Our guest this week Dr. Tuan Pham, DDS chats with Shaun Keating about the importance of customizing your learning methods that benefit both your schedule and your lifestyle. Dr. Pham also talks about the importance of always evaluating your current situation and determining when its time to invest in CE or new technology. Lastly, how creating an insightful learning experience rather than just another “event for dentists” helped him launch his Annual Dental Maverick Summit.
In this Episode you will hear about:
-Creating an environment that works for you!
-Personalizing your own way of learning.
-The Importance of having a good perspective on your career.
-The Power of creating an Experience rather than just another Dental Event.
For more information on Dr. Tuan Pham and his practice click here: http://circlecdental.com
For more information about Dental Mavericks check out this link: https://dentalmaverick.com
Follow Dr. Pham and his Practice on Instagram by clicking here: https://www.instagram.com/circlecdental/
Host: Ladies and gentlemen, this is The Dental Up Podcast, brought to you by Keating Dental Lab, a full-service, award-winning dental laboratory. Each week, you’ll learn tips and techniques from real-world dentists, bringing you in-depth interviews, motivating stories, current events, and sports. Here’s your host, Shaun Keating.
Shaun Keating: Hey, everyone, Shaun here. Welcome to another episode of The Dental Up Podcast. Our guest this week graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School. He was named one of the top 40 dentists under 40 and is the founder of DentalMaverick.com. Currently practicing from Austin, Texas, please welcome Dr. Tuan Pham, DDS. How’s it going, Dr. Pham?
Dr. Pham: I’m doing great. How are you?
Shaun Keating: Oh, dude, I love you, man. I had you a couple of years ago on this and you’re just a fricking rebel, man. You’re a rock and roller, you’re a full-on entrepreneur. I love how you practice dentistry and it’s an honor to have you on the podcast again, man.
Dr. Pham: I appreciate the invite. Thank you.
Shaun Keating: That’s so cool. Well, hey, I always start off talking a little bit about sports real quick, and I know you’re out in Texas and you love your Longhorns and all that. What do you think, man? Do you think they’re going to be any better this year? They had a tough year last year I think.
Dr. Pham: I’m a fan. I can only hope for the best, but you know what? I feel like my year is about to get towards the end because September rolls around, it’s football season. I love it.
Shaun Keating: I know you Texas [crosstalk 00:01:39]-
Dr. Pham: Of course.
Shaun Keating: You guys love your teams. Dallas and… heck, with the NBA Playoffs, I really thought Houston was going to go and do better than they did-
Dr. Pham: Well, they blew it. They blew it. They blew it that last game. I hate to say it. I want Texas teams to win, but they simply blew it.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, and then I hear Chris Paul is… Chris Paul argues with everybody and whatever team he’s on and I just think Harden is a stud, but I don’t think Chris Paul is all that, and then you’re watching it right now, Golden State is waiting. They’re resting and, God, last night Toronto beat Milwaukee. Man, they’re up 3-2, man. They could be in the big dance for the first time ever. Toronto and-
Dr. Pham: Oh yeah.
Shaun Keating: What’s his name, Drake? Sitting there massaging the coach’s shoulders and stuff. That’s kind of crazy, man, but what else we got? We got Indianapolis 500 is on Sunday. I remember I was there last year and that was so neat. I loved seeing that. What a great race, but-
Dr. Pham: You should take one of your cars out there, just join them.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, I wanted to. I actually had… We were supposed to deliver… I’ve had this car being built for me over in Europe, in England, and we got it finally [crosstalk 00:02:54] down to the U.S. and we’re still trying to get it registered, but it was supposed to be in the Indy 500 Parade. The Keating Bolt it’s called. The Keating Super Cars, man. Another venture, but that’s a trip, man.
Shaun Keating: Anyways, dude, let’s go ahead and Dental Up. Dr. Pham, tell me a little bit about real quick on why you got into dentistry, and at what point did you think, “I want to be a dentist”?
Dr. Pham: Honestly, I tell you how I became a dentist. I was in college, I had like 80-something hours and all I knew at that point was I was loving college. I was drinking a lot of beer, having a good time, and then the advisor lady… That was literally what I was doing… The advisor lady was like, “Hey, you got 80 hours. What are you going to do with your life?” I was like… Her name was Judy, and I was like, “I don’t know.” She’s like, “You better think about it.” I remember looking at her and I was like, “All right, give me two weeks, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to to do.”
Dr. Pham: I remember going back to my dorm room, because I was living in the dorm because I didn’t want to… it was close, I could take a nap between classes. I was like sitting there and I remember I was like, “Man, what do I want in my life?” Then, I was like, “I don’t want to be like my Dad. He’s like in this cubicle. He stares at a computer all day.” That’s all right, but I don’t want that, but then I was like, “I really don’t want to work on Friday. I want a three-day weekend.” I was like, “Who has a three-day weekend?” I’m like, “You know what? Dentists have a three-day weekend, I know that because we never get Friday appointments.” I’m like, “I’m going to be a dentist.”
