Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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344 Triumph Dental with Mike Dolby : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

344 Triumph Dental with Mike Dolby : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

3/27/2016 11:12:10 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 385

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VIDEO - DUwHF #344 - Mike Dolby



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AUDIO- DUwHF #344 - Mike Dolby



Dr. Dolby entered the field of dentistry in a somewhat unorthodox fashion. A scholarship athlete at Boise State University led to a degree in Business Management. Straight out of college working as a sales representative for a consumer products company, he knew there had to be a more rewarding profession. He decided to attend the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco, where he graduated with high honors.  He went on to further his dental education being selected to participate in a general practice residency at St. Josephs Hospital in Denver, Colorado. In 2001, he was awarded his Fellowship by the American Academy of General Dentistry. 


In 1994 he entered private practice and established Harrison Dental in Boise, Idaho and in 2007 started Cottonwood Creek Dental in Eagle, Idaho.


Dr. Dolby was honored to be a featured instructor at the Pacific Aesthetic Continuum “PacLive” where he taught dentist the most effective practice management strategies for their practice. 


He also partnered up with the self-improvement expert Tony Robbins and Fortune Management to become a dental practice management coach.  


These experiences opened his eyes to the significant lack of business training that most dentist have, leaving them at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to running their practice. 


In 2015 Dr. Dolby started Triumph Dental in order to provide dentists a "Clear Path"  to owning their private practice, while obtaining the business education to properly operate a stress free, profitable dental practice. Triumph Dental secures established, fee for service, single doctor practices and personally teaches candidates everything they need to know to operate a successful and profitable dental practice and in just 36 months 100% of the practice ownership is transferred to the new doctor. The most predictable path to a successful dental career!


www.Triumph-Dental.com

Howard Farran:

It is a huge honor today to be podcast interviewing a leader, mentor, role model of mine since way back in the day. You signed up on dentaltown in 2001.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Yep.

 

Howard Farran:

Mike Dolby. Are you any relation to the Thomas Dolby where he sang, "She Blinded me with Science"?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Zero.

 

Howard Farran:

You're going to blind us with practice management.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

That's my mom's first cousin.

 

Howard Farran:

Thomas Dolby will blind you with science and Mike Dolby will blinded you with practice management advice. Dr. Dolby entered the field of dentistry in a somewhat unorthodox fashion. A scholarship athlete at Boise State University led to a degree in business management. Straight out of college working as a sales representative for a consumer products company, he knew there had to be a more rewarding profession. He decided to attend the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco where he graduated with high honors. He went on to further his dental education being selected to participate in a general practice residency at St. Joseph's hospital in Denver, Colorado. In 2001 he was awarded his fellowship by the American Academy of General Dentistry. In '94 he entered private practice and established Harrison Dental in Boise, Idaho, and in 2007 started Cottonwood Creek Dental in Eagle, Idaho. Dr. Dolby was honored to be a featured instructor at the Pacific Aesthetic Continuum Pac Live, where he taught dentists the most effective practice management strategies for their practice. He also partnered up with the self-improvement expert Tony Robbins and fortune management to become a dental practice management coach. These experiences opened his eyes to the significant lack of business training that most dentists have, leaving them at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to running their practice.

 

 

In 2015, Dr. Dolby started Triumph Dental in order to provide dentists a clear path to owning their private practice, while obtaining the business education to properly operate a stress free, profitable dental practice. Triumph Dental secures established [inaudible 00:02:00] serviced single doctor practices and personally teaches candidates everything they need to know to operate a successful and profitable dental practice. In just 36 months, 100% of the practice ownership is transferred to the new doctor. The most predictable path to a successful dental career.

 

 

That is just amazing. How are you doing buddy?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Good, good, how are you? Thanks for having me.

 

Howard Farran:

Oh man. By the way, he doesn't want to talk about this because he's too humble, but this guy was such an athlete he actually tried out for the 49ers, and they started with 150 people. He made several cuts. He damn near made the team in 1987. When I met you in '87, the first thing I thought was, man you must be a professional. In '87 you looked like you played for the NFL.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Back then I did. I was about 30 pounds heavier. Now as a dentist, I've got the dentist body now. I've slimmed down, thank God.

 

Howard Farran:

What position were you trying for?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I was inside linebacker.

 

Howard Farran:

Before we go on, I just have to ask you ... I just want to say one thing on the NFL. It's my crazy indulgence, it makes no sense. I just completely love it. I make fun of people who don't like their sister or their wife watching a reality TV show, because I think reality TV show is smarter than the NFL. I have no idea why I want the Cardinals to be the 49ers, but when I'm watching reality TV I know why Mary is mad at Showanda. I don't know why I want the Arizona Cardinals ... I'm so glad I'm not a gambling person, because I think I'm so smart in the NFL. I would've bet my car that the Carolina Panthers would've destroyed Denver.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Me too. I had that bet all day long, and I don't know what happened. To think that Carolina could win every game in the regular season and not have an answer for Denver's defense was beyond me. They were at a loss, a complete loss.

 

Howard Farran:

I was dumbfounded. I loved the game because I was thinking I don't have any money on this game because every time I know it's a give me in the NFL, something goes horribly wrong, and I would've lost a ton of money.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Yeah.

 

Howard Farran:

You got out of school in ... What year did you get out? You got out in '93?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

'93 out of dental school, yeah. Then did my residency and was done with that in '94.

 

Howard Farran:

I got out in'87. My first question is, Mike, do you think the business of dentistry climate has changed from when we got out 25 years ago as opposed to kids getting out in 2016? What's different about 2016 than back in the day?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I think back in the day, the business of dentistry was a lot more lax. You could still be pretty successful, and you could be doing a lot of little things wrong in your practice. Meaning that you didn't have to run a super efficient office, and most dentists made enough money to meet their needs. They didn't care about managing their practice. It didn't really matter.

 

 

Today that landscape is incredibly changed. With decrease in reimbursement rates. We didn't really have corporate dentistry when we first started. Now we do. We have all this much more competition out there for those dental dollars that it makes you so you have to pay attention to this. Guys have to learn practice management. They have to know how to run a business. The way the landscape is set up now, it's really really tough. We've got dental students coming out of dental school, 2, 300,000 dollars, 400,000 dollars in some cases in debt. We ask them to run a small business. We might as well be asking the to do face lifts because they have had no training in that also. The landscape has definitely changed. You have to know what you're doing. You cannot just wing it anymore or expect your office manager who you inherited through the previous practice know how to run the practice. You've got to follow some very basic fundamentals in business. It's not that hard to learn. Unfortunately our industry has not taken the time or effort to focus on that. It's all after the fact. We're trying so hard to learn the clinical aspects of it that we often let the practice management or the running of our dental business go by the wayside.

