Roadside Live |17 min read

Resources, Education, and Community-Driven Support for Dental Office Managers [VIDEO]

Have you ever found yourself stuck trying to find a solution to some new issue in the practice that you’ve never dealt with before?

It could be related to HR, insurance, marketing, or any other aspect of managing a dental practice… have you ever wished you could turn to someone who had successfully dealt with that issue for guidance?

If so, you’re not alone.

Enjoy this video featuring Kim McQueen, AADOM’s Executive Director, to learn about the resources available for dental office managers and what exciting things AADOM… Opens in a new window to AADOM’s website… has in store for 2022!

Watch the video above or read the transcript below:

Angela: Thank you, everyone, for joining us again for another Facebook Live; we’ve got one of our favorite guests. Everyone probably knows Kim McQueen from the dental office managers, AADOM group. So thank you so much for taking your Friday to join us.

Kim: Hey Angela, how are you? Happy Friday.

Angela: I am doing great.

It’s always nice to have you join us and chat it up. We are going to be talking about AADOM today.

For those of our audience who have not joined, first of all, why not? That’s my first question. You do not know what you’re missing.

We wanted to interview you for a moment and just give a little more insight as to kind of what they’re missing out on.

There are so many amazing benefits to the energy, the training, the resources, and things available through this membership through this group are just off the charts.

But from you, what do you hear members saying that they appreciate the most about being part of the AADOM tribe?

What is the biggest thing they love about AADOM?

Kim: Oh boy. It’s funny because there are so many of them and we’ll talk about conferences in a bit, but so many of them [our members], especially this year, have said that they have difficulty describing it. And that’s part of the problem, I think, is you can’t really describe that connection.

And I think the connection is probably a good way to put it. Our members feel literally connected to each other. There’s a support group of peers who, of course, live what they live with every day.

When somebody has a bad day or when somebody is facing a challenge or when somebody needs advice, they know they have a support mechanism of over 10,000 other peers who are going through some of the same things they’re going through.

So I think the connection piece is a big part of that, and then, of course, what goes along with that is the support. They don’t feel alone.

One of the things we used to say in the early days of AADOM is, so many practice managers and practice administrators feel like they’re alone on an island, especially if they’ve been promoted from within the dental practice.

They have a group of friends, and now they’re the managers, so they feel alone. They don’t feel that way once they become part of the AADOM group.

So I think there’s support there, and then they also get recognition from their peers. I mean, it’s funny, we just launched our Observer, which is our magazine that drops three times a year.

Within some of our private Facebook groups, the way that members are lifting up each other to congratulate people on.

 “’Oh my gosh, you made the cover of the Observer. Oh, look, Roseanne, you have an article in here. This is so great!’ So they are recognized for their accomplishments by each other as well.

That’s kind of a lot in one little time slot there, but if I had to narrow it down to one word, it would be the connection, and they just feel tied to each other.

Angela: I know I’ve said this to you before, and I think I’ve probably said it to most of our clients, but as you guys know, I spent the first – let’s not do the math – but the first half of my life in dental practices – 20 plus years in the trenches, and I didn’t know about AADOM.

And so, it was the school of hard knocks.

It was trial and error. It was learning from a couple of other really qualified kinds of mentors as I went through the process.

I worked with other people who knew how to do it well, and you could learn from them and get that experience.

But I didn’t have a group of education, I didn’t have a group of resources, I didn’t have a group of peers with the exception of a couple of offices or the couple of little community groups that you’re in, and I wish I had met you guys then, I wish I knew about AADOM.

Because like you mentioned, that community and being able to have someone who’s doing the same things and having the same barriers and found ways to overcome them is hugely valuable.

That’s why doctors and dentists go to study clubs. That’s why they’re involved in these groups is because talking with each other can be as valuable as anything else.

How did you overcome this, and what was successful?

And the amount of resources and education available through your organization is just phenomenal.

I think unless someone has really dug in and started, seeing everything that’s available, you just don’t realize that there’s really not a topic in the medical-dental world that isn’t covered someplace on AADOM.

It’s been discussed. Someone asked about it; someone’s done a video, done a webinar, done something to teach you how to navigate it.

What resources would you say are kind of your favorites that help members connect and build those relationships?

What are your favorite resources you guys have?

Kim: Sure. So, virtually, of course, we are a virtual association with the exception of the annual conference when we all come together, live.

The first resource we have is our private members-only platform, and it is private. It really is a separate platform, and the conversations that are in there are all private; it’s all secure.

It’s divided up into different topics and different categories. So members interact with each other there.

In addition to that, we do know that Facebook is still one of the easiest ways for people to connect with each other, obviously. So we do have several private Facebook groups that are set up.

