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VIDEO - DUwHF #910 - Angela Mulrooney
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AUDIO - DUwHF #910 - Angela Mulrooney
In all realms of her life, Dr. Angela Mulrooney is known for being trailblazing, dynamic, and caring. She inspires and supports people on many levels. She has had an amazing life – a dramatic journey of ambition, triumph, defeat, and reinvention in the duality of successful dental and professional dance careers.
Angela had an outstanding practice that contributed to her community, her patient’s lives, and the lives of her employees. She took a run-down, bread & butter practice at 28 years old and turned it into a high tech, cutting edge practice that was a referral hub from many dentists providing full-mouth reconstruction, I.V. sedation, implants, and sleep apnea therapy.
Business and success are games that Angela understands well. She wants to pass her blueprint for success and her passion for dentistry onto her clients so that they can live the dream of realizing their full potential in practice while achieving personal, financial, and time freedom - employing the simplest ways possible. Let her love of dentistry, business, and life inspire you to bring your best game to your career and patient care.
Howard: It was just a huge honor for me today to be podcasting interviewing Dr. Angela Mulrooney. In all realms of real life, Angela is known for being trailblazing, dynamic, and caring. She inspires and supports people on many levels. She has had an amazing life, a dramatic journey of ambition, triumph, defeat and reinvention and the duality of successful dental and professional dance careers. Angela has had an outstanding practice that contributed to her community, her patients’ lives and the lives of her employees. She took a rundown bread and butter practice at 28 years old and turned it into a high-tech, cutting-edge practice that was a referral hub for many dentists providing full mouth reconstruction, I.V. sedation, implants and sleep apnea therapy.
Business and success are games Angela understands well. She wants to pass her blueprint for success and her passion for dentistry onto her clients, so they can live the dream of realizing their full potential and practice while achieving personal financial and time-freedom, employing the simplest ways possible. Let her love of dentistry business and life, inspire you to bring your best game to your career and patient care. Man, you're an amazing woman. I just listened to your YouTube video, when you were speaking at Harvard. I just loved it, especially the story about when you were in school, and other people wanted to play on the playground, and you wanted to check out their teeth. That was awesome. So how old were you when you decided you were going to be a dentist?
Angela: My parents can remember from about two years old when I just liked teeth for some reason and it never went away. There was no dentist in my family or anything, so they don't even know where that came from, but it was definitely my path.
Howard: Well you have perfect teeth.
Angela: Thank you. I like them.
Howard: You could be a toothpaste model. So talk about My Business Doctor Inc
Angela: So I ended up with an injury that ended my clinical career, about 5 years ago, so once my sold my practice two years ago, I decide to take a little bit of time to just recover from that blow and now I've launched My Business Doctor Inc which is meant to help dentists to realize their full potential in clinical practice, as well as learning how to do business well so that they can do the best for their patients while also having an amazing balance in their life.
Howard: So now the website for My Business Doctor Inc is that help-get-me-get-patients-now dot com.
Angela: It is.
Howard: Nice website. Well first of all, do you want to talk about your injury or not really, or is that personal?
Angela: We can, it's fine.
Howard: Talk about that because it actually addresses another question which is disability insurance. It is one thing when you get out of school single, and you don't have disability insurance, but if you have any kids or bambinos. So what happened?
Angela: I ended up with focal dystonia, which is actually a brain injury and what it does is, it reverses the contraction and relaxation of your fine motor skill. So for drilling, I can't even write with my right hand anymore. I had to switch to my left hand because what should be blocked then contracts and vice versa. I don't have control over my right hand anymore, so that becomes kind of a danger when you're trying to use a 400000 RPM drill on someone.
Howard: What did they think caused that, did they think it was a virus?
Angela:No, I ended up going down to the Mayo Clinic in the states to get it figured out, but they said it's a huge genetic component, and there are no people in my family who have high dexterity jobs, so they wouldn't have known that I kind of picked the wrong profession for my genetics, but what it is, is it kind of builds up gradually so the more you use it, the more it starts to fail and probably for about 5 years prior to my hand completely cutting out on me, we were seeing symptoms of it. We just thought it was muscle pain from doing a lot of surgeries and long procedures. Then it finally cut out in the middle or at the end of surgery, and it was kind of game over after that.
Howard: So you graduated 2011?
Angela: No 2004 .
Howard: Yeah 2004 and you said it's five years ago, so it was 2012. Is that when you got injured and you retired in 2012?
Angela: Yeah, it would have been February of 2012 unfortunately when I had to give up clinical practice.
Howard: So you practiced for eight years?
Howard: Now at that time, were you married yet, had children, any of that?
Angela: No, I was single, I was married to dentistry.
Howard: So you're single. Then you didn't need disability insurance. Did you have disability anyway?
Angela: I did have some, I thought I was invincible, so I wasn't increasing it the way that most people would have if they were planning for the future. I just thought I was going to do this forever, so I had what I started with from school, and my first boss actually got me hooked up with some insurance as well which was lucky because we had some in place, but it's not a lot.
Howard: What advice would you give? Podcasts are mostly devoured by people born after 1980; they're millennials. I think about a quarter of the people listening to this are in dental schools. I asked my homies to email me, email@example.com and tell me your name, your age, if you like the show, any thoughts or feedback. Only once a month do I get someone to say dude I'm as old as you. Everyone else is 30 and under. What advice would you give to these invincible young people that think they're going to be the first person that never died.
Angela: Take care of the "what ifs." You never know what's going to happen. I was in the prime of my career and got struck down very unexpectedly.
Howard: How old were you in 2012.
Angela: I was 32.
Howard: You're not a millennial then?
