Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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721 Leadership and Management with Dr. Michael Pilon : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

721 Leadership and Management with Dr. Michael Pilon : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

5/29/2017 9:13:46 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 223

721 Leadership and Management with Dr. Michael Pilon : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

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721 Leadership and Management with Dr. Michael Pilon : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

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VIDEO - DUwHF #721 - Michael Pilon

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AUDIO - DUwHF #721 - Michael Pilon

Dr Michael Pilon grew up in a suburb of Montreal. He is fluently bilingual in French and English. He is a graduate of Loyola of Montreal with a Cum Laude BSc in chemistry / biology. He attended McGill dental school and joined the Royal Canadian Dental Corps and had a subsidized education. He did a post graduate in Public Health  at the University of Toronto . He served for 23 year in 8 provinces, as a single person till his mid 30’s he was often the easy person to move. He also served on UN Peacekeeping duty in Cyprus and in a moment of weakness he volunteered for a 3 week Paratrooper course with the Canadian Airborne regiment and proudly earned his wings. 

In dental school he discovered that he could take standby flights to Canada’s NATO bases and he visited Europe 8 times for a cost of only $2 per flight. His web site outlines some of his travels which included 45000 km or 25000 miles hitch hiking in 20 of the 40 countries he visited.  Dr Pilon entered private practice in Ottawa, which is a wonderful family and cultural city. 

Howard Farran: It's just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Dr. Michael Pilon all the way from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. How are you doing, buddy? 

Dr. Michael P. : Very good, Howard, and it's an honor for me to have been invited. I do watch a lot of the pods on replays, because I'm never around for the live ones, and there's a lot of stuff on your site that's so much fun. In fact, I think it's made dental education just jump a big step. We're very lucky to have it. 

Howard Farran: Well, you know, the reason I wanted to invite you is, I think you were one of the first five or 10 people I ever even met on the internet before there was message boards. I mean, we're going ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. 

Howard Farran: All the way back into the early '90s. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yep. 

Howard Farran: You were, you had the coolest, it started off with email groups, and you were Mike on the Bike, and you figured out how to make some weird signature thing with dashes and shapes, or ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, jeez. 

Howard Farran: It was a bicycle, right? Remember that? 

Dr. Michael P. : I had a ham radio set on my bicycle at one time. I used to talk around the world going to work. Kind of weird, aye? 

Howard Farran: It's funny, because the more things change, the more they stay the same. I mean, the telegraph, who just evolved into the telephone on the same copper wire, which evolved into the internet. This whole thing that everybody's calling social media, they don't realize that, when we were kids, in Kansas, every third or fourth barn had a ham radio, and ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, nice. 

Howard Farran: Grandpa would, you know, the sun went down, and you're done for the evening, and they'd go out there in the barn and get on that ham radio and talk to other farmers all around the country and the world, talking about farming. 

Dr. Michael P. : See, I didn't know that. Yeah. 

Howard Farran: The cars had CB radios. Remember when the CB radio ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, yes. 

Howard Farran: Came out? I mean, what's the difference between that and an iPhone? I mean, you were still talking to the other truckers. 

Dr. Michael P. : True. Well, one night, around the time my daughter was born, so it's 35 years ago, my wife would get up and feed her and I would take care of the babies and take their diapers, get to sleep, and I'd turn on my radio. I had a big beam antenna. I pointed it towards the South Pacific, and I talked to a guy named Tom Christian, a direct descendant of Fletcher Christian from Pitcairn Island. My gosh, in the Mutiny on the Bounty, there I was. 

Howard Farran: Yeah, so this, you know, it's kind of like, who was it, Sir Isaac Newton says, he says, "If I saw farther, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of so many legends." 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: This social media, Facebook, is a direct descendant of ham radios and CBs ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, yeah. 

Howard Farran: All the way back to the telegraph. It just ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. 

Howard Farran: We're social people, and we like to meet and share and ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Isn't that true? Yes. 

Howard Farran: Talk to other people. Let me read your bio. Dr. Michael Pilon grew up in a suburb of Montreal. He is fluently bilingual in French and English. He's a graduate of Loyola of Montreal, with a cum laude, a bachelor of science in chemistry and biology. He attended McGill Dental School and joined the Royal Canadian Dental Corps, and had a subsidized education. 

He did a post graduate in public health at the University of Toronto. He served for 23 years in eight provinces as a single person, til his mid-30's, when he was often the easy person to move. He also served on UN peacekeeping duty in Cypress, and in a moment of weakness, he volunteered for a three week paratrooper course with the Canadian Airborne Regiment, and proudly earned his wings. 

Dr. Michael P. : Here's my sweatshirt. There's my airborne. 

Howard Farran: In dental school, he discovered that he could take standby flights to Canada and NATO bases, and he visited Europe eight times for a cost of only $2 per flight. His website,, outline some of his travels, which included 45,000 kilometers, or 25,000 miles hitchhiking in 20 of the 40 countries he visited. Dr. Pilon entered private practice in Ottawa, with a wonderful family and cultural city. July 1 is Canada Day, and a great celebration in Ottawa. One Canada Day, Dr. Pilon photographed some inebriated teen urinating on the war memorial. 

The bad part was, the government officials were reluctant to take steps such as posting sentries at the tomb of the unknown soldier. After much persistence and a bit of, "You do it or I will hang you," the war memorial's now a center of tourism and respect. He recently sold his practice to a great group, Canada Dental Corporation, and he will be retiring this November 2017, but he plans on keeping active in many areas. My God, I met you on a, back when it was originally email groups. 

I want to talk about the evolution of that, because the reason I did Dental Town was my love of the email groups, but the email groups still remind me of the Facebook groups to this day, where it's just a constant stream of emails with no order. There's no ... Like, someone would come on and say, "Hey, I broke a file, an MB2. What would you do?" All these people would pile on and really try to explain everything, and it would just be the most amazing discussion. 

Then a month later, some new lad would join, and he'd ask the same question, and we're like, "Ah, we just totally exhausted that a month ago," so they kind of answer it, and then a month later, a new guy would join, he'd ask the same question, and no one would even reply, then that guy would say, "Well, these guys, they're a bunch of duds."

I saw the need that it needed to be organized into root canals, fillings, crowns, practice management, and these conversations need to be archived so that when some kid comes along with a very specific question, they could go right to it immediately, whereas I don't see that with the email groups, the Facebook, the Twitter. I mean, how could you learn how to do a root canal on Twitter? 

Dr. Michael P. : Do it live on Facebook. 

Howard Farran: Yeah. 

Dr. Michael P. : No, it really is good. It's an education. It's, a number of times, I was just reading through, and, I like the fitness one, for instance. I got a couple of ideas there. I try to keep as fit as I can. I'm not 21 anymore, so, but I keep the weight down, I keep the heartbeat down, and it's, you learn things on the fitness one you guys have, how to keep fit. 

Howard Farran: Oh, the thread on how to keep fit? 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: Yeah, and ... 

Dr. Michael P. : I like that one. 

Howard Farran: Yeah, and then the other thing, it's a more honest conversation on Dental Town, because on Facebook, if you disagreed with someone, they'll just delete you as a friend, and so ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: It's quite a different psychological deal when you're going into an open forum where, if you don't like what someone says, you know, if they said it disrespectful, you can hit 'report abuse,' and then volunteer moderators look at that and say, "Okay, were you guys just disagreeing in a nice way, or were you throwing mud?" 

I think Dental Town is a lot more organized and honest discussion where people can, you know, you can post something, and I saw a mini implant case today and someone, the first comment was that, you know, "It's okay, but I would have done root forms." You know? Well, if that happened on Facebook, you'd just say, "Well, you're an asshole. I'm going to delete you and block you and you can't come to my page anymore, because we only do minis," you know? 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. It's quite an education thing, isn't it? You participate, you learn a little something almost every time you check it out. It's, you may not agree, which is fine, but it's, quite amazingly, here you and I are talking around the world, and I've got something the size of a wallet, like I don't have, my computer doesn't work for Skype because it has the plug-in for the camera. This is quite amazing when you consider back, you know, and your grandfather and his ham radio would be just loving this. 

