Still Going Strong
Three years after affiliating with Heartland Dental, Dr. Stephen McLeod is still reaping the benefits
In the summer 2012 issue of Smiling, Dr. Stephen McLeod described how affiliating with Heartland Dental helped alleviate the non-clinical weight he was carrying on his shoulders and ultimately gave him the balance to practice on his terms. After several years as an affiliate, he is enjoying the benefits of support now more than ever.
"As a solo practitioner for many years, I was fortunate to run my office successfully. But being a successful solo dentist means committing yourself to so many responsibilities in addition to dental care, and it was definitely taking its toll. After affiliating, I quickly realized the positive affect Heartland Dental’s support can have," explained Dr. McLeod.
Stephen McLeod, DMD
practicing dentist at Royal Oaks Dental in Clermont, Florida
"I was able and am still able to enjoy an ideal work/life balance. I have five children, so my personal life outside of dentistry is usually pretty busy. Now my schedule gives me the necessary time for my patients, but still allows me time for family vacations and coaching little league, soccer, etc."
Since affiliating, Dr. McLeod and his team at Royal Oaks Dental in Clermont, Florida, have built effective professional relationships with the various administrative support teams of Heartland Dental in carrying out the office’s non-clinical needs. Dr. McLeod’s team has also continued to grow and thrive.
"When we first affiliated, of course there was some initial concern within my team. With change, there is always fear of the unknown. But they quickly realized what could be accomplished with the systems and education offered," said Dr. McLeod.
One of the unique advantages Dr. McLeod shares with other affiliates is being part of a vast network of experienced clinicians. The shared goals and camaraderie of affiliated dentists are beneficial for both new and experienced dentists alike. Instead of spending years learning how to be successful on their own, new affiliated dentists can learn this knowledge right now from those who have been in their shoes before. Experienced affiliates are able to learn from each other as well. Dr. McLeod is taking part in both these roles.
"Compared to practicing on my own for many years, having a large group of colleagues to turn to now is such a different experience. The affiliated dentists at Heartland Dental are a close knit group. We are able to bounce ideas off one another to benefit our level of care. This mindset allows for so many different ways to advance yourself," added Dr. McLeod. "This is very beneficial for new dentists. We have a number of excellent mentor dentists who support them from the start. I myself enjoy helping our new affiliated dentists any way I can, and explaining the benefits of staying positive, developing the right work ethic and taking responsibility for everything you do."
"Since affiliating, I've truly gained the ability to practice how I want to practice. That has been the biggest difference. I can now focus on the most important part of my career - dentistry, and still have time to be with my family."