Angela: I was born 1980, so I'm not sure
Howard: You're born on that line. Okay well, we'll give you credit. We'll let you choose what you want to be. You think they should buy more than they think they need?
Angela: Yeah. Plan for at least covering what you would like to have to maintain your lifestyle because again you never know what's going to happen and it's really not that expensive compared to the cost of losing everything.
Howard: But it's neat though because just your attitude, you know, it does seem you have many self-limiting beliefs that lived in between your ears. You just went right to My Business Doctor Inc. I mean that was so cool that you said 'I love dentistry and this is a physical setback, and I'm just going to go mentally forward.'
Angela: Yeah, well I had a lot of experiences - good and bad- when I was in practice, and I wanted to make sure that that didn't die with me. Otherwise, it would be for naught.
Howard: So if my homies went to helpgetmepatientsnow.com what are they going to find?
Angela: They're going to find there's a blog there, there are links to YouTube, like little podcasts there. There's also information on the program, and they can also register for a free strategy call to talk about what they can do in their practice to get to where they want to go.
Howard: So tell us, what is your program? Is it individual, is it a class? Do they come to you, is it all webinars, how does it work?
Angela: Well it can be customized but in the back end, there is a complete program already there that they can go through, so there are little videos and home works that go with that to help them understand what they need to have in place in their business and to help them and their team to work through the systems that they need to put in place to get things efficient.
It also teaches marketing, which is a big thing that I was known for with my practice; how to do it effectively and get the most return on investment that you possibly can with what you're doing. It also will teach them how to talk to patients better and how actually to plan for more free time. One thing that I did in my practice was that I was working six-weeks-on-one-week-off through the year so I had more vacation time than most people working fewer hours and work. And we ended up producing a lot more in that time than when we worked 50 weeks a year working five days a week. So it teaches the balance to be able to be more profitable as well.
Howard: Wow and you do all of that while you're also a professional dancer?
Angela: Yeah. I'm a busy girl.
Howard: Do you remember the greatest dance scene of all time which was Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley?
Howard: we should do a dance together at the next Townie meeting, and I'll be I'll be in Swayze's outfit looking like Chris Farley, and you can be the female version of Patrick Swayze. Was that not the funniest dance scene you've ever seen in your life?
Angela: Yes it was awesome.
Howard: That was awesome. So how's My Business Doctor Inc doing?
Angela: Well it's a new company; we just launched it this summer, so we're still trying to gain ground on it with our marketing and what not. This fall we're going to be doing more local events: going and talking at some of the failed companies as well as talking to some of the study groups. So just trying to get the word out there about what we're doing and why we're doing things differently than what I went through when I went with other business coaches.
Howard: Well we're trying to help you get your word out too. We're going to get your word out today. Who's your ideal client? I mean there are people driving to work, they all have different issues. Who's driving to work right now and who's the perfect fit for you? What problems do you like to solve for a dentist?
Angela: I'd like to solve the problem of wanting to become a higher end dentist and not knowing how to actually talk to your patients or become a referral hub for other dentists with the kind of industry that you want to be doing. With my practice, it was an Ivy station practice - full mouth reconstruction, obstructive sleep apnea- so we ended up actually marketing to other dentists that we were happy to take their patients on, on a referral basis and be able to serve them with the skills that we had that they didn't necessarily want to do or liked to do in their practice. So I want to be able to help other dentists. For one thing; implement the high-end skills that they want to take but also if they want to be serving the community in a different way which is helping other dentists with their skills. That's something that I'm really good at helping with as well.
Howard: So it's business and clinical?
Angela: Yes absolutely. That’s one thing that I found with a lot of the people that I took higher-end skills with is they took these courses put a lot of money and time into it and then went back home and didn't do anything with it, which is a shame because the patients could definitely be helped very much especially with programs like the Kois center and whatnot. If you can implement those skills, you're making a huge difference in your community, but if you just sit on those skills, it's a waste for everybody.
Howard: You say on your website it's online, there are modules, there's homework. How long does it last? you guys ever meet physically? Talk about that.
Angela: You get the full online program, and you get full access to that forever. But every two weeks you get to be on a call with me as a group so that people can learn from each other because people in the program are going to have similar issues or maybe they haven't foreseen some issues that are coming at them. I think it's really helpful to learn from each other on those kinds of calls. There's also an educational component to it as well, that expands on the knowledge that you can acquire on the online program.
Howard: On the online program, what kinds of modules are there? Are there clinical, overhead, treatment plan? What kind of modules do you have?
Angela: They're mostly business and customer service based. They're not clinical ones per se, but the first part of it goes through your numbers and figuring out what where your numbers are out of whack. So right there you can start increasing your profit. Then it goes into how to get your team on board and discovering what your vision is so that you can move in the right direction and figure out where you actually want to go. It also talks about the customer service; having an amazing experience for the customers and also learning how to talk to them to figure out what your customers actually want from you and how to deliver that. By doing that you'll learn how to actually draft your treatment plan more clearly so that you are fulfilling the wants of your patient instead of just telling them what they need. You actually become part of their care team instead of being a dictator of their care. Then at the end, it talks about how to set yourself apart with your marketing plan which includes how do you become a referral hub if you want to and also how to market: just the general public to actually get the kind of clients that you want.
