The Sterling Training Gave me More Confidence

By September 23, 2016 March 19th, 2020 No Comments

My general dentistry practice is on the “big island” of Hawaii, quite rural. We are very close to all the five-star resorts that you see on TV with the Masters Golf Tournaments and the Ironman Competition—we are right there. Our patients are from the agricultural, ranching and hotel industries, primarily.

I’ve been practicing here for about ten years now and in November of last year, about ten months ago, I opened my own office. Prior to that I was about 30 minutes away working for another doctor. I moved from an even more rural area to this one. Where I am now is much more central to things, in the middle of the island, so my practice draws easily from everywhere.

I have four staff, including one part-time hygienist. I have three operatories up and running, and another one available.

I’ve been a Sterling client since March of 1999. I had decided that I wanted to go out on my own and I knew I was going to need some help, and I wanted to make sure it would go well. I am not young and fearless anymore with all the time in the world. What I wanted to do was to have a system that I knew would work and that would help me, so I wouldn’t be reinventing the wheel every time I made a move. I prepared myself for my departure into my own practice by getting the Sterling training. I am really happy that I did.

I have been extremely busy during the last year, of course. It is an enormous amount of work to set up a practice. I had planned to build an office and open right away, but my space got delayed and I had to open up in a temporary spot. So, I actually had to open two offices in the last year. I opened my first office in November of last year, and my new office in June of this year. It was extremely hectic and a lot of work and effort. Just getting systems organized and staff and all that—now I can say I have a good core and I feel like I can do a lot of things.

I was only part-time at the office where I had been working. So, I have no statistics to compare this year against. But I am doing much more dentistry now and I am in charge. I am doing some administrative work—some of everything! But as far as I am concerned, I am so much more alive – it is hard to describe. It is so much more fulfilling to know that I can do this. My big fear all of last year was, “Should I do it? Shouldn’t I do it?” Then it was, “Ooooh – is it going to work?” It is working. I have been booked solid since day one.

If I wanted to work seven days a week, I could fill the entire seven days with patients. And I’m not doing any managed care; it is all fee-for-service.

I knew the end product of Sterling’s training worked, because I had a friend who had done the Sterling program. I knew it would work because I saw a drastic change in him, and that was why I was interested in Sterling in the first place. I saw his practice do a complete 180-degree change. Because of that, I asked him what was up and he told me about Sterling. I told him I was going to start my own practice and that I didn’t want to be stupid about it. I’m too old to start from nothing and go about this blindly. I didn’t want to reinvent things. If it has already been invented, then just teach me. I have seen other people start up and just flounder. I didn’t want to do that.

Initially, when I was doing the training at Sterling, there were some things that I knew could be implemented that could help me right off the bat, and that’s where I wanted to be. When I went out for the training, I had no idea what it was about. Through the course of study, I realized why I needed to be there; I needed to be totally separate and away in order to concentrate and make a change. I’m sure that’s the reason why they do that—you are totally away from your other elements and you can really make a change. Otherwise it would be very difficult to do that. And they are mainly dealing with doctors who have been in practice for a long time, trying to make a change.

What I learned made me more aware of life in general. The Sterling program made a lot of sense to me—it wasn’t very difficult although it was life-changing. My husband did part of it with me. We continue to talk about it even now. We both feel that it has changed our lives in good ways. You think about your actions more and the ramifications of them, and your personal integrity. It makes things easy when you do that. I implemented these life-changing things right away.

The Sterling training gave me more confidence. It made things that were so subjective, objective. I think that was the biggest thing. It took all those subjective things and put them into an objective view with statistics. It gave me something to concentrate on, rather than just, “Am I making money or not?” Or, “I am having trouble with my staff, but I don’t know why.” Those things can cause major stress.

I’ve been getting consulting from my Sterling consultant every two weeks. My consultant is an objective ear.

Often you can convince yourself it is something else, but you know deep down what is right. It helps to have someone say, “No. You need to do this.” You know it is right, but you can talk yourself out of it. It really helps to have a non-biased, objective ear. And she is objective—she will tell it like it is.

The longer that I do the Sterling program and the more my practice ages, the more I see the benefits of having done the Sterling program. You run into the various things that were covered in your training—you just need to see the specifics of it and see it in action.

I am getting a better eye for how to apply the technology. For example, I had a staff member who was not getting our system down. She was a good person and so it never developed into an ugly mess, but finally I realized how stressful it was making my life. We eventually agreed that she would leave. Within a week my stress level went down incredibly.

Sterling has a method of teaching you and showing you how to manage your own practice, rather than just doing it haphazardly and not knowing what worked or why. I have certainty on what I am doing.

One of the biggest things is that there is more value as I keep going. As my practice ages I see all the benefits. It all comes together more and more. Now I can say to other doctors, “Yes! You should do Sterling.”

Leesa Miyasato, DDS