 

Howard Farran:

You know I think one of the most amazing changes in the last 25 years is when we got out, we had that cost plus profit strategy where you took our cost, you added you're profit, you're right at your price. You submitted your price to all the insurance companies, and they say okay that's your price, and we'll pay 80% of a filling, half of a crown, whatever. Now the insurance companies all say now we've moved to a market price strategy, or a market minus strategy, where here's your price for a crown. Now you've got to subtract your profit, and you've got to arrive at a budget. I think just going from cost plus profit equals submit your price to insurance, they pay a percent to now it's all here's your damn price, and if you want to make any profit subtract it. Now you have the budget. I don't think the dentists get that. There's still loss in this deal where I want to do the best dentistry. The price isn't for the best dentistry. You want to make a Mercedes, but you're getting paid for a Chevy. Do you think that's a factor?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

It absolutely is a factor. We have to consider that. If we have limited ways we can charge. Our fee structure is already predetermined by the insurance companies, then you're going to decide what type of insurance companies you want to be in business with, so you can get the maximum return. Since you have that limit, now the only other way you're going to squeeze the efficiency of your profitability is to maximize every system in your practice so that it is as efficient and profitable as possible. If you're not doing that then your just watching your overhead go crazy. I'm seeing practices I'm working with 75-80% overheads and not figuring out why they're not making any money.

 

Howard Farran:

Something that's really creeping me out is that a couple years ago gas was $100 a barrel, I mean oil. It plummeted to $30, and there was really no change in production, so you know demand dropped out, and it had to be somewhere big like Asia, Latin America. That was scary. Then the China market starts to devalue. Then the American Stock Market is down about 18%. The stock market is kind of like teenagers are emotional, but the bond market is deteriorating. I remember my MBA professor in economics at ASU used to say, "When the bond market deteriorates, it predicts a recession 9 out of every 5 times." I'm in Phoenix, and this is just February 10th. There's already been 10 dental offices in the Phoenix Valley that have gone bankrupt in the new year 2016. 10, 10.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Isn't that crazy? When you go back to your original question, we first started practicing that's something we never saw. I never knew of a guy who went out of business. Never knew of a dentist going bankrupt. That's a reality today. That's the increased dental school costs. That's the increased entry fee into this profession. The the restricted reimbursement rates. Then with the lack of practice management you put on top of that. God, it's amazing any of us succeed, really.

 

Howard Farran:

Okay, okay. Go into specifics. You came out with your new book. First of all you came out with an online CE course on dental town that was amazing. If you haven't watched "My Practice Made Perfect" online CE course on dentaltown that came out. Oh no it's available March 2016.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Right, right. I'm not done with it yet, but I'm almost done with it.

 

Howard Farran:

You came out with the book this year, "Practice Made Perfect." That was the impetus for making this course. "Practice Made Perfect: Blueprint for a Successful Dental Practice." You started your website, your business triumph-dental.com. What exactly are you doing?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

First off, I wrote the book for one simple reason. I had so many dentists I run across on a daily basis asking, "What do I do?" They all want to know the secret sauce. They all want to know that one key ingredient. They all thing it's new patients or more patients, so I wanted to put down everything I had learned over the last 20 years into print so somebody could actually have that as a resource, a guideline. No different than the books you've written and the CE courses you've offered and so forth. Getting that information out there, so they can apply it. Some they'll apply and some they won't. I just wanted to have a resource for them to do that.

 

 

That was the whole premise of the book. It was one of those things writing a book as you know takes about 10 times longer than you think it's going to take. By the time you get to finishing it or reviewing it, you'll go back to a chapter you've written last year, and then you end up rewriting the whole darn thing. I was able to get that checked off the list and completed and it's been a relatively good success. Had a lot of people have a great positive comments from the book. You can get it on Amazon, and it's been wonderful. Easy read, inexpensive way to tap into what's been so profitable for me for the last 21 years in this business.

 

 

Triumph Dental was created out of the need to want to give young dentists an opportunity to avoid associate-ships that just don't work, corporate dentistry that their just not happy being in because they're just working their fannies off and so forth or being told what to do. I wanted to create some sort of platform for dentists who had a strong desire to own their own practice, but obviously didn't know the practice management to be able to operate their own practice or have the financial means to do that and get them into a practice.

 

 

What I do is I go out and find great private, single doctor practices, and I take great clients and merge them into that practice. We handle everything from the conception of finding, negotiating the purchase price, help with financing. Once we get them into that practice, we handle the transition from the senior doctor to the new doctor, which is key. I've seen practices lose 60% of their patients based on their good will because that transition was done so poorly. We handle that. We integrate a great team around them and start implementing our business systems, tools that are all in the book. We create a great solid foundation. Now this young dentist doesn't have to spend 4 or 5 years making one mistake after the next. He can go into this practice, have somebody holding his hand, but teaching him, so I'm not a life-long partner with him. In 36 months, he's got his own practice, and we can be there to answer any questions that come up and what not. It's the quickest way, the most efficient, profitable way for a young guy to have a streamlined path to practice ownership.

 

Howard Farran:

You're find a dentist selling a practice? You're a transition. Some older person is selling their practice.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Correct.

 

Howard Farran:

You're helping that person find someone to buy the practice, and then you're going to have a program to watch and edu-ma-cate this person on a 3 year transition to full ownership.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Exactly. Exactly.

 

Howard Farran:

Are you recruiting straight out of dental school? Do you like them to have 5 years experience out of dental school? What is your secret sauce?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

It depends. It's all on an application process because we're asking dentists ... I'm looking for guys that have an entrepreneurial spirit, who are hungry, that just want some guidance. That could be a person coming out of a general practice residency. It could be coming out of the military, so he's got 3 or 4 years experience, or it might be a real over achiever coming right out of dental school, just wants to get into it. It really depends on the person. I see a lot of guys that come out that just don't want to do that. They want to work for corporate dentistry. They want to punch the time clock everyday and leave and never have any responsibilities, and that's fine too. That's not what we do, but there's General Dentals and Heartland and all those guys that can service that client very well.

 

Howard Farran:

What percent of the dental school graduates you think want just a 8:00 - 5:00 job at corporate versus how many of them want their own show?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

That's an interesting ... I think the majority of dentists go into dental school with the thought of owning their own practice. They see their general dentist that they grew up with, have his name on the door, have his brick and mortar building, have his team, and they want that. I think that's the vision they have in their mind. When they go through everything that dental school has to teach them, in regards to the didactics and the clinical aspects of dentistry, sometimes that can be overwhelming, and then they are expected to go out and open their own practice. Since they don't have that business knowledge, I'd say a fair amount of them end up drifting toward corporate dentistry for no other means other than financial because they have such a debt burden on them. I think the majority want to have their own practice, and then they finally migrate back after 3, 4, 5 years in corporate world or an associateship that just never panned out. They want to start looking for their own practice. I still think the majority do want that. I think about 20% want to just punch the clock, but I think the majority do want their own private practice.

