There are several reasons why we do it. I believe dentists prejudge patients because, firstly, they care about them and don’t want them to suffer financial hardships, and secondly, because of doctors’ fear of rejection. During 10 years of in-office consulting, I have discovered that when a client overcomes prejudgment, their practice effortlessly blossoms, growing by $100,000 to $200,000 in just 1 year.
WHY THESE REASONS CAUSE PREJUDGMENTAL BEHAVIOR
Fear of rejection. No one likes being rejected. How many times a week do your patients say, “Doctor, I like you and your staff, but I hate coming to the dentist”? I imagine your answer is “too often.” We all know hearing that never makes anyone feel good.
Dentists and staff are caring people. Because many doctors and staff genuinely believe dentistry is expensive, the tendency is to do what they can to reduce the financial burden for their patients. Certainly this motivation is honorable. The result is the presentation of less-than-comprehensive treatment plans.
Assuming patients understand the very real consequences of dental neglect. This happens because dental professionals are so aware of the consequences that they forget most patients just don’t have a clue. The fact that nearly 40% of America’s population don’t see a dentist on a regular basis tells us this. By comparison, how many dentists or staff don’t brush and floss on a regular basis? None. However, hygienists tell me fewer than 30% of their patients consistently brush and floss daily, and these are people who come for regular hygiene appointments.
HOW TO OVERCOME PREJUDGMENT QUICKLY: NEW ATTITUDES
The key to overcoming prejudgment is adopting new constructive attitudes you feel are clinically, morally, and ethically correct. Some call it adopting a new perspective. From my point of view, it’s about adopting new constructive beliefs that support the long-term best interests of patients, dentists, and staff—the “win, win, win” philosophy.
Here are five attitudes to overcome prejudgment:
So you’re thinking, this is all well and good, but what do I do tomorrow to begin the process of overcoming prejudgment?
Mr. Johnson is an in-office consultant and speaker with clients in 36 states. His focus is on fee-for-service dentistry through leadership, effective communication, and team motivation. He has coached over 55 comprehensive cosmetic care/treatment planning study clubs. He can be reached at (800) 371-3147 or GLJseminars@msn.com.