Dental Insider Blog

Observation and Commentary On the Dental Industry

Exceptional Dental Practice Management

Posted by dentalinsider on January 24, 2007


A few months ago, I came across a blog entitled “Exceptional Dental Practice Management” written by Linda Zdanowicz. Linda is a certified dental practice administrator/dental assistant with 15 years experience. I found her postings to be extremely well written and very to the point on a variety of subjects relating to her experiences in dental practicemanagement. I did a mini email interview with her last week, and it went as follows.
How long have you been writing your blog?
I have been writing my blog since Aug. 2006.

How and why did you get started writing it?

I was at a very difficult time in my career. I had been at the practice I work in for 7yrs. – 5 yrs. as the only assistant and then 2 yrs as the only assistant and manager. We had tried a few people in the assisting position with no luck. I felt pressure from my boss to complete the staff but knew I did not want someone who did not care about our pts. or who would lower the common denominator of our staff. At the same time my children were growing up and leaving home, my husband travels 80% of the time for business and I had a tremendous amount of interest in and energy to devote to dentistry and managing this practice. It was too much of a good thing going in one place. A very good friend and mentor suggested I start a blog. That not only diffused some of my intensity at work, it opened many new opportunities for me. I was then able to look at what I was doing at work and see where I could make changes for the better.

What is the future of your blog in the next 1-2 years?
I would like to have my readers become a little more interactive. I can only write about what I know people want to hear about if they ask questions and give opinions. I don’t even mind criticism because that is when we learn the most. If someone bothers to pass on a critique, I tend to assume that somewhere in there, a desire to communicate is overruling a desire to injure.

How many readers do you have at this point?
I’m not quite sure. My site meter says I’ve had 5,000 visits.

Did your writing of this blog help land the offer to write for Dental Office Magazine?
In a way. My first article is actually coming out this month in Contemporary Dental Assisting on patient care coordinators. I responded to a request in the magazine for writers and submitted the article. I also had the opportunity from them to give my first speaking presentation at the Holiday Dental Conference in Nov. My next article will run in Dental Economics in March and is entitiled Aristotle, DDS. I am very excited about that one because I reference the material from the book “If Aristotle Ran General Motors” by Tom Morris. Tom has been incredibly generous to me since I contacted him after reading the book. My boss had suggested I read it when I became office manager and it greatly influenced my life. I am excited to be able to introduce Tom’s ideas to people in the dental field. I have seen the difference it has made in our staff and know it can help others identify the traits and character that they want in their practices. The offer from Dental Office came as a result of the article for Dental Economics. That will start as a series based on the Other Side of the Chair series from my weblog. I had written to Dr. Blaes and asked him if he would like me to write an article and suggested he look at my weblog. He said yes.

Any advice you would like to offer for someone wanting to get started writing a blog?
Write what you feel strongly about, write from your heart, not your ego, and be honest with yourself and your readers. Use things in your everyday life and you will find that you have more awareness about what happens to you and why it happens and how you respond. I had no idea what a blog was, how to write one or who would ever want to read it. My first few posts were pretty pitiful. Don’t think you need experience or special training. I have a high school education and a year of Dental Assisting school. That’s it.

Any other thoughts that you care to share.
My friend Ed Brenegar got me started on my blog. I was in a real dilemma in my professional life and I now know I was looking outside myself for the reasons. Yes, there were many challenging facets, other people’s personality issues, very unusual circumstances, but, it was the responses that I was choosing that were making my life more difficult. At one point, I was sure that not only would I not be able to stay in my job, I was sure I would have a very difficult time finding another job that I would enjoy. I had a job I loved and worked for a person I had great respect and regard for and I was destroying it because I was positive I was right. Writing my blog took me a few steps back from all that and helped me see other aspects of it. I am lucky in that when I write it just flows from me and I find my answers that way. I sometimes solve problems I didn’t know I had. It has been a great outlet for me and if anyone reading it learns from my mistakes then I am happy to be honest about them and share them in that forum. I am always aware and thankful for the wonderful people who helped me when I was down, stood beside me when they didn’t even agree with me and showed me better ways to go.

Stop by Linda’s site and spend a few minutes reading some of her postings. For those of you in sales, jot down the website address and pass it along to some of your dental offices, I know many of them can use some of the ideas and information that Linda provides.




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