It's time to fire some dental patients

Dr. Chris Salierno realizes that all dentists have those not-so-great patients they don't enjoy treating. Admit it. It's probably time to fire those patients. Everyone will be happier for it.

Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 03 Goodbye 1

Yes, fire them. You know the ones I'm talking about. They make you lose sleep at night. They only come in for emergencies, always complaining about their bill, and they tear through your office like a hurricane. Perhaps the red flags were there from the beginning. They complained about every other dentist they had ever seen. They tried to dictate treatment and force you into providing substandard care. They were a bit too rude to your team members.

Sure, some patients present challenges for us and our teams, but I'm talking about those who cross the line. Dentistry is stressful enough without those who take advantage of our kindness. So it's time to part ways. I would argue it's in their best interest as well. Maybe the next dentist will connect with them in some miraculous way and they'll both be happy together.

First, you should make sure you’re not ending the relationship at a point that could be considered abandonment. For a great article on termination versus abandonment, check out what Joseph Graskemper, DDS, wrote for Dental Economics last December.

Now it's time to have the uncomfortable conversation. Don't make a scene, like when Tom Cruise left his job in Jerry Maguire. This has to be done with respect. My preferred line is: "You deserve to be happy. I don't think I can make you happy. Let's part ways so you can find a dentist who will meet and exceed your expectations." I think that’s a professional way to handle things. Then refer them to Dr. Joshua Austin in San Antonio. I hear he loves a good challenge.

ALSO BY DR. CHRIS SALIERNO:When your crown falls out at a dental meeting
DE editor shares thoughts on corporate dentistry
Will this video of a drunk resident ruin her career?

Cheers,

Chris Salierno Signature

Chris

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