It’s a strange question to ask yourself, for sure. Can the dentist – one who is often unjustifiably feared and stigmatized – really have too many friends?
Yes, dentists can.
They can – especially when it comes to people visiting your practice and expecting some sort of discount because of your connection outside of the dentist-patient relationship.
It’s not easy to manage through these difficult situations, especially when you’re a “good guy” or “gal” and you want to appear generous, but can’t really afford a runaway train of discounts barreling out of your office.
Take my husband’s practice for example.
We are blessed to have made some true friends with people who started off simply as patients.
Now they are people we travel with and dine with and consider part of our inner circle. Most of them have insurance but a handful does not, making it a bit awkward to not provide some sort of discount when they visit our office.
My husband also comes from a big family and we are blessed to have fantastic aunties, uncles, and cousins that live in our area.
When I worked in his practice these various family members would visit and I couldn’t keep track of what person was getting what discount for what service.
It was a varying degree of inconsistent discounts and it was a mess to try to manage and attempt to be fair.
And did I mention the cousin’s girlfriends who also became our patients?
We were thrilled to have them become a part of our practice but were they deserving of a family discount when they weren’t even engaged to someone in our family? There was an underlying assumption by certain family members that their significant others qualified, making things even more awkward.
It all became too stressful and difficult to manage until we started the dental savings plan in his practice.
The dental savings plan created a level playing field for all. With it in place, my husband asked all of his uninsured extended family members, the girlfriends, and our own friends, to sign up for the plan. This way everyone was receiving really great savings on services in the office, and it was consistent for all across the board.
Not only did this give us a way to be “fair” to everyone, but it also simplified the administrative tracking of who got what discount. And we still have one of those girlfriends – now an ex-girlfriend – as a current patient who participates in our plan, many years after the breakup.