Howard Farran: Microsoft just bought Skype a few years back ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, gosh. 

Howard Farran: For like 8.9 billion, and now they just turned around and bought LinkedIn, so I'm wondering if, sooner rather than later, when you're talking to a friend on LinkedIn, if you'll just push a button and then be like Face Timing each other on an iPhone. 

Dr. Michael P. : Mm-hmm. That's amazing, too. I have neighbors who were visiting the south of Switzerland and the north of Italy, and they were on Face Time with their grandchildren a couple of blocks away. That is remarkable. I got my dad, at 89 years old, on the internet. He just loved it. He was always technical, and all of a sudden, he's Googling the old town he grew up in in Ontario, and so it's quite exciting, quite exciting. 

Howard Farran: What was your first experience on the internet in dentistry? What was your first ...?

Dr. Michael P. : I think just talking to other dentists, and ...

Howard Farran: What was the forum? Was it a Yahoo group?

Dr. Michael P. : The one I was on was Dental, no, not Dental Town, the IDF. 

Howard Farran: Dave, the dental, the Internet Dental Forum ...

Dr. Michael P. : Thank you. It was, yep.  

Howard Farran: Which was also born in Phoenix. 

Dr. Michael P. : That's right. Yes, I visited Dave. We had the convention many years ago, and it was quite exciting. You ran into dentists from across North America, then around the world, and it was quite interesting to find someone in Brazil who was doing techniques that you were doing, or maybe doing them better, you know, and it's ... I'm an internationalist. If I had to live over again, I'd probably learn more languages. 

Howard Farran: There was another one. There was Root ZX. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: Were you ever on that one? 

Dr. Michael P. : No, I wasn't. 

Howard Farran: That was all endodontists, so you could get on that. All you had to do was log in and say you were an endodontist. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. There was another one. I can't remember. Mike Moran, I think, he had a forum. 

Howard Farran: Oh, Generation Next with Michael, Mike Maroon. 

Dr. Michael P. : Maroon, that's it, yeah. 

Howard Farran: That was a cool name. 

Dr. Michael P. : I was on there. 

Howard Farran: Gen, and then it was R-8-T Next, so it sounded like Generation Next, but it was G-E-N-R-numeral 8-T then Next, Generation Next, Mike Maroon. I met Mike Barr. He was on a, I think he was the first dentist I remember being, I think it was a, was it a Yahoo group or ...? It was one of those that's no longer here, like ComSpan or ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. 

Howard Farran: What was the one that started with a C? 

Dr. Michael P. : There's a Canadian group, too, iCanaDen ... 

Howard Farran: Right. 

Dr. Michael P. : And I'm on a couple of French ones that I check into every now and then. It's sort of interesting. It's kind of interesting to just look at pictures sometimes. People show a case, and it's inspiring if you've never done it before. When I started doing implants about 20, 25 years ago, I don't place them, but I just do the final part, it was kind of fun to talk to people who'd done a number, what to watch out for, and the success. It's quite exciting. 

Howard Farran: I also thought a, and we also got on these groups before there were emoticons, so a lot of times people didn't get someone's dry sense of humor. You could say something as a joke where you'd type it, bust out laughing, and then the person on the other side thought you just, you know, totally slammed him and dug him, and was all upset. A lot of times you saw these arguments where you could just see that people didn't understand the other guy, especially if you knew both of these people, you know? 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. Well, my biggest problem on the email ones is I'm a horrible speller, and I didn't check things out. Now they've got the spelling correction. I joined one forum and someone came on my hide quite quickly, "If you're going to be a professional, learn to spell." I speak English and French, fairly good Spanish and German, so I wrote them back in the four languages. There was a dentist on from Greenland who was educated in Germany. He came back to me in perfectly fluent German, so I got floored a bit, but it's part of the fun, you know. It's ... 

Howard Farran: There's another thing, I see people saying, "Well, you shouldn't put the D-R in front of the name, and then the initials after the name," and they say, you know, it's either like, Howard Farran, DDS, but it's not Dr. Howard Farran, DDS. It's one or the other. 

I say, and I'm thinking to myself, "Well, that's very American of you, because you know, if I put Howard Farran, DDS, there's a lot of dentists in a lot of countries that wouldn't even know what that means." I mean, there's DDS, there's BDS, there's all these alphabet soups after the initials, and then some countries, especially in the Middle East, they know that when you see that name, you wouldn't know if that was a boy or a girl, because it's not a Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John name in North America ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: So they'll start with Mr. or Mrs., and then the dental lectures after, so it's, the Earth is really merging into one ... In fact, you could really say we're down to one language now, which is zero and ones, because then you can take your French and German, and as long as it's digital, they can translate it. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. The other one is we have DMD in Canada now, Doctor of Dental Medicine, that's the big new one. Even McGill has that for some reason, and that's a big change. 

Howard Farran: I don't like that, because I think the customer comes first, and I've answered, I've had so many patients ask me, "What's the difference in a DDS and a DMD?" If there's zero difference, then there shouldn't be a difference, because it confused the consumer, because there is ... Is there a difference between a MD and a DO? 

If you talk to them, they think they have some different beliefs, but if there's no ... The last seven dental schools opened in the United States were all DMD, so I've been told there will never be a new DDS school again. I'm like, "Okay, well, if the last seven are DMD, we ought to pony up and say how many are there, and go to one, just for the consumers' sake." 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. It could be confusing. Like I said, I've just noticed it coming in more, you know, as more and more schools go to the DMD for some reason. I still never figured out the logic of it, if it's the same, you know, the same profession we're in, so I just kind of just ... I call them suits. The suits in the back room decide these things, and I leave it at that. 

Howard Farran: Well, one is, DDS is Doctor of Dental Surgery, and one's Doctor of Medical Dentistry. I think they're trying to go to a more oral, systemic, whole-body lane ...  

Dr. Michael P. : For sure. Oh, yeah. 

Howard Farran: Instead of just teaching a dentist to be a dental surgeon, doctor of dental surgery, instead of all surgery, trying to be more holistic. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah, make it sound different. I don't know. Yeah, I never did figure that one out. 

Howard Farran: Well, I want to ask you this. I wanted to get you on the show just to let, you're a great guy and I do love your, I've been to your website and looked at all your pictures, all that stuff, but podcasters are young. These are millennials. Old guys like us are reading books and going to conventions, and they're learning how to place implants on YouTube and online, see, and Dental Town, and now that you're going to sell your practice in November, and you're talking about ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, it's already sold. 

Howard Farran: Okay, so you're ... 

Dr. Michael P. : It's already sold. 

Howard Farran: How many ... So, you're at the very end. You're selling your practice. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: You talk to thousands of kids who just walked out of dental school. What advice would you give them on their journey to get from where they're at now to where they'll be at someday with you, selling their practice? 

Dr. Michael P. : Yes, well, one of the things I've found, as I had to learn, and part of those little things that I'm going to be sharing come from my experience with the military, and some of it's private practice. You can call it management or leadership. If you're in the military, you're a leader, but to be a good leader, you have to be a good manager. 

If you're in private practice, you want to manage, but to be a good manager, you have to be a good leader. I may inadvertently interchange. I think the main thing is ... I wrote an essay that some of this will be based on, when I did my public health on the three types of leadership. I got a fairly good mark on it. 

It was like an A or something, and he said he would have given me an A+, but I didn't offer any suggestions to correct any faults, and so I actually did this in his office. I stood to attention, snapped a smart salute, and I said, "That's the answer in the military. It's, 'Yes, sir,' and you carry on." He kind of liked that. Do you want me to go through some of the things that I found? 

Howard Farran: Absolutely. Whatever you think would be best to, whatever knowledge you think would be best to transfer to all these young dentists listening to you. 

Dr. Michael P. : Well, the first two are things to avoid, and the last one, we'll go into in more detail. 

