The 3 Hats Doctors Wear When They Make Decisions

In this episode, Dr. John Meis explains the three hats every executive wears when making decisions.

While every executive wears these hats, many don’t fully understand them. Being unable to differentiate these roles can lead to flawed thinking.

Watch now to learn why it’s so important to understand these 3 hats and how to use them to make the best decisions for your practice.

Hey everybody, I'm Dr. John Meis at the Team Training Institute, and here is another video on the mindset of the effective dental executive. Whether you think of yourself as an executive or not really doesn't matter because you are. You're running a million dollar business, or a multimillion dollar business. And because of that, you are an executive. And so today, I want to talk about the three hats that dental executives wear when they're making decisions. And we usually don't think about these three hats differently. We tend to blend them. And so our decision making is sometimes flawed from that.

So let me talk about the three hats. The first of the three hats is the hat of the clinician. So the clinician's job is to have excellent patient care, right, throughout the entire team. Patient care, patient experience is absolutely tremendous, focusing on quality of care and quality of experiences. And so that person is making decisions that affect that. So the quality of care decision is made simply by the clinician hat.

The second hat that doctors wear is the manager hat, and whether you think of yourself as a manager or leader, you are, right? So just by the nature of your title and your position in the office, you are. You may have people that also help you with this function, but you are a manager. So the manager's jobs are all the things that have to happen within the practice to keep things rolling, right? So this is all the processes for collections and scheduling and all HR, hiring, firing, developing team. This is having the space and all the elements of capacity in place at the right time in the right place. That's the manager's hat, right? And the way that we measure success of the manager hat is, are we hitting budget or goals? And if we're hitting budget goals and everything is going smoothly, the manager is doing well. So we measure the success of a clinician by the quality of care. We measure the success of a manager by whether we're hitting budget or not, or goals.

The last hat is the investor hat. The investor hat, they're measured by return on investment. And this is the one that dentists often don't think about. They have bought or built a practice. They've invested hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, in creating a great space. Now, the question is, is this dental business creating profitability and is that profitability creating a return for the investor? So when we pay doctors, we like to pay doctors, even if it's a single doctor practice, we like to pay the doctor as a clinician and all the other bills and whatever's left over, that's profitability, and that's how we determine return on investment. What is the profitability compared to the investment to get into it?

So let me just use an example of this and how sometimes we use the wrong hat when we're making decisions. So let's say the clinician wants to buy a cone beam technology so that they have 3D images and they believe that that's going to improve the quality of care. Great thought process. All right, so the manager's job now is all right, if we buy this piece of equipment, is that going to take us closer to or farther away from our budget and our goals, right? The manager also has to think about how we're going to integrate this technology. Where's it going to go? Which one are we going to buy? All those kinds of things fall under the manager's hat.

The investor's hat thinks of it completely differently. They're thinking about, "All right, I'm going to spend 80 grand on a cone beam and what is my return on the investment of $80,000? What is that going to be?" So when you make decisions and you're making an investment, you want to make that decision with the investor hat, not necessarily the manager hat or the clinician hat. So separating, thinking about the decisions that you're making, "Which hat am I wearing when I'm making this decision?"

So in some practices, a cone beam makes complete sense, makes sense from a clinician standpoint, makes sense from a manager standpoint, makes sense from an investor standpoint. But in some practices, it doesn't make sense for one of the three hats. So if we have a clinician that isn't interested in the cone beam, but the investor thinks it's a great idea, that's not going to work, right? So make sure that we're making decisions based on the hat that's appropriate for what the decision is that we're making. Three hats will allow you to make much better critical decisions and have better critical thinking when it comes to running your dental practice and being a dental executive.