 

Howard Farran:

This is dentistry uncensored, and I am known for sometimes saying things that aren't so politically correct, but I'd tell these older guys that when they're selling a practice, in my 30 year observation, you said that you want them to have an entrepreneurial spirit and hungry. I think a hunger is a bigger thing. When I see these kids walk out of school, their dad was a dentist, that paid for dental school. They're single. They want to leave at 5:00. They're hitting the bars in Scottsdale. They're trying to find hot dates on match.com. I go back last 30 years, it's the Mormons who come out of school married with 2 kids. They don't have $300,000 debt, they got $5000,000 debt, and they are so focused and so hungry, they'll open up a practice and work 7:00 - 7:00 Monday through Saturday without blinking for a decade. I would put my money on 5 hungry coyotes that a rabbit's going to get killed than a couple lazy fat coyotes walking out there having a beer and a cigarette. I think the hunger.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I think you're spot on, and we work with a lot of LDS dentists because of that factor.

 

Howard Farran:

We see it in student loan default rate. No one's talking about the biggest story. Do you realize, the more debt you have, the default rate is inversely correlated? It's the small people in debt of 10 or 20,000 that are defaulting. Once you have 100 or 200 or $300,000 in student loans, there's almost no default rate because that person was laser focused. They knew there was a reason they were taking out that much money. They got a plan. It's the kid $20,000 in debt who never really had a plan and doesn't know what they're doing.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Right, exactly.

 

Howard Farran:

If I was going to sell a practice, I want hungry. I want hungry, hungry.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Oh absolutely. If I'm going to share with somebody the knowledge I have in practice management, teach you how to run a business, I want you to be hungry and learn how to run that business. I don't want you to have me doing everything for you, because that doesn't serve you at all. The most profitable, most efficient you can be is owning your own practice. When you have that attack structure, and you have that business under your belt, that's the best you can do in our world of dentistry. We spend way too much time and effort and cost to become a dentist to work for somebody else. In my opinion I think that I would want to be the director of my own path.

 

Howard Farran:

Oh my God, my dad never gave me a dime. I graduated $87,000 in student loans back in '87, which I think [inaudible 00:17:57] dollars is about $250,000 today. Man, it'd be 5:00, we'd be closing house, a toothache would walk in. We'd knock out the root canal and go on and leave at 7:00, and thought we were lucky. We thought we were lucky that someone came in and bumped my dinner a few hours.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I can't even tell you in '94 what I paid for my first practice because I just wanted a place to go. I just wanted a business. I knew I was taking off, but I needed a foundation, and once I got it I just took off with it. Once I got it, I was working 7 days a week. If I wasn't working treating patients I was working on the business. It was constant. It was all I thought about for, just like you said, for 10 years. Learned a lot along the way, and had tremendous success, but it comes to that work ethic that you just can't teach. They better have some of that ingrained in them from the get go.

 

Howard Farran:

When you transfer this dental office, go through the big questions. I still think that debt's overrated. When they come up to me and say they're $400,000 in student loan debt, I'm like well in Phoenix, 20% of the homes cost over $400,000. If I walked into any of those $400,000 homes and said hey, would you trade your home for a doctorate degree? Most people would say, "Hell yeah, I'm a plumber. I'll take it." The $400,000 of student loans is pretty silly, especially when their first divorce will cost a million dollars or 2 million or 3 million. The next thing I want to go over is the big toys. You're $400,000 in student loans and now society is telling you you need $150,000 CEREC machine, $100,000 CVCT, a $75,000 bio lase laser. Do you think those 3 big toys are a must have return on investment, or is that not really part of the factor of being successful?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I'm glad this is Dentistry Uncensored because I'm going to probably say some things that are going to piss people off.

 

Howard Farran:

Awesome, awesome. Let me turn up the volume.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I bet you that the guys that you saw go out of practice down in Phoenix for next year, [inaudible 00:20:01], and the guys I see in Boise and some of the other areas that are going bankrupt. I walk into those businesses, and I walk into those practices and all of them have exactly. They got a CEREC, they got a cone beam. They have all these toys that have caused them to do that. These sales reps come out, and they give them these dollar buy out leases. The guys don't even know what the hell they're signing. Before you know it, they have this unbelievably well furnished office that should be the office of a guy who's been in practice 15 or 20 years, because he has earned his right to have those toys.

 

 

CEREC and some of those types of technology are great, but not from Day 1. Not from Day 1 at all. It's very difficult to get Cadcam dentistry to be profitable in most practices, and I'll tell you why. There's not a paradigm shift when they go out and spend $120,00 - $130,000 for this machine. They just get it as a new toy, when it has to be a complete paradigm shift where now we are a Cadcam practice and you're going to invest the time and energy to train your team, so that you can make this thing work, and you can get the ROI to be positive. I scratch my head in just amazement when I hear guys saying I got a brand new ED4, I got a brand new CEREC. I take an impression. I pour it up after everybody goes home, and I do the lab work until 10:00 at night, and then I come back the next day and I cement the crown. I'm like why in the hell would you do that? Now you're a very low paid lab tech, when you were a very highly paid dentist. Why would you do that?

 

 

There's some things with that technology that I think you can work into practices. Don't get me wrong, I love that technology. I love all the advancements, but there has to be a plan, a very strategic plan in place when you're going to implement that type of expensive technology in your practice. I think bread and butter dentistry is what we all do. I think there's very few dentists out there that do cosmetics or some sort of specialty. I would say I do a lot of cosmetic dentistry, and it's about 20% of what I do. Could I survive off that? Hell no. I've got to be able to do the root canals, the dentures, the crown. I got to be able to do it all. That's what dentists have to be able to really master. Do I need a $150,000 Cadcam machine to do that? No.

 

 

Now in year 5, 6, and I'm doing really well, and I've trained my team, and I want to implement that technology? Absolutely. You need help to show you how that piece of equipment can be profitable for you. With all those, they kind of mull together. Hopefully I didn't piss off Schine or Patterson, or any of those guys.

 

Howard Farran:

Who cares? Who cares? They're not going to pay your student loans. Who cares what Patterson and Schine and all those guys think?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Yeah, so now you're out of business when you this nice shiny CEREC machine sitting in the corner, and you don't have any patients. What good is that? I'd rather take the dollars and spend it on marketing campaign to really get patients in the door.