Dr. Pham: I remember I came back to the lady two weeks later. I was like, “I’m going to be a dentist.” I looked it up and I’m like, “I know there’s a dental test I got to take. I’m going to take the dental test and I’m going to be a dentist.” She was like, “All right.” I don’t even think she probably thought I was serious, but there we go. I studied for the test, I took the test, I kicked butt on it, and I was like… I got in all the Texas dental schools and I was like, “All right, now what?” Let’s got to dental school.
Shaun Keating: That’s a great story. Dude, you should go see if that Judy is still there after all these years. Well, not that many years-
Dr. Pham: I know.
Shaun Keating: You’re so young, but you should go say, “Judy, hey, man, I’m rocking and rolling as a dentist [crosstalk 00:05:07]. Here’s five grand for you because I’m just thankful”… No.
Dr. Pham: I know. I should go find her. I should go back on campus if she’s still there and be like, “Is this Judy lady still here? Where is she? I want to see her. Thank you.”
Shaun Keating: I want to hook her up with her grill. I remember she had a snaggletooth back then, and let’s hook her up. Oh, man, that’s so cool, dude. The Longhorns, man, what a great school in Austin. I’d never been to Texas and I went to your Dental Maverick Program a couple of years ago and I went down with my wife. One of my best friends I went all the way through elementary, through high school, he moved out to Austin after graduating in like 1980 and he’s been there ever since, but what a great town What a party town. What a good food town, too.
Dr. Pham: Oh yeah.
Shaun Keating: Just the [crosstalk 00:05:56]-
Dr. Pham: We got Franklin’s Barbecue here.
Shaun Keating: Dude, and we [crosstalk 00:05:58]-
Dr. Pham: We got a lot of food here.
Shaun Keating: The week that we went down there, they were closed. Man, they closed a couple of times a year, and the time I came they were closed, so we went to like two or three different places that the locals kind of say are even better than Franklin. I don’t know about that [crosstalk 00:06:12] I never been to Franklin, but one thing I did remember it was just so neat. It was so hot, I remember that one Friday we had a little bit of time before your program and everything, and so we went into the State Capitol and just the history of that. Hundreds of years going back and all the different Presidents and all the different guys that ran all of Texas.
Shaun Keating: What a great historical… We went on a tour and it was really neat because it was all air-conditioned inside and so I’m saying, “We’re hanging out here for a while, baby, because it’s hot out there.” Unless I’m by a pool, I better be in the AC, so sure enough, but what a history. Texas, oh man, they are just… they rock, man. They are really solid. Just learning all that I should have learned in school. I kind of learned it that day and what a great history you guys have and what a great capitol. It’s just unbelievable.
Dr. Pham: Well, I think they say… they’ve been saying something like… I think it’s like 110, 120 people per day move to Austin. It’s insane.
Shaun Keating: You guys and Nashville are like the two hottest places for all the younger people. It’s a trip. My sister and her husband, their kid just kind of all graduated college and everything and so they’re moving out to Nashville themselves. It’s kind of a neat thing how you got these different places that are kind of blowing up and just cutting edge with technology and businesses going to both you guys and Austin and like Nashville and some of these other places. It’s kind of neat to see it that they’re thriving like they are, man. That’s totally cool. Same thing with Nashville. They got a good music scene. You got your Austin City Limits-
Dr. Pham: Oh yeah.
Shaun Keating: Nashville’s got all their honky tonk and-
Dr. Pham: The Grand Ole Opry.
Shaun Keating: They got great food, too. Barbecue, man. You get that brisket or some riblets, man, I’m in heaven. That’s awesome.
Dr. Pham: You know what? I got to hand it to like vegetarians. They got the willpower. I smell some… Ooh, I smell some barbecue, some steaks, I got to eat it!
Shaun Keating: I know, I’m telling you, man. I got to put the fork down. I’ve been eating a little too much of that barbecue.
Dr. Pham: You ever get the meat sweats? You ever get the meat sweats? You know what I’m talking about?
Shaun Keating: I don’t know. Is that what they’re called? Meat sweats? I just get the sweats when I get excited [crosstalk 00:08:38]-
Dr. Pham: Yeah. No, no, no. When you eat like a ton of barbecue or meat and then you go to sleep, I swear you get like weird dreams or you just feel like you’re sweating out the meat. It’s like the meat sweat.
Shaun Keating: I thought that was just normal.
Dr. Pham: No, I don’t know. I get it [crosstalk 00:08:55]-
Shaun Keating: I’ve had that all my life I thought. That’s funny. No, I sleep like a baby. A big ol’ fat baby, that’s for sure. Dude, so tell us… let’s go through a little bit of this and then we’ll get on with Dental Maverick program, but tell me a little bit about your practice. Did you start out as an associate? Or did you just go right on in and purchase your practice? Tell me a little bit about your own practice and everything.
Dr. Pham: Well, I’m like most docs. When I graduated once again from school, I was like, “Man, I got a job”, and really what was most important in my mind was like, “I got some beer money and I got my own nice place now”, which at that time was all relative. I had a big apartment, but for me that was like, “Yay! This feels awesome.” Like most people, I’m working for other docs and it was nice. I learned a lot. I learned early on, kind of started noticing what I didn’t like about how practices were run. I started thinking about, “Why do they do stuff like this?”