Howard: Nice. And I always scold dentists; you know they'll say 10000 bucks for three months? Now that's too much money. Then they'll turn around and buy a hundred and fifty thousand dollar CAD-CAM, and then they'll say well maybe I should have a painless injection and buy a ninety thousand dollar WaterLase laser, and they spend all their money on all this equipment, and they don't have their house in order. I'll just ask them a simple question like, from what I know, it takes 20 people to land on a dentist's website before one converts and calls. Fix that. Three people have to call before your receptionist can get one to come in- fix that. Three people have to come in with a cavity before you can convert one to getting a drill fill and bill and then with that pathetic funnel, the average American is doing seven hundred and fifty thousand a year taking home a hundred and seventy-four thousand, and then it goes into this leaky bucket where, by the time they have five thousand patients four thousand of them haven't been in, in and 24 months. I'm really aggressive on my definition of the existing patient in some townies buying a practice, all they'll say is well, they have 5000 charts. I don't give a crap. 4000 members in 24 months. Then some business brokers will say well it has a thousand active patients because a thousand people have been in, in the last 24 months. No, I want to go back six months. How many patients got billed a hygiene procedure for a cleaning exam, x-rays, Perios cleaning whatever. And only what was billed in the hygiene department, only the patients that were seen and billed for something in the hygiene department is an active patients and what I'll see is somebody saying well we got 12 interactive patients in the last 24 months and then we all look at it and say well only 680 are scheduled for a damn anything, and only 599 came in, in the last six months for any services billed from hygiene.
If you're going to pay seven hundred fifty thousand dollars for 750 people for five hundred ninety-nine people that came in this practice in the last six months for some perio code, well then basically you're paying 750000 divided by 500. Gosh darn, let me let me do the math on that on that real quick. Sorry I have to pull out my calculator since I took calculus and trig I can't do those simple divisions. So they're paying fifteen hundred dollars for an active patient. I'm like dude; you could start up a De novo and get a patient hell of a lot cheaper than fifteen hundred dollars. I think if you can't do it for that 150. So for that 750 000 dollars they could have done a De novo with ten times as many patients that they spent the 750 000 dollars on marketing and that's just getting them in at one hundred fifty dollars apiece. Google Ad Words or whatever. So this is great. So for numbers, are there any practice management software that you like? Are there any dashboards that you like? What technologies would you like to tell the docs watching their numbers or not? Or do you not care?
Angela: I don't really have any particular ones. It depends on what they want out of it. There are always pros and cons of every program out there. So you're going to lose something by getting one thing, and you're going to gain something by getting a different program. I haven't seen a perfect program out there yet that serves everything, but hopefully, they'll come out with something that's close to that soon.
Howard: Yeah I think that I think in America, the weakest link in the whole society is the government. And I think in dentistry, the weakest link in all of dentistry is the practice management software. I mean it's such a joke calling all the software companies practice management software. I mean it's just pathetic compared to what they have. It hurts Rent-A-Car, Hilton Hyatt and the McDonald's. It's kind of like calling Jeff Farley a dancer. I mean at least he knew he wasn't a dancer. What numbers do you like to watch?
Angela: Well anything that you can control in the first place. For a lot of people, their rent is a big part of it, and if they have an opportunity to get in at a lower rate whether that's moving to a different practice or renegotiating their lease, that's one of the easiest ones because that's a big one. Another part is the employees if you can get them in on salary instead of per hour and get them predictable on that, that's a really easy way to help control the overhead because sometimes if the employees are paid per hour that you're going to take longer to do things than if they're on a salary and they get paid that no matter how long it takes them. That's one thing that can really tighten up the budget a bit and get the team on board with being efficient instead of just trying to make extra money.
Howard: What do you think total employees should cost- labor, taxes, uniforms. What do you think total labor package should be as a percentage of the revenue?
Angela: As a percentage, ideally it would be great to have them at the 20 percent mark.
Howard: Wow that is aggressive. Good. Twenty is good. Some say 25, 28 is the highest I've heard any consultant say. The difference between why you are saying 20 and so many are 28 - and I have seen offices at 38 percent. At 20 percent, I always see that as a low volume high fee practice where you have an owner-operated doctor who's just putting up the big cases - the implants, the sedation all that stuff. When I see a high volume - mostly PPO's, maybe Medicaid, Medicare and low fee, that's when it starts getting up to 28 percent. So the difference between low volume high fee versus high volume low fee is at least 10 percentage points.
Howard: I've always seen as bizarre how in the United States, well in Canada what percent of the population in Canada, at least one time in their life will buy a new car. The average new car Ford or a Honda Accord or something. What percent do you think Canadians will do that one time in their lifetime.
Angela: I would say 70 to 75 percent.
Howard: I always hear 75 to 80 percent. And what was that new car cost in Canada -the average new car?
Angela: The average new car is probably about thirty thousand.
Howard: Yes 30000. So you take everyone who retires in dentistry and 95 percent of them never once sold that average-priced new car thirty thousand dollar treatment plan and they just say “ Well you don't understand I was from Calgary, there ain't no money in that blah blah blah blah blah.” And then in their damn zip code mostly in their medical billing, there's that one out of 20 dentists, that 5% who will do a case like that routinely. How often did you do a case that size?
Angela: We usually have two to five a month.
Howard: What humans don't realize is they always want to be judgmental and blame others. They never want to look at the man in the mirror and say OK “Why can this little dancing girl Angela do two to five a month and I never did one from age 25 until I retired at 67” and only 3 percent of them can even retire with their existing standard of living. What is this self-limiting belief in their mind that holds them back, is it clinical competency or is it a self-limiting belief?
Angela: I think it's just not knowing what you don't know how to talk to the patients. If you have a new patient come in and you're telling them they need that 30000 thousand dollar treatment plan and they know nothing about you, and you haven't taken the time actually to listen to them, they're going to walk out the door. If you've taken the time to actually find out what their long-term goals are and what they want for their health, and that happens to be what they need is the 30 000 dollar treatment plan because their bombed out everywhere about missing teeth, they can't chew properly, they've got dysfunction occlusally that is when you start getting them on board with those thirty thousand dollar treatment plans when they walk in the door.
