DR. ACE GOERIG
OWNER & CO-FOUNDER
Stress is a physical and emotional reaction with a wide range of symptoms: annoyance, tension, anger, exhaustion, depression, fear and even panic. Often called the “silent killer”, stress can build up in layers over time and lead to serious health concerns, burnout and breakdowns.
Endodontics is a demanding profession that requires precise clinical and surgical focus in order to deliver great care. You can’t be the best for your patients if you find yourself worried and troubled by stress factors. Here’s my countdown of the most persistent and toxic drivers of stress that endodontists need to watch out for:
5. Schedule gaps and downtime
On a everyday basis, there is nothing more frustrating than open time in the schedule. Whether the time was never scheduled, the patient didn’t show, or the patient arrived late, idle time is lost time, lost productivity and lost revenue. When it happens over and over again, the feeling that you are wasting time can generate a high level of dissatisfaction, especially if attempts you have made to improve scheduling seem ineffective.
4. Office drama and team issues
Even if the schedule is full, there are things that can happen everyday that drain your energy or interrupt your flow. Chief among those are team issues and drama, such as personality conflicts, miscommunication, fingerpointing, gossip and personal issues that are brought to work. When these stress factors take the enjoyment out of each day, and you are constantly mediating and negotiating with your team, it can feel like a war zone rather than a positive fun experience.
3. Weak or lost referral relationships
Dentistry has an interdisciplinary model of care for patients, but often our referral relationships feel more dependent than interdependent. Usually, endodontists have a handful of referrers that we can confidently expect consistent referrals. Beyond that, many of our referral relationships are weak and uncertain from month to month. Anything that might upset those relationships, such as an unhappy patient, puts us on high alert. The fear of losing a referrer is itself a constant background stress.
2. Lack of time off
More than any other dental discipline, endodontists are often reluctant to take time off for vacations or personal well-being. That is largely because so much of our caseload is from emergency patients, and we want to be available when needed (and to keep referrers happy). Equally, endodontists tend to work more days per week for the same reason, whether we want to or not. That adds up to constant pressure over your career and can make you feel trapped or limited, and possibly lead to burn out.
1. Debt and financial stress
There is a financial reality to life and when we feel stressed economically, we carry that stress around with us everywhere. It can be poisonous to our enjoyment of our practice and our family life. Persistent high debt (from education, practice acquisition or in your personal life) can make you feel like your working more for bankers than yourself. Many doctors feel completely unprepared for their future financial goals, and frustrated that they continue to live with month-to-month expenses that use up almost all their income. The lack of financial empowerment can cause you to feel unsuccessful in a profession that you chose in part because of its economic benefits.
How to have an effortless stress-free practice
At Endo Mastery, we strive to help doctors eliminate stress factors, enjoy their practices and the profession everyday, strengthen their referral relationships, and have freedom with both their time and their finances. The growth and success we help doctors to create truly transforms the practice and transforms their life.
If you are concerned about your stress factors and you want to get back on track with your vision of great endodontic success, the best way to begin is our 2-day doctor and team in-person seminar, “Mastering the Effortless Endodontic Practice” on January 19th and 20th, 2024 in Las Vegas. Please join us!