I was introduced to Dr. Paddi Lund's book, "Building the Happiness-Centered Business," at the Pankey Institute. Before each continuum, a clinical "to do" list and a well-chosen reading list is sent to each dentist. Each book contains a wealth of knowledge and experience. I particularly like Dr. Lund's book because it is from a dentist's perspective, written with humility and humor. Dr. Lund's down-to-earth style makes it easy and enjoyable for the whole dental team to relate to and "own" the author's practical wisdom.
Dr. Lund's model for reducing destructive stress; creating positive, constructive communication; becoming more efficient and profitable; and creating a more positive and happy environment is centered around eight performance standards he calls "The Courtesy System." These standards are simple, yet profound. The entire dental team must be committed to these standards, and self-discipline is required to implement them.
In our practice, we have allotted time during our last four monthly meetings to discuss a predetermined portion of this book. We have had many laughs as we realize others have had our same experiences; we have had many serious discussions about system problems and possible solutions. We have also been encouraged as we see that many of our values have been validated. Most of all, we have learned how a simple "please" or "thank you" can express long overdue appreciation to the people with whom we spend quite a bit of our lives. Yes, I'm sure it will be financially profitable in the long run as we establish better relationships with our dental team and patients; however, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. For "The Courtesy System" to work, one's heart and mind must be centered on treating others as you want to be treated. One last thing — you have to be able to say "I'm sorry, I was wrong," and mean it.
Dr. Rebecca Box Davis
Dr. Davis graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School in San Antonio in 1984. She has practiced in Austin, Texas, at Davis and Davis Family Dental Care, LLP, with her husband, Don, since 1985.