And it starts when they're on the phone with your team. If your team is just price quoting all day on the phone and not actually getting to develop a rapport with the patient before they even walk in the door, then you're walking in with a client who knows nothing about you and doesn't even know if you can deliver them a basic filling let alone solve the big problem that they have that they actually want to get solved. And I think with a lot of dentists, they're just prejudging situations. I've had people walk in that look like they're off the street and they're the ones who have hundred thousand dollars that they want to spend. So you can't judge anyone when they walk in the door because you never know who it is and what they want. You might have the person in the fancy really expensive suit walk in, and they won't even afford the hundred and fifty dollars filling.
Howard: You're in Calgary?
Angela: Yes .
Howard: Do they have Sonic Drive-Ins up there?
Howard: I remember walking around sometimes as a kid in high school, and my dad had nine Sonics, Roger Carpenter had a hundred Sonics. Jim Williams had a thousand Sonics. Roger Carpenter had twenty hundred twenty-eight hundred Pizza Huts. He was a founder of Pizza Hut And we'd be like at Denny's having breakfast. Those didn't work out. I bet the waitress thought they were unemployed. Yeah I mean sometimes they'd wear the same plaid pants three days in a row and you would never ever...Sam Walton, his desk was two horses and a door over it, and he was a multimillionaire. Then people prejudge their patients. You don’t know what that little lady “ She’s an old lady..” Hell, for all you know, her husband just died and she got a ton of money.
What I believe after lapping the sun 55 times is that if you have a fancy BMW and a Rolex watch it's probably all leased and you're upside down in a ton of debt because once you go from paying interest on other people's money to earning interest on other people's money which very few people will ever jump from one side there, once you're earning interest on other people's money, and you take your car in, and they say well you know you've got a 2004 Lexus, for a 100 grand I'll give you a new Lexus, and you're thinking well, damn, a hundred grand on just a tax free bond. One hundred thousand dollars times point 05 is not just five thousand dollars a year. It's five thousand dollars a year until the United States government follows the way of the Roman Empire because after you die those government bonds are still giving you five thousand dollars a month.
Look at John D Rockefeller, he's been dead for a century, and he's still funding all these institutions because he gets a nickel. His dollar produces a nickel every single year. So I think people when they start paying interest on other people's money, they don't even respect money and they're paying the penalty fee, and it's the people who don't owe other people money. who start getting a nickel. Those are the ones that respect money. You're not going to see me buy a 100 000 dollar Lexus and a Rolex watch. I mean my God I'd rather go to the Waffle House than do that stuff. So, crazy, crazy, crazy!
So let's start right here. One of the biggest dilemmas in practice management is a new patient cleaning. So Frank calls up Angela - calls your receptionist and says well I just want to get my teeth cleaned, I don't have any problem. Do you cater to that and do a new patient cleaning and slowly start building this relationship or you put your foot down and say no, we can't give you the cleaning because we don't know what type of cleaning you need. The first thing you're going to do is you're just going to come in and sit down with Dr. Angela.
Angela: I would want them to come and sit down and have a chat anyway, just so you open the door to possibilities. They may still just want that cleaning, but you might as well hold the door and show that you are different instead of just closing the door on a possibility.
Howard: So you would prefer that they see you and you would offer that. But if they absolutely just wanted to come in first for cleaning you would do that or no?
Angela: Well I would still have them have the new patient conversation with the receptionist even if we have just to do a limited exam to make sure that we're safe with what we're treating them for, which would just be the cleaning. I would still want them to have that conversation. That's just 20 minutes that it will take and it will find out exactly what they want. And some people are just going to be resistant because someone else has tried to sell them on something that they didn't want or they were told they needed something that they don't want. They may just have a preconceived idea that you are just like everybody else, but if you take that little bit of time to find out what they actually want you may open the door to - they may be the kind of case that you are looking for.
Howard: My question is are salespeople and leaders born that way or are they can they be created. I'm convinced I could not be a singer or a musician. I had four boys. I'm convinced three of the four can't, but I have one boy Ryan who took one piano lesson and plays like Beethoven. When I asked dentists what stresses them out the most, nine out of ten will say the staff - staff just kills them, and the same situation the staff is the patient. So can you really train someone to sell and present thirty thousand dollar treatment plans and listen to what they want? Do you think it's an achievable, learnable skill or do you think that’s something you better just have the right parents, I guess some lucky DNA.
Angela: I think you absolutely are trainable and the thing is with sales, it's not about trying to push anything on anyone, you're just asking a series of questions and finding out what they want, then you can figure out if you actually can deliver what they want. It's a simple process. It takes a little bit of patience to learn how to do it and be patient in listening to your patients but it absolutely is learnable.
Howard: Here you are right now, you're thinking well I'm going to go to the Dominican Republic, and I'm going to learn how to place implants, and I'm going to buy this CBCT, and I'm going to buy this laser and Chairside milling. Dude you're going to be that 95 percent who never sold a single 30 000 dollar treatment plan. And this little dancer Mulrooney just said she could train you for ten thousand dollars in three months and you won't do it because you're an arrogant doctor who thinks they know it all. The most successful people are humble, they listen to coaches and mentors and employees and customers, and they learn.
The people who graduate dental school and say “ Well I'm a doctor of Everything” - and most doctors when they graduate dental school they think they'll never be able to swim again because when they jump in the swimming pool they'll just be walking on water and they'll say “ You know I wish I wasn't God so I could sink down below and swim with all the other low lifes.” But you're saying it's a trainable skill. same question on staff. Most dentists after they're done with the root canal they go in their private office shut the door. When they see the hygienist and assistant going at it- in America they'd be punching each other I know in Canada they'd be hitting each other in the teeth with hockey sticks - but is that trainable? Can you take these introvert scientists who got A's in calculus and make them a leader?
