THE SUCCESS FILE

Forty to 50 percent of new patients at the offices of pediatric dentists Lee Weinstein, DMD and Simon Cheirif, DDS, in Roslyn Heights and Merrick, Long Island, N.Y., have been referred by pediatricians. Among the reasons: effective networking. For example:

Bob Levoy

Forty to 50 percent of new patients at the offices of pediatric dentists Lee Weinstein, DMD and Simon Cheirif, DDS, in Roslyn Heights and Merrick, Long Island, N.Y., have been referred by pediatricians. Among the reasons: effective networking. For example:

Dr. Weinstein is director of Pediatric Dentistry at Nassau County (N.Y.) Medical Center and attending pediatric dentist at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Schneider`s Children Hospital. Dr. Cheirif is chairman of the Pediatric Dental Department at Jamaica Hospital. In networking terms, such affiliations give Drs. Weinstein and Cheirif important visibility and opportunities to lecture to hospital residents, physicians, pediatricians and nurses, all of whom are potential referral sources.

Such lectures take place at the hospitals or, on occasion, at the physicians` private practices, where staff members also can attend. Topics range from "What`s new in pediatric dentistry?" to the consequences of an abscessed tooth, traumatic injury, nursing bottle mouth, eruption hematoma and the risk of malpractice if these conditions are neglected. "What`s made these programs so effective," says Dr. Weinstein, "is the emphasis we put on the audience`s needs and interests - not ours for recognition and referrals."

Barbara Zimmerman, office manager for Drs. Weinstein and Cheirif, also visits local pediatricians four to six times a year to accomplish the following:

- Alert pediatricians and their staffs to Drs. Weinstein`s and Cheirif`s availability in the event one of their patients has a dental emergency.

- Offer literature (for parents) about such topics as dental sealants; nursing-bottle mouth; thumb-sucking; dental-emergency procedures for parents; and the importance of primary teeth. One well-received giveaway has been a small supply of disposable mouth mirrors for physicians who express an interest in using them during their examination of children.

And occasionally, Ms. Zimmerman will just bring doughnuts and coffee for everyone and make it a quick, social visit.

Such efforts help pediatricians and their staffs to remember Drs. Weinstein and Cheirif when parents ask (as they invariably do): "Can you recommend a dentist for my child?"

What`s worked for Drs. Weinstein and Cheirif to make their networking so effective is: hospital affiliations; providing information that is relevant and helpful to the people with whom they are networking; multiple contacts; and persistence.

You can make it happen in your practice.

Bob Levoy is a marketing consultant, seminar speaker and writer based in Roslyn, NY. For more information about networking and other practice-growth strategies, see his new book, "101 Secrets of a High Performance Dental Practice." To place an order (the book is available from PennWell Books), call (800) 752-9764.

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