Kim Wright, DMD, MAGD is a 1989 graduate from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. She was born and raised in Alaska, At 21 she decided she better go to college, not sure what she wanted to do but knew what she did not want to do and she set off in a path that landed her in dentistry. She has been involved in organized dentistry her entire career and what she is most passionate about is education. Bringing great speakers, topics and innovation to Portland to share with her colleagues. The past 18 months she has been immersed in helping form the Oregon AGD Foundation which has built the Oregon AGD Foundation Center, “Where service meets education."
VIDEO - DUwHF #1290 - Kim Wright
AUDIO - DUwHF #1290 - Kim Wright
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Howard: It's just a huge honor for me today to be podcasting I'm doing Dr. Kim Wright DMD,MAGD she's a 1989 graduate from Oregon Health Science University in Portland Oregon she was born and raised in Alaska and age 21 she decided she'd better go to college and not sure what she wanted to do but knew what she did not want to do and she set off in a path that landed her in dentistry. In 89 she graduated with honors from Oregon Health Science University and joined a practice in a small community 30 miles outside of Portland after 11 years heard her husband decided to move into Portland she sold her practice in 2000 and built to practice in West Linn Oregon early 2001 she opened her doors as a cold start and has grown a thriving practice that provides excellent care one patient at a time. Her roots educationally or at the Pankey Institute were in the late 90s she went through the Curt continuum Pankey has given her a foundation providing excellent care to her patients she has been involved in organized dentistry her entire career and what she is most passionate about is education bringing great speakers topics and innovation of Portland to share their colleagues the past 18 months she is immersed in helping form the Oregon AGD foundation which is built the Oregon AGD Foundation Center which service meets education she has known as a lifelong learner and continuing education junkie taking more than a hundred hours of CE annually. She earned the prestigious master's award from the Academy of general dentistry in 2011 she has accurately served professional associations and leadership roles such as the past president of the Oregon AGD Past trustee for the Oregon Dental Association she is currently the incoming chair of the Oregon Dental Association leadership development committees and the AGD National Pace Council she's a member of my god you're uh you're a member of everything. Dr. Wright shares her office location with her husband Knoll a private practice physical therapist they have two daughters or oldest at the University of Oregon and their youngest is at the West Linn together the family enjoys traveling cooking eating of course next the great outdoors I am I have to tell you that I feel that you and I both agree that probably the number one variable correlating to the success of a dentist career is continuing education.
Kim: Absolutely and you know small group education too you know and that's what I am really most passionate about and we've done a really great job in Oregon bringing small hands on education and you know Oregon AGD just formed a foundation 18 months ago and we tomorrow we should get our occupancy permit for a 7,000 square foot Education Center has two operatories 16 chair simlab and an 85 chair you know occupancy auditorium and we are very proud of that.
Howard: Well you should be how did you raise the money for I mean what did that cost I I heard it was like two and a half million?
Kim: Yes yes it's June a half million we have raised 1 million 48 thousand dollars in cash monetary and the rest has been donated by industry Adeck has completely are donated 12 operatories one of which is a surgical suite Patterson was invaluable in helping us get all these you know industry leaders to donate Kay Bokor donated the Imaging Center Spycam did our sterilization center I mean we have just had an outpouring of support from our community.
Howard: So did you ever get to meet Joan and Ken Austin the founders of Adeck dental?
Kim: Yes they have been instrumental in our community here in Oregon I mean they have been so supportive of so many things and his hit I didn't get a chance to go to his funeral I was out of town but it was in a huge auditorium at Oregon State so well it's impressive yeah yeah he just died last year.
Howard: Right he was I mean he was just so amazing of a man my gosh I am whenever I would would never wear a little when we go on vacations my dad always wanted to stop and see things made and I continued a tradition so when I had all for my boys in RV and we stopped by Adeck and at one end you know they brought in the pallets of leather and ball bearings and and at the other end is adding Adeck chair all built right there in a town of not even 10,000 people.
Kim: Yeah oh yeah what's growing in the wine country it's becoming a very popular.
Howard: What town is it?
Howard: Newburgh yeah when I went there I mean when I went there, my boys are probably 2 4 6 and 8 and just a small town but what an amazing man so they gave you a 12 chairs for this thing?
Kim: and now all the bells and whistles the best stuff brand new stuff.
Howard: So you know the different physicians and dentists physicians 90% I'm will never do a surgery they're not gonna cut off a mole or wart and the dentist it's reverse it's 95% are just doing hands-on surgery all day do you think CE needs to be more hands-on as opposed to classroom Auditorium?
Kim: It has to be both but which we have always had a really strong education program here with live hands-on and in Oregon you can actually get a temporary license to do dentistry if you're out of state or education purposes so like when we have a third molar extractions course we get people from all over the country because we'll actually do some cases hands-on with an instructor over your shoulder it's the best learning it is absolutely the best way to learn new skills and we kind of have a mantra here in the Orgen AGD which is build a skill a year if a young dentist just learns one new skill or procedure that they can provide their patients every year and get really good at it by the time you're a 30-year dentist like me you've got a lot of tools in here in your tool chest to help your patients.
Howard: So you had an interesting start you started off it's so funny in Alaska my favorite musician Jewel is from Alaska and so you said at age 21 you decided you'd better go to college so so various like salmon fishing and how are the fish until 21?
Kim: I had a job I mean I had a pretty good job for being a high school grad you know I just or whatever reason they just didn't have the desire to go to college right away and then after working for a few years I thought I better go to college so you know in the 70s in Alaska the drinking age was 19 and the bar stayed up until 5 I'll let you guess what I was having a lot of fun but you know yeah that kind of run its course and I thought I better get my Annie to college.
Howard: So where were you born in Anchorage?