Angela: It will take more time if they're not already bent towards being a leader. For example with me. I was extremely shy until I bought my practice. In high school, if I dropped my pencil on the floor in class, I couldn't even pick it up because I didn't want to draw attention to myself. And then I ended up in this practice where I was taking over from an extremely charismatic dentist, and I had to let down my guard and show them who I was and push myself past my shyness which is not something if you met me in high school, you would ever think I was able to do.
So if you actually have the will to want to learn how to be a better leader, you can do that and also have someone who can help you to learn how to do it better and learn how to manage situations. It will absolutely change the way that you are. Obviously, if you haven't had a staff before that, you've had to manage or had people that you've had to manage you're going to be jumping into water that is unknown to you. But it's not something that you can't handle. We weren't born with drills in our hands as dentists. We learned how to do that, and we learned how to get really good at it. The same thing happens with leadership, it takes practice does, and it takes education to be able to do it well if it's not in your innate nature to do it
Howard: that's so amazing the duality of the human mind; how you could be a dancer, and everybody watching you dance, but then be shy and in school when you want to pick up your pencil.
How could you get out there and dance, be the center of attention, yet in the classroom be shy to pick up a pencil?
Angela: You end up embodying a persona when you're on stage, it was a matter of "I wanted to do that" It was something that I wanted to push myself to be able to do better, but the minute I left the stage, if anyone gave me a compliment I would just shrink inside myself. I remember some of my professors saying, of all the people in my dental class if anyone was going to be a professional performer, I was not the one they would have thought would be following that path as well.
Howard: That is very interesting because you can have a character onstage and offstage; introverts do it all the time. When they walk into work, they are on stage with their employees or team and that, and it just drains them. At the end of the day they walk offstage and go home and refuel, crawl up in a book, do whatever they do- it is amazing. In another way, Disney does that. Disney is an amazing genius company and those characters out there, when they're out there they're on stage, and they're waving and they can't talk because if you're a little Korean girl and you came all the way from Seoul you don't want to hear Mickey Mouse speak English or Canadian because your whole image of this little Mickey Mouse speaks Korean to you. They go out there, but they have hundreds of little secret doorways where they can bust in the doorway, take off their hats, breathe, drink some water, go to the bathroom.
So you're saying that if you're shy, an introvert, not really a leader, that you can walk in the dental office and you're on Broadway, and you play the leader all day long even though it's not your innate personality.
Howard: Wow that is that is so cool. Back to the modules. You had the numbers, Team and Vision; you talked about the treatment plan. I love how you said "not the dictator of needs" but finding out what they want. It seems to me that 95 out of 100 dentists, come in and all their teeth are broken down; they're grinding everything, the dentist takes x-rays and doesn't have any cavities, probes no gum disease and then the treatment is an upper and lower alginate impression and make a 500 dollar Nightguard. That's how ninety-five percent of it is treated. Then you'll find these other TMJ guys who will have a 30 thousand dollar solution. How does a dentist go from a night guard to a total solution?
Angela: Part of it is education; knowing what to look for and how to solve the problem. If you don't know how to solve the problem and you see destruction everywhere, it's easy to want to just put a Band-Aid on it instead of looking at what the origin of the problem is. If you've gotten the training, let’s say it's obstructive sleep apnea, you recognize that maybe despite this destruction from their occlusion is related to that, then you can start investigating that further. You can start talking to the patient about the origins of this. Do you want to do something about it? That was part of the reason I went out and did the Kois program. The clinic that I had had so much destruction and so much phobia in practice. I was a few years out of school and didn't have the skills actually to handle what these patients needed me to handle, so I went and started acquiring those higher level skills so that I wasn't doing the Night guard putting a Band-Aid on a case that needed so much more than that.
Howard: Did you say, Kois? K-O-I-S?
Angela: Yeah, Kois
Howard: Talk about the journey with John Kois. He's a Greek. He was the person who brought Windex to dentistry. Did you see the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding?
Howard: I always teased John that he' sprays his crowns with Windex before he cements them. Anyway, talk about your journey with John Kois.
Angela: The amazing thing about his program is that it debunked a lot of we learned in school. Old research is what is taught at school. They give you the basics to survive in school, but he opens your eyes to new techniques that have been researched that are coming out, how to approach the mouth from a hole, so you're no longer looking at if they have one cavity here and one cavity there; those are just completely isolated situations, you start looking at going "this is more of a global problem than just one tooth at a time" He really takes off the rose-colored glasses, and all you can see is the problems that are there, and he teaches you how actually to solve those problems, so that you are giving the patients the best care that you can. What I love about him is his philosophy is 'the best dentistry is no dentistry' He's not trying to teach you how to sell cases to people who don't need the work. He's showing you how to identify the cases that do need the help and how to actually fix it by doing the most minimally invasive care they possibly can.
Howard: More about the journey. How many times did you go to Seattle? How much did it cost? All that stuff.
Angela: The course I think is nine modules and they are five thousand dollars apiece. I did the whole course in 13 months. The average person seems to do it in about five years. I had a fire underneath me to get it done so that I can actually start serving the patients the way that they deserve to be served.
Howard: How long is a module? Was it like the Pankey Institute Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, half day Friday? Or was it weekend so you can keep your business open?
Angela: Yeah. it's meant for practicing dentists. one module is three days. Sometimes you can put two modules together so that in five days you go through the two modules. Those weeks are very very long, and you get a lot of information stuffed into your brain, but, part of what makes them successful with their program too is how you have the hands-on while you're there as well, so you have to go through cases and figure out how you would treatment, plan them and whatnot. You're not just being given information and hoping to do something good with it when you get home, you actually were right there and then with mentors who will help guide you where you're making your mistakes so that you come home very well-prepared to serve these people.