Howard Farran: You have a presentation? You have some slides you want to show, Ryan? 

Dr. Michael P. : No, I don't have slides, unfortunately, but I've got a couple little things up. The first type of leader, I call laissez-faire, which is a French word. Do you use that in the States? 

Howard Farran: Yeah, laissez-faire. 

Dr. Michael P. : Laissez-faire, yeah. It's, yeah, the transliteration would be loosey goosey. I was in a couple of big clinics in the forces, and I'm not heaping on the forces because I had some really good leadership, but on this particular case, we had one, it was a dental corps school with a staff of 55 at the school. We taught hygiene, assistants, lab technicians, lab, dental equipment techs. We had three-week dental practical courses and so on. One of the colonels that was there was just kind of loosey goose. There was no real delegation. 

It's just, you came into work and you did what you wanted, and it caused a lot of problems once we were ... This isn't a major thing ... We were with some dental students who were doing their summer training, from the universities, and we were going down to Toronto to a factory that, or a company that made anesthesia. It was kind of interesting to see. The bus never showed up, and so I went to the sergeant's office. I was a captain, and the guy, the bigger guy was a colonel, lieutenant colonel. 

I went to the sergeant's office and I said, "Well, where is the bus?" He started, pretended, ostensibly looking through for the paperwork. Someone had spoken to him, but he was just playing his own little game, and that was a mistake. In other words, if you're in a clinic, a young dentist moving in, in whatever role they happen to be in, don't just let things happen. I've seen this happen in civilian practice, and you talk to some people who work at a practice, I said, "Well, how well-organized is it? Does everybody know their job and so on?"

A girl kind of shrugged her shoulders, "Well, you know, sometimes people come in a half an hour late, and no one does anything," so you don't want that. The other one, and the absolute worst ... Unfortunately, I ran into a few people like this, is the, kind of the, what would you call it? The micromanager. Oh, jeez. That is just the worst. In fact, I left the forces, unfortunately, because I was being, it just wasn't fun to go to work. No matter what you do, you've got to really have fun doing it. People think that, because I say that, "Oh, well, Mike's not serious." 

I'm as serious as hell, but you can be serious with a smile on your face and get your work done, but the micromanager, I ran into a few. It was rather unfortunate. People would come in, instead of saying, "Well, Mike, how did this go, that project I gave you last week? How's it looking?" You know, in other words, get my feedback. No, it's, "Well, did you do this? Did you do that? Did you do this?" It just wasn't fun anymore. I've heard of this happening in town here, too. 

We put an application in for a hygienist about 10 years ago, and we got about 20 or so applications, and many of the girls came in and said, "You know, well, where we're working is just not that much fun. If a patient misses, the dentist that runs the clinic goes, you know, all angry, and it's just not fun." You've got to, you know, micromanaging, and everything, every detail ... If someone misses an appointment, well, okay, I'd just as soon be busy since I'm there, but I'll go and read the newspaper or something, but a couple of clinics I've been told that things get really tense, and that's kind of a, okay, you know, and also, we'll go through a couple of steps on delegation.

Micromanagement is absolutely horrible, in the dental field or in any field. The big one, the really positive one I'd recommend to any young dentist, even dentists who have been in practice, is delegation. Richard Branson, from you know, from Virgin Air and so on, quite a remarkable person. He's overcome dyslexia, for instance, to make a success of life. He just has that knack. There was a very good article on the internet, people could look it up, and he was talking about, you hire the person you think that can do the job, then you meet with them and make sure that they understand, and you sort of back off, and eventually, they start doing things the way you'd like, and you confer if it's not right on. 

It's a very fun thing to do. Just a second, I'll just bring my script down here. It is a fun thing to do. I had a small, or, well, there were 11 of us at this clinic out in British Columbia in Chilliwack. It was the first time I had my own clinic that was big. I'd had small clinics. I was in Cypress with the United Nations in a small clinic in Prince Edward Island. 10 of the 11 of us were our first times at those positions. Two new, new young, two ... Sorry. 

Two new, young graduates, a new, or, a couple of new hygienists, [inaudible 00:21:33] of course, some new dental assistants who were new on the job. The only person who had experience there was a civilian dental assistant who worked there. The lab tech was a sergeant who'd been transferred. It was his own clinic. I would bring in the sergeant. She was kind of the office manager, a young, young lady, very intelligent. I'd bring her in every day, and I'd say, "Okay, how is this going? Do we have, does everybody know their office times?" 

In other words, a manual, an office manual, times of work, when you finish. What's the advance time you should give if you want to go on leave, to confer with you, and so on? Then we came every second day, you know, like three times a week. In a very short while, she was only seeing me Friday mornings at 11:00, which was kind of cleanup time for materials. We never ran out of materials, because that was part of the manual, and I was, I got some very complimentary feedback from the base commander.

He said it was the best-run unit on his base, and this was the home of the engineer, so I was very proud of that, and proud of my staff, and I was told it was the highest morale amongst what they called the other ranks in Canada, twice in a row, my last two years, but it wasn't just sort of, "Oh, well. Let people do what they want." We had one, this is rather sad. We had one young girl. She wasn't helping out with the 11:00 cleanups on Fridays. The sergeant kind of mentioned it to me. 

That's when they check to make sure the supplies are all up, the recall list for the following week, a whole number of administrative things, cleaning the operatories and making sure, you know, sterilizers worked, all the good things, so this girl was sort of skipping out. She'd go off and have a coffee break and not come back, so I had to take her aside, and I said, "Look, you know, this, you're part of the group, and we all have to work as a team, and everybody has their assignment. 

If someone just disappears, it's going to make it worse," and this is what we call the verbal warning. Now, I said, you know, "We'll be watching you for the next three or four months to make sure things go." Within about two or three months, something else happened. I can't remember what it was, but she was just kind of just mousing off and not doing her job and all this, so I had to take her aside, and according to military protocol, you give them a written warning.

I said, "Now, you've done this, this, and this, and you know, you're within that framework of the verbal warning, and we have to give you a written warning. You're a smart kid. You can do well." Okay, fine. Then, within that timeframe, she had six months to not do anything bad, she disappears for a week. Well, I was quite worried. I thought, "Maybe she's been in an accident." I called the military police. I said, "Have you heard anything from anybody?" I called the hospital. Was she in the hospital? Nobody knew where she was. Then she shows up a week later.

She put herself on a course, which you don't really do, you know? If you came into work and your assistant was gone for a week, so I conferred with the base lawyer and the admin officer, and they said, "Well, there's only one thing you can do, and that's to recommend her release from the forces," which I felt bad about, but ... So we did that, and that afternoon, I had the staff assembled in a coffee room, and I said, "I've got a very difficult thing to tell you about," and I told them about that. I said, "But I want you to know, I do not have a list of people that I want to get rid of." 

My son has almost died at birth. That's my big concern. That was that. That afternoon, it was the strangest environment. Everybody's laughing and smiling and running around and having a great time. I called Bev, the sergeant, the manager, and I said, "Bev, what is going on?" She said, "Well, we've been kind of covering up for her, and one of us or two of us would do her work," and said, and they just felt so good, so good delegation.

In other words, if the staff knows what is expected of them, how they can achieve it, whatever that happens to be ... Like, in an office, an office manual, most offices should have a proper manual, when to come to work, what the office hours are, when the cleanup times are, keeping track of materials. The clinic, the private clinic, I had a pretty good crew. We very seldom had misses for appointments. It was all there, like everybody had their little role to do, without saying, "You're the lowest on the ladder." No, everybody had their little role.

This is something that I think is very important to have your staff realize. Some people like meetings. I found, myself, I never was too impressed with meetings. I just sort of, I'd meet with the lab tech, for instance, and say, "Okay, how's this going? I really like the way you're helping the assistants pour models," and he was happy with that. I was never a sort of a sales type of guy, so I never had morning pep rallies. Some people do that and enjoy it, but that's about it. The bottom line is just like with what happened in Chilliwack is, the staff should be happy.

