Patients Who Drive Their Dentist Crazy
If you're a dentist, you know all about THAT sort of patient (or in the case of a pediatric dentist the patient's parent). Here's how to deal with these kinds of patients and create a win-win scenario.
Just 'Getting Through the Day'
Think about perspective.
Think about your day.
It’s easy to think about “getting through the day,” and then we’ve sort of wished away yet another of our precious days.
Instead, we can see our day as a blank slate, upon which to write, in which to love, feel joy, and work toward our goals.
“One of the major reasons people don't make any progress toward their goals is because they keep trying to get through the day. A more worthy challenge is to try to get something from the day.”
~ Jim Rohn
We have today. We have no promise of tomorrow.
Savor your possibilities.
Cherish your moments.
Make the most possible of your day, today. Move along your path with joy.
'What's Love Got to Do With It?'
Tina Turner sings, “What’s love got to do with it?” (Side note, no one on the face of this earth can dance like Tina Turner - AND in spike heels! Amazing voice, amazing dance, amazing lady, exuding love.)
A pretty 12 year old recently came in for an orthodontic evaluation. After the exam, I told her mom why I would recommend braces for her daughter, as her bite is off on one side, even though her smile is gorgeous. (And I added, that mom would decide of course whether or not they would proceed).
Her mother responded, “ We came here because we are so in love with you and what you do here.” (This was the first I had met them.)
What's love got to do with it?
Love is contagious. Love spreads from one mom, one patient, to another mom, another girl, another boy, another and another.
This sweet mom came because she had “caught the love bug.”
That’s what love’s got to do with it. In love I have the honor and privilege of orthodontic care.
Love brings us together - Orthodontics is a beauty treatment.
And, love is its result.
Running a dental practice has its challenges. Sometimes the going gets tough.
And... there's something the dentist must do to thrive in the middle of it all.
Keep 'People Notes'
As you go through your day, keep 'people notes.'
Take note of people’s names, little tidbits of information about them.
I worked for many glorious years with a special man named Tack Mayfield. He has a heart that takes in everyone in the world, and an incredible mind that remembers names and information about people. Tack can see someone after years, and remember their name, their sister’s name, how old they were when he first met them - or how old he was - and on and on.
I cannot. My mind doesn’t hold a candle to Tack’s.
However, I found that my cell phone - and yours - has a wonderful tool that is probably with you most all the time. It’s the Notes app.
That little app allows me to keep notes in folders. For example, I travel on Etihad Airlines a lot, from the US to Abu Dhabi. So I have a folder, Etihad People. In that folder I add a heading of a date I traveled, from what airport to what airport, and list the names of the flight attendants/crew that I met on the flight.
Amazing how many times I meet a crew member again, and can go back and find them and a little tidbit about them - “from Romania, loves to cook…” And, after the flight, I can write a little thank you email about those folks to Etihad.
I have a folder labeled, “Doctors and colleagues” to remember who I met at what meeting… and one labeled, “East Texas people” to remember servers, sales clerks, and others met in the course of going about my errands and days. (Tack would most likely remember - I may not!)
And I have a folder labeled, "Ideas", where I note something I hear that is valuable, something important, and ideas.
It all helps my love shine through.
And, if you’re not as good as Tack, keep people notes on your phone!
Glorious & Sublime
Going through today, why don’t you see how many people you can get to smile.
Often, your smile is all it takes.
Sometimes a little more connection is needed. Comment on something to connect - to the seemingly sullen clerk who is not even making eye contact with you - “I love your earrings.”
To the lady in front of you in line who is unloading her basket as her child is fussing, “Your baby is gorgeous!” That’ll get a smile most every time.
To the coworker who seems to be having a hard morning, “I’m going to get a cup of coffee - may I get you one?”
To the person approaching the same door as you are, “Please” as you hold out a gracious hand to indicate he should go first.
To the toll booth operator, “You are doing a SUPER job.”
To the maintenance man or woman, “Thank you for keeping this place so nice. Thank you for your work!”
See how many you can win! Their smile just warmed their heart and yours!!
Dr Chris Baker
America's most-trusted teacher of orthodontic continuing education, Dr. Chris Baker has practiced and taught for more than 30 years, and is a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools. She is a pediatric dentist, author, blogger, dental practice consultant, and mentor. Dr. Chris is also Past President and Senior Instructor of the American Orthodontic Society. She is based in Texas, USA, but lectures around the world.
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© 2023 Dr Chris Baker