Howard: I hope at least in one of those nine modules you drove from Calgary to Seattle because how many miles would that be. That's probably about 600 miles, a thousand? How many miles would that be?
Angela: I'm not sure, it's about an hour and a half flight, so it's not too far.
Howard: but that is the most beautiful drive in the world. I'm down here in Phoenix, and 10 percent of the homes in Phoenix are owned by Canadians because the ultimate luxury would be to live in Canada in the summers when it's 118 degrees in Phoenix and then to live in Phoenix in the winters when it's 10 below in Calgary. But a lot of those retirees, they drive either their trailer, or they got a place down here. Ten percent of homes owned by Canadians are going to go drive, and they all say that that is one of the best parts they look forward to- driving. They’re not going to buy two cars because that drive, I mean gosh, drop down into Montana and Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Grand Canyon, the mountains - it is an amazing drive. I bet the drive from Calgary to Seattle is even more beautiful.
Angela: I never did it, but I'm sure it is.
Howard: You have to do it. So are you going to do any more John? are you going to get on as faculty or any of that stuff or are you finished that and all the other things?
Angela: I am going to be talking to them about opportunities with them. Whether it's helping to coach their students to be able to implement what they're teaching there or to get on and help with the mentoring part of it. Honestly, his program changed my life, so I want to be able to help contribute to that as well.
Howard: I say the same thing about John. You know it's 45 grand to see Kois. It's ten grand to see you. They only want to buy shiny equipment. How can you get them? I've told everybody for 30 years the most measurable, no-questions-asked return on investment dentistry is a dental consultant. I always told them that. If your house is on fire, you don't need to go furniture shopping; you need to put out the fire, you get your house in order: you've got to get poised for growth. How can you and I right now help these kids listening that getting your house in order and getting your clinical skills is better than a piece of shiny equipment?
Angela: The shiny equipment is the easy part, and I think that's why people sometimes go down that pathway as well it's because you just have to put up some money and you got something to feel better about it. When you're going through a consulting program, you have to put in the work. The thing is, if you lay the foundation right now to build a strong clinic that you can train people going forward, and you have systems that are in place, and it makes it easier for you, it's worth the investment of time to get everything in place because going forward, it becomes like being on Easy Street. Just getting the equipment only gives you equipment.
Howard: You're in Alberta, ain't that where all the tar sand pits are, the oil and gas tar sandpits.
Angela: Yes well there is absolutely.
Howard: That state's been hit very hard. I mean, that's really only profitable 70 dollars a barrel. So you're actually living through a pretty strong economic recession in the province of Alberta Canada correct?
Angela: Yes absolutely. It's kind of crazy when you go downtown. You used to have to get yourself 10 - 15 extra minutes to find parking and now you can park in front of wherever you want and just walk a couple of minutes. It's still a bit scary here. People are still quite unemployed, and we've had kind of a mass exodus of people to other provinces to find work.
Howard: Wow. You're in Calgary, was most of that action in Edmonton or was it in Calgary?
Angela: It was more in Calgary. Edmonton has been hit as well because they have a lot of industry that supports the head offices in Calgary. But the head offices that's where you get cut the most when things go sideways. There have been a lot of people laid off, and Edmonton is definitely hurting as well. But Calgary is quite a bit worse off.
Howard: Last year I lectured in Winnipeg, and they just built a half-billion Human Rights Museum. When I walked in there - I'm thinking about this because you're a woman athlete, you're a dancer- and you know, you knew all the usual stories - slavery, the Holocaust, the American Indian, but one that just caught me from left field was women's athletics; how they had this display about this woman who after I was born in '62, this was going on for 10, 20 years that every time they had the Boston Marathon, it was for men only. She showed up for the race, and they had pictures of like six big fat Irish policemen, with bellies bouncing and running down the street trying to chase this little gazelle and when they caught her, they body-tackled her and arrested her. She did this every single year until they legalized women to get in the sport. I didn't realize that pretty much -I'm 55- that’s 40 years ago, probably there weren't women's sports. And if you tried, you'd have to get on the boys’ team; they'd call you a tomboy, your parents were embarrassed, they thought something was wrong with their daughter and what sounds like so insane.
Even in Phoenix Arizona. I had lunch the other day with the guy who owns the Burrito company across the street from my dental office; he's 72. So he was born in '46, and black children had to go to separate schools his whole childhood. I asked him, I said, you're Hispanic you're one of 11 children, Catholic Mexicans born in downtown Phoenix. Did you go through a lot of discrimination? He goes 'I never felt sorry for anybody but the black people. They had to go to separate schools my whole childhood, and I used to feel so sad for them because our school had a cafeteria, but the black school across the street didn't. So when we left our cafeteria, there was a line for them outside the door. And as soon as we left then they would come in and eat' Then he said 'I just looked at their faces and I just felt so sorry for them.'
Canada is amazing. So what is your next module? I know how my homies think, I know those guys. I've been a dentist for 30 years. I know they're going to say 'well you don't understand that's why he's talking about the oil sands in Alberta’ they’re going to say 'well you don't understand man. I'm in Coffeyville, Kansas and these folks down here don't have any money. You’re up there and rich old Canada you're out there in rich Calgary, you just don't get it. You're a rich Canadian. You don't know what it's like in small-town Oklahoma. They'll never be able to afford that 30000 on a case. They don't have the money.”
What do you say to that?
Angela: Well, when I bought my practice was when the global financial crisis hit. I made it happen regardless of the economy. I have lots of colleagues who had that same kind of mindset - that limiting mindset that nothing would fly and I had lots of people laugh at me when I told them what I was going to do with my practice. They thought I was insane especially in the economy and I believed in what I was going to be able to provide, and I made it happen anyway. No matter what you're facing, if you want to make it happen and you can get the education to have the tools to put in place, to make it a reality, you can do it. You just need to have some guts to be able to make it happen.
