Interview: A mix of medicine and business

Per Hamre
A mix of medicine and dental business

The first cycle of the new Dental Practice Management (DPM) has finished. We asked one of our participants, Per Hamre from Norway, what he thinks about this educational program in general and the course section on “Influence and Patient Care” in particular.

The Dental Practice Management (DPM) course has finished. How was it for you in general?

It was an eye-opener. As Professor Chalagalla said in the opening lecture on marketing: Ten years ago the concepts and terminology we use were not even known. The strategy part was very important, here we get to share the ideas that top business leaders use to navigate the market. The third part was finance, which may not change so much over the years. But is the basis of every business. Dentistry in private practice is a mix of medicine and business. Like it or not, the two are inextricably linked. We are professionally trained for the former, and are usually amateurs in the latter.

One part of the course focused on “Influence and Patient Care”. Did this part of the course make you reflect on how you connect with patients and give you more ideas how to do so? 

This is the essence of the business of dentistry. It was very illuminating, as was evidenced in my talks with other experienced colleagues who also found this part very interesting. This is a topic with many and huge ramifications, and warrants a course of its own.

Which course learnings do you think you can immediately apply in daily practice for yourself and your staff? 

Including the staff in ameliorating interactions with the patient, and with each other. Using social media in a proactive manner has an immediate effect. Scrutinizing the accounts also may give an immediate reward.

How do you think this course will affect the way you and your staff practice? 

Increase the bottom line. To handle an issue, you have to be aware of it. The course gives us the concepts and tools for every aspect of running a successful dental office.

Why do you think this part of the DPM course is particularly important to practice owners?

I think the importance is linked to which stage you are in. If we look at 3 stages,

The ROOKIE, starting on the journey. They get the tools to develop a business from scratch. In recent years, business development has become a business idea of its own. It has been professionalized. The old saying applies, a dwarf standing on the shoulder of a giant, can look farther ahead than the giant.

The ESTABLISHED, with experience in running an office, with still many years ahead. Routines and procedures are in place, but new learnings may not have crept in. It is stimulating to be offered an option to do things better. The OLD DOG, at the end of a career, may want to sell the clinic. Doing the right things may increase the value of the office. The buyer gets a more robust business, and the seller and potential heirs get a better deal.

In 2020, the ITI teamed up with IMD Institute for Management Development – a globally top-ranked provider of executive education – to offer dental practitioners a customized, online dental practice management course that will help them to maximize their business impact. The course comprises the three fundamental components of every successful practice: Business Insights, Leadership Insights & Marketing & Customer/Patient Centricity.

In September 2021, the ITI is offering a second course cycle for practice owners and anyone looking to open a practice to pick up valuable know-how. More information is available on the course website.


Per Hamre
Per Hamre
Per Hamre founded Tannboden, a chain of dental offices in Norway in 2003. He worked for a number of pharmaceutical companies before founding Sigma in 1994 that imports pharmaceuticals into Norway. He has also worked in market analysis and practiced dentistry.
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