What's your plan for 2002?

Happy New Year! Here we go again! This year brings with it some uncertainty, which is all the more reason to take control of your time and your life. A large majority of people do not plan or set goals. They dream about the "what ifs" of life but never carry those dreams over to the reality of goal-setting.

In our society, only 3 percent of the population are considered highly successful and, interestingly enough, in survey after survey, only 3 percent have written goals. I wonder if there is any correlation here. Why not be one of the 3 percent rather than the 97 percent? How about turning your dreams into reality with written goals and concrete action plans for reaching those goals.

Early last summer, staffers from PennWell's Dental Division brainstormed about what we could do to improve Dental Economics and make it more user-friendly for you, our readers. You will see the results of that session and subsequent ones in this issue. In 2002, in addition to the editorial content that you are accustomed to, some new columns and articles will be appearing in the magazine.

I should point out that this month is the first time anyone has had a repeat appearance on the cover of Dental Economics. There is a reason. Drs. Matt and Ann Bynum are a great example of planning and goal-setting. My hope is that they will be a model for the young dentists who are entering our profession. Most dental schools still teach that the best way to file for bankruptcy is to open a dental practice from scratch. Yet, there are many examples of dentists across the country who have successfully started scratch practices.

Ann and Matt will be writing for the "new dentist" every month. Topics include finding your vision, goal-setting, preparing a business plan, getting the bank to fund your project, marketing your practice, and pitfalls to avoid along the way.

I am excited about this new column because I believe that we need to provide mentors to guide these young dentists along their way. This is an exciting profession in exciting times.

Drs. Ken Koch and Dennis Brave will be writing their Real WorldTM Endodontics articles monthly. They will continue to bring you exciting tips and techniques that make endo problems a thing of the past in your practice.

The "Practical Investor" by my good friend Brian Hufford also will continue on a monthly basis. I have heard many horror stories during the past year about what has happened to your pension funds. Because of Brian, I have not lost any money in my plan.

In our continuing coverage of the esthetic revolution, we will feature a Cosmetic Dentistry Roundtable. The roundtable features interviews with some of the leaders of dentistry, focusing on what they see as trends in the upcoming months. The subjects for these interviews will be selected from manufacturers, laboratories, and from the profession. Finally, Jean Sagara introduces her new laboratory column with a great article on shade matching. She has the knack of packing a lot of information in her articles, so read it carefully.

It is less than a month to Cosmetic Dentistry 2002 in Las Vegas. Come join us on February 14-15 at the fabulous Las Vegas Hilton for an outstanding program of the best seminars and workshops. There is something for every member of the team, as well as 10 hands-on workshops where you can learn new techniques. I have not been to another dental meeting that has so many opportunities for workshops. The attendance at the workshops is limited, so call now and reserve your spot. Call (888) 299-8016 right now to register for a great meeting!

Don't forget to visit us online at www.dentaleconomics.com, where you will find the five years of our magazine archived. This month, you also will find a discussion between Delta Dental of Minnesota and our own Dr. Charles Blair. This is a result of his article in the July 2001 issue of Dental Economics, "Bye, bye managed care." I think you will find this an interesting and lively debate that you will not want to miss.

Joe Blaes
DDS, Editor
E-mail: joeb@pennwell.com

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