Female Dentist Extraordinaire, Dr. Mona Patel


In this episode, T-bone begins a series of interviews with outstanding female dentists. He’s doing so because he feels there’s not enough recognition of the fact that more than 50% of dentists graduating today are women. This episode features Dr. Mona Patel, a private practice dentist who has worked in two types of environments – what she calls “corporate dentistry” and private practice. This wide-ranging conversation covers Mona’s path into dentistry, how she got her education and experience, and the move into private practice and the development of a thriving office. You’ll enjoy her inspiring story.

Learning the dental ropes in a corporate environment.

Dr. Mona Patel spent more than a few years working for a company that owned many dental offices – it was an environment she describes as “corporate.” The owner was never in the office, there was little in the way of team identity and company culture, it was a job. She says there were definitely advantages to the position but in time, it wasn’t enough for her. She found herself eager to open a practice of her own and found the ideal opportunity. You can hear about the opportunity she found, how she seized it, and what she has done with it on this episode of T-Bone speaks.

When she found the perfect opportunity, Dr. Patel didn’t hesitate to purchase her own practice.

When the time came for Dr. Mona Patel to purchase and run her own dental practice, she came upon an opportunity that turned out to be the perfect situation for her. It was an established practice with a dentist-owner who was willing to sell the practice and continue working in the office as an associate underneath Mona, the new owner. She found it to be a perfect situation because the relationship she was able to develop with the long-time owner (as her associate) enabled her to learn the business side of the practice while benefitting from owning the practice herself. Listen to the entire story on this episode.

Moving to a new facility and upgrading absolutely everything to create a 1st-rate dental practice.

The practice Dr. Patel purchased was well-established and doing well, but it was housed in an older building and was in a rented space. She knew the day would come when she’d want to renovate or purchase a building of her own. What wound up happening was even more – she built her own office and outfitted it with top-of-the-line equipment and amenities for her clients. But the monetary impact on her business has more than justified the expense. Mona goes into great detail about how she pulled it off, on this episode of T-Bone Speaks.

Knowing her niche has enabled Dr. Mona Patel to become one of the leading female dentists.

Dr. Mona Patel has not integrated all of the technologies T-Bone speaks about and advocates into her practice – yet. But she knows that she’s already working in her areas of strength and is content, for now, to be building the kind of practice she envisions. From her team-building and management of an already-successful practice to the vision for and construction of a brand new location, she’s shown her creativity and care go a long way in creating a dental practice to be proud of.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:17] T-Bones welcome to this 1st installment in his “Women in Dentistry” series.
  • [1:47] Who is Dr. Patel, where does she practice, why did she choose dentistry?
  • [8:30] How dentistry provides much more than many other professions.
  • [13:00] Mona’s observations of how dentistry happens in Germany compared to the U.S.
  • [17:11] What Mona would tell her daughters about dentistry as a profession.
  • [18:38] Mona’s education and path into dentistry.
  • [24:00] How Mona wound up in Milwaukee.
  • [33:09] Mona’s opinion on the CE classes she took.
  • [38:50] The first step into private practice.
  • [43:53] Mistakes Mona made early on in her career.
  • [49:09] Insurance, fee for service, PPOs, etc.
  • [51:50] Why Cerec was the first thing Mona invested in and how it changed her practice.
  • [58:13] The risk Mona took completely renovating her office.
  • [1:03:05] The Cerec equipment Mona purchased and the addition of an associate dentist.
  • [1:08:55] Why Dr. Patel decided to purchase a Conebeam machine.
  • [1:13:04] The impact of a new facility on her business.
  • [1:14:43] How Dr. Patel got started speaking and the goals she has for it..
  • [1:23:19] Adding another associate dentist to the practice.

Resources & People Mentioned

Listen to the entire interview

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