Your Job Shouldn’t Kill You…

Excellent Blog Post from the Kolbe Connect Blog. Knowing and understanding your Kolbe A can help to cope with and understand what you do and what you should do. My clients who embrace Kolbe Wisdom get so much more from themselves and from their teams.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially recognized burnout as a medical condition…

…In addition to concerns about burnout among employees, there has been a rise in awareness about the stress of being an entrepreneur. Inc. magazine released an article, “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship”, which states, “it’s time to be honest about how brutal [building a company] is—and the price some founders secretly pay.”…

Most of the advice about dealing with workplace stress, like “take a vacation,” “play harder,” or “bring a pet to work” only offers temporary relief.…

…working with our clients, we’ve consistently seen that when people are required to work against their instinctive strengths they report higher levels of stress, miss more work, and ultimately are more likely to quit or be fired.…

…The long-term solution is creating alignment between a person’s conative strengths and the demands of the job.…

Take a look at my website to take your Kolbe A and find out more about building your perfect team.

Just say no….

It’s easy isn’t it?

To say “No”.


I would love to say that having been close to and through burnout on a few occasion as both an employed dentist, a practice owner and (even) as a coach – yeah, yeah I know, I should know better – saying “no” is still one of the hardest things to do.

You want, and think you need, the business, the popularity, the money.

You don’t want to turn someone away, to use a negative word, to let them down.

What if this is the last person who asks you?

What if this leads to a hugely successful opening or opportunity?

What will they think of you when you turn them down?

We all know that we are all trying to achieve too much, demands on the only thing that everyone has (time) are growing, last week I visited Practice Owner and mother of three sorry, Mother of three and Practice Owner, Lauren Harrhy and marvelled at her composure and balance as she seeks to carry on her good work and become a BDA rep. 

Tony Barton from Red Kite World who was one of my teachers during my Coach Training sent me a link this morning. It features Greg McKeown and his book “Essentialism – The disciplined pursuit of less”.

I own this book but haven’t read it – yet.

Why? Because I haven’t found the time.

Why? Because I keep saying yes to other things.

Take a look at Greg speaking

The Monday Morning Quote #562

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”

Randy Pausch

Watch Randy Pausch’s “last lecture.


Holiday Reading

A few titles that you may fancy for the departure lounge or sun bed.

  • “This is Going to Hurt : Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor” by Adam Kay. More HERE.

Very few books make me laugh and cry on the same page. If you’re finding your job challenging this may give you some perspective – or make you find a new career.

  • “The Path : A New Way to Think About Everything” by Professor Michael Puett. More HERE

A book on ancient Chinese philosophy by a Harvard Professor may not sound like everyone’s taste but a holiday is often a good time for reflection. This is very readable and provocative.

  • Stand out of our light : Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy” by James William. More HERE

You will never see your mobile device n the same way again. Who controls your attention?

  • “Shoot for the moon : Achieve the Impossible with the Apollo Mindset” by Richard Wiseman. More HERE

Challenged in getting things achieved in your life? Try Wiseman’s advice and adopt the approach of the teams that put men on the moon – and brought them back – half a century ago.

  • “The Self-Worth Safari : Valuing Your Life and Work” by John Niland. More HERE

There is a crisis of confidence in many dentists, John Niland’s book makes a timely read for anyone having second thoughts and doubts about what they are doing with their professional life.

  • “Setting the Table : The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business” by Dany Meyer. More HERE

A book that I wish I had read before I started my first and second practices but will inspire you to improve everything you do for your patients, customers or clients.

  • “Laidlaw. The Papers of Tony Veitch. Strange Loyalties” by William McIlvanney. More HERE, HERE, & HERE

To call McIlvanney’s trilogy featuring Glasgow police inspector Jack Laidlaw “gritty” does grit a disservice. Stories of human behaviour, both bad and good, but mostly bad, with thoroughly believable characters. As Ian Rankin said, “Without Laidlaw there would have been no Rebus”. Tartan Noir started here.




Burnout – Physicians

From The Lancet 13 July 2019.

Hui Wang, a 32-year-old Chinese ophthalmologist, experienced sudden cardiac death on June 30, after working with fever for 6 days in Beijing. Hui was the father of a 1-year-old girl, and married to a doctor, who donated Hui’s corneas to two patients after his death…

According to a viewpoint published in the Chinese Medical Journal, reports on sudden deaths among Chinese physicians sharply escalated from 2008 to 2015, and most of the deaths, resulting from heavy work load, were male surgeons and anaesthesiologists in tertiary hospitals in large cities…

Physician burnout, defined as a work-related syndrome involving emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment, is not only a serious concern in China but also has reached global epidemic levels. Evidence shows that burnout affects more than half of practising physicians in the USA and is rising…

Physician burnout, defined as a work-related syndrome involving emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment, is not only a serious concern in China but also has reached global epidemic levels…

Evidence shows that burnout affects more than half of practising physicians in the USA and is rising. The 2018 Survey of America’s Physicians Practice Patterns and Perspectives reported that 78% of physicians had burnout, an increase of 4% since 2016. Furthermore, 80% of doctors in a British Medical Association 2019 survey were at high or very high risk of burnout, with junior doctors most at risk, followed by general practitioner partners. Increasingly, physician burnout has been recognised as a public health crisis in many high-income countries because it not only affects physicians’ personal lives and work satisfaction but also creates severe pressure on the whole health-care system—particularly threatening patients’ care and safety.

