Leonard E. Carlson, DDS
St. Cloud, Minn.
What a nice photo of the two dentists, the Bynums, on the front cover of the October issue.
I also graduated from the University of Iowa. Coming from a good school and grad school, they certainly must be good dentists, but there seems to be something wrong with this picture. How can two dental school graduates come out of school, usually with debts of up to six figures each, build a building, furnish an office, and start a practice? The picture to me is frustrating. Maybe it`s different in South Carolina, but it looks to me like someone needs deep pockets to finance all of this and still be able to buy groceries at the end of the day. The article makes it sound like anyone can start out like that. I wonder...
Dr. Matt Bynum responds:
Thank you for your kind words regarding my family`s photo on the cover of the October issue. It`s always nice to hear from a fellow Hawkeye. However, your comments have touched on a topic that Ann and I feel very passionate about.
Ann and I graduated from the University of Iowa`s dental school in 1995. We received not just a "good" dental education, but a great dental education. We arrived in San Antonio with basically nothing but our degrees and an accumulated debt of $140,000. Ann received some scholarship money and I undertook the financial investment of school on my own. Neither family has "deep pockets," but what they lack in finances is made up for in their enthusiasm and work ethic.
I empathize with your frustration, as this is a subject that receives quite a bit of attention. In the two years since we have opened our doors, our practice has grown tremendously. Starting with no patients on Day One, we have taken our practice and elevated it to a level reached only by about 5 percent of our profession. Are things different in South Carolina than anywhere else? Our answer is a resounding no! Are teeth different in Minnesota than in South Carolina? Of course not, but the way each individual dentist chooses to run his or her practice varies considerably.
If in the biography we made it sound like anyone can start out the way we did, then we have done our job. We believe that anyone willing to work hard to achieve his or her dream can and will succeed in doing so. Having a dream and pursuing a goal are only the foundations of success. Having the confidence, determination, and intestinal fortitude to never accept "no" as an answer will propel you beyond even your wildest expectations. Let the doubters ask "how?" and the dreamers ask "when?"
We did just what you "wondered." We bought a parcel of land, designed an office, constructed a business plan, found a financial institution to lend us a lot of money, built a building, furnished and equipped it, and started it all on our own with only a dream to drive us forward. It can definitely be done anywhere, and it can definitely be done by anyone as long as he or she wants it enough.
Currently, Ann and I lecture to dental students and study clubs across the United States and "coach" about 25 practicing dentists on doing exactly what we have succeeded in. We preach five-star service, high-tech/high-touch, and fee-for-service dentistry. We invite you to spend some time with us at our office to view and discuss how we have managed to make our dream a reality. We certainly look forward to meeting/talking with you in the near future.