One of my favorite activities when the niche journals arrive (implants, cosmetics, sedation, etc.) is to thumb through the section showing colleagues that have recently been granted a fellowship or diplomate status based on completion of requirements related to the discipline and to share my dental practice advice with my program members.
Having a few designations myself, I can personally appreciate the time, dedication, and effort that go into making those titles possible. I’m all for having extra letters after one’s name since they can add to credibility. One fact that routinely gets overlooked and which I share with my member dentists in the arena of dental practice advice is that while most peers understand what these letters mean if they aren’t presented to prospective patients in ways that matter, their impact is greatly reduced. That’s sad considering the sweat, time, and money that goes into completing advanced CE. For many colleagues, they ultimately mean no change in types of patients calling the practice needing advanced services, minimal impact on selling, and no change in income. I’ve seen docs, where more letters were actually counterproductive because of the “deserving” attitude doctors developed as the alphabet grew behind their names.
Another casual observation that I make and share as part of dental practice advice is that outside of AACD, a large part of the docs posing for these photos are not smiling nor showing a great functional, esthetic dentition. Are they unhappy or are is the walk simply not matching the talk? Either way, that one thing can sink many cases. Would you buy a new smile from someone without what’s being championed?
My dental practice advice to you is if you have advanced credentials, think about how they fit into your selling process. Make it understandable and keep repeating what they mean and why they are important for the patient. Check out my book on Amazon to get you started.
FYI: If you don’t have a selling process, perhaps it’s time to get one since credentials and how they fit inside the check-list you use to sell from is important—well important if you want to use those skills. You can find out more on my website.