Howard: Yeah I saw this kid whining to me the other day from Childers Texas whining whining whining, and I said' hey instead of whining why don't you do this. Why don't you call me back? why don't you hang up? I want you to go get in your car, and I want you to drive down that street up there because my dad used to have a Sonic in Texas, so I said drive up and down the street. I want you to count me, how many new car lots are on Childers Texas? How many of them are selling just Ford 150 trucks? And I want you to call me back and tell me what the price. Go in there and talk to a manager. What is the price of the average new F 154 truck? You can get them strip down with nothing for 45 and fully loaded at 95. I said this town that's so upside down and bankrupt and they should just close it down. How many freaking 50 to 100 thousand dollar trucks are they selling a week and you still have not done one in your entire life.
Angela: Absolutely yeah. In my clinic, we were on the edge of the hood, and there are ten other clinics within a couple block radius, so we're surrounded by other dentists, and yet I would say we beat the odds, but we made ourselves beat the odds instead of hoping that something would happen. We chose to make it work.
Howard: So you made your own luck. What are you talking about when you talk about on your blogs about a referral hub versus marketing. So to talk about referral hubs.
Angela: If you have a skill that other dentists typically don't like to do, and I've seen other dentists do this as well. For example, one my friends like doing endodontics, so he has done his general practice about endodontics, which saves some dentist from having to send to specialists because there's a general dentist who loves doing this stuff and has a shorter waiting list, that's how he serves his community. With ours, it was I.V. sedation and sleep apnea. A lot of practices don't have it, or they don't want to have it, so they need somewhere that they can safely refer. And when I say safely, it means that they can send a patient and know that they're going to get the patient back - if they're choosing to want to have the patient back. Sometimes they would pump them to us and say we don't want to handle this case, it's too much effort for us. If it's an IV or a phobia case, they don't want to have that in their practice. It's just not what they like doing.
When you can actually put it out there to your community of dentists that you love doing this cases and you'll happily take on these cases on a referral or transfer basis, then you can actually open yourself as a referral hub to other people in your community, so that you can use your favorite skills while saving other dentists the hassle of doing those skills that they maybe don't like so much.
Howard: Now talking about I.V sedation, do you do that yourself or do you bring in an anesthesiologist?
Angela: I was doing it myself. They've changed the rules in the last few months actually in Alberta. The person doing the I.V. sedation cannot be doing the treatment. But the way it used to be was that you could be doing both simultaneously.
Howard: When did they change that?
Angela: It was just this past Spring.
Howard: Do you have anything you can post on Dentaltown under anesthesiology. On Dentaltown, we got 50 forums. The difference in Dentaltown and social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, is social media started out as an e-mail group so you would sign up dentists at Yahoo or on CompuServe and you join these groups and everytime you own your e-mail just the endless barrage of emails and that's what Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin did where just you opened up and your news feed was just endless barrage. And I don't like any of that. I always call that disorganized social media. It's a mile wide, inch deep. I'm old school. I like a message board. You open up Dentaltown. It's 50 categories - anesthesiology, root canals, endo,- but under anesthesiology, no one's posted that. Do you have anything, any website link or anything you can put on that because…
Angela: Im sure I can do that.
Howard: Thank you so much because that's a global trend. I mean England did that a few years ago, and they were actually pointing to the oral surgeons. They were saying the oral surgeon does the I.V. anesthesia, and he does the procedure, and they kill more people per million than when we go into the hospitals, and the anesthesiologist is separate, and I think it's very interesting in the United States what dentists routinely, do what oral surgeons, periodontists , people in dentistry. What they routinely do is not legal in the hospital right up to the street from their office. In fact my oral surgeon in Ahwatukee is Greg Edmonds, and he brought on a board-certified anesthesiologist over a decade ago and he did it because he says 'well I have hospital privileges at Chandler Regional Hospital and all these hospitals and what I'm doing in my office, I can't even do in the hospital. It's not even legal hospital'. So he was taken way before the times. But I think it's a trend. It's hard to say in America because America usually answer has nothing to do with truth, liberty and justice. Usually, it's 'money is the answer what's the question' So I don't know who's got the most money in this game.
If you could find something and post that under anesthesiologist that's going to spark a huge discussion, especially now. I think there are about seven dental schools who, not only afterward can you become an orthodontist, endodontist, but you can become a board-certified anesthesiologist. And those guys want to be recognized as a specialty, and they agree it's a specialty. So I'm going to ask you. you did both procedures. Now the government says checks and balance, transparency; we're looking at mortality data. You can't do this anymore. Did you agree with that or do you disagree with that?
Angela: I can see it from both perspectives. One thing that does worry me about dentists who are working on patients that are sedated that haven't done I.V. sedation training is you're not going to be as aware of the airway as someone who has done the training like I did at the University of Southern California with Dr. Malamud and he shows you the ins and outs of everything that can go wrong. So you become hyper-aware of making sure that you're clearing the airway at all times right. You actually have a suction that you can stick down the throat that goes a long way down compared to a regular suction. And you train your assistants to be aware of that as well. If I was just doing the I.V. sedation and I had another dentist doing the work, that would be my concern as the I.V. sedationist because you're ultimately responsible if there are any issues with the airway.
Howard: So you can see it from both sides. But if you were a global world dictator - absolute power corrupts absolutely - if you were the dictator of the world, what would you make it? would you make it so you could do both in the dental office?