Howard: Anchorage Wow the most exciting trip my life even when I tell people that are born in Alaska they were even believe this trip me my dad my brother we flew into Anchorage drove down to Kenai with salmon fishing drove down to Homer when halibut fishing got back to Anchorage and we still had five days so we drove to Fairbanks Denali and then drove up the pipeline road to Prudhoe Bay and hung out there for the night and then drove back and when we got to the road they said well you can't drive up the pipeline Road it's a private road it's it's owned by British Petroleum and I said okay but we're just gonna play dumb were three idiots from Arizona are they gonna arrest us and throw us in jail and the guy said I actually haven't seen a sheriff or a policeman on that road I can't remember the last time so we drove up there because we were so dumb we thought we thought Prudhoe Bay was like a city like Fairbanks no there's not even a Mcdonalds it's a drilling town and when we got there they were so amazed and proud that three stupid idiots were able to drive a rental car up the pipeline access road they put us up in the cafeteria they fed as they fix they were laughing so hard I don't think they've ever seen anyone dumber in their life.
Kim: That is funny there is nothing in Prudhoe Bay I'm sure.
Howard: It was I mean even the article we wanted to see the Arctic Ocean that's all we want to do and all we saw was a snow field I mean you didn't see any waters but anyway I think Alaska is the greatest state I like to remind my two boys who live in Beeville Texas that if you cut aleksa Alaska in half each half and still be bigger than Texas so do you miss Alaska and what's it like the trade-off being a moving from Alaska to Oregon?
Kim: You know I don't miss Alaska I can do everything I want to do on a vacation there I go home every summer almost every summer and fish I came home with 35 pounds of salmon this summer but I don't have to live there so yeah I mean it's dark dark winters and yeah so it's three hours just to get to Seattle then you get to go on your vacation after that so it just makes it I yeah I like liver than in the lower 48 but would it be more lucrative if you're a dentist with 285 thousand dollars in student loans do they need a dentist more in Oregon or do they need a dentist more in Alaska?
Kim: Probably in Alaska
KIm: I can tell you I have some friends that worked for the Indian Health Service and that they were out in Barrow and and very rural rural areas and they learned unbelievable dentistry because there are no specialists around you have to pretty much do everything and the need is so great in in the native Corp in the native villages so Alaska Native Client or the Alaska Natives have a very strong health system for their population and so there's a lot of need.
Howard: and there's strong system is that the oil money I mean it doesn't the oil money shut off about a thousand dollars cash for person Alaska?
Kim: Yeah it does I think that has pretty much ended though I think last year might have been the last Permanent Fund dividend.
Howard: Yeah but I mean when I go up there I mean I got I'll tell you stories like that maybe you can verify if this turn on I mean I was in a dentist office he didn't have a lock on the front door he was up in Fairbanks and he said man if the weather is brutal and you're gonna freeze nothing died I don't want you freeze death in my front door my dental office he didn't have a lock on his front door he never locked it for weather permit and he said it is he's as old as I am, he said his thirty years every five years he comes in and somebody was seeking shelter in his in his waiting room.
Kim: Wow that seems unbelievable but in Fairbanks it gets cold
Howard: Yeah well no I I actually saw I was in his office I said dude your door doesn't have a lock on it and you know I'm looking at door like where the hell's the lock on this door and he said now he goes I don't want any lock on my doors that if you need to get some shelter you need to get in my office. If you're single and you love the fish and hot and everything I mean there are so many dentists up in Alaska that are booked out weeks in advance don't take insurance have their own feed schedule all that kind of stuff yeah I want to talk about the different scene hope growth and abundance and fear and scarcity some people wonder if I join the AGD will that threaten the American Dental Association AGD and the Oregon Dental Association do they look like there are two guys competing with each other are those two girls in the same pea pod and they work together how does that relationship work?
Kim: In Oregon we have an awesome relationship with the Oregon Dental Association as a matter of fact the Oregon Dental Association is supporting our Center we are collaborating with the dental foundation of Oregon to do charity care they're coming up we have a collaborative group that's working on manpower issues in that we we would like to start a Dental Assisting school so we have people from the ODA and people from the AGD coming together to see what we can do to help train more staff which is all of our problems I mean it's it's tough tough economic and employment times now for the Lisa dentist not for the up for the dental assistant and auxiliaries but we just have a shortage of auxiliaries like everywhere else and we're trying to solve that problem together.
Howard: I don't know it's no big deal when a guy says that how old is I know girls don't dig it let's just say that we're near the same age right?
Kim: That's right
Howard: We're near the same age and I was like I when my sisters complained about their stretch marks around babies I said you do you realize that dad's got stretch marks we'd have to show them to everyone I mean when's the last time a man didn't show you his one scar but um a lot of people our age are burned out and fried and they just my god they want to win the lottery they can't wait till they're 65 how come you still love dentistry in your 50s and some of your colleagues are burned out and never want to see a patient again?
Kim: Yeah I think it has to do with just being excited every day to learn something new I mean I just spent the weekend in LA at a symposium it was awesome.
Howard: What were you doing in lower Arkansas
Kim: LA I went to the restorative symposium there it used to be put on by USC but USC is changing their CE and so Abdi sameen II put it on himself and it was a two-day symposium it was awesome and LA symposium restorative symposium it was great it keeps me inspired. I think that's the thing is so I am chair of the wellness initiative for the Oregon Dental Association right now and I'm also kind of a liaison with the AGD and the board of dentistry in Oregon where when people need mentoring clinical mentoring and the board deems that they need clinical mentoring we find them Mentors and the common thing that we see with people that are struggling either you know emotionally financially or with the board of dentistry is that they become disconnected with their colleagues and isolation. So I think that's the key is keeping involved and keeping that contact with real people and having colleagues to collaborate with when you have a tough case or something didn't go right you know not everything goes right every single day in our office so you know that's what I think has helped me and I see the difference you know in other people that are connected.
