BUSINESS & PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT
When You’re Called to Temp By Dr. Tuhina Roy Imagine if you couldn’t go to work tomorrow. Of course I know you can’t imagine it because we orthodontists never take sick days. It’s a badge of honor to work through the flu, as long as you hide behind your mask and nap in between consults. So instead maybe one of your colleagues is suddenly ill in a hospital bed, unable to speak and with both hands and feet not working. Maybe this colleague is fortunate to be part of a coverage group, and you’ve now been called to cover the office. Or you’ve learned through the grapevine that there is a temp opportunity to fill in for a doctor. Or you are being kind and generous and just want to help your distressed colleague out. What does it entail to step into someone else’s solo office when the doctor is in the ICU?
1.) Take the job. Your colleague is likely in a precarious medical state and may not even be conscious. This isn’t the time to discuss unimportant details like wire sequence and pan vs. cone beam and practice philosophies. The doctor may not even be able to talk and you will be hired by non-orthodontic family members trying to do what they can. You will literally be propping the doors open on a quickly declining office. 2.) Walk in with a smile. The staff probably know very little about you. They may know very little about the doctor’s condition depending on what the family has told them. It’s been scheduling chaos for days or weeks and today is the day there will be a doctor in the office. Of
course it’s going to be overbooked. Every single non-delegatable appointment is going to land on the schedule that first day. It’s probably not going to be an easy day so smiling is a must. Don’t let anyone see you losing it at patient #75 when you are only used to seeing a leisurely 20 patients a day. 3.) Assure every mom that the doctor is still alive. And that you are the doctor’s friend. Even if you’ve never met or spoken to the doctor. Parents and patients like to know that the doctor sent their trusted friend in this time of need. With a serious illness, not all families feel up to posting details on Facebook, so parents and referring dentists are in the dark and wondering “where did the doctor go?”
Q4 • 2017 | TheProOrtho.com 35