Effingham, IL – A career as a dentist means balancing a passion for patient care against the perils of overseeing the business side of a dental practice. These competing priorities can trip-up even the most seasoned dental professionals. Common pitfalls for new dentists and avoiding them were the focus of LAUNCH™, a leadership conference for dental students hosted by Heartland Dental. More than 200 third-year and fourth-year dental school students applied, and just over 100 were selected for the all-expenses-paid, two-day event held in Chicago July 13-14. LAUNCH, as its name suggests, was designed to propel students’ thinking about leadership traits that can ensure a thriving dental career.
“Years ago, I noticed that new dentists tended to all have the same attitudes that I had coming out of dental school. And, they all made the same mistakes [that I did],” said Rick Workman, DMD, Founder and Executive Chairman, Heartland Dental, whose keynote opened the program. “By sharing my experiences, I knew I could help them avoid common mistakes. That is the purpose of Heartland Dental. We put dentists in a position to be more successful and happy and to have their journey through dentistry fulfill their dreams.”
Workman’s impassioned testimonial highlighted his experience growing up on a farm in rural, Southern Illinois, which he credits as the source for his strong work ethic. He said he ‘could have never imagined’ the company’s 20-year ascension from a single-practice dentist office to the nation’s largest dental support organization with more than 850 supported dental practices and 1,300 supported dentists in 35 states. He emphasized that a willingness to lead is crucial in dentistry. It requires certain boldness, or ‘confrontational tolerance’, which means standing firm in challenging the way that things have always been done in spite of opposing views.
“The biggest barrier to new learning is old learning,” he said. “As future leaders in dentistry you must challenge yourselves to think outside the box. Leadership requires us to work hard, smart, and most importantly together. Decide your goals. Identify what it will take for you to reach them, and then work at being great at those things.”
Attending students represented more than 50 of the nation’s dental schools. The conference also featured Author, Lecturer & President of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., Mark Sanborn and award-winning improv group, Second City Works. Workman’s opening presentation was followed by a day-and-a-half of breakout sessions and featured panel presentations and several networking opportunities. Watch LAUNCH highlights and learn more about the continuous support we provide doctors and their teams by visiting the Heartland Dental website.
About Heartland Dental
Heartland Dental is the largest dental support organization in the United States with more than 850 supported dental offices located in 35 states. Based in Effingham, Illinois and founded by Rick Workman, DMD, Heartland Dental offers supported dentists and team members continuing professional education and leadership training, along with a variety of non-clinical administrative services including staffing, employee relations, procurement, administration, financial, marketing assistance, and information technology. For more information, visit www.Heartland.com. Follow Heartland Dental on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.