Howard: So you're saying that most of it for you was learning new things and sound like relationships in the dental community a lot of your explanation that do with relationship so CE and relationships, are those two things kind of together?
Kim: Absolutely absolutely I mean some of my best friends I've met you know through continuing education and taking classes together and we had a lot of classes here that will be you know study Club type so you meet time and time again and you get to know these people, I'm currently the director of our master track program here and that's another great group that just are there to help each other.
Howard: Okay explain what the master track is in case someone doesn't know so to get your explain to get your FAGD versus your ma Gd and what is a master track program.
Kim: So the fellowship in the AGD you pass an exam and you have to be a member for three years and have 500 hours of continuing education so if you've been a member for a GED for three years you pass the exam and you have 500 hours you can apply to get your fellowship once you have your fellowship the next educational award that's given at the AED is the Masters and that takes 400 hours of hands-on education so what the master track programs do around the country is organize and help it help members find those hands-on classes readily and it's in Oregon we meet four times a year and in three years you'll have those 400 hours now you need a total of 1100 hours to get your masters but the hands-on ones are the most difficult to find so that's what a master track program does and some are three years some are four years some are five years every state's every constituent does their master track a little bit different but what you'll be guaranteed to get is those hands-on hours.
Howard: I wish the AGD would do one thing for me I'm when you know I've had a magazine since 1994 and we had we ran an article way back in the day before is all digital where they showed that the average MAGD dentist's collected and netted it was something like 20% more than the average don ma did and it's so obvious I mean everybody in town that I've known I learned first thing I learned as I notice all the AGD, FAGD, MAGD those were all the guys in Phoenix every time he took a CE class it was the same 200 guys they all had the best offices they all loved it they all had the fanciest toys it was just a group of people that were into it and so I set out my track to get FAGD MAGD and thirty years later those guys were the happiest so they were the most successful they were the most successful and Happiness money income toys they just loved dentistry and the ones that thought in fear and scarcity and that you never saw and you never shook their hand I mean there there there's done everybody knows the dentist's who live up the street from and they haven't even physically seen the guy one time in ten years and a lot of times those guys are suffering from introvert loneliness depression it's hard to fall off the wagon and a group practice cuz you got three other dentists in the building saying hey dude you've been drinking but you can in a solo practice with a bunch of enabling employees you can get really lost in the force so I learned right out of the gate you you want to be in group practice and you want to get your MAGD I mean that to me but your solo practice right so so it seems like you're the most social queen of Oregon I mean you're an all of the social come in so is that kind of your compensation for practicing alone, do you think you were in a group practice with with three other girls from born in Alaska that you wouldn't be involved in all these committees?
Kim: I don't know maybe but maybe not it's hard to say I just hired an associate this summer so it's kind of a new...
Howard: Is it your first?
Kim: My first
Howard: Wow congratulations
Kim: and so
Howard: Did you stick with the same demographic did you say okay I'm a girl I'm gonna get a girl half of America's afraid of the dentist that's gonna be part of our brand or did you just look for dentist and happened to be a boy or a girl?
Kim: You know I I kind of put the word out there and I talked to several people there was a kid from Oklahoma he was from Oregon but he went to school in Oklahoma and we talked but then I never heard back from him again but this gal is a little bit like me you know she went to dental school a little bit later just graduated a year ago did residency at the VA which you get a lot of great experience at the VA and...
Howard: Say what va is for the international kids?
Kim: The Veterans Administration so she's doing dentistry on veterans within the Veterans Administration yeah so she you know she's really learned a lot about treating complex medical patients with complex medical problems and just a lot of need for dentistry so she's probably a little bit more experienced than the average you know student graduating just because she was a hygienist for six years prior to going to school
Howard: Oh cool
so yeah yeah so I'm getting ready to build a new office so I thought I'd better hire an associate because I'm super busy and want somebody to help me fill that new office of mine.
Howard: So what do you mean new office?
Kim: I'm getting ready to build a new office
Howard: No way okay now you have to say your age.
Kim: Well I'll be sixty very soon.
Howard: So talk to us how does a 60 year old build a new office are you doing about land and building are you talking about rent...
Kim: Land and building I know I have asked myself that question a hundred times over the last six months is this the right time in my career to do this but you know I probably won't practice more than ten years I would guess I'll be retired by the time I'm 70 it seems weird to think that I would even work till 70 but yeah so I have asked myself that question but the situation I'm in with my lease in my space I don't have enough room and and I can't really grow and I'm not ready to quit.
Howard: So you bought it land and you and you're gonna build a building from scratch?
Howard: How big how many ops?
Kim: I think I will do six to eight so I'm gonna build about a 6,000 square foot building my husband is a physical therapist and we will split that building so we'll each have about 3,000 square feet.
Howard: Okay Wow you know what you ought to do is you just got to go steal that new AGD building they just build in Oregon.
Kim: I know
Howard: That's 7,000 square feet it really is awesome have you thought about just steel that building?
Kim: Yeah if it was closer I might do that.
Howard: You might do that ha that it that is so cool that you're still going for I always I always sit there and I tried to think of the millions of dollars like that you'll see a 50 year old guy and he says I just want to retire I'm like well dude if you fix that and you work till 70 I always some people like how like if you ask a dentist how much money would you really like to have if you completely retire how much income and let's just say for simple math he says I need $100,000 a year well then take $100,000 divided by a 30-year bond and the bonds are trained at about 2.5% percent but let's just say they traded at 5% which they don't well you would need one you would need two million dollars of bonds paying five percent to make a hundred thousand dollars a year so it's priceless to figure out why you hate dentistry and why you want to quit and and as you get older what I've noticed not that I'm getting old or anything but I've noticed the people that are like a couple of hours older than me they let me get to 60, 70 they might start losing the surgical skill to do bone grafts and place implants and do molar endo but they don't lose the skill to do the bloodless stuff like ortho bleaching bonding fillings and this is... the what?