Angela: I think it'd be nice to have it both ways. But if you're going to be doing the work and you’re not doing the IV sedation, I think you should have to have I.V. sedation training to understand the ramifications of the I.V. so that you can be helpful in the situation and help to prevent emergencies from happening because you're more aware of what could possibly go wrong.
Howard: So go back to the duality of careers. A career is also a parent, kids. so many dentists are that you're talking to right now are under 30. They got out of dental school, they decided well, let's just get some clinical skills, you know in dental school they only did 15 crowns, 50 fillings, 15 extractions, five root canals, five dentures. They're saying let me just practice my basic set and get some clinical speed. They're sitting there, and they're thinking well, I want to get married have kids, or I want to be a professional dancer, or there's another part of my life besides dentistry which I don't understand because [00:54:02]. I’m just kidding, I got four boys. How do you balance duality of careers?
Angela: Well, part of the thing is time management. If you have a certain income that you want to be making in practice, you need to be making it in a smaller amount of time if you possibly can so that you can have increased balance. There's one thing I talked to lady dentists about, which is being able to balance having kids and a husband and also owning a practice and making sure that everything is running smoothly. Most of the time they have to pay more attention to one thing, and something else falls by the wayside. And they are just run ragged all the time. If you can learn how to run your practice, even if you're an associate, learning how to be more efficient so that for every hour that you're at the practice, you're able to produce more, that will help you to get that balance in your life. And it is again a learned skill to be able to create that balance and be able to achieve everything that you want to achieve.
Howard: what's the best way for my homies to contact you.
Angela: By e-mail is great firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela: yes or they can set up a strategy call at helpgetmepatients.com. helpgetmepatients.com is the direct link to set up a strategy call.
Howard: and helpgetmepatientsnow.com is all your blogs and all the other stuff.
Angela: Yes absolutely.
Howard: And what about angelamulrooney.com? What about that website?
Angela: That one shows you the links to get to My Business Doctor as well as Unleashed Dance Company which is my dance company
Howard: being a 100 percent Irish, I recognize that your last name Morone, that is Irish, Irish and Irish
Angela: a little bit.
Howard: So were you drinking whiskey during the interview?
Angela: No I was sneaking coffee though, I have to admit that.
Howard: no real Irishman would have had a Jameson in their coffee. I was kidding. I just want to say that I can't believe we've passed an hour already. That was the fastest hour I ever did. Oh, I just want to tell you that I contacted you, you did not contact me. When I contacted her, she filed a restraining order, so that shows you this is not a commercial.
Our featured speaker is the founder of my Business Doctor Inc and Unleashed dance company. She's a dentist, business coach, and professional dancer. Please welcome the dancing dentist doctor Angela Morone.
Angela: What an honor to be here today at Harvard. I'd like to thank the entrepreneurial students club of Harvard Business School for making all this possible. I have been extremely lucky in my life. I've been able to pursue not one, not two, but three of the greatest loves in my professional endeavors. The first of which is dentistry.
Ever since my parents can remember, I've loved teeth. If you can picture me as a tiny little kid around two and half three years old, with crazy curly hair trying to charm everyone in my path into letting me play with their teeth, then that would be me to a tee. So you can also imagine the day that I finished dental school was truly a dream come true. There is something so special about working in the small confines of a patient's mouth. Intimately connected with the ebb and flow of the tissues and fluids during surgery. With their mental states through the use of intravenous sedation, and ultimately with the long-term outcome of their oral health. Every day that I got to practice, I still felt like that excited little girl. Truly, I never worked a day in my life as a dentist. I always got to play.
Dentistry led me to my second great love which is business. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. To be able to buy a broken down practice that nobody else wanted. And within a few months, I turned it into a high tech, a high-end practice that became a referral hub for many other dentists. My goal with that practice was to create a unique setting where I had a skill set, but no one else in my city had. And that quickly helped me become known and also highly prosperous. Now to be a great dentist, you have to be highly skilled. To be a great practice owner though, you have to have skills far beyond what you can ever learn on the chair. Luckily, I have amazing coaches along the way who helped me to take the hard work out of owning a practice so that I could focus on honing the high-end skills that I love to provide, while also focusing on the charismatic connection with my patients.
A few years back, I sold my practice to a large dental corporation and cashed out. To this day though, I still have patients who write to me to make sure that I'm doing OK. I have the best patients in the world. They cheered me on to success in my practice, and they continued to cheer me on in my next path which is professional dance.
And that takes me to my third love. I love to dance. I love professional dance even more. When I'm on stage, I feel like I have superpowers. I can hear the slightest conversation happening in the audience. I can control the rise and fall of emotion in those who are watching me. When I'm dancing with my partner, I am so connected to his body. And then, there's the exhilaration of feeling ultimate control over every muscle in my body as I move through the dance. Professional dance has enriched my life in ways that I could have never imagined. And the beautiful part about being a professional dancer is, I get to help enrich the lives of my students because I helped them realize potential that they never even knew they had. Now when I sold my practice to pursue professional dance, I made a pact with myself that I would come back to the industry. And I have. I launched a business coaching company for dentists to do just that. What I love most about this job is that I get to help dentists achieve ultimate potential and success in the lives and I also get to help shape the face of patient care. With my business, I'm very lucky because I get to harness technology, webinar and internet parking, marketing technology which allows me to grow my practice, while I continue to teach and travel the world to compete and train and dance. No matter where I am in the world, I'm able to connect with my clients and dancers who are on their own path to achieving greatness and freedom in their lives.
I realize I'm extremely lucky to be able to live all my dreams. And I challenge you, If you have a passion that you want to make a profession, what's stopping you. In this day and age, we have the resources and information to make any of our dreams come true. So I would like to challenge you to take a leap of faith and follow your passion to unleash your superpower.