Please note that this magazine has two covers this month. The "second cover" celebrates the beginning of a new relationship between Dr. Gordon J. Christensen and Dental Economics. As I proudly announced last month, Dr. Christensen has agreed to write a monthly column that will help you sift through the proliferation of new products that we all see in our dental practices today. The column is called "Ask Dr. Christensen," and the first one appears on page 38.
We invite you to send your questions to Dental Economics by fax to (918) 831-9804, or visit our Web site at www.dentaleconomics.com and click on "Ask Dr. Christensen." I know that you will glean a great deal of information from these articles that will enable you to practice faster, better, easier, and have more fun and less stress. Gordon and I have worked together over the last couple of years to make this association happen. I am very happy that the time has finally come.
You will notice on the second cover that Dr. Christensen is flanked by Dr. Hugh Doherty and me. I would like to thank Dr. Doherty for his invaluable assistance in bringing Dr. Christensen into the Dental Economics family. You all know and have benefited from Dr. Doherty's "Money Smart" column over the last few years. This month, he will begin an exciting, new eight-part series on a prescription for financial health.
I have read the first couple of articles and am anxious for you to read them and benefit from the great information he has provided. The new series begins on page 54.
As I talk to dentists all over the country from small towns to large metroplexes, the one common thread is dollars. Sooner or later, many dental conversations come down to a discussion of the practice numbers.
When one dentist asks of another, "How are you doing?" he or she usually means, "How much are you producing?" Like it or not, we tend to measure each other's worth by how much money we make.
Today, we are living in an upside-down world. We spend, spend, spend instead of save, save, save! You work hard for your money, but many times you seem to come up the loser. We tend to lose sight of one of the cardinal principles of accumulating money - pay yourself first! When we do get an amount of money together, we often listen to extremely poor advice about what to do with it and, all at once, the money is gone! As a result, many dentists do not have sufficient funds to retire. The happiest dentists I come across today are those who have accumulated enough money so they don't have to worry about it any more.
In his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, John Kyosaki says we know how to make money but we do not understand how money works. In this new series, Dr. Doherty will use some of these principles to give you an understanding of how money works. He will explain why we take the advice of a podium speaker, or a consultant, or a dentist-friend and ignore sound money principles. He also will explain why we usually lose money in get-rich-quick schemes. I know you will want to save every article in this series and refer to its solid information often. This will be a pivotal series that can change your future, so don't miss it!
Dentistry is undergoing a paradigm shift today. Ten thousand fewer dentists graduated from dental schools in the 1990s than in the 1980s. In 1998, more dentists died and retired than were replaced by dental school graduates. One solution is for dental schools to take in more students, yet it is estimated that there are 375 unfilled faculty positions in U.S. dental schools. In 1999, the average dentist was making more than the average medical general practitioner. The U.S. population is growing.
In light of all this, will you make any changes in your practice?
Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor - e-mail: email@example.com