Dr. Pham: I think I mentioned this to you before, but I worked at cush fee-for-service office, and then one day I lost my job because the office was sold [crosstalk 00:10:02]. It’s not their fault. I was offered the office at one point to buy, but you know what? I saw this note for this huge loan for this office and I just didn’t… I was just fresh out of school. It’s a very nice office, actually, very well-run office, but it’s just too much for me to handle. That reality struck me in the face because I had no job and I was like, “Uh-oh. What do I do now?” It’s like your parents kicking you out, you know?
Shaun Keating: Yeah.
Dr. Pham: In the moment, it’s not good because you’re freaking out, but in hindsight, it’s glorious. It’s great. If I never got kicked out of that I just had an associate job, I’d still probably be doing that and being ho-hum just going through life.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Pham: Not being like you, building a bad ass lab, you know?
Shaun Keating: Yeah. No, everything happens for a reason, and it’s not by chance. That was meant to be, but I hear you on that on how if that didn’t happen, you’d probably be working like stuff going on with me at my old job.
Dr. Pham: I’d be like a drone. I’d just be working. There’s nothing wrong if that’s what you want, but it made me realize that’s not what I wanted, so I was like, “I got this fire”, and then I was like, “All right, well, this means I got to go out on my own”. In the meantime, I started hunting for building my own practice. I knew that I should try out different types of jobs, so I worked in a super busy Medicaid office, triple booked. I worked in like high volume… just an insurance office, and that gave me some strengths and weaknesses. It taught me what I liked, and then I found the perfect spot relative quote unquote “perfect” for myself, which is my current practice. I opened it and then I said, “You know what? I didn’t like working super high volume.”
Dr. Pham: I like slow practice. I like chatting with people, and I think most dentists are a little obsessive. I’m obsessive about certain things and I like to like get it just right like I want. I’m always envious of dentists that can kind of suppress that in their mind, but I can’t. I just got to do something a certain way when I work on a tooth. I knew that for me to enjoy work or at least allow that portion of my brain to appease itself, I had to work like a lower volume office. I said, “You know what? I’m just going to go with who I am.” I created this office. It’s fee for service. I do my job as I want. I get paid nicely and I do great work for patients.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Pham: I’m not one of the superstars of the world in terms of the work that I do, but how do I say this? I put the best effort in my work and I’m proud of it.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Pham: I enjoy it. I really enjoy going to work.
Shaun Keating: That’s so cool, and you really are crushing it. Before we get into the Dental Maverick, how did you get all the knowledge with the CE that you’re starting off with? How did you develop into the Dental Maverick Program that you started? Tell us a little bit about your journey before you started Dental Maverick and why you started Dental Maverick if you could.
Dr. Pham: Like I was saying, I’m kind of obsessive. I’m like a nerd about some stuff. If I’m going to do something, I just can’t half ass it when I do it. If I’m going to do something, I just have to figure out how to do it as best as I can. I’m kind of like a risk taker, meaning that I like to analyze a situation, and if it doesn’t feel as good as it should be, I have no problems making adjustments to try and figure out what works. With that being said, I decided I was like, “Man, you know what? If I want to be successful, I want to make a practice that’s low volume, I got to figure this out.”
Dr. Pham: I like to learn. I learn from other people. I didn’t want to learn from dentists because I wanted to learn in a manner that I can learn the principles from other sources and adapt it to myself. I read like… if you look at my bookshelf, I threw away a bunch of books when I was cleaning out. I did that Marie Kondo thing where you get rid of stuff you don’t use anymore, but I used to have like books and books and I had like a shelf full of books that I read. I read about systems and industries of production and management and everything with other industries. Once you read enough things, you see how everything overlaps and how what works and what and then eventually you just meld it together.
Dr. Pham: Being a dentist, many of the principles are similar, but you have to adapt them to dentistry a little more because it’s a small business. My small business is different from your business, which is a much… I don’t know if you’re medium or large sized, but then you have to delegate. It’s similar but it’s scaled differently. In the end, I created this because I had to figure out what worked and early in my years, I’m not going to lie, I made a bunch of dumb errors. I think back at it, I was like, “Why the heck did I do that?” You learn from your errors and eventually you get the stuff that is pretty reproducible. Then, I had friends, people that I was helping out just for fun and I started reproducing it and really working at it once I started writing it down.
Dr. Pham: I had a group of friends, a group that I ran and they’re like… I told them once I wanted to be a teacher and they said, “Well, why don’t you just do it?” Someone told me, I’ll never forget this, they’re like, “I know what you do on Fridays. All you do is you sit there and we drink beer.” I was like, “You are absolutely right. I don’t do anything on Fridays except drink beer”, because that’s what I wanted to do. I literally said to the guy, “I will do this.”
Dr. Pham: I knew in my mind I was like, “I’m just going to drink beer in the afternoon. Whenever I plan to do it, I’m going to work before hand.” I did, and then at the beginning, the test trial I had people that I knew that I was like, “Hey, man, I wrote this down. When you want some help I’ll help you out.” I saw things were reproducible, and then from there you just launch it. Now, I think I’m four years into it, four and a half years into it or something like that. I’ve got people with results reproduced over and over and over again, and so [crosstalk 00:16:18]-
Shaun Keating: I know, that’s amazing.
