I started a podcast

Mead podcastingI don’t know if I ever had “regular” readers of The Blogging Dentist. But if I did, I probably made them think that I’m not writing any more. I’ve fallen down on the job. I’ve published inconsistently. I’ve been lame. What can I say?

Well…I started a podcast. I used to think that writing a blog took a lot of time. And it does. Kind of. But podcasting takes even more time. So the time I might have spent writing here has been spent getting a podcast up and running.

I’ve been listening to podcasts for a long time. For those who’ve never listened, a podcast is a radio show that can be downloaded from the internet. They’re usually free downloads and the best place to find them would probably be the iTunes store.

I like podcasts because they’re often done by regular folks in their spare time and this gives them a really nice authenticity. The typical podcaster is someone who’s an enthusiast on a subject (think Harry Potter, triathlons or Thai food. Or at least they used to be. A lot of radio stations and professional entertainers have come to realize the power of being able to syndicate your own show for next to nothing and have begun to use the format as well.

It’s actually a blast. I’m enjoying the interviews and discussions with my friends and colleagues. I’m enjoying the fact that I’m spreading ideas. In fact, that’s the same reason I like to write a blog here and at meadfamilydental.com.

There are a lot of similarities between blogging and podcasting. The similarities are all about being a “content creator.” So much of what dentists post on the canned “our blog” part of their websites is written by whoever it is that manages their office’s social media. When I read those blog posts they usually don’t seem authentic. I’d much rather read something a little less polished that I can tell was written by the dentist who is connected to that website.

That’s the spirit we’ve tried to bring to the podcast. The format is half interview and half group discussion. We’re interviewing people that my co-host (Jason Lipscomb) and I find interesting on topics that we find interesting. We call the group discussion “the Brain Trust.” It’s informal. Kind of like the discussion you’d have with colleagues at dinner when you’re taking some CE.

The DentalHacks PodcastThere are a lot of laughs and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Which some may consider a fault. I think it’s our biggest strength.

So, go check out our podcast. I think you’ll enjoy it.

And I’ll try to start posting more here, too.

 

Reasonable

I’d like to think I’m a pretty good dentist. I’ve developed my skills with practice and a constant drive to learn. I’ve hired and retained an office team that really goes the extra mile for patients. But above all, my goal has been to be reasonable person with an equally reasonable team. I think patients like dealing with an office full of reasonable people.

What do I mean by this? Well, if I put a filling in last year and a piece of it breaks off…I’m going to fix it for you and not charge you for it.

Could we charge for a new filling? Sure. Probably some would. Frankly, if a filling of mine comes out in a year, I can’t help but think that something went wrong with the placement of it. In most mouths, a filling should last awhile. How long? Well, that’s a complicated question. But let’s just say a year is usually too short of a lifespan for a filling.

Another example of reasonable. It’s the holidays and you’ve got a day off. This is your one day to knock out all the Christmas shopping. You remembered that you had an appointment with us when you woke up, but time just slipped away from you. You check your cell phone and realize that your appointment was an hour and a half ago and you completely missed it. You call in a panic and Kathy teases you and sets up a new appointment. Can we charge you a late fee? Absolutely. Will we? Probably not. Why not? Because we’re reasonable.

Being reasonable is one of the things that makes me enjoy being human. Sometimes all it takes to make someone’s day better is being a little flexible about expectations. Everyone has a occasional bad day. Sincere apologies are worth their weight in gold.

Of course this totally goes both ways. I like to brag about how my office runs on time. Often we run ahead of time. I only see one patient at a time, so the time that we reserve is actually reserved especially for you. Every once in awhile…I get behind. Usually it’s a procedure that went much longer than I expected or a dental emergency that just couldn’t wait. Every time this happens, it throws me off my game. I hate being behind. I almost always walk out into the waiting room to apologize and let the patient know what’s happening. I can’t remember a time when the patient gave me a hard time. It’s because most people are reasonable.

Very occasionally we run into patients who aren’t kind and understanding. In fact, they’re just unreasonable. I have quite a few stories of patients who’s expectations were unrealistic and they were happy to tell me about how I had failed them.

I’m not going to tell you those stories, though. Why? Because I’m a reasonable person and it doesn’t help to dwell on them.

Instead, I’m just going to ask myself a question. When I’m in a situation where I’m unhappy with the service I’m receiving…am I being reasonable?