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Business, management training

Participant learned to 'relax, recharge and restore creativity'

Prior to his participation in the ADA Kellogg Executive Management Program for Dentists, Dr. Stephen Lim, a general dentist from New York and a 2001 New York University College of Dentistry graduate, says he made many of his business decisions based on common sense.

Most were successful, too. In 2003, Dr. Lim began building his practice from scratch. He now has four associates and a staff of nine.

Dr. Lim's experience with the ADA Kellogg Executive Management Program has illustrated why his business approach was successful. But the classes have also bolstered his ability to determine what might bring him more success in the future.

The classes have helped him identify areas for change, he adds, such as his approach to staff meetings and communications.

"We used to have fewer, longer staff meetings and required everyone to be there," he said. "Through the ADAKEMP classes, I learned more about my personal decision-making process and communication style. I decided that I needed a simpler, more basic approach. One result is that we now have shorter, more frequent staff meetings."

Adds Dr. Lim: "I meet separately with office and auxiliary staff and encourage them to share information. I ask for more feedback, look to identify problems and discuss solutions. But rather than getting a prescription from a practice management consultant on what to do, I have developed my own plan."

The coursework increased his confidence when it comes to collaborating with other professionals, too, and provided ideas that were immediately applicable to dental practice. For example, Dr. Lim enjoyed finance coursework that covered budgeting and time value of money; those same courses can be valuable to dentists working with bankers, accountants and other financial managers.

The Kellogg setting gave Dr. Lim and his classmates an opportunity to "relax, recharge and restore creativity," he said. Sharing ideas and experiences with the other class members energized him, due to the class' diversity in age, dental specialty and practice settings.

In all, the program provided Dr. Lim with valuable intangibles. This includes developing a more positive perception of the essence of a good businessperson, which to him is an individual "who takes the long-term view and has a high level of integrity."

The ADA Kellogg Executive Management Program, which was launched in 2005, is not a practice management course. The program draws from the core content areas for Kellogg MBA students including business strategy, organizational leadership, marketing, finance, accounting, economics, quantitative methods and information systems. All classes are taught by Kellogg professors. Kellogg's executive management MBA program was recently ranked No. 1 in a nationwide survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal.