Episode 458

458: Navigating Your Preferred Future in Dentistry - Dr. Mark Hyman

Published on: 12th August, 2022

Navigating Your Preferred Future in Dentistry

Episode #458 with Dr. Mark Hyman

If you ever feel stuck as a dentist, remember this: you get to make choices in who you serve, what procedures you do, where you practice, when you do them, and how you want to do it. You get to choose your preferred path! And for reassurance, Kirk Behrendt brings back one of ACT’s favorite people, Dr. Mark Hyman, to share his experience and valuable advice to help you become successful. There is no linear path to success, and you get to be the one to pave it! To hear more from the master, listen to Episode 458 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

Get rid of your limiting beliefs.

Figure out what you love, then do it.

Success won't be linear or exponential.

If something doesn't work out, try something else.

Remember that you get to decide your future in dentistry.

Join study clubs and hire a coach. You can't afford not to.


“I’m a firm believer that with you, yourself, with your team, with your practice, with your patients, there are no hostages. No one has to be in your practice. No one has to work there. You don't have to work there. So, what is your vision for your preferred future? Who do you want to treat? What procedures do you want to do? How do you want to do them? When do you want to do them? That is the beauty of dentistry. We get to sculpt exactly what we want.” (7:43—8:07)

“Dale Carnegie says three magic words: success leaves clues. What do the highly successful men and women in dentistry do? They get great consultants, they go to tons of continuing education, they buy the best equipment, and they use it on everybody with no fear of failure.” (10:1410:30)

“[Dentistry] is an investment, like anything that's worth paying for.” (11:4411:48)

“What do you love? A student says, ‘Root canals are profitable. The overhead is only 37% in an endodontic practice.’ I'm like, ‘Do you love root canals?’ ‘No.’ ‘Well, then don't do them. You don't have to.’ What do you love doing? What do you get fired up about doing?” (15:5216:06)

“What I would tell my students is to consider a residency. Try different things. If you go do a program and it isn't the right fit for you, then go do something else. You're a young man. You're a young woman. You've got your whole life in front of you. Don't think that you're stuck doing something that you don't enjoy.” (16:4617:02)

“That is part of the beauty of dentistry, is you get to choose where you want to live, who you want to serve. Part of that preferred future is to make the decision, ‘I am not going to be a pawn of the insurance company. I'm going to be a doctor caring for my patients, not a provider of a commodity.” (18:4419:02)

“Your success isn't necessarily linear or exponential. Sometimes, it is a sine wave up and down. And if it’s on a trend down, it will come back up.” (22:3222:41)

“You've got to take a step back sometimes and say, ‘What do I really want to do? Why did I go into this profession?’ There are still so many opportunities. And again, that 32-year-old that's probably going to practice another 30 years, if they took two or three years off to do more training, yes, it would be a hit to them and their family, short term. But long term, they’ll be happier.” (23:2623:46)

“One of my mentors in dentistry said, ‘If you go to a six-hour seminar and you only get one good idea out of it, it’s worth the entire day.’ And if you go with that perspective, I could hear one thing that's going to change my life, that's pretty amazing.” (26:1426:31)

“I remember going to Pankey the first time. And one of the most amazing things that I've ever heard was the quote, ‘People will buy what they value. They’ll buy what they want, not necessarily what they need.’ It’s the words of Harold Wirth . . . So, you've got to find out what they want.” (26:3126:54)

“I remember Frank Spear say, ‘You only treat what you see. You only see what you know.’ It’s like, whoa. So, I've got to look at things in a different fashion. I've got to slow down and ask the patients, ‘Why are you here? What do you value? What are your goals for your health, teeth, and smile? Is it important that you keep your teeth the rest of your life?’ I'm not a mind reader.” (26:5427:18)

“Doctors, there is no perfection. You're going to have tough days too, so give yourself a little grace.” (31:0931:14)


0:00 Introduction.

2:45 Dr. Hyman’s background.

4:30 Dr. Hyman’s Breakfast Club.

7:29 Navigating your preferred future.

10:58 Dentistry is an amazing profession.

13:31 Questions from dental students.

15:21 Find out what you love doing.

17:45 Figure out who you want to serve.

19:19 Now is a great time to be a dentist.

22:04 Success is not linear.

23:47 Be committed to constant improvement.

27:19 Take care of your loyal patients.

29:15 Progress, not perfection.

32:21 Last thoughts.

Reach Out to Dr. Hyman:

Dr. Hyman’s website: https://drmarkspeaks.com/  

Dr. Hyman’s email: drmark@drmarkspeaks.com 

Dr. Hyman’s social media: @drmarkspeaks


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey: https://bookshop.org/books/the-7-habits-of-highly-effective-people-30th-anniversary-edition-anniversary/9781982137137

Dentsply Sirona World September 15-17 in Las Vegas: https://www.dentsplysirona.com/en-us/lp/ds-world.html

ADA SmileCon October 13-15 in Houston: https://www.ada.org/education/smilecon#:~:text=SmileCon%202022%20will%20be%20held,page%20to%20view%20pass%20options

Dr. Mark Hyman Bio:

Dr. Mark E. Hyman is a renowned, full-time practicing dentist in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a public speaker whose work is characterized by his warmth, enthusiasm, sense of humor, and passion for dentistry.

As an accomplished seminar speaker, Dr. Hyman has lectured throughout North America and internationally, receiving rave reviews. For the past 14 years, Dentistry Today magazine has selected Dr. Hyman as one of the top 100 speakers in dentistry. He is an Adjunct Full Professor at the UNC School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and has taught at The Pankey Institute in Florida and at Spear Education in Arizona. 

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About the Podcast

The Best Practices Show with Kirk Behrendt
Elevate Your Dental Practice: Insights & Strategies from Industry Leaders
Welcome to The Best Practices Show, hosted by Kirk Behrendt, founder of ACT Dental (https://www.actdental.com/) and a leader in dental practice coaching. This podcast is your gateway to discovering the hidden gems and tactics used by the most successful dental practices worldwide.

At ACT Dental, we have meticulously curated strategies that have consistently proven effective in elevating dental practices. Our podcast, The Best Practices Show, extends our commitment to sharing this wealth of knowledge. Each episode features interviews with renowned dental professionals and industry leaders who have made significant strides in their practices. They share their experiences, insights, and the challenges they've overcome, offering a unique perspective that you won't find anywhere else.

Why should you listen to The Best Practices Show? Whether you're a seasoned dentist, a new practice owner, or somewhere in between, this podcast is tailored to inspire and educate. Our goal is not just to provide you with information but to transform the way you think about and run your dental practice. We delve into topics ranging from advanced clinical techniques and practice management to leadership skills and personal growth.

Kirk Behrendt, a respected figure in the dental community, brings his vast experience and infectious enthusiasm to each episode, making complex topics both understandable and engaging. As the CEO of ACT Dental, Kirk has helped countless dental practices thrive by focusing on holistic development - professionally, personally, and within their community.

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