How DSOs are keeping dentist autonomy top of mind

DSOs can offer needed support to dental practices, but how are they ensuring dentists' autonomy?

Three DSO leaders weighed in to answer: "How do you keep dentist autonomy top of mind in a DSO environment?"

Editor's note: This piece was edited lightly for clarity and brevity.

Mick Janness. CEO of Oakpoint (Raleigh, N.C.): The expression "to carry the weight of the world on one's shoulders" comes from the Greek myth of Atlas. Until the advent of dental support organizations, dentists have felt like Atlas, carrying the weight of being the sole producer in their practice while also running the office as the CEO. At Oakpoint, our delivery model provides dentists with the clinical autonomy they so desire while supporting them in all their nonclinical functions. We work directly with each doctor and define what this means on the front end. By leveraging open book management, the EOS/traction operating platform and focusing each day on serving with open, honest and ethical communication, we achieve an autonomous environment.

Deborah Brown, DMD. CEO, My Community Dental Centers (Petoskey, Mich): At My Community Dental Centers, we keep dentist autonomy top of mind through relationship building. Our operational and clinical teams play a key role in supporting dentists from their first day of onboarding and throughout their entire time with us. On a day-to-day basis the teams are available to offer guidance and assistance in all areas. This allows our dentists to remain autonomous but also deliver quality dental care in line with our mission. We all feel that it is important for dentists to have the ability to perform their own treatment planning along with having their scheduling preferences honored. Dentist autonomy increases quality of care and enhances the relationship with patients. MCDC continues to look at ways to improve support for our valued dentists and keep their autonomy at the forefront.

Kelly Jastremski, DDS. CEO, P1 Dental Partners (Indianapolis): Keeping doctor clinical autonomy is critical and is best accomplished by not having quotas for specific procedures. Additionally, not having corporate management, especially those without clinical experience, questioning doctors' proposed treatment. Expecting practice growth is reasonable and best accomplished by clinical diversification and efficiencies. The goal should be understanding what a doctor wants to learn and then supporting that interest with appropriate [continuing education] or partnering them with a mentor.

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