The 11th Revision of ICD (ICD-11) in May, 2019, provided a more detailed definition of burnout, characterising it as a syndrome of three dimensions—feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of cynicism or negativism about one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy…

Addressing physician burnout on an individual level will not be enough, and meaningful steps to address the crisis and its fundamental causes must be taken at systemic and institutional levels with concerted efforts from all relevant stakeholders. Tackling physician burnout requires placing the problem within different contexts of workplace culture, specialties, and gender. Physician wellbeing has long been under-recognised in LMICs, and physicians’ sudden death and suicide due to overwork—the consequences of extreme burnout—have not been uncommon in many Asian countries. With rapid development of medical sciences, it is time to use medical advances to benefit the health and wellbeing of all people, including physicians themselves…

Not quite as easy as it looks is it?


Colosseum Dental Press release via “Curious PR” 16th March 2018: LINK

“One of the pillars of Colosseum’s recipe for success in the UK will be embedding each practice as a “good neighbour” in its local community….each practice will retain its connection as an integral part of its community.”

454 days later

GDPUK report, 13th June 2019: LINK

“Portsmouth is once more in the news, with the closure of three dental practices leaving ‘thousands without access to NHS treatment’. Colosseum Dental Group, which is owned by an investment company based in Switzerland, is closing the practices next month…

According to a report in The Times, up to 20,000 residents of Portsmouth will be without a dentist when a chain of practices closes its doors next month. With no surgeries accepting adult NHS patients, the nearest practices are in Gosport, which is a ferry-ride away, or Havant, a half-hour drive away.”


Blackpool’s Centre for Dentistry to close by end of August due to ‘high costs’ LINK

“…We understand that travel to Preston may not be for everybody, but it’s just half an hour down the road.…”

….The company also plans to close its Cardiff surgery by the end of August, and merge its two London practices into one.

When I visited Sainsbury’s store in Cardiff a couple of days ago the practice was still promoting itself and its “deals”. There was no mention that there would be no continuity of the membership plan or that the closest SFD practice is nearly 40 miles away on the other side of the Severn Bridge.

At least the London practices are in the same city and both north of the river.

SFD’s spokesperson said, “The costs of staying in Blackpool are very high. The rates in Sainsbury’s are much more expensive than they would be on the high street.”

You have to wonder what their projections were like in the first place; we’re all optimistic when drawing up business plans – if we weren’t nobody would ever raise any finance at all.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with several larger groups or “corporates” clearly unable to make the figures work and therefore closing or off-loading practices over the past 2 – 3 years.

I take no joy in seeing this happen. I once had to close one of my practices due to pressure from the bank. At that time I didn’t have the strength, fortitude and experience that I have now. They (the bank) clearly had no understanding of the business of dentistry, the potential professional consequences and little patience with, or confidence in, their client. The fact that the businesses had already turned the corner meant nothing. 

The experience was hard but enables me to help my clients better these days. The worst thing was leaving some patients, who were unable to move to the other site, in the lurch.

Ultimately it is the patients that suffer, followed closely by any laid off team members and the reputation of the profession. In my case it could possibly have led to bankruptcy which would have left me permanently scarred. With corporates? Who knows?

One of the mantras for success is, “Same Place, Same Face”, when that trust goes so does the customer.

But that’s the market for you.




Secure or Not?

Secure or Not?

Wi Fi that is, I tend to be the innocent when travelling and will log in to whatever wi-fi is available. I always presumed that using a hotel wifi would be relatively secure but, as usual, I was wrong. An article in the Guardian warns that,”free hotel wifi is a hacker’s dream”. LINK

Do read the article if you are interested in having your paranoia turned up to 11; decide whether you are a sheep or a goat and act accordingly. Sheep are sweet, trusting folk who think well of their fellow humans. Goats have nasty suspicious minds. I would like to think that I am a sheep by nature but a goat by experience as I  do use a VPN on all my devices. Lately the BBC has decided that when I am using the VPN I am clearly trying to view iPlayer from “abroad” which makes me wonder if the status of Wales has changed over the past month – so I switch it off sometimes.

That made me wonder about cafes, shops, railway stations, people’s homes and, naturally enough, Dental Practices. My mother used to warn me about interactions in any sort of public place but I always thought it was people I could see from whom I was at a risk. Wrong again, same principle different problem, mother’s advice evolves for the Digital Age.

There’s another article of interest HERE.



%d bloggers like this: