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Patient Attraction Episode 1129
40 years ago dentistry was pretty much a completely male-dominated profession. Today, male dentists still dominate, but to a much lesser extent. Women are now about half of new dental school enrollees and roughly 30 percent of practicing dentists in the U.S. And while being female in a traditionally male profession doesn’t convey any advantage, women dentists as a group are approaching dental practice in a way that offers both challenge and opportunity for solo dentists. After the break, I’ll tell you how women are impacting the practice of dentistry.
– I’m Colin Receveur, founder and CEO of SmartBox.
– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.
– I want to start out by saying that I’m not taking sides in a male dentist versus female dentist debate.
– Women dentists will become a strong competitive force in the dental industry fairly soon.
– I’ve always believed that dentists need to know how to compete effectively.
– And in the coming years, more female dentists will also be competing against other women.
– Right now, dentistry is still male-dominated.
– One of the things about a male-dominated industry is that the older segment of that industry is also male.
– Right now, well over half of dentists under age 44 are female.
– With male dentists retiring and females making up half of dentists entering the workforce, the demographics will continue to shift.
– By one estimate, female dentists will be in the majority by 2020.
– You will almost certainly be competing against women dentists if you’re not already.
– So, where will all those women practice?
– Studies suggest that female dentists are less likely overall to open solo practices.
– Instead, they tend to form or join group practices.
– Group practices enjoy some advantages over solo practices.
– There’s just one administrative staff handling the needs of multiple dentists.
– The practice can order supplies in larger quantities, which usually means at a discount.
– Professional malpractice insurance can be obtained for the group at a reduced rate.
– The advertising budget for a group practice can be roughly the same as for a solo practice, but the group can accommodate more patients.
– And they can do it on a more flexible schedule.
– Those are some of the advantages of a group practice.
– However, for a variety of reasons, female dentists are less likely to work as many hours as male dentists.
– The average seems to be about 30 hours per week.
– There’s nothing wrong with working fewer hours, decreased availability of one or more dentists is a weakness you may be able to exploit.
– A certain segment of the population values seeing the same dentist each time.
– Corporate dentistry is famous, or infamous, for shuttling patients between different dentists.
– That’s the extreme case.
– But depending on demand at a given time, existing patients of group practices may have difficulty obtaining an appointment with the same dentist.
– If yours is a solo practice, that’s not a problem.
– If you have an associate, do your best to keep patients with the same doctors, barring emergencies.
– Promoting individualized care and consistency of provider goes a long way to keep patients loyal to your practice.
– But there are other competitive advantages for women that men will have to work to overcome.
– One is simply hand size.
– It’s not a secret that women tend to have smaller hands, and that there’s a perception that women may have a gentler touch.
– For the nervous or anxious patient, smaller hands and more gentle dentistry are reassuring.
– Obviously, it’s generally level playing field among women dentists in those areas.
– But male dentists will have to make sure that prospects know they’re gentle …
– And that longer sessions are available …
– Or that you’re fine with short breaks during procedures …
– Or that dental sedation is available …
– Or that your experience often allows you to complete a procedure in less time.
– What I’ve described so far is a piecemeal approach to competing.
– Matching your competitors point for point in your advertising is often an expensive proposition.
– There’s a much better way to compete that yields more and better new patients.
– That better way is SmartBox’s industry-leading Patient Attraction System™.
– SmartBox positions our dentists as the best and only logical choice for patients who are willing and able to pay more for the right dentist.
– Learn more about what SmartBox can do for your practice.
– Visit smartboxdental.com and reserve your no-cost, no-obligation Practice Discovery Session™.
– We’ll show you how you can double or even triple your practice – even though the face of dentistry may be changing rapidly.
– Join me for our next podcast.
– Until then, keep moving forward.