Nov. 9, 2010
Beyond the Operatory program coaches dental professionals on how to pursue nonclinical interests for career enhancement.

As frequent readers of RDH eVillage, you have often read my "Director’s Messages" about positive change and personal growth. I recently had the opportunity to interview a long-time friend and colleague about a hugely successful program exploring nonclinical opportunities in dentistry.

“Beyond the Operatory” is hosted by Dr. Tony Stefanou and Teresa Duncan, MS, and the following is an interview with Dr. Stefanou.

Hodsdon: Who should consider taking a workshop like this?

Dr. Stefanou: Anyone who is working, or has worked, in a dental office -- dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, office managers -- who wishes to pursue non-clinical opportunities in the industry, whether they be part-time or full-time. It can be a hygienist, for example, who still loves to practice but wants to do so part-time and also wants to create one or several other income streams, perhaps speaking or writing. Or, it could be a dentist who decides he or she wants to sell their practice, and work with a dental company in product development or professional relations. It is also ideal for someone who already has started a nonclinical venture, maybe a practice management or hygiene coaching company, and wants to figure out how to expand it or how to get more new clients.

Hodsdon: What makes this workshop different from others?

Dr. Stefanou: There are other good programs in the market, especially for hygienists. Some of them focus on one or two specific things, such consulting and/or speaking. They may also work on developing certain skills, which is good. There are, however, three things that make “Beyond the Operatory” a unique workshop.

First, the program is done in a small group setting (maximum of 12 people). The setting is very casual and relaxed, and allows for a maximum learning environment.

Second, the program provides an objective and comprehensive overview of all the options out there in the dental industry. So, we present everything possible within the five major categories: speaking, sales, consulting, writing, and corporate positions. Each of these categories has subcategories as well. We spend as much time as is needed in each area based on that particular groups interest. Each attendee fills out a pre-workshop questionnaire so we know a bit more about their main initial interests, but then it is fascinating to see the light bulb go off with some of them once we present and explore an option or possibility that they hadn’t thought of, or didn’t know much about beforehand.

Lastly, the program is highly interactive. Over the 1 1/2 days, we do a series of exercises designed to determine your strengths and interests, and also to develop solid sales skills (since just about everyone, no matter which area they go into, will have to learn how to “sell themselves, their product, or their company”). The bottom line is that everyone goes home with a specific game plan which we then help achieve by coaching them and/or connecting them with others in the industry that can help them. If they are looking, for example, to find a sales or professional relations position with a dental company, I will help place them somewhere since I also run a recruiting company.

Teresa Duncan (my co-host) and I have, together, done just about everything in the industry and are well networked, so the attendees know they will get a very good amount of information and return on investment! Also, because the program is 1 1/2 days and not three to five days long, you can actually attend with a only a one night hotel stay to minimize time and financial costs.

Hodsdon: What is included in the tuition?

Dr. Stefanou: The price includes two meals, a Friday night “cocktail” hour at a nearby establishment, and a 100+ page manual jam-packed with information, including valuable resources, links, and industry connections. It also includes 30 days of follow up coaching with one of us.

Hodsdon: Where can we get more info on the program?

Dr. Stefanou: The next program is March 18-19, 2011. Workshops are held at my business office center in New York City. You can go to www.beyondtheoperatory.weebly.com for more information. Please remember that the program is limited to 12 people, so it is highly suggested to register now. You can pay the tuition in two payments as well. I can also be reached directly at [email protected] or at 646.375.2067 if you have questions.