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July 26th, 2022

Episode 32 – Finding Your Next Dental Practice Owner with Dr. David Rice

“The opportunity to bring in an associate who is on a pathway to ownership is huge.” ~Dr. David Rice

It’s a conundrum. 

Experienced practice owners need young dentists who want to be on the path to ownership. Young doctors are seeking great practices where they can grow into ownership.

But it can seem impossible to bring these two groups together. 

Smart business owners like you know that building an Investment Grade PracticeTM means ensuring the long-term success of your business. 

My goal is to ensure independent dental practice owners have the autonomy to make the choices that support their future. Today, Dr. David Rice from IgniteDDS shares insights on where to find passionate young entrepreneurs who can support your goal of building an Investment Grade Practice:

  • Where to find young doctors who are hungry to join a thriving practice
  • What motivates today’s young doctors and what stands in their way
  • Understanding where young dentists need the most support when joining a practice

Want to know if you have an Investment Grade Practice? Click here to use the completely free Investment Grade Practice calculator: What’s my IgP Freedom Number?

Want to have a conversation about your Investment Grade PracticeTM? Contact Brent at brent@productivedentist.com.
Never miss an episode! Subscribe to Investment Grade PracticesTM Podcast on iTunes & Spotify.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Victoria Peterson
Welcome back to Investment Grade Practices. I’m Victoria Peterson. So excited to be with Dr. David Rice, the founder of Ignite DDS. David, I’m so happy to have you here today.

Dr. David Rice
I’m happy to be here. Thanks for the invite. I appreciate it.

Victoria Peterson
You’re welcome. Have you ever noticed in dentistry, that young dentists and old dentists tend to have the same fears? The same mindset? Have you noticed that

Dr. David Rice
I have and may have built a course or two around it and

Victoria Peterson
and that is the reason that I wanted you to be a guest with us today. Investment Grade Practices primarily focuses on our audiences are established dentists who are growing their practices contemplating expansion or selling or bringing in investment partners over the next five to eight years and what they need more than anything, are young doctors who want to come in and work in a productive office and, you know, their fear is I can’t find anybody from what you’ve told me in conversation, young doctors, like I wish I could find a great practice. So let’s talk today about how do we bridge this gap? You know, in spiritual terms, they always say what you’re seeking is also seeking you and I feel like this is one of those moments. So can you tell us a little bit about Ignite DDS and the platform you have for young doctors?

Dr. David Rice
Absolutely. So we are a community of a little north of 43,000 young dentists, dental students who are hungry to probably be in, you know, one of your practices, which I love and we work with them on a mentorship side, we work with them on education, how to navigate where they are, and then how to get where they’re going with a really big part of what we do. Our topic today, connecting them to the best practices, you know, all over the country and they want that so the great news is I know you think they’re not out there, they think you’re not out there and our job is just to bring all of us together,

Victoria Peterson
I love it. What are young doctors looking for? Are they entrepreneurial? Do they just want a job? What did what do? What do you know, you’ve got the inside scoop. So I

Dr. David Rice
think, you know, if you subscribe to Pareto principle that 8020, you know, 20% of them are so much more entrepreneurial, spirited than I was when I was a young dentist. I know, that’s not what a lot of people share. That’s not the story being told. They really, really are the things that get in their way. From an obstacle standpoint, you know, perception or reality, the biggest one is their debt.

So they’re afraid of that number and unfortunately, in dental schools, all across America, that message gets pounded into their brains by many faculty members and it’s compounded with lunch and learns by big corporate entities who have a lot of money to spend. So they play on that pain and try to really strum that tune. The good news is they want ownership and I would say, at least in our community, 85% of them are seeking it before their third year out after graduation.

Victoria Peterson
Oh, that’s a great statistic. I didn’t know it was before the third year out, I thought it was traditionally like five years out. So three, you know, it’s so funny because the problem lies within the answer, or the answer lies within the problem, right? If you have $500,000 in debt, the only way you’re going to get out is to own your own practice and control the profits from there because you will pay it back off your salary.