Like I was very flattered that, I was told by a couple of people it's the highest morale in the country, which is important. You go to work, and I've heard of clinics in the civilian world where people sort of are looking to get another job somewhere, which is bad, you know? Life is about having fun. Oh, I've got to say this while I can say this. I enjoy reading your various postings from around the world. I get very jealous. I think you were up in the Himalayas, weren't you? You were up in the Himalayas for ... That, I was just so envious of that. That's having fun, isn't it? That's about it. In other words, you should have, you know, you should have work manuals for everybody.

The assistants have different duties, and that can be anything from ordering supplies, keeping the bay clean when they go home, and not just say, "Well, I've got to go home early today, because, you know, we're expecting the movers," or something. You know, you've got to work that in. The hygienists like to keep everybody up to date on their programs, and if there's a problem, not to hesitate to tell me, if there's a patient whose oral hygiene isn't good, because I come and enforce that. I'm very keen on that, as I think dentists should be, but it's got to be, you've got to have certain goals with your clinic. You want to have it busy. 

If you're producing certain work, you want it nicely done and nicely sent out to the lab, or if you have your own lab, which is even nice, which the clinic I'm at now has, it makes it enjoyable. People say, "Well, you must be so happy to be retiring," and I say, "You know, I'm retiring while I can still do the work well, but it was never a goal of mine." It may sound simple to some people. I enjoy going to work, and I've got a lot of little things I'm going to be doing, so that's about it, Howard. Is that ... Any questions on that? 

Howard Farran: You are selling your practice to the Canada Dental Corporation. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: Is that ... That's corporate dentistry, right? How long have they been around? How many offices do they have? What was it like selling to them? 

Dr. Michael P. : It's the Dental Corporation of Canada, it's called. It started in Australia. I'm not too sure of the exact numbers, to be honest. The clinic I'm in is very, it's a nice group practice. I don't feel any pressure. There's no one coming up to me, or anybody else, saying, "Oh, no, we've got to produce this much each month," because I'd never practice that way. You know, if I have a day where I'm doing exams and nobody needs work, well, that's fine. That's a, you know, that's a good point for us.

In other words, we've got their oral hygiene up, but I'm quite willing to offer implants, and I'm doing a couple of teeth, or implant supported complete dentures on one lady who's had some real problems, and I'm looking quite forward to it. Another lady, I'd seen her as a patient years ago, and they decided to move, and she has a lot of crowns. The problem with crowns, I'm seeing a lot of older people are having crowns fail, because there is a weakness around the margin, no matter how good it is, so we're doing an immediate denture for her. 

I enjoy, I used to do a lot of immediate dentures when I was in the forces, because we had a lot of young soldiers that came from parts of the country where they never saw a dentist. That's less so now. The oral hygiene in the outside community is better, but it's quite nice. There's ... I should know the numbers. In the Ottawa Valley area, there are about 20 clinics, I think, in different parts of the city, so it's a fairly varied group. 

Howard Farran: Dental Corp has 20 offices in Montreal? 

Dr. Michael P. : Ottawa. 

Howard Farran: Oh, Ottawa? You're ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah, I ... 

Howard Farran: Yeah, you're in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. How far away is that from Montreal? No, you're close to Toronto. 

Dr. Michael P. : No, I'm close to Montreal. It's about two hours to Montreal, and about five or six to Toronto, I guess.

Howard Farran: Okay, because Montreal's in the province of Quebec, right? 

Dr. Michael P. : It's in Quebec, yeah, just across the river. We're right on the border. 

Howard Farran: Yeah. I love Montreal. I've lectured there a couple of times. That is a classy, cultural city. I mean ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, yes. 

Howard Farran: It is. 

Dr. Michael P. : I grew up in Montreal and in Dorval, a suburb, and McGill was downtown. It's funny, we had a class reunion, and we had a wonderful class, very warm, and one of our fellows was quite Orthodox Jewish. He couldn't drive on Fridays, so we had our little restaurant meal very near his hotel. I said, "Arnie," I said, "I guess you've got some strong religious beliefs." He said, "Oh, yeah. I never impose them on anyone." I said, "You know, I did, too. I never studied on Friday nights, because the pubs are so good in Montreal." They were just, that was my regular thing. 

Howard Farran: Well, it's interesting how the Muslims don't work Friday, the Jewish people don't work Saturday, and the Christians don't work Sunday.

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: It's interesting how, when you look at demographics of a city, you might say, okay, like if you go to San Francisco, you might say, "Oh, well, they're overpopulated." Well, if they're all born in America Christians, there's not one person in San Francisco open on a Sunday, so you may go to San Francisco and say, "Well, I know all the Christians won't work this day," and I know Asians who have gone to America and opened up in San Francisco, and their average Sunday is like $17,000 of production, because there's a huge city there, and there's just no one there. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: I know an endodontist who went to Manhattan, and he said, you know, "There's no endodontists on Saturday," because the majority of them in Manhattan were Jewish, and so that was his target market, is to be an endodontist on Saturday, and he was Jewish.

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: Demographics mean a lot. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah, demographics are interesting. That's a very interesting study, isn't it? Like I grew up in Montreal, and we had our political problems with the separatists. Look, I'm half French and half English.

Howard Farran: What year was that? 

Dr. Michael P. : That, the big problem was 1971, '72, and I was at an Air Force base down in south of Montreal, when a man was kidnapped, and he ended up being killed. Where he was being held was within sight of the dental clinic where I was, but things are very relaxed now. You go into a place ... 

Howard Farran: That was '72. That was '72? 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: Yeah, I still remember that like that was yesterday. I mean, I remember, because I was born in '62, so I was 10, and I remember hearing the dad and the uncles at the table, wondering if Canada was going to go into a civil war. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. It was quite interesting. This is sort of a strange piece of politics. There's a French Canadian regiment called the Royale [foreign language 00:33:13], the royal 22nd. The word [foreign language 00:33:15] means 22. It got sort of shortened into Van Doos. They're a pretty great regiment. There was a young guy guarding a federal building, a separate, he was French Canadian, a separatist came up and spit in his face, so he took his rifle around, hit him in the jaw, and a policeman comes running over, picks the guy up, trips him, and said, "Oh, look, he just fell and hit his face," so the police, the soldiers, the average the citizen, wasn't into the violence, but it's like any political movement. 

It's, but Montreal is thriving now. There's a very good article in the London Telegraph about Montreal. They were just, it was on the internet, very, very flattering, you know, about the restaurants, the nightlife, the old cities. My son lives down in an area called the Plateau. He's a young musician thrive- or trying to thrive, and a very artistic city, you know, so it's fun. I still love Montreal.  

Howard Farran: You need to hook him up with my son. You know, his son's a musician, too ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. 

Howard Farran: Ryan. 

Ryan: Really?

Dr. Michael P. : Well ... 

Howard Farran: Yeah. 

Dr. Michael P. : I should. 

Howard Farran: Ryan is a, he's a world class musician. I mean, he, when he plays that piano, the whole thing, it shakes the whole house. 

Dr. Michael P. : Well, there's a fellow just passed away this weekend that he was a grunge guy ... Jeez, I should know. Peter something. It was a lot in ... 

Howard Farran: Right, the guy from Soundgarden, or, was it Soundgarden? 

Dr. Michael P. : Yes, the Soundgarden. My son was brokenhearted. 

Howard Farran: Yeah, he was [inaudible 00:34:37]. 

Dr. Michael P. : Grant likes that ... Sorry? 

Howard Farran: He was in like four or five bands. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. My son likes that type of music. His music, he said, is a combination of Nirvana and Led Zeppelin, and he gets into the psychology of bass notes that makes it sound broader. He's had a few medical problems of late, but he's overcoming those, and he's, was just playing outside, just playing the guitar on a staircase near a library, and a lady came along and asked him to join a folk festival, so it's looking good. I can't even clap in time. 

Howard Farran: I want to ... As far as predictions, I know you can't predict the future, because you know, all these, you know, when young millennials are looking at all these know-it-all experts on the news stations and all the talking heads, I can assure you that no one predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Arab uprising, 9/11, that Trump would win, I mean, so these people are so damn smart the day after.

