Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Gateshead Dental is a family dental practice located in Stoney Creek and the only practice I have ever owned. The focus is on serving patients with an emphasis on individualized treatment customized to address each patient’s concerns, needs and desires. Some of the areas of treatment emphasized include promoting effective oral hygiene, dental fillings, cosmetic dentistry, crowns, implants, dentures, root canals and TMJ therapy.
Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
I have been practicing dentistry in Stoney Creek for over 35 years and was born and raised in Hamilton. I received my dental education at the University of Western Ontario and management training with the Art of Management in Toronto. I have had the privilege to serve as President of both the International Dental Study Club and the Hamilton Academy of Dentistry and currently serve as a Councilor to the Ontario Dental Association.
What three pieces of advice would you give to young dentists?
1. Serve patients with integrity by fulfilling their needs and wishes – in other words, practicing with a patient – centered focus.
2. Remain a student throughout your career in order to constantly improve your skills.
3. Realize the importance of hiring and training excellent staff in order to create a team dedicated toward providing superior service.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful dentist?
1. Clinical skills
2. Management skills
3. Business skills
However, fundamental to all three is the development of interpersonal skills.
How many hours do you work a day on average?
I work 7.5 to 8 chairside hours 3 days a week and sometimes an extra half day for 3-4 hours. In addition, I work numerous non-chairside hours consisting of reading and continuing education, handling management issues related to staff and service logistics, and business related work associated with selection of and payment for support services and products.
To what do you most attribute your success?
Persistence and the courage to overcome challenges.
How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
The best marketing has come from providing good service resulting in word of mouth referrals. This has also translated into positive online reviews, which has brought in many new patients.
Recommended Questions –
How important have good employees been to your success?
Having good employees is a fundamental ingredient toward achieving success. To me, creating a skilled, cohesive team dedicated toward providing an outstanding patient experience is one of the most rewarding aspects of private practice.
What motivates you?
The main motivation for me is to be able to provide an environment and services which enhance quality of life for both patients and staff.
How do you define success?
Success, to me, is the feeling of satisfaction that comes with delivering the highest quality of dental services possible together with building trusting, long term relations with patients, staff and service providers.
How do you build a successful patient base?
Building a successful patient base, in my experience, is a result of taking the approach of building for the long term and staying true to one’s higher self by putting myself in the patient’s shoes when delivering care.