Dr. David Rice
No, you know, my simplest explanation to young people listens, that if you’re an associate, forever, you work out of let’s say you have one control over yourself. So you have one body but as an owner, if you have to hygiene is or three or four, like all the sudden, you’re multiplying yourself, which is hard to figure out how to make happen really as an associate.

So they get it they understand and you know, those three years for them are really, it’s kind of like an extended residency, it’s a training ground, they want to get their skills, their speed, a little experience, maybe learned a little something about the business. So it’s not so daunting to them but man, the opportunity to bring in and associate with a path to ownership is, it’s huge to them.

Victoria Peterson
So I want to talk about two things here. One, how does ignite DDS help prepare them for that I know you’ve got a robust CEE platform and mentorship platform. Can you talk to us more about that?

Dr. David Rice
Sure. So areas where young dentists need more help where school runs out of time, they don’t really understand how to diagnose and treatment plan. I remember being a student, all I wanted to do is pick up a handpiece and go, go, go go go and it wasn’t until my residency and taking some higher level CEE that I’m like, Oh, I really need to learn how to see it before I can do it. So we work diligently with them on diagnostics and treatment planning.

We work diligently with them on patient communication skills, you know how to speak a language that your patient understands, you know, things that are really familiar to you, Victoria. So we, we give them that two Foundation and the third one is leadership, you know, we try to help them understand that whether you’re an associate or an owner, a team is going to look to you as someone to lead them. So the faster we give them a skill set, without being offensive when they come into somebody’s practice, and they’re not the owner. Right? Then we know the more prepared they’ll be and the more an owner will say, Oh my gosh, this is exactly who I was looking for.

Victoria Peterson
Oh, that’s it, you know what teaching that middle management almost type of leadership, it’s, you have to lead through influence because you have no authority. So So that’s terrific, that you’re teaching them how to influence their team how to influence their patients, how to connect, how to move the ball forward and I would say a lot of times, you know, if associates do come straight out of school, and they haven’t had the learning opportunity, that is one of the biggest struggles and I’m glad to hit on also the diagnostics not fully being covered in dental school and I think, since I graduated in 1980, which I don’t think any of the dentists that are graduating today were even born in 1980.

The requirements are lower like the units of endo or credit bridge or whatever they’re doing but even back then there was never an emphasis on comprehensive care. It was more diagnosis for the unit that you need to do. Liver today, you know, is you’re diagnosing for requirements you’re not diagnosing for health and that’s a huge distinction. Agree. Yeah. So tell us about your platform, Ignite DDS. Yeah, the community and

Dr. David Rice
It’s, gosh, you know, community-wise we work with, we work with our community, both on our.com but I would say far more on social media. You know, as we all know, that’s where Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z are living 22 hours a day. So we bring a lot of content to them, and really small doses, where they’re already hanging out and as a result, we kind of pull them into our community for deeper learning when they’re ready, and thankfully, many of them are ready sooner than later. So we do a lot of work there.

We travel around the country, constantly, you know, where I’m probably in too many cities for Anastasia, she probably wants to like, chained me to a chair at home but you know, I would say if I’m in 40 cities a year, and then multiply myself with multiple people, on our team. We try to get to the schools, the residency programs, we get to, you know, all the major meetings and host events, and then we have our own ignite events as well, which are geared right around the conversation we’re having, so we bring a lesson but the big part of the lesson is then connecting both sides. So we may speak directly to young people but by the end of the evening, we invite you to know, that dentists from whatever community we’re in, like to come in, and it becomes a big networking event.

