, and frustration.
My purpose is to help start “the dialogue.” Everyone who has emailed me (except for the “hate” mail writers … and they do exist) received a personal response. I don’t have a secretary answering email for me. I answer it. (By the way, the “hate” mail would only get fueled if I responded, so what is the point?) Do you know how many readers have printed these articles and posted them in their break rooms? More than I can tell you.
This is why I write … for you. I write to help you “start the conversation.”
Please know that the theme of all these articles is to help you voice what you are seeing in your practice. That is the starting point. From there, the goal is to look at how you can improve the situation, whatever it may be. If nothing else, just know that someone out here is speaking up for those of you who can’t.
If you want to continue this dialogue, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.