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    Why the future is DSOs

    DSOs are continuing to grow and capture more market share and greater revenue.



    Action is required

    It is important that you get clear for yourself that the only access to impacting life is action. The world does not care what you intend, how committed you are, how you feel or what you think, and certainly has no interest in what you want and what you don’t want. Take a look at life as it is lived, and see for yourself that the world only moves for you when you act.”  – Werner Erhard

    What causes change is action. What generates action in language is a request. A request is a committed speech act. A request has responsibility at its core. A request is a transaction. It causes action. A request is asking another for a commitment. A request is negotiable. A request is a conversation for and about a future. A request generates committed action, which drives outcomes. I don’t witness dentists making any requests of DSOs, except to cease and desist.  That’s like a payphone company asking Apple not to make smartphones.

    More from the author: How changing patient expectations will impact your practice

    In my experience, dentists would rather be right than happy. They’d prefer to complain, whine, opine, explain, assess and judge, rather than do something about it. The only thing that will change the future is committed speaking leading to committed action, which today few, if any, dentists are doing. Dentists simply are not making requests to participate and collaborate with DSOs, or requests of those advisers who help emerging DSOs in their development or existing DSOs in their leadership, management, culture, communication and infrastructure performance.

    I am a bit tired of hearing all the complaints about DSOs, from both inside and outside DSOs. What I don’t hear is well transacted requests, made to the appropriate people to charge and change the future. 

    DSOs are not going away. They are growing between 13 percent to 14 percent per year. They are well financed. They are well led and well managed. They have powerful infrastructures and very accountable people. Young dentists don’t want to own a practice, and older dentists are tired of managing and owning. In less than a decade, 50 percent of the dentists will be women—DSOs will flourish in this ecology.


    Complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any better. The only thing complaining does is convince people that you are not in control, that you are a victim. Those who complain the most accomplish the least. If you have time to complain about something, then you have the time to do something about it.

    If the future is DSOs—and it is inevitable that it is—then it is best to get on this train because it is leaving the station. The DSO tracks are laid for dominating the industry. They’ve got the money, the people, the processes, the infrastructures, the metricizes and the marketing. DSOs have the wind at their backs and the sun on their face, while most dentists are fighting a strong, cold headwind.


    Dr. Marc Cooper
    Dr. Cooper's professional career includes private periodontist, academician, researcher, teacher, practice management consultant, ...


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