Imagine that you are back about two decades ago, watching one of the most popular sci-fi shows on primetime television:
Theorizing that one could earn over one million per year for a lifetime, Dr. Mike Kesner led an elite group of dentists into the Arizona desert to develop a top secret project, known as QUANTUM LEAP. Pressured to prove his theories or lose funding, Dr. Kesner prematurely stepped into the Project Accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself working only two days per month, opening multiple practices, and facing a mirror image that often wore dresses. Fortunately, contact with his consultants was made through brainwave transmissions via Art, Debi, Logan, Barbara, and Greg, who appeared in the form of holograms that only Dr. Kesner could see and hear. Trapped within the grip of dentists fearful of change, Dr. Kesner finds himself leaping from dental practice to dental practice, putting things right that once went wrong and hoping each time, that his next leap will be the leap to one billion dollars.
Is Mike Kesner the new Scott Bakula? Yes, but only if you ignore the fact that Bakula later starred in Star Trek: Enterprise and let all his sci-fi potential curdle out into TV irrelevance.
I say this because over the past weekend as I was whisked off to Scottsdale to stay in the va-va chic retro Hotel Valley Ho with the rest of our dental team, the only prior connection that I’d ever made with Dr. Kesner was on the computer. Our practice has been working with Quantum Leap consultants for a few months now, trying to improve our case acceptance rates, increasing our net; you know, having to look at the money side of dentistry. Any time we had a lapse in the schedule, I’d hear a wuh WAH wuh WAH charliebrown adult murmuring from the op across the hall, or I’d pull my own training module up in front of PracticeWorks from the internet and learn tips and techniques from the video and audio recordings that Dr. Kesner has preserved for his clients. We’d all seen him by now, explaining how his systems work to make dentistry less stressful and more profitable.
But there were no special effects, no smoke, no superstar moments, no promises even. When Dr. Kesner and his consultant team hit the stage this weekend they mentioned that it wasn’t even about pearls. You don’t make big changes with pearls. You make changes with systems, and by tapping into the world of the average person, where the bread and the butter of dentistry lies, and fill the needs that patients want you to fill. People have the internet these days, can’t they diagnose their own need for a root canal?
That’s not the point though, because of course you’re going to use your own best judgement when planning treatment. And you should never compromise the care that you provide to people. Bottom line is that as long as your patients know that you’re listening to them, they’re more likely to trust your opinions and to move forward with care. There is a LOT of shady dentistry being reported lately, what with Medicare fraud and other things like the dental chain on the other side of town that seems to aggressively treat decay that your Diagnodent can’t find when patients visit your office for a second opinion.
In honor of Leap Year Day, then, I’m doing this plug for Quantum Leap Success in Dentistry. Not because I’m getting paid by my boss to bring them more business or that anyone put me up to it. I’m giving them a plug because I actually have hope. Hope that Quantum Leap will improve the culture in our practice, and hope that it will preserve the joy I get from the honor of taking care of our dental patients.
And also because at the next meeting Dr. Kesner mentioned that he might be putting on lipstick and stilettos.