 

Howard Farran:

It's that herd mentality. The herd of dentists in 1950 averaged under 50% overhead. Now the heard of dentists in 2000 was north of two-thirds, 65%. The whole herd added 15%. It's like they go out of their way. It's like, what are you doing now? I used to prep the tooth and take an impression with imper gum, but I figured out I could buy a $35,000 scanner and scan the tooth and then only a few labs take it, and then I have to buy all this software. I went to all these courses, and I figured out how to buy a $35,000 piece of debt and raise my overhead 5 more points. That's going to work for you? You figured out how to raise your overhead?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

You know what I think the reason that comes from, which I find is very interesting. When you and I went to dental school, we were required to do our own lab work. Because we were required to do our own lab work, we started with the ground level product. We had to create the foundation for this prep. Say we were doing a prep. Then I had to take it from there, and I had to take it in the lab, pour it up, and I had to do a very good job doing that. I could trim a great die, so I could make a good crown. If I didn't have every step in place, when it came time to seat that crown, it wasn't going to work. What happens in dental school, a lot of these kids aren't even doing their own lab work. They're just taking impressions and sending it off, so they don't even know what the foundation's supposed to look like. They get frustrated when their lab sends back crowns that don't fit, so they think the answer is, well I'll take a scanner, because my impressions are bad. They're going down the wrong path.

 

 

The biggest thing we can do in our practices is what I call the 3 stages is what I call the 3 stages of clinical efficiency. Those 3 stages of clinical efficiency are focus, because what we focus on is what we get. You want more new patients? Focus on new patients. You want a more profitable practice? Focus on how to be profitable. You want your treatment times to be shorter and more efficient? Focus on that.

 

 

Then we get into organization, second phase. You have to be very organized. Things have to have a pattern when you go through your treatment plan. Probably the biggest thing is know your outcome because if you don't know when that prep is done, and you don't know ... We just dibble, dabble, dibble, dabble, dibble, dabble, and this hour goes by, this hour and a half goes by to do that crown, and we finally stop because we're running out of time. That's not the way to do it. You stack all those in a row, and now you have true efficiency, and you can start reducing that overhead from that 65% down to healthy 55%. I at least see many practices I know reimbursement rates have gone down, but to have an overhead at 55, 57% is not uncommon. That's a true goal. If you don't get tied into all the tools, you're efficient, and you've spent some time doing the things you need to do in your practice to make it efficient.

 

Howard Farran:

We talked about overhead and toys, but the biggest overhead is labor. What advice would you give to someone listening who says, I think my labor is too high. How can you have low overhead, if you have high labor? What should labor costs be and when you're going into a practice, what makes it too high for you? How do you address it? What do you think is going on with the largest expense? Basically the entire S and P 500, labor is the number 1 cost.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Labor is huge. The big three of overhead is going to be team compensation, dental supplies, and lab. That's going to constitute 75% of your overhead right there. Three-quarters of it at least. With your team compensation, I can give you some percentages, but that doesn't really matter. If I've got a dentist, and he has one front office, one assistant, and one hygienist, and his overhead is 35% for his team compensation, well he's not overstaffed, he's just under-producing for the staff he has. We had to teach him how to become a better producer, more efficient in that aspect of it. There's nobody to let go at that point. I'm always scratching my head when a dentist will let their highly skilled, the only other income source in your practice is your hygienist, and they'll let them go and start doing their own hygiene. I scratch my head and go what are you doing? I don't know about you, but if I'm left to scale a tooth, it's going to be a pretty crappy job. Team compensation, if it's a very well ran practice, I can tell you this. I have one front office, one dental assistant, and two hygienists that share time. In three days, we'll do a million five in gross production in three days. Three days a week.

 

Howard Farran:

This is your practice?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

This is my personal practice.

 

Howard Farran:

That's in Eagle, Idaho.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Yes.

 

Howard Farran:

It's right north of that potato field?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Of course it is.

 

Howard Farran:

That's why I love Idaho. I'm Irish. I can't get enough potatoes. You have three days a week, 1.5 million a year, and your staff was what?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Four people.

 

Howard Farran:

Four people. What are they?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I have a front office, one dental assistant, and two hygienists.

 

Howard Farran:

Holy gamole. That should be a reality TV show. You should just have live cameras in there, and we'll just play it on dentaltown 24 hours.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

You know, I'm not doing anything special. I would never claim that anything is ...

 

Howard Farran:

How many operatories?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Four.

 

Howard Farran:

Four operatories. You have a hygienist in room 1.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

A hygienist in room 2.

 

Howard Farran:

Oh, you have two hygienists?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Two hygienists.

 

Howard Farran:

Two hygienists in room 1 and 2. Then you work two chairs, 3 and 4.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Yeah. How am I going to work more than that?

 

Howard Farran:

Yeah. You're doing it 3 days a week. What are your hours those 3 days a week?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I work 8:00 to 6:00.

 

Howard Farran:

How many hours is that? That's 10.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Ten hour day.

 

Howard Farran:

Do you take an hour lunch?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Not usually. I take about a half hour. On average, by the time we get out of here, we're working anywhere from 32 to 34 hours a week.

 

Howard Farran:

Wow, so you just knock out a 30 hour work week in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Is it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

 

Howard Farran:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Yep. [inaudible 00:29:18] my day to come meet with you.

 

Howard Farran:

What would your overhead on that be?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

It's 56%.

 

Howard Farran:

56%. You are the man.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

No I'm not

 

Howard Farran:

This is why you turned down that contract for the 49ers to be there quarterback next year?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I was tired of getting my head bashed in. Back when I played we didn't have a word for concussion it was just you got your bell rung. Who knows how many I've had.

 

Howard Farran:

Oh yeah. That movie flopped too, Concussion.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I'm surprised because that was a darn good movie. I'm looking at anywhere from 20% to 25%, you can keep that. That's a well ran team. Again it comes down to, the quickest ways, you and I both know to lower overhead is increase your sales, increase collections. You get past that threshold, and everything starts coming way down. I've had months where my team compensation has been down to 14-15%, but we did $150,000 that month. It just depends.

 

Howard Farran:

What's your lab and supplies percent on that?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

My lab I like to keep at 10-12% and supplies 5-6%.

 

Howard Farran:

Are you doing that with a CEREC Cadcam?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

No.

 

Howard Farran:

A laser?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I have a laser. We have a laser in hygiene, yep.

 

Howard Farran:

I mean a low cost diode laser or a high cost $75,000 biolase?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

No, a diode laser.

 

Howard Farran:

That's a laser, but that's a low cost. Supplies 5-6%.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

The reason I have no CEREC, which I just spoke about because at this stage of my career, I'm not willing to change my whole practice philosophy around that. I've been practicing 21 years, I'll probably practice another 10. I haven't gone into that. I still think as great as that technology is, there's still a pretty big learning curve. It's just something I haven't introduced, and things are working well, so I've just left it alone.

