P1000261

A unique course, and the keys to a successful partnership

June 16, 2023
In Dr. Joshua Austin's latest interview, learn what makes The Protocol a unique course offering and how its founders maintain a successful small partnership.

Dr. Rob Ritter is a restorative dentist and educator from Jupiter, Florida. He and his business partner, Dr. Chris Ramsey, have developed a hit course called The Protocol. I talked with Dr. Ritter about the course and his partnership with Dr. Ramsey and their practice, Ritter & Ramsey.

Joshua Austin: You and your partner have had a successful partnership and practice that has turned into an educational venture called the Protocol. Can you tell us about it and what sets it apart from other CE courses on comprehensive dentistry?

Rob Ritter: After practicing for a combined 53 years and taking many courses and curriculums from others, I always felt that there was a missing component: implementation. We built this course with that in mind. We go through a systematic approach from attracting patients to doing great consults to having patients committed to doing the necessary dentistry.

JA: That sounds phenomenal. I love going to those in-depth continuums like you mentioned; however, there does always seem to be a disconnect from those learning centers to what actually happens in an operatory the next Monday. How long is the course, and what does it cover?

RR: We developed a two-day program that covers recommendation marketing, body language, social media, digital consults, data acquisition, digital scanning, daily templates and workflows, opening vertical dimension confidently, foundational core buildups, preparations, temp swaps with PMMA shade try-ins, and cementation. It’s a ton of info, gathered over many years to streamline the process.

When you can make dentistry more reproducible, it becomes less problematic, and that leads to profitability and joy. We have had so many participants come through the course then tell us later what a huge difference it made in their practice.

JA: Many dentists have a hard time with partnerships, and small partnerships like yours seem to be dying off in dentistry. How have you and Dr. Ramsey been able to successfully navigate this?

RR: This is the question people seem to ask us most often. We have been partners for more than 20 years, and with this comes many moments that determine long-term success and happiness. First, you must realize that you’re not always going to get your way. A compromise will help most situations. Sometimes you need to step back and take a big picture of what is transpiring and what is the most logical course of action long term.

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I can tell you that most of the time we come to the same conclusion in whatever the scenario is. Partnerships fail for two reasons: money and ego. We were told many years ago by a “famous” dentist that the partnership would not last. He said you could not have “two kings in a castle,” but it’s like a marriage; compromise is the key. We each have our own areas of affinity and focus; it works out in a way where we both respect each other, treat each other like brothers, and don’t have a hierarchy over the other person. We’ve worked hard on making things equitable for each other.

JA: When you two teach the Protocol together, how do you break up the sections as far as who teaches what?

RR: We have our own areas of interest and from that we speak about different subjects. I speak about recommendation marketing; Ramsey speaks about body language and persuasion. There are sections that we both share. We cover in sequential order how a dentist attracts the right patients to the practice, the human interaction needed to start a relationship, and digital data acquisition. From there we both speak about the all-important consult.

On the second day, it’s all about the teeth, preps, core buildups, ceramics, and implants. We interact throughout the two days and share as much information as possible with everyone in the course.

JA: This sounds amazing. Where can dentists learn more about the Protocol?

RR: Our website has additional information about course dates and on the curriculum itself. Our Instagram is @theprotocollive.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the June 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

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