It's like listening to football commentaries on Monday morning. You know, everybody's a genius on Monday morning, but where were they with their money in Vegas on Saturday night, betting on the game that they know everything about? This corporate dentistry thing, it seems to be a big thing. Do you think ... You practiced ... How long did you practice? 30 years? 40 years? How long ...? 

Dr. Michael P. : No, 47. 

Howard Farran: 47 years. My God. You should go ... 

Dr. Michael P. : I'm still alive. 

Howard Farran: You should go three more years just to say you did it a half century. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. Well, that's ... 

Howard Farran: Where do you think dentistry will be ... So you practiced five decades. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. It's hard to believe. 

Howard Farran: I'm going to round it off to half a century, a 50 dollar bill. Where's it going to be 50 years from now? These kids listening to you now, that just graduated from McGill last week, what's it going to look like in 50 years? Do you think these corporate dentistry, like the Canada Dental Corporation, do you think that'll be ... What percent of the Canadian market do you think is corp, or DSMO, dental service management organizations, like the Canada Dental Corporation? 

Dr. Michael P. : Well, that's a good question. You see, the problem is, when I graduated, the military paid my way through school, but I think even my classmates, dentistry was under a thousand dollars a year, and it was fairly affordable, and books and tuition. Now, they're like, what is it, some of them are coming out with a quarter of a million dollars in debt ... 

Howard Farran: Oh, there are several schools in America that cost a hundred thousand a year. 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh my gosh. 

Howard Farran: Yeah, there's a dozen schools. 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh. 

Howard Farran: NYU, UOP, there's a ton of them that cost a hundred grand a year. 

Dr. Michael P. : They have to join a group, you know, and this, as long, see, this is the thing. If a dental group has good delegation and so on, lets the dentists do their job, then it could be enjoyable. That would be the question mark. Will ... If it becomes just for profit, then just sell things you shouldn't, I don't know. I don't know where to predict. I don't see it going back. I was at McGill at a lecture about a year and a half ago, and I passed the dean ...

Howard Farran: Where is McGill? 

Dr. Michael P. : I said ... 

Howard Farran: Is it in Montreal?  

Dr. Michael P. : It's Montreal, yeah, right downtown, really beautiful campus. I asked the dean, "Is anybody in the military?" He sort of gave me a scornful look, "No." A dental student in the Canadian army gets $62,000 a year, plus his, everything paid for. $62,000. Jeez. I got a lot less than that, but then ...

Howard Farran: How ... Do you think in Montreal and Toronto, is corporate dentistry growing as fast as it is in the United States? 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, yes, pretty well. Yeah. It's, I think the owners have to be dentists, so it's less of a, sort of an investment company. They have to be dentists. I don't know if that makes a difference, as I understand it, but yeah, it's tougher because of the debt that the students have. I feel so sorry for them, getting out of school with, like you say, some of them would have half a million plus books and tuition. 

Howard Farran: I think it definitely should be, have to be owned by a dentist. I mean, Hewlett Packard, I mean, David Packard and Hewlett, I mean, those guys were both electrical engineers making that great company. I mean, Bill Gates of Microsoft was a programmer. I mean, when I look at non-dental industries, you know, the people who make the most value added greatest industries knew their product. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: I mean, I'd rather, I mean, I would bet more money on a restaurant being opened by a chef than someone with a social media degree in communications from ASU. You know what I mean? 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah, isn't that true, aye? Jeez. No, it's a very complex one, and I just couldn't predict the future of it. Dentistry's progressed so much with materials. The implants I've really enjoyed doing, and the materials. Although I enjoy your articles on amalgam, I agree with that. I won't just replace an amalgam because it's an amalgam. I've had people do that. 

The other thing, too, if you want a bit of a chuckle, is you look in the Google, and you look for 'best dentist in Ottawa,' we weren't even allowed to adverti- well, I didn't have to advertise, I was in the military, but now you can call your dental clinic the best clinic in Ottawa. I don't know how they decide that, but the, our governing body doesn't seem to object, so ... 

Howard Farran: Who are the biggest corporate chains in Canada now? Is Canada Dental Corp, is that the biggest one? 

Dr. Michael P. : There's another one. I never really got interested in who it was, because I wasn't going to, you know, I didn't have to be concerned. Altamira, I think is a big one, and there's Trillium Dental. 

Howard Farran: Which one? Which one? 

Dr. Michael P. : Trillium? There's Altamira. I could be wrong there. 

Howard Farran: One of the DSMOs is Trillion? 

Dr. Michael P. : Trillium, like the flower. 

Howard Farran: How do you spell it? 

Dr. Michael P. : T-R-I ... Oh, boy, you've got the worst speller in the world. T-R-I-L-L-I-U-M. Trillium. 

Howard Farran: What is it called, Trillium Dental Group, or just Trillium? 

Dr. Michael P. : Trillium Dental, but that's all I know. I've never really looked into it. 

Howard Farran: What's the other one? 

Dr. Michael P. : Altamira, but I could be wrong there. 

Howard Farran: Altamira.  

Dr. Michael P. : I could be wrong. You know, I'm not really, like I said, it's funny ...

Howard Farran: What do the, what do your other colleagues think about corporate rolling in? Are they good with it? Does it scare them? What's the mood of the natives? 

Dr. Michael P. : Well, most of the people of my generation that are still practicing don't really care. You know, they're going to sell their practice. I've had some, there's one fellow that was working with us. He's moved to one of their other clinics, and he's very happy with the dental corporation candidate, it's really good. He worked for another group, and he said it was just awful. Someone was on his hide all the time. "You've got to produce more, and da-da-da-da," you know, that sort of stuff. 

That, I find, is, like I've said, too ... Oh, you know, like I said, I would not like to ... I'm just going to just check on some of these things. I would not like to be pressured. Like, I like to have the work that I'm doing is good, you know, and go from there. If someone comes in and, well, an example is, when I retired or sold my practice, we did send a note to everybody, they did, and you know, we'll be here. It's not that far away, but a couple of people lived in one of the further suburbs, and I got a very disturbing call from her one day. 

Her daughter ... Three years ago, daughter's 21, 22 ... Three, four years ago, I wrote in her chart, after her hygiene exam, her oral hygiene is great, like one millimeter pockets and so on. She had one big restoration and had an endo done by someone, which the mother couldn't quite understand. Anyways, the mum calls me and she says, "Look, my daughter just saw someone nearby and she was told she needed nine fillings." I looked at the x-rays, and I couldn't see anything. I said, "But you know, I could miss something. Come on in for free. I'll take x-rays, and I want you in the chair, the room, too, to show that I'm not hosing you."

One older restoration had a crack. It was a composite. In the front, there was about five of them. I said, "There's not even stains." I did caries detector, because on the lingual of a second incisal, there was a bit of a dark spot. It wasn't really a stain. It was almost like a discoloration deep in the enamel. Nothing, and the mom said, "Why would they do that?" I said, "You're an accountant. I think they call it bottom line," so they're coming to see me again. 

Another lady was told she needed $6,000 worth of work and her teeth were falling apart. Well, I had done implants with her for 25 years. I'd done crowns. She had a lot of big composites, but I said, you know, "Leave those for now. I'm not necessarily going to put a crown on everything that has a little caries in it." You know, maybe that has changed. Bit disappointing. 

Howard Farran: Dentistry has kind of gone backwards in a lot of ways. Well, I guess everything's a trade off. If you want your car to get the best mileage, you'd make it out of plastic. If you want it to be safest in a car wreck, you'd make it out of lead. I mean, you know, there's a trade off for everything, but you know, we went from using a filling that was, that when you mixed 50% mercury with silver, zinc, copper, and tin, it expanded, so it had a phenomenal seal ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. 

