by Christopher Piehler
As the orthodontic community converges on San Francisco for the 105th AAO Annual Session, the most exciting news in the tooth trade, if you ask me, is coming from Chicago. The Windy City happens to be the home of both Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the American Dental Association (ADA), and the two have recently teamed up to offer the ADA/Kellogg Executive Management Program. (See page “Newsbites” on page 16 for the complete story.)
According to the ADA, the program will be a 15-day “mini MBA” based on the curriculum from Kellogg, the top-rated management school in the country. During three 5-day sessions, orthodontists can study business strategy, organizational leadership, marketing, and information systems, among other topics.
Why am I so fired up about these ideas, which sound about as exciting as watching adhesive dry? Well, first, because the appearance of a top-tier academic program like this validates the message that this magazine has been putting out there for years: that every orthodontist—heck, every doctor—in private practice is both a heath care provider and a businessperson. And if you want to build a successful practice, it’s not enough to be the best tooth-mover. You also have to have a handle on, well, business strategy, organizational leadership, marketing, and information systems, among other topics.
I’m also excited because I genuinely believe that the program is something the industry needs. As editor of Orthodontic Products, I’ve spoken to dozens of orthodontists from across the country. By and large, they’re not complainers; but I have to say that the most common complaint I’ve heard is something along the lines of, “They don’t teach us business at dental school.”
But if you think about it, why should they? There’s a reason they call it “dental school.” To me, it makes so much more sense to learn business from a business school.
Enjoy the issue, enjoy San Francisco, and come see us at booth 637.