We’ve all been there: Somewhere around 10pm on New Year’s Eve, you start to think about how you’d like to show up in the world once the clock strikes midnight and a new year has begun. According to Forbes, 40% of all Americans make New Year’s Resolutions (for comparison’s sake, less than 35% watch the Super Bowl). If you’re a dental professional, chances are you’re also thinking about some resolutions before the ball drops. Beyond losing a few pounds, saving a few dollars, or learning a new hobby, we’ve looked at some ideas for how you as a dental professional can make an impact in 2018.
1. Promote your practice
Sometimes it feels like you don’t need to market your dental practice when your patients are already keeping you busy as-is, but continuing to market yourself as a dental professional is essential not only for finding new patients, but also for strengthening relationships with your current patients. If you don’t already have a Facebook Business page, now’s a good time to set it up. A new year is a good time to reevaluate your practice website to see if it’s time for a refresh. Or if you’ve been considering a blog for a while, now is the time to start.
2. Know what’s going on in your world
Set aside some time to catch up on Dentistry Today, The Daily Grind, or the ADA’s latest news. Try using an app like Evernote to “clip” articles you want to read as you see them, and then dive in on your morning commute, over lunch, or after dinner. If you’ve been considering blogging (see above), this can be a great reason to keep on top of your learning goals — the more you read, the more blog ideas you’ll find. Or, you can pair up with a friend (or two) for a monthly discussion on what caught your eye. Which brings us to…
3. Network, network, network
Networking is great for two reasons (among many): It’s good for developing your career and broadening your circle of contacts, and at the same time sometimes it’s only fellow dentists who understand the ins and outs of your world. Meetup has a category for dental professionals, and there are plenty of dental conferences coming up in 2018.
4. Take care of your own oral health
As a dental professional, it’s easy to put the oral health of your patients, family, friends, and colleagues ahead of your own. But remember to carve out time for yourself as well! After all, you know how important it is to stay on top of your checkups and morning and evening routines.
5. Take care of the rest of you, too
Don’t forget about your other health priorities. That includes getting your annual physical exam, but on a day-to-day level that also means getting a good amount of sleep, exercising regularly (staying in shape plus the endorphins is a great combination), and finding time to rest your busy mind. The more you take care of yourself, the better you’ll be able to take care of others.
6. Recommit to your patients
As we mentioned in #1, part of your success as a dentist is in cultivating new patients, but part of it is also in maintaining relationships with your current patients. If you didn’t send a holiday greeting, January is a good time to wish them a Happy New Year (and remind them that a new year means new chance for a cleaning). Follow up with patients you haven’t seen in several months, and check in on those who have recently had major procedures. Listening to their questions and treating them as partners in their own health goes a long way towards fostering loyalty.
7. Recommit to your community
And thinking beyond your practice, you’re part of a wider community. There are many ways you can volunteer and give back to the community supporting your work and the work of your practice, including volunteering your services to someone who is in financial need and has a permanent disability, is aged 65 or older, or who is medically fragile — you don’t even have to leave this website to do that! Click here to learn more about volunteering with Dental Lifeline Network.