Dr. Pham: For sure, I know it works now. I know.
Shaun Keating: That’s amazing.
Dr. Pham: It’s funny. My favorite thing about this is when you see doctors… doctors are smart. Dentists are very smart people. If you can do a root canal and you can do a crown, you’ve got to be so smart to figure out all the aspects technically that you may not even be thinking about as you’re doing it, so you’re smart. When you want to learn, some of these docs, they’re just hungry for information but they haven’t figured out where to find it. Once they get that information and manage that, because I’m a dentist, I know how dentists think so I know how to present the information to them that makes it more easily absorbed, once they get it you see the change in them. Just this confident glow. It’s like this light bulb goes off and then they just run with it.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Pham: It’s awesome. It’s like for you, it’s probably like you got the beautiful crown that’s made and you deliver it, you give it to someone, they deliver it, they put it in their mouth and you’re like, “Damn, that’s good. That’s good stuff.”
Shaun Keating: Exactly. That’s awesome, dude. No, I love your attitude. It’s almost like you get practice management, you get technical, you get everything. You got it all wrapped up into one program. How did you come up with the name Dental Maverick? You’re just like the Dental Maverick? How did you get that name?
Dr. Pham: Well, I was sitting with my buddy and we were doing work, and the dentist, too. We were working on this and his wife was there, too, and we were just sitting there. We were like, “We need a name for this.” We through out all these silly names, and all of a sudden, I was like “Maverick! Dental Maverick!” I like yelled it out or something, and his wife was like, “Ooh, that’s a good name”, and I was like, “That’s it, that’s it. That’s what we’re going to call it.”
Shaun Keating: Dude, did you check to see if the web domain name was all good and everything?
Dr. Pham: I think we registered it right away. I was like, “Register it right away!”
Shaun Keating: It’s evolved, too. Tell us a little bit about it. Tell us what it’s all about. Tell our audience what you got going and I know it’s coming up here in August. You were a little later in August before now. I think you’re August 2nd and 3rd this year?
Dr. Pham: Well, it’s always the first weekend, so [crosstalk 00:18:23]-
Shaun Keating: That was it.
Dr. Pham: But the event that we have coming up is Dental Maverick Summit. Everyone should check this out. This is the live CE… this is not really the course, because the course is like… I forget how many hours it is. It’s me talking for like 20 hours or something like that and teaching, but this one is where we got industry giants and people that are just awesome and bad ass at what they do coming in and giving people insight and practical gems about how they have accomplished their niche and success in dentistry.
Dr. Pham: We have a guy… Average age of retirement is what? Like 68.8 I read, and this guy was able to retire in his 40s, so-
Shaun Keating: What the heck?
Dr. Pham: He has… Yeah. He has something that allows him to accomplish that, and that’s what we need to hear. Our dentists need to hear that because dentistry and the age of retirement keeps going up. We got another lady. She is the expert at medical billing. Many of us when we hear “medical billing”, we get these alarms that go in our head saying, “I don’t think it’s possible.” I think that, too, honestly, because I don’t know anything about it, yet she has been in this field for I think 20 years and she knows how to get it done. That’s an avenue, a way for dentists to get reimbursement and increased patient acceptance and patients because people hear about it. That’s something that you do differently from other offices.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Pham: We have like industry giants, but not only they’re giants, every speaker that is here is a real practicing dentist.
Shaun Keating: Beautiful.
Dr. Pham: They work in an office and do work, so they’re in the real world. They’re in the trenches. They know exactly what’s going on and what patients think and et cetera. That’s the cool thing about it, so I don’t know. It’s August 2nd and 3rd, and one of the coolest things we’re doing about this is when I go to CE or many of us have experienced this, when you go to CE… Maybe not you, Shaun, because you’re an outgoing guy. You see everybody, but sometimes you get there, you’ve been flying, you’re tired. Getting to the hotel and you’re like, “Oh man, what do I do now?” You’re like, “I got to eat dinner”, and you walk into the lobby and you’re like, “Maybe I see that guy. He or she looks like a dentist. Is it them? I don’t know.” Then, you’re like, “Maybe I’ll talk to Rod. No, I won’t. I won’t to talk them.”
Dr. Pham: You eat there, you sit there and now you’re eating dinner by yourself. You go to the hotel room. You watch some TV, you go to bed. The next day, you go to the course and you’re like, “Oh, it was that person”, but everyone’s in this room. You don’t really talk, and then it’s a break and you’re like, “I don’t really want to talk to this person.” Before you know it, you’re going home. You’ve learned some stuff, but then it’s like that’s kind of it. You go home and hopefully you implement it.
Dr. Pham: Well, the difference here is I like to have fun, first of all. If I don’t do something and it’s boring, like an event, what’s the point of it?