Kim: Bread-and-butter dentistry
Howard: Yeah bread butter dentistry and then the ones that are crushing it the most is they they learn the patient deal so they'll sit there and do all the hygiene exams and new patient exams so they can communicate diagnose treatment plan and then they got junior back there five years out of school placing all the implants and doing all the major dentistry and all that's a and that guy back there doing all those crazy cases could never present sell and close the case I mean the day so I'm gonna go next on that so I'm I'm gonna go back to Ken and Joan Austin because I really do think they probably the most legendary dentist and I mean I know he's not a dentist but he was the most legendary man in dentistry in Oregon he's the pier Forshard GV Black of Oregon dentistry and he his hobby was restoring cars and he had about 30 40 cars and he took half a day showing all my boys the cars and tell mother um but um where were they going that oh but in America the average American base 13 cars in their lifetime brand-spankin'-new median price thirty three thousand five hundred and ninety five percent of the dentists in Oregon will never sell one case for the price of a car we're talking about the cars can restored priceless car they won't sell one car in their entire life so isn't it kind of weird that Ken and Joan Austin are paying for this Center and he liked to restore cars and 95 percent of people that take a hands-on CE course not will never do one full mouth rehab in their whole life where is that disconnect?
Kim: Well that's interesting so I loved I love your analogy and I had used it many times in my practice and I have sold a lot of cars over the years you know and I it's funny because I just had a couple I had her bring her husband in because she said ah you know I don't know if my husband's gonna buy this I said bring him in and we sat down and talked about the problems and showed what the solutions are and we talked we I used your absolute analogy about the cars and he's like okay let's buy a car you know but it's about relationship it's about trust it's about doing the right thing all the time and when people really understand it you know and I have a desire and they'll do it but it is interesting and that's one of the things that we love to do at you know with our education is to give people those skills and the confidence I was just talking to a young dentist over the weekend at this conference I was at and she's like I just can't sell it like that and I said but if you do it enough and you just keep you know that they should I can't afford to do this thing and do it for them at a deal give them a good price and you will gain confidence from that and then the next time you have that same situation you'll have the confidence to say it because patients do pick up on the fact if you don't have confidence you know in what you're doing and what you're proposing is treatment.
Howard: There is this old fat grandpa who needs a walker to walk and he prefers his a little electric car thing and whenever I would see him at Safeway grocery store I'd always go to her and say hey what was more fun buying your last new car or getting your teeth fixed and he takes him two minutes to get out of his like her nails stand up give me a bear hug that just about breaks my back there that girl that you had to bring her husband back was she was she excited about her new car or does she wish she would have had a must a new Ford Mustang instead?
Kim: She wants her new teeth she wants her new car you know that's her car so yeah he you know and and it just took her husband being there she wanted it she just didn't think her husband was gonna buy into it you know but when we sat down and had that conversation you know you're gonna buy a bunch of new cars and she's still gonna have her teeth you know so it's a powerful analogy and I've used it at a lot of times.
Kim: and I loved it
Howard: Hey a lot of lot of people you know if you're listening this if you're still in dental kindergarten just listen what we're saying a hundred hours of CEO year and happy people get rid of all the toxic people in their lifetime and I see you five years out of dental school doing doing a happy hour with the five guys that you hung out with at AT Still or Midwestern and you'll hate dentistry and all you do is bitch and complain and moan what I love most about the MAGD and AGD is that everybody in there loved something in dentistry maybe it was cosmetics maybe it was placed as implants fit but when you hang out with five other dentist and they all five love dentistry they're gonna drag you and your horrible attitude up to where it needs to be and if you're a motivational speaker and you hang out with five people that hate dentistry well it's not gonna take very long and you're not gonna like dentistry either do do I mean what how would you describe the MAGD how would you describe the AGD that most of our viewers are under thirty a quarter are still in dental school how would you explain the AGD to someone who's a senior at AT still dental?
Kim: I think the local constituents of AGD is what makes it an organization I mean we're a network of small communities and I just think go to a meeting find a meeting yeah it sound like I'm talking about a but you know and just find a mentor and that's what I tell younger dentists is it's just find somebody you know go to lunch with the guy that works down the street you know ask him to lunch or ask the older dentist in your community and create that relationship because we all get patients that are unhappy with us I mean I'm not gonna you know call it connect with every single patient but when they go down the street and they know me and that patient goes down the street and bad-mouthed me it's gonna be a different story as they know me and I think that's what we need to do we need to reach out to each other in our communities we're not competition with each other because the more good dentistry that's presented by everyone in our community that becomes the norm for our patients and that's what we learned.
Howard: Well said the more good dentistry done in the community becomes the norm for the community when everybody starts walking around with white straight Invisalign bleaching whatever that becomes the norm.
Kim: Right right and so yeah it's it is interesting and we we need we need to not be afraid to to ask our neighbors for help last year I had never really met the guy across the street he's only there a couple days a week and he has a very different practice but he called me up one day and he said hey I have done this crown on this young girl three times and I can't get it right he he said would you see her and I'm like yeah he goes well she's coming in 15 minutes can I walk her across the street with her dad she was a 15 year old girl and I said yeah I'll figure it out just bring her over you know and you know he's just young and inexperienced and her problem was not that difficult but I did this case for him he refunded the money and I just did it and it was a win-win you know I didn't throw him under the bus and I just helped him out because he was at a loss he didn't know what else to do and you know that's the kind of thing I mean they paid me to do it it's not like I didn't get paid to do it I didn't do it out of kindness of my heart but the whole professionalism of helping people because sometimes you do get in over your head with a patient or something and being able to ask for help in a safe manner is awesome that's what we should be doing.
