I am a Dental Office Manager in San Diego, CA and I am the founder and owner of Front Office Rocks. I created this company with the goal of helping other dental offices train and learn new policies and procedures that my team and I have proven are very successful in making dental offices work better.
Front Office Rocks is a training resource developed for dentists who need specialized training for their team on all aspects of the front desk. Our website and videos were a direct result of dentists saying over and over, “If only I had someone great to come train my front office staff.”
At the beginning of my career, I played with the idea of becoming a dental consultant but decided that that was not how I wanted to help other doctors. I felt then, and still feel today, that running an office not only helps my own team grow, but gives me the kind of daily, real-world experience that makes our videos relevant and useful in other offices. I dedicated myself to making a training program that was easily understood, easily available and continually updated. Why pay me as a consultant to keep coming back to your office when you can just put your staff on a computer or have a staff meeting that includes Front Office Rocks?
These videos allow me to train your staff as I do my own, and I want to be a resource for them (and you!) in all areas of their day-to-day work. As the dental industry changes our training will change with it. You’ll always have on-demand, up-to-date help when you need it most.
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I have a bachelor’s degree in human resources and a master’s degree in organizational development. What is that, you might ask? Basically, I have spent years learning how to deal with people in the context of an organization. Before entering the dental field I was a retail store manager, outside sales person, and technical recruiter. I never planned to work in a dental office! Like many of you, I stumbled into my role: I married a wonderful man who was finishing up college and wanted to be a dentist. After only a few years out of dental school, Tony asked me to quit my (well-paying!) technical recruiter job to run his scratch practice.
The more I thought about it, the more excited I became at the prospect of starting a new business with my husband. I spent months reading all the dental articles written by all the best consultants in the industry. I took classes on practice management software and anything else I could get my hands on. I also shadowed in various dental offices to learn how it all fit together. My time in those offices gave me a solid idea of what I wanted our office to be—and what I definitely wanted it not to be!
We opened our first practice in January 2003 outside of Baltimore, MD. With some more advanced training from a great dental training company, we took our practice from $0 with 0 patients in 2003 to about $120K a month in collections in 2007.
In January 2007, we took our entire staff to Carlsbad, CA (north of San Diego) for hygiene training and fell in love with Southern California. We sold our house and our practice and moved across country with our two young kids. For about a year, I worked in another dental office and quickly realized that without good management, working in an office is not fun. My husband and I opened our second scratch practice in June 2008, in San Diego.
My point in sharing all of this is that I have had experience as an observer of dental offices, an employee in other offices, and finally as a manager for my husband’s practices. (I use the phrase “my husband’s practices” because I believe these are (or were) his practices, 100%. He’s the one that went to dental school for four years and he is the owner of our current practice. I am his Office Manager and as such, view my role as helping him reach his goals as the owner. It is not my practice! I do, however, understand the importance of the Office Manager’s role in kicking her doctor in the butt every so often! And you’ll see that theme time and again in my training and website.)
The first time we opened a scratch practice was in 2003, in Maryland, when the economy was stronger and selling patients on treatments was much easier. We opened our second scratch practice in 2008—right after the recession. And we are only 20 minutes from Mexico, where patients can go to get much cheaper treatment. So we have had out share of challenges getting a new practice to succeed, just like many of you.
Several years on, I’m happy to report that we are generating over $200K a month in collections as a fee-for-service office, with an average of 60–100 new patients a month. I run a staff of over 15, which includes three doctors, four RDHs, three dental assistants, and four employees at the front desk. I am in the office 3–4 days a week as the Office Manager.
I have heard so many times, “Yeah that all sounds good. If only I had an office manager like you.” With this website, the training videos on it, and the regularly updated “Ask Laura” section, you can have a staff trained by an office manager like me! Wait ‘til you see the difference!