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Pham: I’ve got no reason to do it. I know dentists are… mostly many of are cool people, we’re fun to talk to, but it takes a little of us to break out of our shell. You know what? Most of us, even if we’re introverts, we want to meet someone that matches up to us, so one of the ways that I do this is when you get here, you basically have everything included. You don’t have to think about a single thing. Get here, come to the lobby. Take one of our shuttles or take an Uber, go to our event. We have full open… well, we have open bar at no cost for you, and we have dinners catered for you, so you don’t have to think about it. You come there, you meet people. You’re going to eat anyway, so you might as well eat with us for free. Might as well get some drinks. You know when you get a drink or two in you, then your inhibitions are a little down-
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Pham: And then you’re like, “All right. I’m going to go talk to this person”, and if don’t talk to this person, I’ll make some silly game where you can win some prize or something like that just to motivate to talk to someone and make a new friend.
Shaun Keating: Oh, I know, man.
Dr. Pham: That’s the difference. One of the differences besides like a great presentation among all the other presenters. You have fun, you learn.
Shaun Keating: Oh, yeah. I’m a witness to it because I’ve been to it and me and my wife went. I’m a lab guy and it was all dentists, and we’re the only lab guy there. Me and I think we brought Erica with us, too, and it was-
Dr. Pham: Oh yeah, Erica.
Shaun Keating: It was so fun. Everyone has got their little name tags on, but it really reminded me of the early days of Dental Town gatherings in Vegas when we had 3 or 400 people, but it was just so [crosstalk 00:23:06]-
Dr. Pham: Oh, I loved Dental Town in Vegas.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, and it really… everyone when you go in there at the Dental Maverick Summit there, everyone just kind of knows each other in a way. You can just tell this guy, you see him on Facebook, or you see this guy lecturing, and they were all just so humble. Everyone open arms and a lot of doctors brought their staffs and stuff like that because so many different programs with different lecturers on different things for staff for everything. Even like you said, the billing and on and on. It was a blast. All of the food was there. They had these different beers, because I’m a beer drinker it was like, “Man, I love this stuff, man.” It was just off the charts [crosstalk 00:23:51]-
Dr. Pham: Beers, margaritas [crosstalk 00:23:51]-
Shaun Keating: Fun, yeah. Everything, and then you got like picture booths. It kind of reminded me of a wedding reception[crosstalk 00:23:57]-
Dr. Pham: Oh yes.
Shaun Keating: Man. It was like everything was just so neat and fricking… the food and on and on. It’s a beautiful thing you got. It’s really, really great for the CE, but it’s great just for getting to know other peers in your industry that it’s not a stuffy little thing where, like you said, you don’t really know anyone. You’re going in, you’re going to learn and take it home with you and blah-blah-blah. This is kind of like a high school reunion/every different kind of dentist, older dentist, younger dentist, and they’re from all over the United States that came into Austin that weekend.
Shaun Keating: I think this is your third or fourth year now and it’s… you’re up with the big boys the way you guys are doing. Practice management you’re doing, continuing education, you’re doing the whole gamut of it, and then I think what you do with the Dental Maverick, you also do your… Tell me a little bit how you do… Other than the summit, you do one on ones? Or do you have a program that you sell online? Tell us a little bit about the regular Dental Maverick Program that you have.
Dr. Pham: Well, we got… I designed this program because one of the things that you may see, and, well, if you’re on Dental Town or you’re on Facebook, one of the biggest things that dentists will talk about is, “I don’t want to manage my staff. I don’t want to deal with my staff. I just want to come in to work and do dentistry.”
Shaun Keating: Yeah, that’s it.
Dr. Pham: That makes perfect sense because I’m a dentist. We’re obsessive. We like technical work. We were trained for four years, beating our heads to like do this a certain way, so we love… I assume most people like that. It becomes ingrained in them, and so that’s why a lot of us we just want to do dentistry, and we say that because four years of school and additional clinical CE outside of school, that’s what we focus on. Not many people focus on, “Oh, well, how do I run my office?” Or, “How do I get my staff to do what I need them to do so I can be the dentist and do the clinical work that want?”
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Pham: I created this program called Dental Maverick that’s over 40-plus videos for the doctor, sequenced for per week where you learn mainly the principles of communication with your office, your staff, also very importantly patients, which gives you a return of investment right away because you’ll see your treatment plan acceptances go up, and then we migrate into many things. There’s a gamut of topics, but the main focus we have on is how to learn management skills, which translates to eventually you becoming a leader because if you can create the office where your team works with you instead of against you, that’s where life is great. That’s where you stroll into work, your office does what you want, you’re profitable, you’re successful. You enjoy it.
Dr. Pham: That’s what we all want in life. We want a job that we enjoy. Well, most of us… If we could be the Kardashians and not have to work or do… that would be ideal, but that’s not us. We have to work, which is not a bad thing. It’s great. It gives you purpose sometimes. You got to work, if we can get our work to what we want, then work isn’t hard.
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Pham: Work is easy.
Shaun Keating: It really is.
Dr. Pham: I’m a dentist, so I understand how dentists think. We like systems, we like structure. We want to know the why. Once we get the system, we want to duplicate it, so that’s how I present everything. You learn the why, the principle, but then you have exactly how it works and something for you to copy and recognize. That’s why it works so well.
Shaun Keating: Oh, it does. It really does [crosstalk 00:27:45] and like any great CEO or president of a company, you do what you do and you surround yourself with people to do the jobs that a president or a CEO or a dentist, they’re there to do dentistry, and I have so many dentists that are kind of older school guys they like to do their accounting, they like to do the ordering, like to do so many things where you got to delegate. Even if you only have two or three people, you got to have your systems in place. It’s just working smarter and not harder, and there’s so much that they don’t get with the business part of it. They’re great dentists. I’ve got a lot of guys that just got great theory, they got so much knowledge and their hand skills are good, but then running a business, man, they’re working way too hard. If they could just get their systems in place.
Shaun Keating: Like me with the lab, I come and I do what I do, and I got… I’m not good at numbers. I got a CFO to do that. You just got your different people in the different areas and it’s like a football team, like a professional football team that is always in the playoffs because they’re structured well and the staff and everyone knows their jobs. Like with me, I was sitting here with people in quality, the behavior that you receive is what you tolerate. It’s just something if you’re going to accept the bullshit and the crappy work, you’re going to get that, but if you demand excellence, and after a while it’s so easy for them. If you do things the right way and do it over and over, it’s easy.
Shaun Keating: With the systems in a dental office, it’s so fricking easy if you could just get it all dialed in with your recalls, with how you’re setting your patients up, with how you’re doing treatment planning and accepting the monies, and who’s doing this. It’s just so neat when you got a program like yours where it’s all set up for you. It’s here, here, here. Just do it yourself, like any repetition, three weeks to change a habit to get into a new technique. It’s just so neat and spelled out so nicely and with your program. I’ve had other doctors talk about it that have went through it and they really… their numbers improve. A lot of old doctors are like, “Oh, it’s all about numbers and growing this. I don’t believe in that.” Well, you know what? You can be miserable doing 300 grand in sales a year, or you can be miserable doing 3 million in sales a year and you’re just the same miserableness, so you might as well be up here doing 3 million because you’re not going to be any more miserable than you are making [crosstalk 00:30:24]-
Dr. Pham: Might as well make more-
Shaun Keating: 300 grand. It’s just working smarter and it’s just having your systems in place. It’s just an awesome thing. That’s what either Spear Education and that’s what Kois now… they’re all trying to do the technique and the CE and all that, but also the practice management with it all, where you got it all kind of… with all your different people you got on this program, you got a little bit of everything. I think it’s just a great thing for a two-day thing, you can get so much out of it. I just see so many of the younger dentists kind of gravitating towards you and I wish some of the dentists that are 10 and 20 years in would even do it because teaching an old dog new tricks, they say it can’t happen, but it can happen. You just have to put your mind to it and just find something that resonates with you, and it’s success. It’s proven.
Shaun Keating: I remember seeing people online with you. “Let’s see the dashboard and see where your numbers were here this month, and look what it is this month, and let’s go year end from last November to this November.” It’s all structured, and that’s what… I run my company. I got numbers every day that come into me, where we’re at, what’s up, what’s down, what each tech does and how much they can do. It’s just a format like a template that you need at the beginning, and you can tweak it along the way to make it your own and make it easier and just, again, working smarter not harder, but you got a great program. I just wish more of the dentists would get that earlier in their career instead of waiting so long because there’s no reason why you can’t be growing from the get-go of the start of aa practice.
Dr. Pham: Absolutely.
Shaun Keating: It’s awesome, I remember you were so young, You were early 30s and stuff. You’re telling these doctors, and you’re very brave. I love the way you get on and do your videos and all that. It’s like you’re just a young dude and I got guys 20, 30 years in and they’re set in their ways. I just love it. You don’t have to totally grow and blow it up, but it’s just working a little smarter and having structure and everything is structured properly, and it works. It really works and I think the employees then enjoy it because they’re more empowered. They know what needs to be done and it’s not like, “Hey, let’s do it this way this week, and let’s kind of do it this way.”
Shaun Keating: When you have everyone all on the same page and everyone has job descriptions and someone can come in and you could show them exactly what this job description is and what you need to do, that’s just a way Fortune 500 companies are run. For a dental office, they’re little gold mines if you run it properly. I’m not saying work longer hours and all this other stuff. No, you can still do your two, three, four days a week, still be very, very profitable and very relaxed and sleeping at night and everything else. It’s all structure and you do have it with your system. I wish I could get more of my guys doing it, especially some of the younger ones. That’s awesome, dude. I just thought I’d throw that in there [crosstalk 00:33:27]-
Dr. Pham: Well, thanks.
Shaun Keating: A little bit for you.