 

Howard Farran:

Another question I always ask is do you own your building, do you rent your building. What are your thoughts on owned versus rent?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I know there's a lot of different opinions on that. I've read several different articles on that. I've owned two dental practices in my career. The first one I started, as you mentioned in the intro was Harrison's Dental. I started that, or purchased that in '94, took that over for a gentleman. We got that up very very well. At that same time, I had started doing my practice management coaching with Fortune Management, Tony Robbins' group. I ended up selling that practice in 2007. One of the greatest things is I kept ownership of the building. When I bought this practice, Cottonwood Creek Dental that I'm in now, I bought that in 2007 from a dentist who unfortunately was going out of business because he didn't run it very well. We've taken that business, as I've shared with you the numbers, and yes I've owned both buildings in both situations. Personally I think it depends on your market. The market in Idaho, it completely makes sense to own your own building. If I'm going to be sitting in the same building for 20 years, I want to own that thing, because I want to have the write offs, I want to have the businesses around it to support me. I think it makes great financial sense.

 

 

If I'm in downtown LA or New York City, it might not make sense. It might make sense to rent because the cost of real estate can be so high. I think every situation is different. I think probably the majority of practices where they sit, Midwest, West Coast, probably makes sense to buy your own building.

 

Howard Farran:

Another thing. You're in Eagle, Idaho. Obviously that's not San Francisco or Seattle. How big a factor you think a lot of success is just demographics? You go within a mile of the beach from San Diego to Monta Ray to San Fran and there's a dentist every 350 people. Sometimes you'll meet a dentist doing three and a half million, he's a town of 5,000, he's the only dentist. When you're buying a practice and you're trying to get someone in there, what are you thinking when you're looking at demographics? How important is that to you? I know your really familiar with my backyard. I doubt you would go to North Scottsdale.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Sure I do. I know right where you are.

 

Howard Farran:

In North Scottsdale, every time someone says I went bankrupt a third of them are in North Scottsdale. There's a dentist on every corner.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

They're just chasing it, and they haven't gone. You do have to look and you do have to consider that. If you go and open up your building and there's nobody there, it's going to be very tough to find customers. You do need to consider that. Again when we're going out and looking for practices, I'm buying existing practices. I'm not doing start ups. I can already see the potential of income. I can see the history of what's there. I can see how many patients are in the practice. I can look around at the community and see what's there. I believe that you can set up pretty much whatever you want, considering some factors. If you implement the right business philosophy, the right service, that you'll definitely grow that practice over time.

 

 

I've had dentists that are in prime locations, should be killing it, and they're going bankrupt. Why? Because of them, because of the lack of systems they brought into their practice. It is important, but I wouldn't chase a practice to some place out in the sticks where the only restroom is an outhouse, just because you're the only dentist, and you hate where you live, but you're going to make a good living. You see what I mean? We got into this profession so we could have that choice of where we want to be, and I think that's something that we shouldn't take away from ourselves. I tell young dentists all the time, pick where you want to live. Pick where you want to live and somewhere around that area, we're going to find a place for you to practice, so that your lifestyle and your life outside of your office is just as great as your life inside the office. If you chase an opportunity that is somewhere you hate, you're going to hate your profession after a time, and you're going to hate where you live, and it's just not going to be good. You're going to end up surrendering and finally going to some place you like. You need to go to someplace you like.

 

Howard Farran:

You know it might last 30 years. I can name 10 friends who lived where they wanted to live in the suburbs of Phoenix somewhere, but they commuted an hour the wrong way down into town, where they left their home as a dentist for 2,000, and they commuted downtown to where there's a dentist for 400 and where some of their friends commuted out of town down to Mericope, or Eloy, or Florence, and the difference between their two economic lives was just day and night.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Sure.

 

Howard Farran:

Just by commuting the right way from where you want to live from the wrong way. You want to go where there ain't. If you're in traffic all day to your location, it's got to make you think. Are any of these other cars dentists? In your book, "Practice Made Perfect: Blueprint for a Successful Dental Business," talk about that book. What is the practice made perfect? What is the blueprint for a successful dental business?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

This is what I tell my clients. Everybody wants the one thing, Howard, and I'm sure you get this a lot yourself. They want that one thing. Tell me what it is. The fact is, it isn't What I will say, and what I've told every client I've ever worked with, the secret to this business is doing a lot of little things great consistently. Both those things are very important. Doing them great and consistently. It's little things. It's the face that I still at 21 years, still call every patient that I get numb at the end of the day. Is that a big major thing that I can implement and tell you what to do? No, but it's probably been the biggest marketing thing I've ever done in my entire practice. Could I tell a guy to do that? Will he do it? I don't know. If he doesn't do it consistently, it's not going to help his practice.

 

 

Just how we do all the little things. It's a cumulation of all these little things you do in your practice. They're all in the book, so you can see it. It's the four stages of case presentation. It's comprehensive diagnosis. One of the biggest things I think in dentistry is, and I've now mentioned this on one of the posts, confrontational tolerance. Greg Stanley coined that term years ago. I think that's a huge problem in our profession right now. That is something we need to acknowledge. My dental school experience was great. They taught us great. I went to the University of the Pacific. I think that came with a price because at that time it was the most expensive dental school on the planet, but got a great education out there. When I came out I felt really confident diagnosing dentistry. I diagnosed everybody as if they were my family member with no thought in my head about insurance or can they pay, can they afford it? It didn't really matter. I come from the mindset of offer the best and let them figure it out. You don't know where people's values are. If you create enough value for your product, people will come up with a way to buy that, right?

 

 

What's our credit card debt, a trillion dollars or something?

 

Howard Farran:

It's a trillion on credit cards and a trillion on student loans.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

There you go. People will find a way, if you create enough value. You have to give them the option. I find a lot of clients, young dentists, and even senior dentists will get themselves into ruts where they start to look at things, and they start to go into diagnosis, and they diagnose one crown, when the person needs six, because they're afraid to say you need six crowns. It's a problem. That's one thing in your practice. The three stages of clinical efficiency I mentioned: focus, organization, knowing your outcome. That's a great thing. The presentation triangle I call it. Dentists spend a lot of their time diagnosing behind the patient. The patient's in the chair, and the dentist and the assistant are talking behind them, as they're looking at the computer screen behind them. I coach everybody to get out in front. We're the base of that triangle, my assistant and myself, and the patient is at that pinnacle or that peak of the triangle, so all our conversation is directed toward them You want to build value for the product, you need to get that person to understand what you have to offer and what you're helping them see.

 

 

You're a doctor for God's sake. Your patient comes in, they know does it hurt or does it not hurt, and it doesn't look good or it looks good. That's it, that's all they know. They don't know if it's broken. They don't know if it needs to be fixed. They don't know if bacteria is leaking. Introduction of intra oral camera. That's another one. That is the greatest tool in the world. If somebody said pick between your hand piece and your intra oral camera, I don't know which one I would do. It's that important because 80% of people are visual. If you can't show them what you are talking about, then it's just Latin that they don't understand, and you start throwing about MODLBs and buckle cusps and lingual margins, and they don't know what the hell you're talking about. You put up a picture of a big silver filling that's breaking down and it's black and you say what do you think we should do about that? We should fix it. I say okay, let's fix it.

