Board Profiles: 3 Questions With Dr. Courtney Barry

Categories: Marketing; Office Design;
Board Profiles: 3 Questions With Dr. Courtney Barry

For Dr. Courtney Barry, it’s more than the just clinical details that count. When this young Townie opened a scratch orthodontic practice in Manhattan, nothing escaped her eye, from the color palette of her Smile Pop branding materials to the scented candles that burn throughout the office. In our exclusive Q&A, she explains the importance of incorporating elements into the practice that speak to you and patients alike.
1. For as long as orthodontists have had offices, we’ve heard owners talk about how they wanted their practices to “not feel like a typical practice,” and yet ones that truly feel special are few and far between. Why do you think this is still a challenge for so many doctors?
If you want something unique, you have to think and execute differently. I wanted my office to be warm and inviting, like a home, so I switched from the original “Dental Dan” interior designer and instead hired a high-end residential interior designer, Matthew Cane, who worked alongside a dental equipment company to ensure I was creating my vision but still was operationally fit to do ortho. It wasn’t cheap, but as Ben Franklin said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

2. You’ve deliberately introduced many personal elements into your practice. How do you approach the split between personal and professional?
It’s a tough balance, but I believe my personality is what makes Smile Pop successful. The nontraditional business cards, the pink candies (that cause cavities!) in my waiting room, and the Tony Kelly “Smoking Lips” print in my office are all pieces of that personality. [Editor’s note: To see photos of Barry’s office and learn more about how she approached its design, see “It’s a Vibe,” here.] I’m bubbly and energetic and sometimes that’s not a match for every patient, but I don’t sweat that—there are plenty of patients to go around. I spent my first years in practice working for other doctors and my personality seemed to not be the right fit, but that also turned out to be the motivator I needed to face my fears and start my own practice.

3. What’s your favorite part about practicing in the heart of Manhattan?
New York can be a crazy place, with everyone hustling and bustling 24/7. I love the energy the city has to offer. My office is about a 20-minute walk from all the Broadway shows, which is a helpful reminder on the rare days I don’t really want to be at work because I tell my staff, “Whether we like it or not, ladies and gentlemen— it’s showtime!”

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