Dr. Pham: Oh yeah, thanks. Thanks for the comments. You’re absolutely right. Employees appreciate consistency. If you do something the same every week and you have the same expectations for everyone just like you do with all your employees, I’m sure you have the same expectations of all your technicians [crosstalk 00:33:46]-
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Pham: If someone goes out of line and you correct them, for the person getting corrected they might not be too happy because they’re getting corrected, but deep down they respect you because they know you’re holding them to your expectations-
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Pham: And then all the employers, the others see it and they’re like, “Yeah, man, this guy is a man of his word. He said he’s going to expect this and he does.” That’s how you build consistency and that’s how you build a team that is respected. Just like you were saying earlier like creating that culture of what you expect of if you do it enough, they just know. It’s not like second-guessing where you may like, “Oh, he’s not going to worry if we do it this next week. We’ll get away with it.” They just know like, “Yeah, I got to do what he says because that’s what he expects.”
Shaun Keating: Exactly, and it’s almost [crosstalk 00:34:29] get to the point where they’ll almost fire themselves if they know… if you keep sending up cases, the shades are off and you’re getting pink slipped over and over for the same thing, we just can’t tolerate that, but that doesn’t really happen here, but it did back in the day with certain people. They kind of knew after a while like, “Come on, we kind of keep going over this. Yeah, a couple of weeks is fine, but not a couple of months, and for sure, not a couple of years.” We’re going to keep having the same… your contacts are always lighter, this and that. It’s just little things, but it’s kind of neat when they know what’s needed to be done and you hold them to it. After a while, it just works its self out for sure.
Shaun Keating: No, that’s neat. Who else on your program… who are some of the big… tell me some of the different guys that are coming on. Anyone digitally working on some of the digital scanning? I’m sure you’re touching all aspects, but name some of the showstoppers we got to have on the program [crosstalk 00:35:34] this year.
Dr. Pham: Well, first of all, you’re talking about digital guys. We got Todd Erlich. I’m sure you know of him [crosstalk 00:35:40]-
Shaun Keating: Oh, yeah [crosstalk 00:35:42]-
Dr. Pham: Or Brian Meadows.
Shaun Keating: Mr. All-Digital for sure. That guy, if anyone knows it he does. That’s awesome.
Dr. Pham: He’s a nice guy. Todd Ehrlich at Digital Enamel, and he’s going to talk about kind of like what dentistry is going to be like in 10 to 15 years and new technologies coming in. Dentists can make the decisions on what they want, but you just don’t want to fall too far behind the curve if everyone is adapting the new techniques or new procedures or new ways to do things. That’ll give insight into that. Beyond that, we have a lady that many dentists use with a program called YAPI, which [crosstalk 00:36:20]-
Shaun Keating: Oh, okay.
Dr. Pham: Is a very good paperless [crosstalk 00:36:21]-
Shaun Keating: She’s not the [crosstalk 00:36:21]-
Dr. Pham: Program-
Shaun Keating: Russian lady? Isn’t she Russian or something?
Dr. Pham: Yeah. Gina Dorfman.
Shaun Keating: Dr. Dorfman. That’s awesome.
Dr. Pham: She’s smart [crosstalk 00:36:28].
Shaun Keating: Yeah, she is.
Dr. Pham: That lady is like a super woman. She runs like two offices. She was telling me about her business. She has two locations for the business, training, technical, and sales and everything. This company, they’re just growing and it blows my mind how she does that, and as a parent, a wife, whole nine yards. That lady has managed her time like unbelievably, and she talks about how it’s creating the team that helps you out. She is there.
Dr. Pham: We got this guy, Ryan O’Neil. This guy is a beast, man. He’s in his mid-30s. He has five offices.
Shaun Keating: Oh, you’re kidding?
Dr. Pham: Not only that, you talk to him, he is like really into like making sure they do a good job. Some people might get the impression he’s five offices, he’s all about making money, yeah, he’s going to make money because he has five offices, but you should see how this guy is. He is really into making sure by empowering his employees that the work gets done as appropriate.
Shaun Keating: No kidding?
Dr. Pham: He’s going to be there. We go this lady, Dr. Olya, I’m not sure how to say her last name, but she’s with The Z Group, and she’s going to talk about medical billing. We got a guy in Texas named Brett Murphy who’s very popular online, on Facebook. This guy, he has one of the most amazing fee-for-service offices somewhere in Houston, I forget where. Pretty interesting. He’s like, I don’t know how old he is, but he’s about to take a eight-month sabbatical he told me by a sail boat and sail around the world with his family because his office is going to continue on just fine without him, so-
Shaun Keating: Unbelievable. That’s awesome.
Dr. Pham: I want to hear about how you can do that. I can’t take eight months off to go sail around the world. First of all, I don’t even know how to sail a boat and I can’t swim well, so I’m not going to do that, but I want to see how I can do it.
Shaun Keating: Exactly. Oh, man.
Dr. Pham: A couple of more people. We got this lady, Emily Le Tran. She is a motivational speaker, has books. A trainer, too. It was interesting. A lot of times we kind of complain about our lives and how we had a bad day, and that’s true. I have bad days, we all have bad days, we’re upset, but this lady, she came from… she fled her country during a war, no education, and then she grew up in the U.S. and became a dentist and now does all these things. You know what? It puts into our lives perspective about how rough we really have it, which is [crosstalk 00:39:10]-
Shaun Keating: Oh, absolutely [crosstalk 00:39:10]-
Dr. Pham: Not that rough compared to many other countries or people of the world. That’s good to have perspective. Like I said, I got another guy, Charlton Ho. He could retire in his mid-40s, so he’s going to talk about that, how to stay on track. We got a guy, Len Tau, that many people know as The Birdeye Guy. He’s the guy that gets your business’s reputation online as optimal as possible. We have one of the guys that a lot of docs have heard of. His name is Glenn Vo. He’s created something called Nifty Thrifty, which is like a buying group for dentists where you negotiate the deals to reduce costs and it gets a lot of businesses new clients, too. He has a very large following. His group has like 18,000 people or something like that. He’s going to be talking about common sense money management ane empowering your team to help you save.