Howard Farran: And it was antimicrobial ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: And they lasted 38 years. Our generation said, "Well, you know what? Let's make them tooth colored, so they're all pretty," but now when they set up and you cure them, they contract, so they pull away, and so, and they all have shrinkage, so at any level of shrinkage, I mean, hell, that bug, Streptococcus mutans, is only five microns wide. Any shrinkage ...

Dr. Michael P. : Five microns. 

Howard Farran: Now it's ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: It seems like it's even getting worse, because now the trend is bulk fill, so I mean, and they're so concerned with it being pretty. The bottom line is, dentistry doesn't fail from almost anything other than bacteria from a biofilm. I mean, there's, yeah ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: There's occlusal disease, there's trauma, but the majority of all the failings in dentistry are from bacteria in the biofilm, and ...

Dr. Michael P. : I agree, yeah. 

Howard Farran: The fillings that dentists provided were basically averaging 38 and a half years life expectancy, with amalgam, all throughout the '70s and the '50s, and now they're replaced by these shrinking, contracting composites, and they're lasting six and a half years. 

Dr. Michael P. : Wow. 

Howard Farran: Dentists always say, "Well, that's because that person's not doing it right." I mean, I'm so sick of that argument. Dude, if I showed you a hundred million fillings, I mean, I know you're special. I know you think you're all that and a bag of chips. I know, you know, but it's not true. I mean, you're putting in a shrinking, a filling that shrinks, that leaves a gap, in an inert environment. I get it with girls, because girls will do damn near anything to look prettier ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah.

Howard Farran: But you're talking about some six year old boy who wore the same shirt three days in a row, who doesn't want a shot, it's on his molar. No, like I've been talking to you the whole time. I haven't seen any of your molars yet. I mean, I haven't even ... 

Dr. Michael P. : That's true. 

Howard Farran: I haven't even seen a second bi. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: All I've seen from you this whole time is half of your upper front eight teeth. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: Why am I putting a beautiful ... 

Dr. Michael P. : I totally agree. 

Howard Farran: Hollywood cosmetic, Universal Studios, beautiful filling on your second molar? In fact, I've got to tell you this one thing. Three times in my 30 years, I knew I wasn't going to get ... You know, it was a woman, the second molar, she wanted porcelain. This is back before you had all porcelains, and I just knew that by the time I got enough reduction for the crown, I wasn't going to have any retention, and it would just be a perfect gold onlay.

Three times, I've sunk a gold onlay on a woman, on a second molar, who still hasn't figured it out to this day. I mean, I knew, I knew, you know, it was a maxillary. I knew she'd never see it, and I knew that the fact that she wanted tooth color was just absurd, because no one's going to see it. Now, if it was a lower second molar, she could have seen it, but a maxillary ...  

Dr. Michael P. : You have to, yeah ...

Howard Farran: All seven of them ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Well, the thing about gold, too, is the electrostatic surface, I think, apparently it repels bacteria, or the plaque.

Howard Farran: On the gold ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: Or the metal? 

Dr. Michael P. : On the gold. 

Howard Farran: Yeah, there was a ...

Dr. Michael P. : Gold is very strong. 

Howard Farran: Lot of research. That was one of the Captek deals. Back when they were PFM, Captek figured out that they could do it with a technique that used a lot less gold, but by using the more very precious high energy, it was a repellent to bacteria. I mean, imagine there was two apartments to move into, and one apartment, you walked in, everything was cool.

The other apartment you walked in and all your hair went static cling, every time you touched your wife or your son, there was a big shock, or, you know, and they just, bugs did not like living under high energy. You saw it the most with gold foils. I mean, I'm in Phoenix ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. 

Howard Farran: Which is 10% Canadian, by the way. 10% of Phoenix is retired Canadians. You'd see these gold foils that were put in 50 years ago, and you could see with your eye the leaks around the deals and whatever, and they were still there 50 years later. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: Then you could do your modern-day class five composite for root surface decay or whatever, and you could see that thing fail in three or four years. You just know ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah, well, years ago ... 

Howard Farran: That this high energy gold foil was antibacterial. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. Years ago, about '72, I'd just come back from Cypress. There was a talk, I won't name the company, but they were the first ones with composites, and this guy was going on and saying, "It's not only as strong as amalgam for compression, it's stronger." At the end, Dr. Ambrose, who was then the dean, the late Dr. Ambrose, who was just one of our heroes, got up and he said, "Well, let's wait for the four or five year results to see what happens." 

Well, they all leaked, and all kinds of endo work costs, then they started to acid etch it, which made it a little better, but there was that, which you'd mentioned so well, was the compression and contraction just wasn't there. All these composite, a lot of them failed. I saw a lot. I went into private practice for two years in '76, then I got back in the military, and I saw a whole lot of them, and everybody wanted the, "Oh, no, we want the white fillings." This bothers me, too. I see these ads, "Mercury-free fillings," you know? Yeah, well, what the heck? Yeah, it's a different world. 

Howard Farran: Yeah, and you see the fluoridation, too, so I practiced here so long, we got it fluoridated in '89, Phoenix, and then they just fluoridated, they signed the, the law was just 20 years, then it's up for review, so then we just went through it again. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: It was funny how, basically, 20 years ago, and today, one out of four Americans, they're just, they're very, very opposed to it, and I get it, because a lot of Americans are opposed to it just because they just hate the government so bad, they don't, they wouldn't want any help from the government. I mean ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: We had poor people voting out Obamacare, just because they don't want the government touching their healthcare, then when you say, "Well, dude, you do know that now you won't be able to go to the doctor, right? You do know that, right, that you have to pay for it?" They'd rather have that. I mean, so I understand the anti-government stuff. As you go through the history of the world, the government usually has been the problem more times than the solution. 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, sorry, I've got dogs barking in the background. 

Howard Farran: Nah, that's all right. 

Dr. Michael P. : I lived in St. Catharines, which is near Niagara Falls. There was a little town that had fluoridation, and you could see the difference. The kids would come in with very few caries, from this town that had the fluoridation of the water, so there are people that are very much against it. There are a few people on the internet, and you know, I respect their views, but I never heard of dental floss til dental school. Can you imagine that? 

First year, you went up to third year to have your examination, and the prof came along, and they'd give me hell about dental floss, and when he left, I said to the third year student, "What the hell is dental floss?" That has changed. Quebec oral hygiene has gotten a lot better. It used to be, I went to school at the French school, kids in grade six, they failed a few years, they had dentures. That was a common thing, but that's all changed now, you know, the prevention, the hygiene schools. It's a nice change.

Howard Farran: You know, even that was culture, because I remember, when I opened my practice in '87, at least once every three months, some little girl would come in and she'd say she wanted dentures. She might have 10, 12 cavities. I'd say, "No, no, no, no." 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: "Let's just do the fillings." She'd say, "My mama, my grandma got her dentures before she got married. My mama got her dentures before she got married ..." 

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. 

Howard Farran: "And I'm marrying in June, and I want, I don't ever want to deal with this again. I want them all out and I want dentures in there," so so much of that was even culturally driven.

Dr. Michael P. : Culturally driven. Well, the big joke is, I won't mention any areas, but what is the greatest present a father-in-law, future father-in-law can give his future son-in-law? That's a daughter with dentures. You know? It was kind of an economic joke, but no, things have changed a lot. It's so nice to see more people ... I had a young fellow in the other day, he's 43, he's never had a caries. It was just fantastic. He's flossing like a fiend, and ... 

Howard Farran: See, it's probably not anything we think it is, though. I mean, we just don't know. I mean, I'm sure it's a different, it's either a different bacteria in the biofilm, or it's a different immunological reaction to it from his saliva. 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, yeah. It's very common, but ... 

Howard Farran: You also see that, and to me, it's very apparent that the people with a lot of gum disease don't have decay, and the people with all the cavities don't have gum disease, so it's kind of like ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, yes. 

Howard Farran: If Streptococcus mutans has taken over your teeth, something in that biofilm is checking out the ...  

Dr. Michael P. : It's a very complex mechanism, yes. 

