Be A Lifetime Learner

Last weekend, Doug Copple and I (Chris Bentson) attended a study club meeting held in Atlanta, GA.  The meeting was a two-day affair hosted by a nationally-known orthodontic consultant which brought together about 30 practices. This year’s meeting revolved around the theme of marketing.

To get the meeting started, a tour was arranged of a local fast-growing orthodontic office that is currently incorporating a number of very new, fresh ideas.  Next, a list of topics to be discussed during the event was created by the meeting’s attendees via an open discussion forum. Overall, the meeting was focused and solely centered on discussing ideas to raise the level of performance and service in each practice represented.

All in all, it was an enormously educational experience for all attendees, including myself. I came away with several key thoughts. Foremost, in order to run a successful enterprise you must commit to becoming a lifetime learner. The orthodontic marketplace is continually changing (the meeting discussed consumer and competition changes). Keeping up with these shifts require effort to study and learn how to adapt one’s business. I was also reminded that practice ownership takes a great deal of work and determination. We all can learn by sharing ideas, taking the risk to ask questions and be open about one’s successes and failures.

Every orthodontist was an exceptional student during his or her formative years. We all know that practicing doctors commit to the standard requirements for continuing education. However, not all continue with a genuine thirst for knowledge and desire for new ideas. If you feel stale, stuck in a rut, upset about the condition of your practice; pause for a moment. Ask yourself if you’re really still learning about running your business and considering new clinical ideas. The practices we see that are vibrant, growing and thriving are being operated by “lifelong learners” who are continually trying new ideas to achieve growth and excellence in all areas of practice life.

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