Dr. Pham: As you can see, it’s a variety of people [crosstalk 00:40:02]-
Shaun Keating: Dude [crosstalk 00:40:02]-
Dr. Pham: They’ve all got something to learn from. I’m going to learn from every single one of them [crosstalk 00:40:05]-
Shaun Keating: Oh, heck yeah.
Dr. Pham: And go home and probably save some money myself and my office.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Pham: Or whatever I want to do.
Shaun Keating: That’s so cool. No, that’s a full… that’s a whole docket of a bunch of great dentists, and what a great program, man. That’s awesome. Hats off to you, man. We’re going to put it all in our show notes here for where people can get on and click on and sign up and-
Dr. Pham: Great.
Shaun Keating: I know even Dr. Vo, I work with him, too. He’s a sharp kid, man. He reminds me of you. He’s a go-getter out there. I don’t like it when he comes to me [crosstalk 00:40:38]-
Dr. Pham: Oh, yeah [crosstalk 00:40:38]-
Shaun Keating: “Shaun, what are you going to do on the Nifty Thrifty deals?” I can’t do down much lower, but I see it, man. I see the value with that for sure and with volume, purchasing from the dental supplies and whatever. They negotiate some great pricing for the dentists, so no. On and on, there’s a lot of people on the program that’ll benefit many of these dentists out there and in a lot of different ways.
Shaun Keating: Man, Doctor, I can’t thank you enough for coming on, man. You’re [crosstalk 00:41:06]-
Dr. Pham: Well, I can’t thank you enough for asking me to come on. It was a pleasure.
Shaun Keating: That’s so cool. Love seeing you and your wife. You have a beautiful wife. Man, she’s so chill also, and see you guys… Heck, where did you guys go? Across Europe and you’re in Dubai? Where were you? You’re all over, taking pictures. I remember-
Dr. Pham: What?
Shaun Keating: Seeing you at one of your [crosstalk 00:41:25]-
Dr. Pham: Oh yeah.
Shaun Keating: Vacations recently [crosstalk 00:41:25]-
Dr. Pham: Everywhere.
Shaun Keating: Where did you go? Everywhere.
Dr. Pham: Well, for our honeymoon two years ago, we went to… where did we go? We went first to Japan, and then the Maldives, and then we went to Paris, but… Spring break, I went to… where did I go? I went to French Polynesia. That was awesome.
Shaun Keating: The heck, man.
Dr. Pham: I went to Bora Bora, and I went to… what was the other place I went to? Mo’orea. Man, it was amazing.
Shaun Keating: That’s so [crosstalk 00:41:52]-
Dr. Pham: I went fishing. Oh, man.
Shaun Keating: I always see you fishing [crosstalk 00:41:54]-
Dr. Pham: Have you ever eaten [crosstalk 00:41:54]-
Shaun Keating: Dude. You love to fish.
Dr. Pham: I go fishing everywhere. Have you eaten a blue marlin? They have like blue marlin there. I’d never seen it.
Shaun Keating: Blue marlins are the biggest. Blue and black, we have the striped marlin here in our West Coast, but no, that’s good stuff, man. That’s a delicacy for [crosstalk 00:42:12] a lot of people. Love it. We’ll get you out some deep sea fishing when you get your butt out here over here, man. I’ll get you on some big fish, but no, that’s awesome [crosstalk 00:42:23]-
Dr. Pham: Oh, I’m sure you would.
Shaun Keating: I love seeing you fish and everything else. Just got such a good disposition, such a good attitude. Man, you’re always up, man. I just love that. You keep that passion and keep smiling like you do. I know good things are coming your way, and they already are. Just keep doing what you’re doing, man. Hey, thanks again for this podcast.
Dr. Pham: Hey, no [crosstalk 00:42:43]-
Shaun Keating: I’m going to let you go. I know you’re a busy man, and thanks for taking the time.
Dr. Pham: Thanks, Shaun.
Shaun Keating: We’ll see you real soon.
Dr. Pham: Hey, have a long, nice weekend.
Shaun Keating: All right, baby, You, too, man. We’ll talk to you later. Bye-bye.
Dr. Pham: Bye.
Host: Thanks for joining us on The Dental Up Podcast Show this week. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or search The Dental Up Podcast on iTunes for our weekly feed. Don’t forget to visit keatingdentallab.com/promo for exclusive offers.
Host: Keating Dental Lab is a full-service dental laboratory and we’re nationwide. We’d love for you to send us a case so we can show you the Keating difference. If you dig what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes, and we’ll be back next week.