Joe Blaes, DDS
I am writing this as I fly back from the Hinman Dental Meeting, an Atlanta tradition for 88 years. Once again, the Hinman has put together what I feel is the premier meeting in the country. It has all the trimmings that every other dental meeting has - great speakers, great program, great exhibit space - but there is something added at the Hinman that makes it special. That something special is the Hinman people! Call it "southern hospitality," call it a "we can attitude," call it a "philosophy" - the Hinman people have an attitude! They are genuinely happy that you have come to their meeting, and they will go that extra step to keep you happy and wanting to come back for more.
One of the highlights for me was the Thursday evening keynote address by Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the former secretary of state under President Nixon. He spoke to an overflow, standing-room-only crowd of 2,500 in the early evening. Dr. Kissinger spoke for about 25 minutes and then took questions from the audience for another 25 minutes. His presentation revealed a warm personality with a keen wit that captivated everyone in the audience.
When you sit down to plan your CE for next year, include the Hinman Dental Meeting (always towards the end of March). You won`t regret it, and you will get a chance to see me since I am a featured speaker in 2001.
As I travel around the country speaking with dentists, there still seems to a great amount of interest in managed care and the dental insurance industry. I feel that, so far, dentistry has dodged the bullet that killed medicine. Many reasons exist for this, including the fact that most dentists do not practice in groups and, as a result, are hard to sign up for programs. Some paint managed care as an evil menace and tell you to "just say no." I urge you to be careful about how and when you say no. Getting out too quickly can lead to bankruptcy.
Others will tell you that Delta Dental, because it is run by dentists, has your best interests at heart. If you believe this, I have some land in the Ozarks that I would like to sell you. I urge you to carefully watch what is happening with Delta Dental plans as they begin to merge with one another.
Call the Minnesota Dental Association and ask them for a copy of their report to the membership about the Delta Prime Informational Meeting. They can be reached at (651) 646-7454 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org You will be amazed at what happened at that meeting and what Delta Dental of Minnesota is doing for (or to) their participating dentists.
My good friend Ed McElroy is featured on the cover this month. Ed challenges all of us to get into a healthier lifestyle.
I am amazed at how few of the people who work with dentists know about this magazine. When I share with staff about the contents of the magazine, they tell me that they never see it. When I was in full-time practice, I was always copying and distributing articles for the staff. I urge you to do the same. Certainly, everyone on your staff can benefit from the communication series by Sandy Roth and Terry Goss. I truly believe that communication is the key to success in our offices. Every failing dental practice that I have ever seen lacks simple communication skills. So read the magazine with an eye out for articles that have information for the staff. You should be giving Bev Maguire`s column to your hygienist every month. Get that copy machine going!
I hope that you have noticed that Dr. Michael Miller of Reality is back as a regular columnist. He has some great material tips for you. Jeff Carter has a great article on integration of high-tech equipment into the practice. So many fantastic articles are packed into this month`s Dental Economics that it is hard to pick one over another. You need to read them all! It seems that every month, we raise the bar a little higher on the quality of articles that appear.
Thanks for your continued interest and support! We are here for you!