Chairman’s Choice: Making a great living/life in dentistry

Editor’s Note: Dr. Elizabeth Mueller, a pediatric dentist in Cincinnati, is the ODA Annual Session 2018 general chairman. Throughout the year, she will be sharing details on some of her favorite CE programs being offered during the ODA’s 152nd Annual Session, Sept. 13-16, 2018 in Columbus. Here is her second installment.

I have been thinking about dentistry since I went to dental school almost 40 years ago in 1977. I, single mindedly, honed my professional skills from 1977 to 1983, when I got out of pedo school. Then my real education started.

I quickly learned that having great clinical skills was just the ante in this complicated poker game of private practice dentistry. Managing the holy trinity of patients, parents and staff would require relationship skills that I did not have. I did not know a payable from a receivable and I still don’t know the difference between accumulated amortization and accumulated depreciation.

I found myself struggling with the business of dentistry. Sure, we have all heard the “drill it fill it bill it” rhyme. But, that assumes we have already attracted a wiling patient and knew how to handle the money when we got it. Marketing the practice, managing your business, while practicing good clinical dentistry, is REALLY HARD.

At Annual Session in Columbus, on Friday, Sept. 14, your ODA is offering many classes to fill in the gaps left by your traditional dental school education. Dr. Howard Farran is offering his ONE DAY MBA program, sharing his techniques to improve productivity and expand your business using business planning in operations and finance, e-commerce and Internet marketing. He will teach us the real reason people put off dental treatment. He will teach you how to manage your people, your time and your money. Check out his website for full course description, Come and be a “Townie” for the day and I can guarantee that you will not doze off during Howard’s presentation!

And, the ODA is also presenting Susan Gunn, THE expert on using QuickBooks in your dental practice, on Thursday, Sept. 13. With over 70 percent of practices using QuickBooks, Susan Gunn’s mission is to help dentists merge their practice management software (Dentrix, Eaglesoft, etc.) with their financial management software in “back to back accountability.” Does your QuickBooks AR match your practice management AR? Monthly? Yearly? Ever? For more information, check out her website at The course fee will include a valuable QuickBooks manual for every attendee, a $125 value!

Both of these courses will open your eyes to new ways of managing your practice and make your life less stressful, along with a greater return on your CE investment.

Come to the ODA Annual Session! Sept. 13-16, 2018.

Live podcast recording at ODA Annual Session!

Dr. Howard Farran will be recording segments for his Podcast, “Dentistry Uncensored,” on the evening of Sept. 13 in the Exhibit Hall! Save the date for this exciting opportunity.