April 2, 2019

078 The Pros and Cons of Being an Associate Versus Being an Owner with Dr. Vinh, Dr. Erin Elliott, and Dr. Ashley Joves

Millennial Dentist Podcast

We are recording live from the Voices of Dentistry Day 1. Sully talks with Dr. Vinh Nguyen from the Nifty Thrifty podcast, Dr. Erin Elliott, and Dr. Ashley Joves from California. Some of the things we discuss are the pros and cons of being an associate versus being an owner.

We also talk about how to separate being a leader and being a friend in a practice. We share four unique perspectives on balancing running a practice and running our lives. We talk about technology, risk, debt, survival mode, mindset, solutions and so much more in this episode.

You can find our guests here:

Dr. Vinh Nguyen the Nifty Thrifty Podcast

Dr. Erin Elliott

Dr. Ashley Joves

Show Notes:

[00:52] Dr. Vinh Nguyen from the Nifty Thrifty podcast.

[00:59] Dr. Erin Elliott #smokeshow.

[01:29] Dr. Ashley Joves from California.

[02:48] Vinh is an associate right now. Someday, he will move on to being an owner.

[03:25] Ashley has her own office. When she was an associate, she never had to take work home. As an owner, she pays herself less and takes home more stress. She is always thinking about the practice.

[05:12] Never compare your journey with someone else’s especially on social media. People portray their highlight reel on social media.

[05:44] Ashley talks about challenges of running a practice that include juggling family and mom duties, leading a team of young females, and still wanting everyone to like her.

[06:08] Erin has evolved over time. She does try to keep some separation with her team.

[07:11] Erin always brings everything back to the patient. She also asks her team for their solutions when they come to her for problems.

[08:54] Ashley knows where she wants to take her office. She struggles with investing in technology and taking on debt.

[12:05] Sully delegates everything. He jumps in and figures it out.

[13:27] Erin thinks dentists need to work on their mindset and empower their teams. Find each team member’s strengths and empower them.

[14:28] Break down what you need to do to get to the next step.

[15:30] Erin is about to speak on stage, so she is going to leave the show.

[16:30] Vinh’s timeline is to buy into a practice in the next few years. Benefits of working with other dentist owners is that you aren’t alone. He wants to have equity in multiple offices.

[18:29] Sully’s dad still practices.

[21:38] Ashley can expand her offerings or bring other people on. She could calculate her annual patient value. Then focus on increasing that amount.

[24:18] At Vinh’s practice, they keep most everything in house.

[26:07] They also offer payment plans or cash discounts.

[28:30] Ashley was booked doing fillings all day. She is working on investing in her business.

[32:41] The Cone beam is better for diagnosis.

[33:50] Give people who pay up front a 10% discount. You can also do 3 payments over the timeline.

[39:42] Ashley was losing on opportunity by pushing new patients weeks away. She has two full-time hygienists. Now she is struggling with giving them hours.

[41:11] It’s important to be honest with the team members and give them extra duties if they are flexible.

[45:22] Eventually Ashley will build out her other rooms as she builds and expands her practice.

[46:37] You have to have everything dialed in before you add people and rooms.

[47:26] It’s important to share your vision with your team.

As always thanks so much for listening! If you like the show we would love for you to review the show on iTunes as well as spread the word! If you have any questions or want to get in touch, shoot me an email at  

Links and Resources:

The Millennial Dentist Website

@Millennialdentist on Facebook

@MillennialDDS on Twitter

On Instagram  
Dr. Sully…@Millennialdentist on Instagram
Dr. Peyman…@drpeyray on Instagram

Dr. Sully’s website and blog

Extreme Ownership

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