Broken down, even by specialty, we’ve got a dental spouse group, a dental family group. A lot of practice managers are related to the dentist, but they’re not the spouse, they’re the child, or they’re the brother, the sister.

So we’ve got some private Facebook groups where people connect in that regard, and they really have formed a lot of great relationships.

It’s kind of fun to watch as they then finally come together at a live event.

They already know each other; they’ve already spent time with each other. So virtually, those are some ways that our members connect, and in in-person events, we do have the annual conference that we’ll talk about, but we have our local chapters, so we have over 70 of them now.

I think we’re probably pushing 80 after the conference now. But they’re all over the country, and they meet once a quarter.

They kind of bridge that gap in between the times of the conference so they can come together, they network locally, and then they also can learn about and discuss issues at the local level from a national perspective.

We can cover the overarching things like insurance and OSHA training and hiring and firing and all of that.

But there are some different legislative things that take place at the local level that we just start a quick to touch all of those states.

So that’s a good way for them to connect locally within their community, and they come together that way as well.

What’s interesting is that you would think that, “Oh my gosh! Here are these office managers from competing offices.”

I tend to believe that doctors may think that may be why they don’t want to have their office manager involved in a local chapter, but it’s quite the opposite.

There isn’t that competition. They come together to grow as a community, and that’s one of the biggest benefits of the chapters, for sure.

So a couple of ways virtually, and then of course live, where our members connect and come together, and it’s a daily thing. Trust me. Multiple times a day, I should say.

Angela: You mentioned the different groups and the different segments that you have available. And I think that’s just an important thing to remind everyone who may not realize that AADOM is the American Association of Dental Office Managers. But it is not exclusive to dental office managers.

I know from being at a conference – there are specialty offices, there are spouses, there are assistants, there are hygienists. There’s everyone from the front office team, not just the office manager.
There are so many people, and because there’s so much education and every aspect of practice management, I realize it’s originally targeted for the office manager to do their job more successfully.

It’s not limited to them. If any of you who are not office managers are listening, it is still a community that you would have great value from. Like she mentioned, the family of the dentist.

If you are the spouse, if you’re maybe not working in the practice, but you’re supporting them behind the scenes, and they’re asking questions all the time about how we can make our practice more successful.

AADOM’s the resource to go in, and let’s find that answer for you cause I’m not in the day-to-day world.

So I think that’s such an important thing that people know is that it’s not just for office managers though having it for office managers is hugely valuable because often they are the ones that are driving, setting the tone, setting the temperature for your office.

They’re the ones driving the success of it. So having them be feeling supported and feeling like they have the resources to do their job is going to increase your profitability and your practice.

Can you plot your little crystal ball and tell us what members are going to look at for 2022?

I know you have some fun things, slated and something on your wishlist. So what do they have going in 2022?

Kim: I do want to mention that if there are some AADOM members who are watching this, I do want to remind you, last year we did our first Secret Santa Gift Exchange, and it was really a big success.

And there were several members who didn’t find out about it until late. They were really bummed.

So we’re really pushing it this year to let everybody know that we are doing the Secret Santa Gift Exchange. If you haven’t signed up yet, you want to participate in that signup date.

The last day to sign up for that is the 19th, which is one week from today. So Friday, that’s November 19th. So sign up for that.

We are going to do probably a Secret Santa happy hour virtually type of thing. When it’s all over with, but just send us an email to [email protected].

If you want to register for that, if you haven’t yet, we’ll get everything out to you. That’s going to kind of wrap up in 2021.

But 2022, my gosh, I agree with you. I can’t believe that we’re looking at 22 already, but we’ve got some targeted what I want to call a Deep Dive education that we’re really looking at with some topics that kind of stick in every office manager’s CRA.

So we’re really working with some potential consultants and speakers to help us develop some education that really goes deep and probably will entail some one-on-one Zoom-type calls, follow-up calls, things like that.

We recognize that there are just some topics that you’re just not going to get everything with a webinar or with a one-hour session.

So we’re looking at that. Of course, we’ve got our distinction program, which is our Fellowship, Mastership, and Diplomat.

We’ve got a record number of people already enrolled in those programs for 2022.

So that’s going to be a big process and helping them to kind of get through the process and making sure they get all the education taken, they complete modules that they have to complete, and they get their CE accrued.

I actually have a team member who’s probably going to have it be her focus for 2022. So many people have come through that program.

So that was really good. And then we’re looking at some more ways to connect virtually.

So I kind of mentioned looking at doing some Zoom happy hour type things. We’re looking at trying to do that maybe quarterly, where we have just some virtual social times.

We’re kind of calling those tribe talks, which is what we had in 2020. They went over really well. It was just an opportunity to come together.

Whoever can make it, make it. It’s kind of an open forum. To maybe almost like our Member’s Forum only, it comes live through Zoom.