At work, man, we call them to network and chill and they’re phenomenal. We do so the picture we do say 30 minutes of you know, meet and greets and have a cocktail and a snack, then we do like a 30 minute almost TED Talk, little extended TED Talk. Then we gamify and we charge these young dentists to go out and build connections and not get stuck with their friends and on the other side of the door, another person on our team is prepping, you know, dentists like you and I to say like, Hey, we’re about to bring you 40 5060 Depends on the city, young Denison students. So tonight’s your night to go meet the next person you’re bringing into your practice and worst case scenarios rather than make friends and scenario, we bring people together who otherwise both believe that person’s not out there for them, which is there’s so much fun and the results are tremendous.

Victoria Peterson
You know, our passion is to help keep independent private practice or group practices going, you know, so that dentists have autonomy over their clinical choices. They’ve got control over hours in their life and all of that kind of thing and, you know, there’s one thing to talk about it, you’re out there doing it, and you’re doing it in such a fun way. You know, I just love this.

Dr. David Rice
Thank you.

Victoria Peterson
Thank you. Yeah. A little more sophisticated than speed dating.

Dr. David Rice
It’s yeah, you know, it’s very intentionally designed you when you’re there as the guest, you feel like it’s very casual but it’s, you know, by design, it’s very casual, because we don’t want anyone to feel intimidated and we want people to walk away from that night not only having enjoyed it, but having at least two connections that they didn’t have prior to coming. And

Victoria Peterson
is Instagram the primary place? What are the social media outlets that you’re on?

Dr. David Rice
Instagram is our primary channel because our audience is so young. We reach about 100,000 of them per week. Yeah, that’s super fun and, and I’m, you know, I’m an older guy now. So I take my direction from our young team. I just, I’m like, tell me what to do. I will I will do what you tell me.

Victoria Peterson
older guy, you look 36

Dr. David Rice
Well, you told me graduated in 1980, and like, how many grades did you skip to get there?

Victoria Peterson
Oh my goodness. So what is so cool about this is you instantly identified also like why do young people think baby boomer doctors don’t want them and why can’t baby boomer Gen X DRS find, you know, millennials and Gen Y, Z. They just literally are in two different ecosystems. You know, they’re ones at the beach and ones at the lake and you got to bring them together. This is amazing. This is amazing. Now I know that you were kicking off our first investment grade practice Summit in September. I know you have a conflict because you’re traveling all over the place but we will have you participate Getting via video with our private clients because this is such an important piece to building an investment grade practice is finding the second generation or third generation of leadership to come into your practice and carry the clinical philosophy of care forward to lead the team forward and really so impressed with what you’re doing.

Dr. David Rice
Thank you, we feel the same way about everything you guys are doing. So happy to be a part of it in some small way.

Victoria Peterson
If a doctor is looking for an associate, other than the meet and greets and things that you do live, is there another way for doctors to search for young doctors or get their name out there through Ignite? DDS.

Dr. David Rice
Absolutely, please take advantage of it. We don’t broker we just like connecting. So this is not a revenue thing for us just go to ignite dds.com yields, and you’ll see there your ability to look for an associate to look for someone, if you if you’re looking for a partner, so almost like a transition and you know, all you have to do is give us your information and we will reach out to our audience and say, Hey, we’ve got this tremendous opportunity out there for you. So please take advantage of it. We’re happy to help.

Victoria Peterson
So is there a form that they fill out? Or just? Yeah,

Dr. David Rice
yeah, super basic. You know, it’s all the things you’d imagine it’s your name, contact information if you have a specific contact at your practice that you’d like us to reach out to, or somebody to reach out to and I would say the more information, it’s not going to take you more than five minutes to fill out but if I fill it out, really fill it out, that gives us the greatest opportunity to showcase you in front of, you know, I have

Victoria Peterson
a one particular Dr. Seeking. So now he’ll put his link tree and all of his social handles on there who probably upload 25 videos and pictures if you let him.