 

 

It's all those little things, Howard. I've just listed a few there. I could list a couple hundred. When you attain to those little things, you create an amazing base of a practice, and you don't have to rush out and try to chase every little thing that's out there. You don't have to try to be everything to everybody. It can work, and I've proven that over the years.

 

Howard Farran:

On the [inaudible 00:40:46] specialties, the ones that get all the talk and the attention, as you know, endo, perio, ortho pedo. Dental health gets no help. Police are supposed to catch bad guys, firemen put out fires. The thing that keeps me up the most at night is for every time an American dentist diagnosis 100 cavities, they only drill, fill, and bill 38. We can't even catch half the bad guys. We can't put out half the fires. What I don't like about our culture is when everybody talks about what is a great dentist, it's always something crazy. I trim my own dies. I know occlusion. I went to the Pankey Institute. It's like, dude, you went to the Pankey Institute and 6 out of 10 cavities walk out your door. You never even remove them. They talk about all the bonding agent. They debate what's better amalgam or composites. Dude, you don't even clean out the infection 6 out of 10 times, and you call yourself a great doctor. Give my homies some advice on how instead of just removing 38% of the decay, maybe they could get to half if they set it up better.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

That is a real problem in our profession. A real problem. I see it almost everyday. It's shocking when I see a new patient come into my office, and they had just seen their previous dentist 6 months ago, and they're loyal. They're there every 6 months, and they need $5,000-$10,000 worth of restorative dentistry. Not aesthetic dentistry, just restorative dentistry that's just been overlooked because again they fall into that pattern of confrontational tolerance. It gets the best of them. They just cannot for the life of them tell their patient they've known for 20 years, that God forbid the crown they put on 20 years ago is now failing. It does. I can't coach a person to stand close enough to their toothbrush. If they don't brush them, they're going to fail. Your natural ones fail. I would tell dentists that you need to change your mindset of when you're diagnosing your treatment and when you're presenting your treatment plans.

 

 

I do it this way. I go into every new patient exam, I look at it as my one sole job, because they're paying me for an exam is to tell them everything that needs to be done. Not a few things, not 5 things. Everything that's going to get them to great oral health. How I set myself up for that is I ask permission. That's a great way. I get in front of them. I introduce myself. I've got rapport with my patient. This is a new patient I haven't seen before, and I know that I'm going to potentially have to tell them they're going to need a lot of dental work, so I want to get rapport first. I think that's very important. Once I'm in rapport with them You get into rapport, it's in the book, but I could spend a couple days talking about that subject alone.

 

 

Once I'm in rapport with them, then I'm going to ask them a very simple question. Then I'm going to lean you back, and I'm going to look at everything in your mouth. Is it okay if I tell you things that I think need to be corrected in order for you to have perfect oral health? In 21 years, I've never had a patient say no. Just only look at the ones that are really bad doc and don't tell me the rest. Of course they're going to say yes, s now what I've done is I positioned myself to became a liaison to them instead of them being defensive thinking I'm trying to make my next boat payment.

 

 

I step back, and when I diagnose everything as if it was in my mouth, my friend's mouth, whatever. I give one diagnosis. There's not a hierarchy of diagnosis. You come in driving the Bentley, you don't get one diagnosis and you come in driving the Jetta you get another. You all get the same. That's the way it should be. Dentists should commit themselves to that mindset knowing that ... You know what the most powerful thing when you do that? I give them a treatment plan, and I break it down into sections, so it's not overwhelming. I don't want somebody to get overwhelmed. When they get overwhelmed, they don't do anything. I honestly don't really care if they do the treatment or not because I did my job. What they paid me for was to give them a complete exam, diagnosing their oral health. What needs to be completed?

 

 

Now, this is the most powerful thing that I was going to get to. There's nothing more powerful when you do that when a patient calls you up on a Saturday afternoon and goes, "Hey, doc, I just broke a tooth. I bit down on a nut, and I just broke a tooth." I look into their chart, and I go, "Oh yeah, Bob, I diagnosed that last year." Now I look like a genius. If it's not on that, and they've been coming every 6 months, and they go I bit down and I broke it. There's a whole part of them that goes, "How come you didn't know that?" I was afraid to tell you. I have never met a patient that would say why wouldn't you tell me because they all want to know. Nobody wants to hear it, but they all need to know, and they want to know. If you're going to charge them for an exam, give them a complete exam and commit to that.

 

Howard Farran:

I know, I was telling a patient the other day. Her friend had died of a heart attack and he had just had a physical a month ago and the doctor said he was okay. I said, "Why are you harping on that? Why didn't you harp on he had just left Circle K that morning with a new pack of cigarettes." Why are you harping on the doctor a month ago when he's going to Circle K for cigs 30 times since. Crazy.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Looking for treatment. There's plenty of treatment out there. Guys that are going bankrupt just aren't looking. It's there. You just have to set yourself and your team up to hold everybody accountable so you diagnose everybody to the highest degree, as if it was your brother or sister.

 

Howard Farran:

Okay. Explain again. I think a lot of these young kids who aren't older like us and knew Greg Stanley back in the day. We podcast interviewed him on confrontational intolerance. Explain what confrontational intolerance is.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Confrontational tolerance in essence is stepping up to that voice in you that doesn't want to ... Nobody wants to know they need a root canal, [inaudible 00:46:57], or they need a new crown, or they need a new filling. Nobody wants to hear that. You have a right as a dentist to tell them that. Confrontational tolerance is stepping up when it's uncomfortable and telling them exactly what they need and showing them and building value for what they need versus your hygienist finds an open margin on a crown, brings you in. She's done a great job building value for it, and because your too darn scared to face that confrontational, having a confrontation possibly ... I say confrontation not as two people butting heads, it's that confrontation of the dentist feeling rejected because the patient is disappointed with their diagnosis. Every diagnosis is going to be disappointing. I don't want to have anything myself done. If I need it, I at least want to have the opportunity to make that decision for myself. Confrontation tolerance is when you see something and you're at the end of the day, and you see an open margin, you take the time and you fully diagnose it, and you present that treatment to that patient. Not push it under the rug and go, "Ah I think it's okay. It'll be good next time." They come back 6 months from now, or they miss a hygiene re-care cycle. They comeback a year from now, and now you're doing a root canal. That's the vision you have to have in your head that if you're not diagnosing like that, that you're potentially now causing this patient an enormous amount of harm. That's not what we got into this profession to do.