Howard Farran: It's a biology question. That's where I think dentistry needs to go. They all talk like they're a bunch of mechanical engineers. Wear right, bonding right, strength, you know, torquing into this Newton centimeter. They talk like they're all building a house. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: I say, "Okay, you're going to build a house, and no matter how you build it, in six or seven years, it's going to be eaten by termites," so you know, those barns in Kansas, they don't fall down because of the wind and the tornadoes and all that stuff. They all fall down from termites. 

Dr. Michael P. : From termites? Jeez. 

Howard Farran: It's one of those deals where I think dentistry is going to enter more to the biology zone, as opposed to the mechanical engineering one. 

Dr. Michael P. : That makes good sense. Yes. That makes good sense. 

Howard Farran: We live, the explosion of dental materials technologies and adhesive dentistry started the cosmetic revolution, bleaching, bonding, veneers, we rode that. Then by like 2000, that was the '80s, and then by about 2000, it was all driven by the speed of the personal computer, Intel, Microsoft, and then we got into this whole digital revolution with digital x-rays and digital computers and all that kind of stuff like now, and ...

Dr. Michael P. : Things have changed fast, haven't they? 

Howard Farran: Yeah.

Dr. Michael P. : I got, like I said, I got my dad on the computer at 89. He would have been 103 this year, but oh, he took to it like crazy. It's so nice. Well, I just find this amazing. You and I are talking now, and I've got a little thing the size of a wallet, and you know, people can see it around the world. 

Howard Farran: Are you on LinkedIn? Are you on LinkedIn? 

Dr. Michael P. : Now and then. 

Howard Farran: You what? 

Dr. Michael P. : Now and then I get on there. Now and then. I ... 

Howard Farran: Because the Skype was bought by Microsoft ...

Dr. Michael P. : Right.

Howard Farran: And then they bought LinkedIn ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh. 

Howard Farran: So I think the obvious play would be that, you know how you face ... Do you have an iPhone or a Samsung?  

Dr. Michael P. : I've got a Samsung. 

Howard Farran: Okay. 

Dr. Michael P. : Actually, an old Samsung. My wife bought these for me. 

Howard Farran: Yeah. Well, on iPhone, I mean, on iPhone, you can Face Time each other. 

Dr. Michael P. : Right. 

Howard Farran: I imagine Microsoft's going to do that with Skype on LinkedIn. I mean, that sounds like the only, that's the only good reason I could think of that you'd give them 8.9 billion dollars with the ...

Dr. Michael P. : That's a lot of money.

Howard Farran: Yeah. 

Dr. Michael P. : My brother, he does a lot of work through Amazon. He was telling me that he joins for a year, he's got television, he gets free delivery. The world is changing an awful lot. It's ... The Uber taxis now, they're quite prominent here, you know, and they're quite nice, actually, the ones we have here in Canada, so ...

Howard Farran: Amazon has really been a boom for dentistry. I'll tell you why. The oldest guy that ever went to my seminar was a 92 year old man in St. Joe, Missouri, named George Brewy, and I, and he told me that he graduated in '27, the stock market crashed in '29, and the depression was '32 to '36. He told me that, before the Great Depression, all the dentists practiced outside, but during ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh my gosh. 

Howard Farran: The Great Depression, so many stores went under and were boarded up, that the prices, the rents fell so low that the dentists, for the first time, could afford to move inside.  

Dr. Michael P. : Isn't that wonderful? 

Howard Farran: He said that was ground zero for us becoming a sovereign profession instead of sitting outside cutting hair, shining boots, and our anesthetic was whiskey ...

Dr. Michael P. : Wow. 

Howard Farran: Which they used during the Prohibition. They said all the cops felt so sorry for people getting extractions that they didn't call it whiskey. It was in a medicine bottle and they just said it was dental medicine, but Amazon is doing the same thing., their stock is worth more than all the other major retailers combined, Walmart, Costco, all of them combined. 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh my gosh. Just amazing. 

Howard Farran: Every time Amazon sales go up another billion dollars a month, a hundred thousand square foot of retail goes under, so you drive around all these towns, there's so much vacancy from ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah, that's sad, isn't it?

Howard Farran: Well, it's changing, but it's great for dentistry, because instead of being in a medical dental building, instead of being tucked away where no one knows where you're at, I mean, you can go in primetime real estate. There is ... 

Dr. Michael P. : That's a good point. 

Howard Farran: I mean, you go to any city in North America, and the number one sign in any retail center is space wanted, available. I always tease that ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. 

Howard Farran: I always tease that, "I don't know what this company is called Available, but I want to buy stock in it, because it's spreading like wildfire." 

Dr. Michael P. : They're everywhere. 

Howard Farran: Yeah. 

Dr. Michael P. : No, it's true. 

Howard Farran: Dentists can get better locations cheaper than ever, premium real estate, and a lot of times, they can go to these centers and buy. I mean, the center's like, "Hell, I'll sell it to you." 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. Well, in the, I grew up in Dorval, which is a suburb of Montreal. There used to be little pharmacies. My brother brought me a nice book on the 125th anniversary of Dorval as a city. Places that used to be a pharmacy and a hardware store and so on are now little bistros and bars and pubs, which, it's still, they kept the buildings, which is nice. I like old Montreal, where they kept the old buildings, you know? 

Speaking of old buildings, in old Montreal, there's a McDonald's in old Montreal, of all things, and inside, there's a wooden plaque dedicated to, I forget his full name, Sieur something or other de Cadillac. He was the founder or the discoverer of Detroit. That's where he was born, in old Montreal, and they have a plaque inside of McDonald's, so, kind of cute.

My friend, a friend of mine worked very hard in Montreal, and in Ottawa, with groups, to preserve the old buildings, and now they're just, you know, it's accepted. You don't just tear them down and put up a high rise vacuum as I call them. It's nice. 

Howard Farran: Yeah. Did you see the movie about the founder of McDonald's called The Founder, and it's ...

Dr. Michael P. : No. 

Howard Farran: Michael Keating? 

Dr. Michael P. : No. 

Howard Farran: That was one of the most brilliant movies of the year, because not only did they walk you through the history, like you literally thought you were in the 1950's again and the '60s, and it was, and Michael Keating is such an amazing actor, but the business lessons in that movie ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: I mean, it's amazing how Hollywood is becoming a great teacher, like the ... What was that other one? The Big Short? 

Ryan: [inaudible 00:59:57]

Howard Farran: The Big Short. Even the PhD economists are like tipping their hats, saying, "Wow, you had, nobody can explain derivatives, and nobody can explain that, and you took a great movie star, and you totally gave the economic lesson better than any teacher, while making an engaging story." 

Dr. Michael P. : When I was 11 or 12, we drove to Florida, which is a three day drive from Montreal, and we stayed in a little motel in Cape, not Cape Canaveral, Daytona Beach, and there was a new restaurant next door to us, and over 100,000 hamburgers sold, McDonald's, so we've got a picture at home. I worked at A&W, actually, when I was 17. That was a good job. 

Howard Farran: Oh my God, I loved A&W.

Dr. Michael P. : They're good. 

Speaker 4: [inaudible 01:00:46]

Dr. Michael P. : They were ... Can you hear the voices in the background? Are they bothering you? 

Howard Farran: You know, it's okay. It's been an hour. Our show's an hour. We're already at an hour and two minutes, but I just ...

Dr. Michael P. : Ooh. 

Howard Farran: I just wanted to ... I've been a fan of yours for 30 years. I mean, I so thank you. 

Dr. Michael P. : I love your story. It's wonderful. 

Howard Farran: Mike and the bike. We've been through a lot of changes in three decades, and I wanted to get you on to talk to the kids.

Dr. Michael P. : Sure. 

Howard Farran: I just want to tell you that I've been a big fan of yours for 30 years. I've read all your posts.

Dr. Michael P. : That's very kind. I'm just a guy in a little corner here in Ottawa, but ...

Howard Farran: No. 

Dr. Michael P. : I've always en- I check into Dental Town quite often and just look around and see what's there. 

Howard Farran: You taught me stuff on IDF, on Generation Next, on iCanaDen ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh my gosh. 

