There is an “I” in a team. 

TEAM- Together Everyone Achieves More, this couldn’t be more true in everything and anything that involves working with other people especially in our own practices. On all levels of practice- big ones that involves multiple associates, allied support staff, etc or even if you work alone in the office without any staff, you will still have to deal with a “Team”- Dental Technicians, Dental Representatives and your most important team mate- The Patient! For sure, you will never work alone as a dentist. ​

However, for dentists who have built their own private practices or are planning to build their own, the single most important part of that team is actually YOU! Yes, you! You are the leader and the commander of the team and whatever direction you take or decisions you make will have a great impact on your practice in the long term or the short term. 

In your practice, YOU should be the “I” on the Team: 

I should be knowledgable - You cannot see what you do not know. As the leader of the team, you should regularly update your knowledge and skills so that you can also be more keen and meticulous in your practice. One lecturer that I attended to said: “If you know something, you will see it, you will understand it, and you will be responsible for it”. We owe it to our team mate (the patient) that we will be providing them with the possible prognosis in our treatments. 

I should be an inspiration- Your team mates (the patient, the staff, your associates) should be able to look up upon you as an inspiration. Not because you are the best, but because you are able to bring up the best in them. Ask and listen to what they have to say, and inspire them to become better than what they are today. You can never imagine the impact our treatments have on our patients. Some of them describes it as “life changing”. 

I should be a leader- Take responsibility and make the bold decisions, but only after you consulted and heard your team. You are to LEAD, not to RULE. The best way to lead is to show how you can do it. In my office, I still take part in washing the instruments or sweeping the floor, because I want to lead by example. You wouldn’t expect people to do stuff that you are not willing to do right? 

In the end, the secret in effectively working with people is by leading and enriching the TEAM! 

Dr Kimberly Ray Fajardo 
Guest Editor