 

Howard Farran:

These guys were selected into the profession because she got A's in calculus, physics, and geometry, so if she has low confrontational tolerance to tell the patient you have 10 cavities, but she also has low confrontational tolerance to tell the assistant and hygienist what she expects of them. You're talking about raise your confrontational tolerance, tell the patient exactly what they need. What advice would you give them to raise their confrontational tolerance at leading their staff or what leadership skills?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

That's a great point. If they lack in confrontational tolerance with their team and with their patients, bot I'll tell you what. It's going to be tough for that practice to survive. If they know that's a weakness for them, go out and get some help. Find a consultant. There's plenty of them out there. Find something you enjoy. Listen to your virtues of dentistry. There's plenty of things out there that they can start to build on that. Again, realize your weaknesses and go out there and try to fix them because you have to be the leader.

 

 

When I talked about finding practices with Triumph Dental and setting a dentist up. I'm not only teaching them the business practice management, how to run this business, but I'm setting them up to be a leader of that business. At the end of the day, their financial health is on the line for whether or not this business succeeds or not. Not the hygienist, not the assistant, and not the front office. Don't allow them to be the leaders. You have to be the leader. You have to set the tone of what you expect in your practice. If we go into confrontational tolerance, and you, as the leader set that up, that this is how we diagnose, and it becomes the culture of your practice. Then it changes everything in your practice. If you're not good, go find the people that will make you good.

 

Howard Farran:

Dentaltown, our last year's goal was to get the online CE, which is on the desktop PC, to get it on the app. We got it up and on the Samsung several months ago, and we just got it up on the iOS iPhone. That's been huge. The next thing we're going to do this year is get the classified ads on the smart phone on the dentaltown app too. About 40,000 dentists have downloaded the dentaltown app. The classifieds is one of the hottest things. When you're looking to buy a practice, are you looking at the classified ads on dentaltown?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Sure.

 

Howard Farran:

If you're looking for an associate, are you utilizing that? About 1,000 dentists a day go to those classifieds. If I got older dentists that are selling their practice, talk to them right now. You're talking to thousands of dentists. If they're older and thinking about selling, tell them what you're looking for. If they're younger dentists that want to do this triumph-dental.com ... You have two customers. You have sellers, buyers. Be specific what you're looking for.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Sure. In regards to practices we're looking for, and it works out really great, we're looking for great private dental practices that have room for growth that want to leave a legacy behind, because I believe every dentist that spends 20 or 30 years in a practice treating their community wants to exit in dignity, and wants to bring somebody else into that practice that's going to represent their legacy very well. I think that's really important. We can provide that because the dentists we bring in and transition into this seller's business, we're going to make sure they're successful. We're going to make sure they're doing all the things. We're not turning them into a high-volume, medium to low quality practice. We're going to keep that same reputation in their practice that they've always had. Seller's don't have to worry.

 

 

We're not corporate dentistry. We're just basically a broker that brings two people together and teaches the second one how to succeed in that business. For the dentists who want to get in, it's a turnkey way to get in and not have to start knocking on doors and finding an associateship that they tell you will be a partnership in two years. Then you finally agree on the price and the price is double what it was two years ago because the guy doesn't really want to sell anymore, and it just doesn't work out. Or you get stuck in corporate dentistry, and now you don't know what to do. This just gives you a platform to do that.

 

 

When we go out and find those practices, yeah, I'm accessing dentaltown all the time because there's amazing practices on there. In fact I just found a practice yesterday up in Spokane off your site that we're going to probably close on next week and bring a guy into. Great practice. You've got to sift through a lot of them because they don't all meet the criteria, but I like practices for our clients that are somewhere in that $600,000 - $800,000 gross production that we can build from there We'll being them in and set them up. It's truly a win win for selling dentist and the incoming dentist.

 

Howard Farran:

Are you mostly buying them from brokers, or are you the broker? Are most of these practices that are selling, are they going through a broker?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Most practices that we're buying, their listed by dental practice brokers. I'm a middle person that's bringing the dentist in. I'm really representing the dentist. I'm representing this young dentist as helping him find a great practice.

 

Howard Farran:

Do you personally buy the practice and then later sell it to the dentist?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

We do both. If we get a client that's great, we can't get them finance. Maybe they're too young out of dental school. They don't have enough history in the dental profession. We'll buy that, and we'll coach them up and in 36 months, we'll share in that upside when it comes time to turn that practice over to them. We help them get financed at that point. There's some that come out, and they've been in he military, and they don't have hardly any debt at all, and we can get them financed right away. Then we just continue to coach them for those 3 years to make sure all those little things that we talked about are implemented into the practice, and we set them up for a great career. There's a couple different ways we can go about doing it.

 

Howard Farran:

A lot of dentists always are asking on dentaltown, how do you value a dental office? In economic theory, the value is actually whatever someone is willing to pay for it. If someone will give you a dollar for it, it's worth a dollar. If no one will give you a dollar it's not. What metrics are you looking at? When you go buy a practice, and you buy it for a dollar, what made it a dollar and not two dollars or 50 cents for you?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

That's a good question. I go back to every practice is different. It depends on the location. In Boise, Idaho, practices sell for a premium because of data. It becomes supply and demand. If I was to put this practice, my practice I have today up for sale, it would sell probably in a week. Whereas a practice in downtown Los Angeles might take a ear to sell, to find the right guy. It really depends on that thing first. Is the supply and demand, what do we have in regards to that practice? I look at practices that we could purchase, and it generally ends up being, as a nutshell, I mean I'm looking at the equipment, how good of quality that equipment is. Are we going to have to come into that practice and take a lot of capital expenditure to upgrade the equipment, so it's actually tasteful, and it looks like it's up to date? Is that already done? That will contribute some value. I would say practices are, as a whole, around the northwest where we really focus, is somewhere between 70 to 80% of their last 3 years' gross collections.

 

Howard Farran:

Is Eagle the capital of Idaho?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Boise is. Eagle is just a little suburb. It's right next to Boise. You wouldn't know if you transferred into it.

 

Howard Farran:

Oh it's a suburb of Boise?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Yes, exactly. It transfers right into it.

 

Howard Farran:

By the way, I would say that most of our listeners have probably never been to Idaho. I don't think it's well-traveled, but I think that is one of the most beautiful states I've ever seen in my life. I remember I took all 4 of my boys up there in an RV. Holy Gamole. When you're in Phoenix, you think of vacations going north when it's hot. If you live up north, you think of vacations as going to the Caribbean when it's February in your place. I've always wanted to figure out how I could live in Idaho or Alaska during the summer and Phoenix during the winter.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Yeah, exactly. Summer's beautiful up here. In fact I was just down in your end of the woods last weekend. It is gorgeous down there right now. Everybody wants to be down there.