Howard: and I we've had a lot of the gentlemen practice attorneys on the show and they always say the same thing you get spanked the hardest when you don't ask for help on a case there's nothing wrong with making us say we're all humans we all we all make mistakes Japanese say successful man fall down seven times get up eight we all make mistakes but dude you saw it they brought you back this mistake three times and you never said maybe you should see an endodontist maybe you should see a periodontist oh my gosh I am well I do is I FaceTime when I'm over my head I FaceTime my homies and say hey I'm talking to this lady here's a problem and I'm shown into them and they're there meeting talking I mean yeah and it's not what you know it's what you know and who know and just get out there and start running from her and I'd so much rather you learn implants from the periodontist across the street and from some guy out and in Tanzania I mean why are you flying to Africa to learn implants when you go across the street you just started placing implants.
Kim: Yes I have four years ago.
Howard: Yeah and so tell us on your journey what made you decide out of nowhere that you're gonna start placing implants.
Kim: Because I was getting cases that really weren't planned restoratively driven there's nothing worse than I mean it's just unbelievable I had a case where a guy comes in for a second opinion he knows a dentist friend of mine and you know very complicated very complicated probably if I don't I'm not doing it his restorative case because it's just too much I referred him to prosthodontist but he broke a tooth off and he went to the oral surgeon so the oral surgeon put three implants in he has got a complicated restorative plan that has not been planned and you know it really implants should be placed with the end in mind and so yeah so I was seeing a little bit too many of those so I thought like I can because if I refer to an oral surgeon or something to have a tooth extracted oftentimes they come back with an implant without the patient really understanding the whole ramification the financial the time commitment they just think they're gonna come over next week and get a tooth put on that and you know and so alright...
Howard: That's kind of aggressive on the oral surgeons part place an implant without a final restoration in mind.
Kim: That's right, it happens.
Howard: That doesn't sound right though.
Kim: No it doesn't exactly so and
Howard: You should have the final restoration in mind and designed before you place the implant.
Kim: Right especially when it's a complicated reconstruction because placing that in planning exactly in the right position is what you really really need I mean I've restored a lot of implants that are compromised aesthetically because they're not quite where you really wanted them to be.
Howard: Okay so talk us through your journey you decide you on it place implants this is America and in America most of the implant continue education is sponsored by an implant company so a lot of kids are saying on dentaltown and the email and me Howard@dentaltown.com my gosh I might hear them in Nebraska or say you're an Alabama and every every course in Alabama is gonna be put on by bio horizons which is right there now of and some places it's straumann country somes no boba so how do you how do you advise if a kid said how do i how did you learn how to place implants and I want to learn how to place implants but where I am it's all gonna be bio horizons stop I mean is that is that propaganda I just you know when I took driver's ed I didn't have my car bought yet but I learned how to drive a car so talk about your journey because you're huge and the AGD continuing education how did you plan your continued education did you did you pick a an implant system first did you start taking courses or they hands-on lecture tell us how you went from zero to a hundred and implants.
Kim: I don't do all implants I do the easy ones predictable easy stuff so I don't do super complicated things you know I just had done a lot of didactic you know education and I'd been restoring them for a long time I always done a lot of surgery so I've got my own extraction radio grafting so soft tissue and bone so it wasn't a super big reach I think that you need to have really good surgical foundation you know for that to do any sort of surgery so but we offer a continuum here in Oregon at the AGD hands-on where we bring you know patients and get to do them right there so that was mainly but I think there's a lot of good I mean the AAID has their maxi courses they're excellent we have one here in Oregon you get a huge huge volume of knowledge you know I bought Carl miche's book and I've read a lot of that and I just do a variety of online CE I mean you can gain a lot of information and a lot of knowledge online and reading a textbook I mean you know it's how we used to learn.
Howard: I don't think they know what the AIDI and the maxi course
Kim: The american association of implant dentist implant dentistry AID and the maxi course is a 300 our curriculum it's very prescribed i mean it's very comprehensive education and all maxi courses are are really the same I mean they may have some nuances difference but you're gonna get 300 hours of education when you get through a maxi courts but there's a lot of there's a lot of good places.
Howard: That's what I was kind of getting at you know you're kind of you're let's say you live in Alabama and that's where BioHorizons made or let's say you're in Switzerland and you're right after Sweden you're across from Nobel Biocare that's a manufacturer driven course but isn't this AAID the maxi course program isn't that kind of being the becoming quickly the gold standard of launching a kid into implantology would you go that far I mean what they I mean talk more about that.
Kim: Of course AAID would say that and I think you know but there's the mission institute and there's a lot of good places to go but I think you know where people get in trouble I think is to take a two day class you know and maybe place an implant one implant or something or a few implants you go to Dominican Republic and you place a few implants but the reality is is that it's not placing it it's following through how did you how did that ever get restored was it easy to restore it did you have it in the ideal location and you don't learn that in a weekend I mean it takes more than a weekend in my humble opinion to learn any new skill and especially surgical and the thing of the thing is different about implants is the consequence of an not being done right is a little bit more I mean it the downside is much greater if you don't get it right the first time you know or you think the consequences are a lot a lot more challenging than just doing a three unit bridge.
Howard: I tell people if you if the patient doesn't have enough money to have it done right then you should do the implant case on it because when it fails then you'll get to pay to have it done completely right so you ever give her a used chevy implant case and then when it fails you'll buy her a mercedes-benz.