Dr. David Rice
Yeah, yeah, that’s all you know and if any of you are out there too if you ever want to, you know share a story about success and how you get out there. Our youngsters are always looking to hear what went well and you know, if you’re open to being vulnerable and sharing, like, Hey, man, if I was going to do it all over again, yeah, I wouldn’t do these things, you know, again, let us know we have opportunities for all of those things and, and we’re happy to share them.

Victoria Peterson
That’s great. Now, tell us the other arms of Ignite, you’ve got ignite DDS that focuses on the young dentist, these are like under five years, and or do you even put an age limit on it?

Dr. David Rice
You know, weed. So originally, we kind of put a 10-year age limit on it, we sort of followed the organized dentistry model as they transition out, and what we’ve really found is 80% of our audience is within six years and 20% is all over the board, you know, we get as all over the board. So yeah, we primarily deal with the younger side of dentists and then connect them to more seasoned pros when they’re ready. Our study clubs are amazing. We have those for both young dentists, as well as we just launched them for dental students. So we have, we have this big open format to educate students and all that stuff that’s free to them and then with our study clubs, we’ve made it really inexpensive.

We think it’s like 50 bucks a year but the whole point is that they have some skin in the game. So they show up because they’re busy and they’re students and they get distracted and I remember but we only want the top 10 percenters involved in our study clubs. So those are amazing for us and I love meeting those students especially because you can tell they might be a second year like, oh my god, this gal or this guy is just going to crush it in life. They just get it. Yeah, so those are. Those are great. We’ve got a whole team side. So you know, you’re talking about Kevin Henry, before you and I came on here today. So he works a lot with dental assistants crash we’re about to launch Ignite DDS. We have three tremendous hygenist who many of you will know as we launched it, you’ll see their names and be like, Oh, of course.

Victoria Peterson
Oh, come on. No sneak preview. As part of that, right?

Dr. David Rice
No, you know, Anastasia is smarter than that. She recognizes that we are stronger as a couple when we support each other but we don’t directly work together. smarter than I am so much smarter than I am. Anastasia, if you’re watching, you’re welcome. No, it’s but Amber agar is a part of the team. So she’s great. She does a lot of work with Rdh magazine as well as a program she developed called thrive in the app that helps hide, you know, young hygienists on the clinical side. We’ve got Malia from hygiene edge, who is an educator at you know, kind of through and through and she is joining our team and then Marley, also at a hygiene program is joining our team.

They’re just three dynamic ladies with none of them knew each other, which was perfect and we brought them all individually before we brought them together and that’s probably about four or five months away. We’re literally building this ball of clay together, which is a blast and it’s shocking to them. They’re like, Well, you’re not just going to tell us what to do. I’m like, No, this is yours. This is your like, I’m here to help. We’re going to facilitate but you were going to build together what you three ladies see the need to build. So it’s exciting and coming soon.

Victoria Peterson
That’s awesome. Well, I’m excited. I’ve been watching your career reading your column in dental Entrepreneur Magazine for years and years and years and now that I have this podcast platform like oh, how do I go and talk to an interview my favorite people in dentistry and you were certainly on my top 10 list.

Dr. David Rice
Well, I really appreciate being here. Thank you so much. I love what you guys are doing. Thank you for representing legacy and better in dentistry. It’s, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Victoria Peterson
Well, you’re welcome, David. If people want to get a hold of you, the best way to do that would be

Dr. David Rice
sure. Two ways really, my email is my name. It’s david.rice@ignitedds.com or if you are a social media lover, just find Ignite DDS, on Facebook, on Instagram, on LinkedIn wherever you want and whatever is easiest for you just reach out happy to help.

Victoria Peterson
I love it. Well, thank you for helping raise the next generation to greatness and keeping private practice secure. Appreciate you.

Dr. David Rice
Thanks so much.

Narrator
Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Investment Grade Practices podcast. If you find value in this episode, help us spread the word by passing it along to a dental friend. Subscribe and give us a Like on iTunes or Spotify. Learn more about building your Investment Grade Practice at productivedentist.com Today

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