INTERVIEW | How to succeed as a Dental Entrepreneur with David Rice, DDS

David R. Rice, DDS, is the founder of igniteDDS, a platform that educates, encourages, and empowers both dental students and practicing dentists.

He is also the CEO of East Amherst Dental Center and today he is sharing with us a piece of advice, for all the dentist in the industry who want to start their journey in the entrepreneur word:

MEDIjobs: Entrepreneurship or being employed: What are some critical questions dentists should ask themselves before making a decision?

Dr. Rice: As someone who began his career as an employee in multiple practices and then moved on to ownership, here is THE question I would ask my younger self. What’s holding you back from being a practice owner/entrepreneur right now?

MEDIjobs: if you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out as a dentist, what would it be?

Dr. Rice: Develop a shortlist of strong mentors as soon as possible. On that list, I’d highly recommend a dentist clinical mentor; a dentist business mentor (sometimes they’re the same; sometimes not; either way make sure they are highly successful and tremendous examples of who you want to become).

I’d also recommend on the personal side, a mentor who sees the world as you do and believes in you, even when it’s hard to believe in yourself. Lastly on my list, a mentor who sees the world opposite of what you do. This is an often forgotten mentor because they will disagree and challenge your every move. This is a strong person to have on your side as they will see your blind spots.

MEDIjobs: Dentistry is changing from year to year. Social media, teledentistry, patient care. What makes a dentist successful in 2020? 

Dr. Rice: Here’s the great news. Times and technology have changed. Success principles remain the same. The most successful dentists will invest in their clinical skills and relationship-building skills. Both are critical.

MEDIjobs: In 2018, healthcare became the biggest employer of the economy. Still, it has the 2nd highest employee turnover rate. In your experience, what is the key to developing a successful dental team and retain talent?

Dr. Rice: I love this question. Work on your leadership skills. Develop a purposeful vision. Focus on your team and your culture. Stay humble and stay vulnerable.

MEDIjobs: What are the greatest strengths your team has at East Amherst Dental Center? 

Dr. Rice: We have collectively worked on all of #4. Building our greatest strengths are CANI in both clinical and people spaces. Our goal is to provide an experience from the first call, to first live, to every touchpoint and follow up.

MEDIjobs: How did you get the idea for IgniteDDS?

Dr. Rice: I’ve always been a teacher at heart. Years back I taught part-time at Buffalo’s dental school and just loved helping students and young dentists. So much so, I thought, why not build a national community and travel and meet young dental pros everywhere. It’s been the best decision of my pro career.

MEDIjobs: You have your career as a dentist, as a professional national speaker, and husband. This can get busy and stressful sometimes. What drives you to keep going when things are getting difficult?

Dr. Rice: For me, it all starts at home. Anastasia and I have a life vision just like we have one for our professional lives. With that, we do our best to live on our terms. From there, I am a very, very lucky man. Crazy busy as it can all get, l love what I do and can honestly say, the day I founded IgniteDDS was the last day I “worked”.

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