Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Happy Wednesday,

I wanted to open up discussion about the last blog. I got some comments that I wanted to respond to.

I talked again to my front desk person and asker her flat out, "Are you messing with me or exaggerating a bit about the five fillings in 11 years?" She said she was not exaggerating and that he never did fillings.

"So he basically just did crowns all day?"

"Yep, and root canals. He had three assistants and they cranked out crowns all day long" she finished with.”

I thought about it. That place is basically a clinic. They get a treatment plan that is 5 crowns at $800 a piece (which would be very cheap in my area). The patient thinks something isn’t right, so they call my office..

What do you think they are going to say? They don't say they need a second opinion. They ask how much I charge for a crown. My people say, "$115,0" and they hear a click on the phone. The patient goes running back to their dentist thinking they are getting a great deal where they are at. They don't think to ask if they really need the crown or not.

So after the blog and before my vacation, I called the board of dentistry and I talked to a very nice lady. I explained to her my story and told her I had enough of letting these things go. She was taken aback by my story. She ended up telling me that there are rules and guidelines that she must follow.

The only way to file a complaint and to open up a file is for a patient to file a complaint. She said she can't just barge into an office and demand to look through a dentist’s charts. On an side, we need to stop worrying about this happening to us. I know they brainwashed me in dental school about "the man" coming in and going through our charts, but it is not going to happen.

I guess a dentist can't tell on another dentist. So if you are an associate of a guy who you think is a shyster and you quit, then you think about all the patients he scammed and you want to do something, you can't. You have to get a patient that is unhappy and get them to call.

But then again if me and another dentist had a disagreement and we parted ways, I guess I am protected from him having an axe to grind against me. The rules go both ways.

But that still doesn't stop Dr. Crown. Do I let it go? Am I trying to be too righteous? Am I Super Dentist, trying to save all of mankind from the evils of the world? Yes, I think I am, to all of them (well, no to the first one and yes to the rest).

It is not over. I am going to start by going to the peer review in my area. The clinic that this guy works for is owned by a guy that I know. I know him because he is in one of my Bible studies. I have met him a couple times. He started this thing about 22 years ago and there are about 25 locations around town.

Now, I guess I can go and talk to him. But maybe he doesn't even own the thing anymore. Maybe he doesn't know this kind of thing is going on (yeah, right), but I think as a "brother" I have to confront him. I will let you know.

On to the returning of the Ryobi. I have a friend who is a small business owner. He competes with places like Home Depot. You can imagine if you have a small business that competes with Home Depot, you might be a bit angry with Home Depot.

It is like a mom-and-pop grocery store next to Winn-Dixie. How does the mom-and-pop store compete? We have talked about this before. Taking things back is just another way of Home Depot squashing the little guy. The mom-and-pop grocery store can't take a gallon of milk back because you let it sit in the kitchen and forgot to drink it before it expired, but Winn-Dixie can.

He told me, "John, you screwed up, you should pay for it. Don’t give Home Depot a chance to take the loss; they’re just going to pinch Ryobi for it.” And I started to think maybe he was right.

I was having a discussion with someone that used to work for Sears and he said Ryobi has a customer screwing up fee added to the cost of the machine to Home Depot. I know that if no one screwed up then everyone would get the product a little cheaper, they put it into the cost of the product. It is like the cost of doing business.

Just like Dr. Joyce was talking about. You give the guy a discount because he was
honest. It is in lieu of marketing. Getting a raving fan by giving him a discount. I do it all the time.

I know what my friend is saying. I know that Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot, Winn-Dixie, are pinching the little guy. Trust me, I hate it for my friend.

What about LL Bean? They have a LIFETIME GUARANTEE on all their products. LIFETIME! The shoes could be 20 years old and they will take them back. You could accidentally run over a chair with your car and they will take it back. But you look in their catalog and guess what? LL Bean is just a little bit more expensive than the next guy. What if I ripped my shirt on a nail as I walked into the garage? "Sir, just send it back."

I am not going to be angry with Home Depot for taking care of me. I am not going to take the money into the store and demand that they take my money. I don't know how to rectify this with him. But I know I am going to get an email before the day is out. I will let you know how it goes.

Hey, have a great Wednesday.

See you Friday,



drtom said...

john - question, if your "brother" still owns the clinic, would you believe him if he had "no idea" that this was going on. i would hazard to guess that he might also own the lab which services his multi-practices. i only say this because i used to be a disgruntled employee of one of these such operations where the owner doc made a killing from the over-priced lab work while paying the associate docs less that 35% production, minus their lab fees. so in your situation, i think the only way the doc makes money is to do a high value procedure, rather than a filling. i'm not condoning it, just my take. i also agree that a peer review may be in order. however back to my original question, if the associate is making that owner doc a lot of money, it might make it easier for him to look the other way. again, based on my experience.

Anonymous said...

I tried to post a response and it asked me if I wanted to create a blog. I would just let the other dentist thing go since you cannot prove anything anyway.

As for your upset friend, that is his problem he cannot compete with Home Depot not yours. If you feel that bad give your friend the money and see what he does with it.


PLEASE NOTE: When commenting on this blog, you are affirming that any and all statements, and parts thereof, that you post on “The Daily Grind” (the blog) are your own.

The statements expressed on this blog to include the bloggers postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), nor do they imply endorsement by the AGD.