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Posted by Member on 29/08/2017

Hourly Worth as a Dentist... Tick Tock Tick Tock...

Hourly Worth as a Dentist... Tick Tock Tick Tock...

By Dentist,  Dr "Win Win" Nguyen - BDS, MSD, FWCLI

Time is a paradoxical component of life … “it is free but yet priceless”…

Many of us have seen the ad from Mastercard … “Priceless….there are some things money can’t buy, for all the rest, there is Mastercard.”  Time is one of those things. Each of us is blessed with so much of it, in a limited amount and it is up to us to use it wisely.

Indeed, “the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Because when you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.” Therefore, use time wisely as “once you have lost it, you cannot get it back.” So, when someone says “It’s not about having time, it is about making time”, what they truly meant is that one can decide how much time they lose within that time they have been given as part of their life.

I must have confused you by now. Since time is priceless, why or how in the world is there such a notion as “Hourly Worth?”

Well, whether we are a cab driver in New York City, a farmer in Oklahoma, a plumber in China or a businessman in Johannesburg, we somehow all need to have a gauge of our efficiency. And each of us can decide whether that gauge is steady or fleeting. I myself prefer the latter. Why? Because I constantly strive to push myself to be better and faster at what I do and if my hourly worth is steady, that would mean that I have reached status quo. Whether we make $2 an hour or $2000 an hour, knowing our hourly worth sets the tone and the bar. What matters next is how and in what direction we move the bar. It is all about setting goals.

A famous study was conducted at Princeton University and the results showed that the 3% of students who set goals following graduation amassed 30 years later more wealthy than the 97% of those students who did not, combined.

The same phenomenon happens in our dental microcosm. Those of us who float through the day and who don’t set goals will end up wasting time … and a lot of it. Let’s take the example of endo since it is my bread and butter. Let’s say for the sake of argument that it’d take me one hour to do a molar endo. Assuming I work another 10 years (120 months) and each month I work 160 hours. That would be 19,200 root canals that I will have completed (scary!!!). And again, for the sake of argument, let’s say the fee for a molar root canal is $1000. That would amount to 19 million two hundred thousand dollars based on an hourly worth of $1000/hour. Now what would happen if I only took half the time to do the same molar endo? I would just double my hourly worth to $2000 per hour.

What? Say that again! Double my hourly worth to $2000 per hour? That’d be about 40 million dollars over 10 years! Or better, way better!!!! … remember the priceless things that money cannot buy? … by doubling my hourly worth, I could decide to take half the time (5 years of my life!!!) off in the next 10 years and spend that time on something PRICELESSS!!!!

So, by being more efficient at doing my molar endo in 30 minutes, I just MADE TIME within the 10 years that I had given myself. Now, some of us might say that they’d prefer to keep working full-time and make twice as much. Go for it, more power to you. If making more money is a priority to some of us, I’d respect that as well. What matters is not what you do with the extra time you created by becoming more efficient. It’s about becoming twice as efficient. Now, you can either work less and make the same or work the same and make more. What is beautiful is that you are in control.

Just don’t float through the day and take two hours to do a molar endo. Not only will you produce less but you’ll find yourself working more and harder! Remember ... “once you have lost time, you cannot get it back.”

Now, before I get confused, let’s recap. I just doubled my hourly worth by being twice as efficient doing my endo. How about I double my hourly worth again by having higher fees? … that’s another story dear friends … see you in my next article … “Expertise … a rare commodity.”

“Win Win” – BDS, MSD, FWCLI

About Dr Nguyen

Dr. Tuong Nguyen Nguyen is a native of Saigon, Vietnam but spent most of his youth in Brussels, Belgium. He attended the Catholic University of Louvain and graduated from the School of Dental Medicine and Stomatology in 1997. From 1997 to 1999, Dr. Nguyen practiced part-time in private practice and devoted the rest of his time as a faculty member at his Alma Mater. Subsequently, Dr. Nguyen attended the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and earned a certificate in Endodontics and a Master of Science in Dentistry degree in 2001. From 2001 to 2008, Dr. Nguyen was a full-time Assistant Professor in the Department of Endodontics at both the University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and the Oregon Health Science University School of Dentistry.

Dr. Nguyen is an active member of the American Association of Endodontists, American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, Oregon Dental Association and Multnomah Dental Society.

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