 

Howard Farran:

It is truly amazing. I do think Idaho might be ... There's a couple of states hat I think are the most beautiful that no one ever talks about. One is Idaho. One is Arkansas. Have you been to Arkansas?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

No, no. I've never been there.

 

Howard Farran:

I went trout fishing on he White River or the Brown River. I forgot which one it was and holy gamole. Stunningly gorgeous. Last question. Talk more about ... A big fan of these podcasts are young. Young kids devour these podcasts seems like. They're probably have no idea if they can get credit at a bank. What is it like for a kid coming out of school to get a big bank to finance them to open up a practice? Is there credit for them?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

It depends. It depends on their past history. I don't know what kind of debt they have coming out of undergrad. Some of these guys are really heavily loaded out in debt. That's where we step in and we can help finance that practice.

 

Howard Farran:

What does heavily loaded mean? Medical marijuana or ...

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Some of the LDS guys I've seen, they're getting close to a million dollars in debt.

 

Howard Farran:

They're coming out of school a million in debt?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Not a million with school debt, but they've got $100,000 in undergrad, they've $200,000 to $400,000 in dental school debt, then they rush out and buy a house. Their capacity ...

 

Howard Farran:

That's what I call the LDS slave unicorn. You hire that guy. He'll work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for a decade without blinking.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

He has to. He's got 4 kids. He has to.

 

Howard Farran:

Would you call him an indentured servant? Remember in America where they used to pay for your boat ride over here, but you had to work on the farm for 7 years? Remember that? Indentured servants.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Yeah, sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. Young dentists need to get that their goal and their accomplishment as great as it is getting out of dental school is just the start. It's just the beginning. Now you get to at least be paid for what you were doing. The work ethic doesn't go down. You're not getting a vacation just because you graduated from dental school. Now's the years you need to really work your butt off and really establish your platform. I don't work 3 days a week and do a million five because I was lazy in the first decade of my career. The reason I get to do that is because I worked my butt of in that first decade of my practice. Now everything seems simple because the culture is simple. The systems are integrated to the point where I wouldn't even know how to get rid of them. I would say young dentists, decide what you really want out of this profession and go get it. Be willing to work your butt off and go get it. Enjoy all the benefits that this profession has because it's many.

 

Howard Farran:

My last question to you is when you're coaching a young kid, there's so many mixed media messages. Some of them believe that if I'm going to be successful, I'm going to need to learn how to surgically place implants, or I'm going to have to do short term ortho, or I've got to become a sleep medicine doctor, or blah, blah. The list is forever. Do you coach these kids ... Is some of that true? Can you just be successful just doing restorative dentistry?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Absolutely. You don't have to follow those paths. If you enjoy sleep medicine then go get it. Then you're going to succeed because you really enjoy it. Don't do it because you think it's the next marketing thing or because you think it's going to bring new patients to the door and you hate doing it. In this profession you need to pick some core things that you're really darn good at and do those really, really well.

 

 

It cracks me up when guys go out and spend $20,000 on a surgical endo microscope, get all the rotary, everything is laid out, and I look at what they did last year in endos and they did 4.

 

Howard Farran:

Yeah.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I'm like, why would you do that? You did 130 crowns, and you've got hand pieces that are old.

 

Howard Farran:

They'll go to 6 weeks of the Pankey Institute to learn occlusion. I'll say, "What percentage of your revenue last year was from occlusion or T and J?" They say, "Less than 1%." Less than 1% so you go spend a month and a half in n institute to learn for less than 1%.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Exactly. That's all I'm saying.

 

Howard Farran:

My message gets turned around on me all the time. If I see a Howard Farran quote, it's usually just straight ass backwards. I say get the business down, make money, get rich, and then if you want to buy toys Cadcams, lasers, learn occlusion, sleep medicine, knock yourself out. I think the profession has it different. I think they think they have to do these things to get out of debt and be profitable, and it's exactly the reverse. My final question, we're overtime, but I think you might be the only one who gets my question on this.

 

 

You look at the Clear Choice founders in Colorado and the Oral Surgeon Old Gents, where when they built those implant centers, they just did the business the marketing and all that but as far as the actual person to place the implants, they would just pay some oral surgeon, some periodontist to fly in, load them all up. What do you think is a better, just business, not your love your passion, your born for sinus lifts. I get it Tatum Hill. For just the business, what do you think is better to just sit there and load up all your implant cases one day a week and have a periodontist or oral surgeon from the next town come over and do them for a percent or to pay for you yourself to go through the courses, the institutes, the drills, the learning, la, a, la, and get yourself up to speed?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

You already know where I'm going to answer this one.

 

Howard Farran:

When I say it, it's always like rar, rar, rar. I want them to hear it from a 49er.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I think the exact example you just described, I would educate myself on building value for implants, and I would schedule them, and I would bring my periodontist in, and he'd place them all in one day, and I'd be done. Even to do mini implants, there's a big investment in just stuff you've got to do. You're going to do 4 a year. Why not just eliminate that part of it? Build value for it. Keep that practice production in your office, but pay somebody else to come in that's going to do a better job than you would anyways [crosstalk 01:03:05].

 

Howard Farran:

What's funny is those implant centers is they knew the local oral surgeon or periodontist wouldn't do it, but man they can sure fly one in on Southwest Airlines from the next town over. I mean, you could get 100 different ones from Seattle to jump over the Cascades and come do it in Spokane. If you need someone in Seattle, just find someone in Spokane.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

You should be thinking about that same scenario with root canals and stuff. If you don't enjoy doing them and you're just sending those stuff out, your patient, if you have rapport with that patient, they want to stay in your office. They feel comfortable with you. If you can have another dentist, and they're in your office having that procedure done, and you're making a little bit, business wise it makes sense, but customer service wise it makes a heck of a lot of sense. I like that, and we do some of that.

 

Howard Farran:

That's my motto. Build relationships, don't build teeth. Concentrate on mental health, not oral health. If you can get the mental health of the patient down and build a relationship, you can bring someone in to fix the teeth. Hey, dude seriously, I've been your biggest fan forever. I just think you're a role model from A to Z. I know so many people that know you, of you. You're just the man, and it was just a complete honor that you spent an hour with me today.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

Thank you. I really appreciate it, Howard. Thanks for having me on. It's been awesome.

 

Howard Farran:

With your 49er connections, you think you can get me on the Arizona Cardinals team?

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

I'll get you a tryout.

 

Howard Farran:

I'll just be a water boy.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

You just finished an iron man, didn't you?

 

Howard Farran:

I've done one every year since I turned 50. I've done 3 iron men.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

That should get you a spot. I don't know where we're going to put you on the field, on the roster.

 

Howard Farran:

My goal is to someday be the oldest fattest iron man that ever lived. That's my goal.

 

Dr. Mike Dolby:

That's a great goal.

 

Howard Farran:

All right buddy, thanks so much for your time.

 


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