Howard Farran: I've been reading your stuff for three decades. 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, jeez. 

Howard Farran: I just want to tell you I've been to your websites. I just want to tell you sincerely, I've been a big fan of yours, I've learned a lot from you. I've enjoyed the camaraderie. I just think you're a hell of a great guy, and ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, that's very kind. Next time you come into town, then I'm going to buy you some Quebec beer. 

Howard Farran: All right. Well, I'll never turn down a Quebec beer, but I hope you have a rocking hot weekend, and give my ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. It's a long weekend here. 

Howard Farran: Love to your wife. Oh, why is it a long weekend? 

Dr. Michael P. : It's her majesty Victoria day. 

Howard Farran: Queen Victoria? 

Dr. Michael P. : Queen Victoria. We celebrate it for some reason. 

Howard Farran: That's a great business story. You know Victoria's Secret? 

Dr. Michael P. : Of course. 

Howard Farran: Do you know that's named after ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Lovely fashions.

Howard Farran: Did you know that's named after Queen Victoria?

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, no.

Howard Farran: Do you want to know the business story about that? This is a genius business story. There was a, I mean, he made a billion and a half dollars in under 24 months with this concept. 

Dr. Michael P. : Who? 

Howard Farran: The founder of Victoria's Secret. 

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: If you ask someone, "What's Victoria's secret," they just think you're, it's a joke. What it was was this guy realized that people in America's Christian conservative values, they bundled lingerie with pornography. 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, okay. 

Howard Farran: If you wanted to go buy lingerie, you had to go to the seedy part of town that also sold x-rated movies and videos, and unsafe areas, and gross stuff. He said, "I'm going to sell lingerie in a mall." Well, all the malls in America, there's only like 300, and they're only owned by like a dozen corporations, and half of them are privately held, family owned, and they pitched this lingerie thing, and everybody's like, "Get out of here. We're not having nasty pornography lingerie and all that," stuff like that, so he went back to the drawing board, and he says, "I've got to reposition this."

He said, "Who's the most," these are conservative, Christian, Republican men that own all these malls in America. Who do they like that wore lingerie? Then he realized that Queen Victoria was legendary, I mean, she ruled, she was brutal, she had an island named after her. She was all that and 10 bags of chips, but everyone knew, when the day was over, she loved to take off all that stuff and put on lingerie, and was a little sex kitten, so they ... 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh my God. 

Howard Farran: Named the whole thing after Queen Victoria. What was Victoria's secret? That, at the end of the day, this lady was wearing lingerie and drinking wine and having, traveling London, whatever. They went back and re-pitched it. These guys were very, very cynical, but they said, "Well, we'll give it a try." Then the thing about lingerie is, you know, you take the biggest outfit they sell and it's about like, what, three grams of cotton in that whole thing, and they're selling it for 10, 20, 30 ... The margins were insane ...

Dr. Michael P. : Wow.

Howard Farran: And the sales went off the roof, because there were no substitutes in the marketplace, unless you wanted to go to the seedy part of town.

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah.

Howard Farran: The sales were so crazy, somebody offered them like one and a half billion dollars for it, only like, it wasn't even two years old. He ...

Dr. Michael P. : Oh my gosh.

Howard Farran: Took his billion dollars and ran. I mean, what a great ... 

Dr. Michael P. : [inaudible 01:04:52], aye? 

Howard Farran: Yeah. That's why they should watch that movie Founders, because people know that McDonald's, the average McDonald's does twice the revenue of a Burger King, but they don't really know why, but you watch the Founders, and when you see how all their problems were with franchisees ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: And how Ray Kroc, what he did the most was he figured out the importance that each store should be an owner operator, and how important it was that that be a married couple who was from the community, and not buying it just because they want to get rich quick, and just want to buy it but not work at it, people who were going to have only one location, a married couple from the town, involved in the church, the schools, the communities, and they were going to, you know, it was going to be a franchisees.

Now we've moved to this Wall Street model where all these stores are not owned by anyone, except, so there's one guy who's a billionaire, and then every location, some franchisee employee, just like you have all this associate turnover within dentistry, where, when they are all these employees, they're usually not there very long. I mean, it's considered ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: If you're there seven years, they call it a miracle, and a lot of them only stay a year, and Ray Kroc beat that lesson in there, that you're, you know, you get the right franchisees and that's why McDonald's does twice Burger King, because Burger King, if you just walked out of the NBA and you're a baller and you said, "Hey, I want to buy ... I've got millions. I want to buy 10 locations in Detroit." They'd say, "Wow. Million dollars apiece. We'll take your 10 million." McDonald's ...

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: They'd say, "No, you've got to show us that you've been working at McDonald's your whole life, and you love this more than the NBA, that you're going to be here all day every day, that this is your whole life and mission and purpose.

Dr. Michael P. : Yes. 

Howard Farran: When they got, when they vet ... McDonald's is ... Another one is Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A only approves, each year, .04% of all their applications to get a franchise. 

Dr. Michael P. : Jeez.

Howard Farran: I mean, you almost can't get one, and they'll only sell you one.

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: This has got to be your life's dream, you've got to be in the business. You've got to eat, live, breathe, die, sleep Chick fil A, and that's why all their, and their stores reflect that. 

Dr. Michael P. : Well, you know, that's almost like delegation. You delegate. They delegate to you, as an owner. You are limited here. That makes sense. It doesn't quite go back to being a delegator in a dental clinic, but ... Are we allowed to tell a bad joke on this podcast? 

Howard Farran: Heck yeah, it's dentistry uncensored. 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, okay. Do you know what Victoria's secret is? 

Howard Farran: What? 

Dr. Michael P. : She's a slut. What can I say? What can I say? 

Howard Farran: Yeah, you said a bad joke. Are we going to leave that on, Ryan, or we going to take that ...?

Ryan: Yeah, we're going to [inaudible 01:07:39].

Dr. Michael P. : Yeah. 

Howard Farran: Leave it on? Okay, then I'm going to follow with a bad joke. Queen Victoria's a woman, and you know, I love women more than men, and it seems like whenever you give something to women, they make it greater. I mean, you give them a house, they turn it into a home. You give them groceries, they turn it into a meal. If you give them a little crap, they give you a ton of shit. 

Dr. Michael P. : Oh, yes. That's not that funny.

Howard Farran: All right, well, hey, again, thanks for all you've done. I have been ...

Dr. Michael P. : Well, thank you ...

Howard Farran: A fan of reading ...

Dr. Michael P. : For everything. 

Howard Farran: Your stuff for 30 years.

Dr. Michael P. : Oh my gosh. 

Howard Farran: I feel like you're a brother from another mother, and in another country.

Dr. Michael P. : Well, that's very kind. Oh, one more thing. 

Howard Farran: One more thing. 

Dr. Michael P. : I've got to, just one more thing. About two years ago, I took an acting course. I'd acted once in high school. My wife said, "Oh, yeah," you know, she's pretty good with me. Took the course. I was absolutely horrible at it, but a guy on the way in says, "Mike, you've got a good voice. Have you ever done voiceovers?" I said, "What's voiceovers?" He had me to his studio, I did a few voiceovers, and then I got an email from a group in London, very big London and Ontario, called 

It's a learning cycle, and I do a couple every day, and I've only had a couple of jobs, but my demos, one of my demos is a very deep, very scary voice. Anyways, I got a note from Norway. This girl said, "I liked your voice. We're doing a virtual reality thing. We'd like you to play the part of Odin," well, Oodin, they pronounce it. The show won two, well, I didn't, wasn't because of me, but it was a fun thing, they won two prizes in Europe. They went to China and she's getting money for more, and they're going to San Francisco, so you may hear my voice on the radio. When you're at McDonald's, it could be me. 

Howard Farran: Right. 

Dr. Michael P. : Anyways, thank you, Howard. This was so much fun. 

Howard Farran: Well, best of luck, and enjoy your retirement. 

Dr. Michael P. : Thank you very much. Bye bye. 

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