Kim: That's true
Howard: Absolutely true yeah implants is a serious it's a lifelong commitment like it's like it's like people who go to the gym and get a person okay you already pay to go to gym and now you pay for a personal trainer to help you exercise in your gym those people aren't gonna become professional athletes a professional athlete knows that and being athletes a full time job you gotta sleep right yeah eat right it's a, man when you start placing implants that's a commitment that's a lifestyle change it's it's gonna be a non-stop diet CE knowledge the rest of your life where I have a trouble with with these young kids is they they seem to romantically want to be super dentists they want a master endo and Cosmetics and root canals and pediatric dentistry and silver diamine Florida Invisalign I'm like III don't think you can do that do you I want you to talk about that they come out of school they're supersize they want to master everything and I don't know I mean I look around at the 1 million physicians and these guys only do eyes and these guys only do retinas and eyes and these guys only do glaucoma and eyes and then I look at at this young little soon they go well I want to do eyes ears nose throat and teeth and it's like I don't know if that's gonna work so what do you think about the 2019 super dentist?
Kim: I think you know I think it's important I mean there's a balance I mean your patients trust you so a lot of patients I get they say well are you gonna be able to do most of my treatment you know I don't want to go somewhere else for everything so I think there is a balance between doing enough and knowing your limits you know knowing your limits and knowing when to refer and so I think it's important but you can't learn all those skills immediately I mean if you think about you know and we do have this mantra here it's one skill a year but if you really want to get good at endo just spend a whole year and focus your education and your practice on getting better at that skill and at the end of the year you'll be really pretty good at it you'll know what you want to do you'll know what you won't don't want to do you'll be better at case selection which is the whole key the big stress free practice environment you know and then move on to another skill so that but it's fine you're out 10 15 years you've really mastered the basics and mastered them very well and then you grow from there but it is about growing all the time.
Howard: So what do you what would you say here's the other thing I can't figure out with the kids the most they come out of school they they're they wait about five years to get their own office there they all change jobs every year now you're up there in Oregon so this is a lot of people say uh well you know when they go to these big DSOs the only work here for a year and they don't like and they quit dude they say the same thing when they go work in any associate office and they do the same thing when they go work at Nike in your backyard you got Nike you got Intel the the FANG stocks Facebook Apple they can only keep their programmers for a year or two and they jump around for about five years and then they they own their own dental office but when they come out of school they got $285,000 student loans they look at you as a extremely successful role model and they say when I grow up I want to be like you what would you tell them to do as they walked out of school?
Kim: Live within your means, take every challenge as a learning opportunity you know I mean if you can me not everything goes right every day but learn from it and then do better next time and just always do the right thing. I mean one of the things that I think is interesting with being an employe dentist so as I learned over the years I was always the one in control of how much I got to charge my face so as I was learning I would give people a really great deal they hang me will you come to my study club and I'm learning a new procedure and this is what you need and I'll do it for nothing or for whatever your insurance covers or whatever you know some really good thing a good deal for them and a deal for me and everybody kind of lights the contest study club and be a part of that it's kind of exciting for the patient to they really they really kind of get into it and so I always had control over that and so I could learn new skills over the years but as an employee dentist a lot of times you don't have that option and so they don't have as much money for CE and with the tax law changes this last couple of years I mean if you're an employee dentist unless you're really creative you can't even bring it off as a business expense the CE that you pay for so I think there's just more challenges for the employee then is to grow early in their career and have that flexibility so you know those are challenges that I'm not sure are gonna get better but if you know if you're if you are thinking about being an employee dentist that might be something to think about putting in your contract you know having some more CE more opportunities to learn new things because that's what will make you better dentist so it'll make you keep you excited in dentistry throughout your whole career.
Howard: I can't believe we are over we're just coming up on an hour but I was talking about some other industries have you chaired the Oregon Dental Association wellness committee and when I get out of school in 87 many of the states especially the redneck southern states like Texas and Alabama and all that stuff some dentists got caught drinking or eating vicodin I mean they they they tarred and feathered them and then it seems like it's going more towards a disease like in Arizona if you have an addiction issue as long as you raise your hand admit it ask for help man God everybody's their love and support if they ask you if you have a problem and you say no and then they later find out you're stealing you're documenting chart you're doing all this stuff like that the DEA is gonna spank you for a long time what is the wellness canady is that about substance abuse or is that about loneliness or...?
Kim: It's about more than substance abuse it really used to be only about substance abuse but we've gotten into all areas of support I mean what we do see is loneliness in private records and it comes out in a multitude of ways we've had a couple suicides last year that's two too many that's a couple too many and so we have a huge we're creating this safety net of ambassadors around the state that people can reach out to and we can help get our colleagues help for life is too challenging you know self medication is huge I mean most people that have a drug or alcohol addiction is potential self-medicating for another problem stress anxiety depression so we're trying to destigmatize reaching out for help and and helping people make decisions to get help when those are those some people are depressed their ability to make good decisions is really compromised and so they can't help themselves they can't help their patients so we're just there to try and create a better safety net to help people earlier and we've had some great response I mean we've really turned it around in the last year and we redeveloped our whole wellness initiative here in Oregon and it's not just for members it is for our whole profession even if you're not a member of the ODA you reach out to us we're gonna help you.
Howard: Nice I never even thought about that.
Kim: Yeah last person that reached out was not a member and we...
Howard: Do you just like pick him up and take him to a bar.
Kim: We got a happy hour
Howard: If you're not a member we'll take you to happy hour but if you are remember well get you help and what's really weird is that some of the biggest rock star successes I've ever seen in my life in dentistry started hit rock bottom along the way I mean they were like an average Joe Harry dentists not really fired up crashed and found their path and just wrote it out and became everything they wanted to be and it's so sad that I'm a bunch of dentists who know obviously there's something wrong with number three and it needs a root canal buildup and crown and number four is fine and then when you apply that to the brain people just don't get it's like okay well obviously there's a mint there's mental diseases there's mental problems there's mental issues and there's a stigma attached to them they don't want to get help there's you know they're just you know it's it's come a long way but what would advice would you give because my the podcasts I've done on the issue a lot of them people in substance abuse say that over eighty eighty-five percent of the people self-medicating having another mental illness issue a mental health issue and then some of its relation it's so complicated they're in a toxic relationship all this but what would what advice would you give there's someone driving to work right now listen this who you know poured vodka in their coffee as they went out the door and what would you tell is it is it still 80% alcohol and then 20% opioids and 5% everything else is still that 80, 15, 5?
