At 42 (this month) I’m still regularly surprised by life. Having said that, I am a slow learner.
I went to London this weekend to attend the World Aesthetic congress, a sort of get together for dental nerds. Dentists are a bit of a geeky lot at the best of times, and the WAC attracts the dullest of us all to meet and debate whether a front tooth should be 10.5 or 11mm long. Cosmetic dentists don’t attract many people to dinner parties.
So I arrived on Thursday, and on the journey into to London, I’m thinking what a GREAT city this is; I promise myself I must go back more often. By Sunday, I’m squished on the Picadilly line looking at about another 100 Londoners not looking at the other 99 (hard to do), and I swear I’m never going back.
In the interim were the lectures and discussions, one of which, by Shiela Scott (http://www.sheila-scott.co.uk/) was particularly interesting. In a nutshell, Sheila trains dentists to stop thinking about what they want, and start looking at what patients really want. She has a list of 20 essential things a good practice should do, and she asks the dentists to score what we think are most important from top to bottom, and then compares that with results of patients surveys.
I did not do well.
My top 5 things I thought patients wanted:
1) Good Value
2) Painless dentistry
3) Time taken with patients to explain treatments
4) Good timekeeping
5) Emphasis on cosmetics and improving smiles
BUT what patients really want:
1) Practice that focuses on health and prevention rather than treatment
2) Meticulous sterilization and general cleanliness of surgery
3) Being seen quickly in an emergency
4) Skills and qualifications of dentist
5) Screening for Oral Cancer
Now it’s not that we don’t do these things, but I misunderestimated [sic Bush] the reality of patient priorities, as opposed to my own. Must do better!
Other things I learned: my large dog, if left alone in the front of my car for even 2 minutes, can eat the steering wheel. On the upside, it is decidedly grippy now.
And although car accessories don’t stand a chance – he’s not brave