My name is Andy Alas. Like you, I am a frequent visitor to this blog. I practice in beautiful Southern California. You may have read my blog comments under the name Dr. Andy. I accepted the challenge of submitting a blog and this is the result.
Now let’s get down to the business of dentistry. I am frequently asked to explain the best ideas that I have incorporated into my practice. These are the changes that have resulted in real practice success. One major strategy that has reaped benefits is to take Mondays off. Spend Mondays with your family or visiting friends.
Why do we take Mondays off? So we can work all day Friday and STILL have a 3-day weekend. Why work Friday? Quite simply, it is the most productive day of the week. Notice that I did not say work half a day on Friday. I mean you work a full day on Friday.
Why are Fridays so successful for our practice? It’s easy: you are closed and we are open. Try the following experiment. Call around your town and try to find a dentist in his/her office on Friday at 3 p.m. Then, call those same offices on Monday morning. You’ll notice that EVERYONE is in their office. You can imagine who turns the emergency patients seen on Fridays into regular patients. Additionally, a lot of your patients have Fridays off. Whether they work a 4-day week or their job requires them to be at work on weekends (restaurateurs, real estate agents, etc.), they are off on Friday. They don’t want to take time off from work during the rest of the week. This way, they don’t have to. You are suddenly available for “weekend” appointments without having to be there on Saturday!
Right now you are probably thinking that your patients need you there on Monday because they may have an emergency over the weekend. Really? Do you REALLY have so many emergencies over the weekend that you have to be there on Monday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.? Most dentists average one or two weekend calls per month. Besides, for most emergencies, you can call in a prescription.
“But my patients want me available all week.” They already assume you have Wednesday afternoons off for golf and that you are closed on Fridays. We just inform our patients that Monday is “Daddy Day” with my 3-year-old daughter. I really do spend Mondays with her and no crown prep is more important than that.
“But all the really cool continuing education courses begin on Friday.” Really? Every Friday has a must-attend CE course? Even though I work every Friday, if a super interesting and important course comes up, I will attend. That adds up to one or two a year.
One final reason that general dentists don’t consider is that patients want major treatment done on Friday. This gives them the chance to recover over the weekend and not miss work during the rest of the week. Oral surgeons are very familiar with this thinking and most accommodate these patients.
If you wish to do yourself a favor, start working on Friday. You will find that it is the easiest day for your front office to schedule. Your practice will be more productive because of it. But don’t give up after working only one Friday. Patients need to learn about your new schedule.
Let me know what you think.
Andy Alas, DDS