Kim: I don't know I'm not sure what the percentages are.
Howard: Well that's what my friends tell me so I'm going to go with that.
Kim: Probably still accurate I mean alcohol is the socially accepted you know way of medicating
Howard: and overeating I mean the biggest substance abuse I mean you go to any place and order five pounds of baby back ribs and they look at your like how do you sure you should be eating three orders so overeating I think is the biggest substance abuse that they sell sugar on every corner of America fast food sugar so sugar is the number one drug they say caffeine's the most abuse so overeating and then yeah there you go so overeating and then you'd say alcohol would be the next major?
Kim: Yeah yeah and I just think that if you could just reach out to one person one person and and I will tell you that over my career I mean I just met a young dentist who bought a practice in my area and we were it just was a fluke that we ended up driving back together he drove me back to my office after this class because our staff took my car they got done early and he had just bought a practice a year ago and I asked him how it was going and he said I was in practice for ten years and I was in a group corporate practice and now I feel so lonely and isolated and this is really stressful I mean just saying that to me you know told me a lot I haven't met this guy before he really is he's needed somebody to talk to and I just think if you feel that way find somebody to talk to you know if it's a colleague a friend sometimes it's easier to do it to a perfect stranger almost but every ADA component has has some sort of a wellness you can even reach out to the ADA reach out to somebody.
Howard: Yeah that's what I love about dentists I mean how they all became dentist they all figured out calculus trig geometry I mean my boys always told me the coolest thing about that bad being Dennis is that all of his friends were dentists and they're just so impressed I mean I mean my boys have a thousand stories about you walk into a dentist's home and they have a hundred books that aren't fiction you walk into your buddy Billy's house his dad's a plumber and there's no there's no library there's no books or you know and so if you tell any dentist they'll work there probably if you just tell one dentist you know what's going on in your life they're gonna work the problem and my gosh it's a and then the other thing is it's so sad is I'm you again will we agree group practice is more exciting than solo loneliness hours of CE it's two things it's not just what you learn it's the people you get to me you meet people into dentistry I can't tell you how many courses I went to you mentioned Carl Misch I remember going to a Carl Misch course sitting next to a guy who was telling me all about this other thing from Ivoclar so I came back from Pittsburgh and then was looking and then so finally I just flew back to Buffalo and just went to because I chased down the the prosthodontist lab tech guy and he says love you were here I could just show you and I said well I'm just gonna go and my gosh and then when you and then you gotta have relations something goes wrong you you got a friend and my gosh just loneliness group practice is horrible and if you have if you're drinking vodka and you're having a depression whatever well if it was a tooth you know it needed an endo so just tell someone that your tooth needs there your brain needs endo.
Kim: Right absolutely
Howard: and you'll get a root canal and you'll you'll feel better and it's I'm glad the stigmas being removed from it gosh. I saved this question for the end because I don't even I don't have the manhood to ask enough but when it's because you're a woman but you know when I was in school all the women said it was a man's profession and then now you go into dental schools and it's half women so I want to ask you did you feel back in the day that it was a man's profession and you were a square peg in a round hole? I've seen over the years some people starting like women's dental journals and women's Dental Association's and then I've had other women say to me I don't look in the mirror and see a woman I look in the mirror and see a dentist I don't want a special woman, so my question is i just through 30 question at you what's it like being a woman dentist today than when you got out of school in 1989?
Kim: You know when i was in dental school i didn't feel like I mean I clearly knew I was in a man's profession because there was only like ten of us ten out of seventy in our class but it didn't seem that different among young people but I'll tell you I got out and I lived in and I worked in a more rural area and I became a trustee for the Oregon Dental associate you know for our little component early like five years out of dental school right so and that's when I felt the difference when I walked into organized dentistry in the early 90s I mean I was the youngest by far only two women on the board I mean gray hair men who couldn't even stay awake during the whole meeting and it frustrated me when my opinion was thought of less but the reality is is the decisions we made on that day we're gonna affect me way longer than they were gonna affect these old guys who are on their way their retirement. So it's really different now I mean you know I think it makes and have more women in the profession I mean we just have smaller hands you know so that's you know the physical aspect of it but you know now I don't feel like that at all but it's come a long ways and and I'm super happy that women can have more opportunities in this profession because it does give you a lot of flexibility and raising a family and if your practice owner setting your own hours I mean that's really important to be able to be at school with your kids on some special day and take off two hours and you can't always do that as an employee so it's a great profession.
Howard: I wanted to ask another question which I don't feel I can answer a lot of the girls have told me in these dental schools that their main purpose is they want to be a mom and they love dentistry and they want to be a dentist but to be the best mom they don't know if they should work as an associateship nine to five so five o'clock they can just go home and do the mom thing or if they'd be a better mom if they own their own practice and called all the shots at work if someone said to you most waited best mom and second weighted best dentists what would be a better professional strategy to own or to be an associate if being the best mom was the most important?
Kim: I think long-term ownership because you can control your life and you know but it's a lot of money I mean I can't imagine coming out of school with that much debt. The one advantage that a lot of women have women does have is oftentimes they're married to someone that also has a career not all I mean most of my male colleagues their wives don't work so that is an advantage if you're if you have a spouse that does work but you potentially could find an associateship that would fulfill that also but the flexibility I mean if I want to take two hours off you know I just take walk two hours out of my schedule and go down to my kids school for the for the morning and you can't always do that as an employee dentist so it I don't know I think you could have it you know it the right situation as an employee could work great but I don't think that I haven't seen too many of those women dentists that are employees that have all that much flexibility.
Howard: So you would say then that it's better to own to be the best mom.