Angela: The virtual open house

Kim: Yeah, a virtual open house type of thing, and then one of the other things we’ve talked a lot about is we’ve had members ask us about it.

We’re evaluating an AADOM app. So I can’t promise, “Hey, it’s going to go live in 2022.” I don’t want people messaging me going, “Oh my God, we’re gonna get an app.”

I don’t want the AADOM team freaking out right about now, but we are evaluating it. We recognize that we do need one, but as you guys know, it’s not an easy undertaking.

It’s a very large project. So it’s definitely on the horizon for 2022. We’re going to be looking closely at that.

So those are just some things. And the good thing about AADOM is we’ve got a small team, and we’re pretty flexible, so we can shift and move, and I would suspect there’ll be changes or additions as we go. So yeah, lots of good things are on the horizon, for sure.

Angela: Speaking of 2022, where is the conference in 2022, and what can attendees expect for their yearly party?

Kim: Really party, right.

Well, I tell you, I don’t know if we can top 2021. It just was crazy, and there was such energy at this one and such emotion. I mean, so many people, vendors, and attendees, and speakers said they had not been to a meeting this good ever, and there were a lot of variables there.

We know that there was just a lot of emotion, a lot of tears, a lot of laughter. So it’s going to be difficult to tap that emotion and that feeling.

But we are going to be back in Scottsdale, AZ. So I know for members who have attended before they love that location, we do too.

So we’re going back to the west coast, but we are going to be at a different hotel. We’re going to be at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess Resort. So not at the Carolyn, but at the Fairmont Princess. So it’s a beautiful property with a slightly different kind of layout.

I’m actually going to be there next to check it out. So we’re going to be there. And it’s September 8th through the 10th, and I will tell everybody it is a smaller venue than where we were. Of course, Universal Studios was huge.

Everybody saw that the hotel was enormous. This venue is going to be a little smaller than that.

And, of course, everybody knows. We sold out this year in 2021. Please don’t think we’re fitting when we say space is limited, and we’re almost sold out.

I actually had a member say to me this year when we sold out, “What do you mean? I can’t register. You can’t be sold out.”

We did offer some specials at conferences this year, so I know many people have already registered and signed up for 2022.

When the website goes live at the beginning of the year, we’ll launch it, and we’ll make it public. Of course, I would not dilly dally because it is; we’re going to sell out.

We will sell out for sure. So, it’s going to be exciting. We’ve got some new speakers this year that have never been with us at AADOM.

So looking forward to that, we’re going to kind of bring some new speakers and we’ve got some new vendors that have already signed up.

So we’re excited about that, and then Ross Bernstein is actually our keynote speaker. I was able to see him in May. I actually watched him live for a keynote, and he’s just a wonderful person.

I think our members are really going to love him. So thank you to CareCredit-  they’re helping us get Ross there.

So, yeah, it’s September 8th through the 10th; we do have Wednesday pre-conference classes. Like we always have, but some good things there too. We’re going to adjust that a little bit. You can take a class in the morning and take a different class in the afternoon, or vice versa.

So, yeah, there’s going to be some flexibility as far as the Wednesday pre-conference sessions go.

So, put it on your calendar now. So you’ve got it reserved, and then watch for some, watch for some announcements when we get the 2022 site launched.

Angela: We were in attendance this year as vendors, and so we got an opportunity to meet a lot of the members that were there.

And I joke about being at a party because the energy was so good, but we did hear just a tremendous amount of feedback from people saying that it was especially first-time attendees.

I think we met a lot of your first-time attendees, saying that it was a career-changing weekend or a career-changing event because they not only met people but also found the collaboration.

But there was so much education packed into those couple of days that they walked away feeling like, where do I even begin? I’ve got so much to work with now.

So we heard a lot of really positive feedback like that from your attendees in 2021. So I can’t wait to see you guys try to top it next year.

Kim: Yeah, we actually had a record number of first-time attendees this year, and we had large teams that came this year. And, so that was really great to see. Obviously, we encourage the full team to come because if you can learn together, it’s easier to do that implementation when you get back.

So yeah, lots of good feedback. Again, the resort is beautiful. Scottsdale is always a great place, and unfortunately, it’s September. It’ll probably be a little warm, but we won’t have the humidity like we had this year. So it’ll be a dry heat.

Angela: That’s beautiful.

Oh yeah. Well, thank you so much for joining us, and we really appreciate you spending part of your Friday with us. And anyone who is not a member, sign up, man. You don’t know what you’re missing,

Kim: Go to … Opens in a new window to AADOM’s website… and hit that “Become a Member” button. You can’t miss it. It’ll give you all the options there. And Angela, you and Roadside have been with us for a long time, and your support is awesome. So we really appreciate that. Thank you, guys.

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