Recently I spoke with a dentist who has two offices and is in the process of opening a third. She was running herself ragged – barely able to find room to breathe in her hectic schedule. I asked her if she had an office manager and she said (with a sigh of relief) ‘no, we let one go, and she was so awful we all want to go without one”. While this is understandable, given the “once bitten..” scenario, it is proving to be very shortsighted, as it leaves ‘no one running the show’. The doctor might think he/she has the manager role covered, but if the doctor has patient care responsibilities in the practice, he/she cannot be the eyes and ears of the practice. Managing a practice without observation of day to day interaction and who is doing what, is very dangerous, as the doctor has to rely completely on “hearsay” and other’s opinions as to what is going on! The best practices I’ve seen, have awesome office managers! The trick is in knowing how to spot who has that potential, getting that person to demonstrate their ability and then really empowering them to wear the hat. The technique to doing this has been figured out and has resulted in practices where the doctor can come in and do dentistry and not have to worry about marketing, staff issues, the schedule, insurances etc.