Kim: I think so and I can tell you that I mean my have two girls you know and now that they're older 24 and 21 they understand more and have I think learn how to balance and juggle a lot of things from seeing their mom I think you could still be a good mom even though you're not there 24/7 for your kid you give them the tools and the skills to succeed in life and that doesn't mean you have to be there 24/7.
Howard: Okay can you only say you're a good mom if your daughter ends up being a duck instead of a beaver?
Kim: Well only Ducks only ducks.
Howard: So that is a good robbery is it I like that is that one of the most intense robberies in all 50 states the ducks and the beavers?
Kim: No it's the Ducks and the Huskies
Howard: The Ducks and the Huskies
Kim: Oh yeah we hate the Huskies
Kim: Oh that's way worse than the duck the Beavers oh yeah oh yeah the ducks and the Huskies.
Howard: and I really thought it was an honor I got when I lectured down in Oregon this way back in the day I got they took me on a Nike tour and the dentists had somebody in upper management the Nike pin we're back then of the day there's a lot of areas you can't go into unless you're wearing the pin you know what I'm talking about?
Kim: I've never been there but yeah.
Howard: yeah so they had this little pin by the way learned a lot of things on that tour, according to this dentist who's patient was in senior manager who got me this Nike pin he took me to Beaverton take me all these places tell me he can't go he said no one even gets into upper management if they don't have the Nike swoosh if you don't have the logo somewhere on your body that the promotions no I'm serious this is what these guys were telling me and but I love that the Nike the culture the excellence and it's it's what you're doing in dentistry I mean you're kind of the Nike of dentistry in Oregon building this Center hands-on continuing education let's get wellness let's get let's stop loneliness I'm glad you're getting an associate I'm glad you're a role model out there and by the way the largest complaint we have would dentaltown magazine and this podcast is when we put out an issue and we have eight articles and they're all done by men we hear from it loud and clear and we've known it for years but the problem is is that the men they have stay home wives that do all the family stuff so they can write articles in the daytime but women dentists marry across we we know that women always marry across culture so if you're a women dentist you're not gonna marry the cook at the Waffle House cuz he looks good in a pair of Wranglers that was men's best idea that was their best idea so there they they marry they're almost always have economic dependent at home and so they can write articles and magazines and lecture and all that and women dentists are almost always married to somebody who has a great job and they split the household just so what I always tell people when I election though school the smartest decision you can make in dental school is marry someone in your class would you would you agree with that?
Kim: In your dental class?
Kim: Oh maybe I mean if that was the case there would only be ten guys in our class married
Howard: but in all of my 32 year observation that is the lowest divorce rate I mean the talk about communication communication communication their both dentist and the dental thing you understand all that thing and I mean the different I mean I don't know it's complicated but women marry with their brain and let's just say men don't and they if men would marry smarter if they would get in group practice they wouldn't have the loneliness deal and if they weren't well it would it would it would come to the surface faster take your would you say 100 hours to CE is a golden number?
Kim: I think at least that I mean you know that's a day a month you know I don't think that's too much you know.
Howard: and on that note that is why I did this podcast because I know she's in Salina Kansas she's not gonna get all these people like you to come lecture in Salina Kansas and she has an hour commute down on Interstate 50 highway 54 for an hour each way and I think a hundred hours a year you said didactics good I think just turning them on to four or five hours a week of free didactic conversations as stimulated so many kids to go this way or that way or whatever and dentaltown put up 401 our online CE courses they've been viewed a million times a million times so I have very good learn how to place implants just from YouTube they would come home every night on their big screen and they'd they'd get a snack and a sandwich and sit in that chair and just Google implant surgery and after watching who knows who from he said most have more from like Russia Poland the Ukraine and after an hour of watching YouTube implant surgeries every night after about a year he finally got a kit and now he's an implant legend.
Howard: Just form YouTube
Howard: So any final words to the young women dentists out there?
Kim: Stay passionate about what you're doing and stay connected educate yourself and forge forward.
Howard: and one last thing on you I don't know if you got a female associate done something you got it by design as soon as I just ended up being a woman associate but I have seen I mean we know that half of America is afraid of the dentist right we know that when your baby boy falls down and he hurts himself and he starts crying he runs all around dad and threw his legs on his way to mom I watched that with four kids women are perceived as less threatening than a man you're not you don't look like you're gonna hurt me and it looks like and they feel more honest to ask you questions like why do I get a root canal why can't you just do a filling whereas the man they might not answer but whenever I've seen a woman dentists yet a woman associate and they keep it the brand like Rose Dental and it shows like two silhouettes a woman and you can go to Dr. Jane or Dr. Jill they drop the last name stuff which I can't tell if your last names right if you're a boy or girl okay exactly but when you say Kim and Shery i know it's two girls and but the feminine thing i think i don't know how male dentists could compete against that they're already afraid of us and we already know hardcore numbers if the man dentist says something the number of questions asked by the patient is drastically less than if a woman doctor says it if a woman doctor says you're gonna have to root canal the patient more like to say well doctor right white why do i why can't you just fill it if you're a man you're sitting like ah damn I gotta get her account I'm not gonna do it I'm just gonna leave you know so you got every advantage I mean if you were a woman and your first so shi'ites a woman I'd change the name to advance women dental art center I would I would do all the marketing and branding yeah I think it's a huge advantage and you and I have seen in our lifetime where back in the day when we were little all the gynecologists were male and now they're all female and you're seeing the same thing in pediatric dentistry I mean every University I go to if the pediatric dentistry program has four six students there are all girls and one guy and the directors even said that to me so I I think it's a huge advantage to being a woman. Dr. Kim Wright DMD MAGD Advanced Dental Art Center in West Linn, Oregon. Kim it was an honor for you to come on the show today thank you so much for allowing me to podcast you.
Kim: Well thank you so much for having me
Howard: Alright have a great day.