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Learn the business side of owning a practice through certificate program

February 02, 2015

By Kelly Soderlund

Dentists are wired to know the clinical skills necessary to provide the best care for patients. But being a business manager is sometimes a little more difficult.

The Executive Practice Management Program for Dentists is an in-person education opportunity offered by the University of Florida College of Dentistry that's designed to prepare dentists to become business owners and executive managers within their dental practices. Registration is open for this fall's program.

The 13-month program, which begins in October, is featured on the ADA Center for Professional Success website as a resource for dentists who want to sharpen their management skills. Dentists attend monthly weekend face-to-face meetings in Orlando, Florida,  and participate in a supplemental online Web course.

Dentists will learn about bookkeeping, practice financials, employment law, social media marketing, staffing, sales forecasting, dental leadership, communications, legal compliance and wealth accumulation, among other topics. The classes are small, between 15-25 dentists, and the topics are divided into 13 modules, with one module taught one weekend per month.

Dentists who have completed the program offered rave reviews:

"It's amazing how far my thinking has come when it comes to leadership, communication and staffing," said Dr. Mark P. Kraver, of Cape Coral, Florida. "I'm growing by leaps and bounds. My staff responds to me; they listen; they strive for improvement; and the overall energy of the office is increased. People are excited about being trusted with more and having the opportunity to grow personally."

"This information helps me in knowing that starting a dental practice or any startup is not profitable in the beginning and to know that we will need cash flow to survive the first year," said Dr. Phuong-Chau Vu, of Tampa, Florida. "It also shows us how to calculate and plan for the future more realistically using numbers and analysis. So, if we know that we will need extra cash flow, we can arrange for it ahead of time and not be in trouble when the need arises. The assignment taught us to prioritize on who to pay and how to keep our finances sound."

The University of Florida is an ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program recognized provider, and students who enroll can receive up to 186 hours of CE. Those who are accepted must be practicing, actively licensed dentists, newly graduated dentists or graduating dentists in dental school.

ADA members will receive a $500 discount on tuition. For more information, visit epmfordentists.com. The ADA Center for Professional Success offers other learning opportunities, both in person and online, at Success.ADA.org.