While dental school may prepare you to be clinically sound, it doesn’t prepare you to be business savvy. Let’s face it, we’re trained to be good dentists, provide the best possible possible patient care, and hope that we can make a good living doing what we love.
We hire people based off of experience, capability, and most of all trust – and hope that those that work with you share the same moral fiber that you do. Between patient care, keeping up with the latest technologies and procedures, training, and managing a practice – we’re simply too busy to keep track of the details sometimes.
Have I ever been the victim of embezzlement and theft? Yes, twice in fact, and sadly by people that I admired and trusted. It happens though, people fall on hard times, personal situations change, and sometimes the easy access to cash payments proves all too tempting to pass up.
My situation was actually a fairly clever one, and the “perp”, as I will call her would tell patients that the credit card machine was broken and recommended they go next door to the bank to withdraw cash for payment. Of course the cash would then magically disappear and never make it to the bank for deposit. Clever right? Alas, a lesson learned…I guess I can take solace that apparently 59% of dental offices have been embezzled once before. If I ever go into teaching, I will make sure to include a business curriculum 🙂
So fellow dentists reading this blog, keep a vigilant eye on your team, make sure to do background checks on your front desk employees, and always double and triple check your AR. If you do find yourself a victim of embezzlement? Hire a good accountant…and a good attorney.
Here are some interesting links that may also help you avoid dental embezzlement…
How to Avoid Embezzlement