Making COVID a Turning Point


Dr. Paul Homoly, CEO and founder of Homoly Communications, answers the question, "what do you do when you're not fixing teeth?"

“What’s the role of a dentist if they’re not fixing teeth… their role is a leader.”

Paul experienced first hand what it looked like to be suddenly thrown out of practicing dentistry. He woke up one morning and his right eye had crossed. He no longer had the depth perception necessary to do the implant dentistry that he loved, and so he had to pivot.

“When dentists aren’t busy, it’s corrosive to their mindsets.”

Dentists must take this time to hone their skills. Look at ways to become a better leader, because you now have the time to do so. When you are lost in the habit of production there’s hardly time to think about leadership, but now there is time.

“When I practiced in Charlotte we were hit by Hurricane Hugo… it was carnage… but then you get into the eye.”

Paul describes the eerie feeling of going through a hurricane, and then suddenly having clear skies and no wind. You know the hurricane isn’t over yet but you have just a few moments to catch your breath and regroup before the next wave of the storm. COVID-19 is a lot like a hurricane. We are in the waiting game right now, but it’s not over yet.

“Consider this pause time, maybe we can consider it a turning point in your career.”

Paul gives some great practical advice on how to grow as a leader with your team, in your community, and also with case acceptance. Becoming a leader in case acceptance means understanding how your patients are handling what’s going on, and stepping into the role of their health care provider.

“You think patients had financial issues before this? You’ve seen nothing yet.”

Here are Paul’s 5 steps to working through case acceptance when treating an emergency case, and helping to encourage them to take the next step in their health journey.

1. Acknowledge the ease of the appointment.

After you’ve provided successful treatment, connect with the patient on how easy the treatment was.

2. Ask if he or she is aware of other conditions.

When you are treating the patient, you will likely take note of other conditions going on. Instead of telling them what’s going on, ask if they are aware that these things are present.

3. Assure them that the treatment of those conditions is no more difficult than today.

After you’ve connected on the ease of today’s appointment, and helped them to become aware of other conditions, assure them that future treatment is no more difficult. This will overcome any fears or apprehension they may have around treatment.

4. Recommend that he or she come back after the practice is open.

While the practice may not be able to treat them today, you can be stacking up your schedule for high-value treatment after the doors open back up.

5. Make it personal.

Paul mentions that this step is the most critical. Patients want to know that their health journey is personal to them and to you. A statement like, “would you do that for me?” tells them that their health is important enough to you that them getting treated would bring you joy.

For more on how you can grow as a leader during the pause time, Paul has created a free video series on leadership that you can access right from your phone.

Text the word “LEADERSHIP” to 55444 to receive these free videos.


The dental practice landscape is changing at an ever faster rate. Protect your investment by putting together a strategic marketing plan customized to you. Schedule your consultation with me.

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