Book Review #5:
Dental Maverick: Q&A
Tuan Pham is a successful general dentist and dental consultant who has written multiple books. This happens to be his third book under his Maverick brand simply titled; Q&A. The book is exactly what the title leads us to believe. Q&A is a collection of questions that Tuan has been asked over the preceding years regarding his approach to dental practice management. Topics range from lifestyle, to leadership, to the fine details of scheduling and daily in office protocol. The topics emphasized in the book largely veer away from clinical and focus first and foremost on the non-clinical and leadership realm.
Tuan writes in a very confident voice seemingly having the goal of empowering you, the dentist, to proudly assume the roll of being the ‘Boss.’ The general tone of Tuan’s writing and a recurring theme that we see evident from the questions which other dentists have asked in Q&A is that many dentists are not comfortable in the roll of truly being the boss – being the person where the buck stops and all the responsibility falls.
Q&A presents us with questions parleyed by specific individuals regarding their specific situations. This may lead us to believe that the answers we receive would be very detailed and specific to that one particular individuals unique situation. However, this is definitely not the case. For better or for worse — the answers are all very much generalized. These broad answers which are given allow the reader to apply the answers to their own situation and absolutely find many useful nuggets to help them as a leader and as a business owner. I can’t say if the dentist who originally asked the question would be completely satisfied with the responses in these pages. When we compile the roughly 170 pages of answers we definitely find a few themes that can help anyone advance in their professional leadership career.
Some of these basic themes that are explored in the book are as follows:
- Take true ownership over your practice. This doesn’t mean just owning the practice on paper – it means having ownership and influence over the systems and culture in your practice. Ownership over the schedule and practice style of the office. This includes not only being a leader that your staff respect, but also a leader that your patients respect and trust the word of.
- Build a quality team and lead them well. A quality team of staff will not assemble themselves. You it your job to hire, and fire, as indicated. It is your job to institute the proper training mechanisms and incentivize not only with pay, but the other things that are important for a staff member’s working lifestyle.
- Work Smarter, not harder. This is a cliche theme, but it is one that Tuan lives by and hammer’s home heavy. After all, he is the guy who is making himself famous for seeing just ~4 patients per day.
The organization of the book stands out as a glaring area in which two alterations could drastically improve the reading experience and product quality of Q&A. Specifically:
- The questions are not organized in any way what so ever. Q&A is the type of book which you will likely want to revisit in the future for wisdom and pointers. It would behoove the reading experience if the questions and answers were organized into topics such as: Staff Issues, Scheduling Strategies, Confidence, etc. However, the book is not delineated in such a manner.
- There is a fair amount of repetition in this book. Not just repetition of theme (nothing wrong with that), what I am referring to is actual verbatim word-for-word duplicates of sometimes entire paragraphs throughout the book.
Overall, Tuan has put together a solid resource in the world of practice management and ownership. The book is a fast read and something that can be used as a casual resource.
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