Today we are going to talk about a problem that I definitely have, and I think a lot of you probably have too. Here in Arizona it gets really, really hot. I know that’s like a super huge surprise to you…but it does get really, really hot! Because of the heat, a lot of people in Arizona actually spend a significant amount of time in San Diego during the summer. It’s a beautiful locale, and in June it’s actually almost cold part of the day. Those who are fortunate enough to have the cash will spend the whole summer in Coronado or somewhere, much lovelier than it is here. On the flip side, in the winter we have a great tourism industry here in Arizona. We have lots of people who come to visit our state to escape the harsh winters and snow. These winter visitors provide a significant boost to our economy so it’s really, really important to all of us who reside in the state full-time.
So why am I talking about this when I blog about orthodontics? Because this summer, we had a patient who was eating a tortilla chip in San Diego and broke off her lower fixed retainer. Supposedly it flew across the room! Her dad started calling orthodontic offices in town to have it recemented. At this point, he hadn’t called us to let us know what happened. He figured he would find someone on his own and didn’t need to bother us. But, he ran into a huge issue. Hardly anyone was willing to do it. Those who were willing, wanted to take x-rays and photos. They informed him that they would charge him $750 for the records and for the recement. He just couldn’t find anybody to help him out, and that’s when he then started calling me. Fortunately, I found an office that was willing to help. I would like to note that this wasn’t a patient who was poverty stricken. They own a bunch of car dealerships around here so $750 wasn’t the end of the world. He just thought it was a bit outrageous to have to pay $750 to have a fixed retainer recemented and that’s why he called our office.
So, what’s my point? Don’t be a jerk. No. Jerks. Allowed. We are all colleagues – right? Everyone talks online about how we should be colleagues and not competitors. Yet, someone calls that has an emergency from out of town and all of a sudden everyone is way too busy to see that person. Or it’s too much of a hassle, or it’s such a liability that I need to get all of these records and charge a small fortune for it. If you think it’s such a liability and you need to take photos and x-rays, don’t charge them for it. I have people who come into town to all the time for broken brackets or pokey wires and we rarely charge them anything -even if it’s to recement a fixed retainer. I am sorry if you consider that a liability, but it’s about being human. Be kind to your colleague who has a patient in need of help. You have an invaluable service to provide them. I am not saying you need do it for free necessarily, but you don’t need to charge exorbitant amounts of money. We are all in this together. If you were on vacation and something happened to you, you would want someone to help you out. Don’t take advantage of the patient’s vulnerability. So be kind to other people’s patients. Help out your colleagues. If you happen to live in such a lovely area that everybody wants to go and visit, do the right thing. That goodwill will go a long way for you and our profession.
Don’t forget about our conference in October click here to register. Have a great week.