We’re shining the spotlight on Beth Misner, Practice Manager at SouthWest Dental in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Beth tells us about the journey of opening a practice with her husband, wearing multiple hats at the office, and the importance of helping patients achieve their goals.
How long have you been a Practice Manager with SouthWest Dental?
In 1998, my husband, Dr. Michel Comeau, and I purchased a clinic in Nova Scotia. He had just graduated from dental school, and I had no related experience, so it was a sink-or-swim situation for both of us. I decided that if this was going to be our family business, I needed to do whatever I could to ensure it was a success. We started with three operatories and five team members, including myself and my husband. We've grown into an eight-operatory facility, including part-time specialists and a team of over 20 employees.
What excites you most about your current role?
No matter how much we grow and learn, there is an opportunity to improve or implement something new. I always appreciate the reality check when meeting with colleagues, and it’s great to see how much our team has evolved. We have a great core group who have been on this journey with us, and we wouldn't be where we are now without them.
What skills are essential to being a good Practice Manager?
Servant leadership and team appreciation – this says it all for me. I will never ask any team member to do something I'm not prepared to do myself. We are all essential to ensuring our clinics’ success. We make a conscious effort to have our office culture be a work family. If you appreciate your team members and let them know how valued they are, they will stick with you for the long term.
What does your practice do to ensure an exceptional patient experience?
Our team has undergone a lot of training to ensure we offer high-quality care. We communicate effectively with patients, providing them with various treatment options so they can make informed choices and thoroughly understand the financial and time commitments of their treatment.
What advice do you have for dental professionals starting their careers?
Learn as much as you can, and never stop growing. It doesn’t matter what role you play on your team – strive to be the best at what you do. Some of the best advice I ever received was: Whatever you do, be so good at your job that they can’t imagine working without you. This has become my standard and the best words of wisdom I’ve received from a mentor. This mindset has served me well throughout my career.
What are you most proud of to date about your career?
I’m proud of how much I’ve learned about dentistry, managing people, and myself. I always felt that I needed to be able to do anything within my abilities to ensure that patients were happy and my team feels valued. I’m officially the Practice Manager, but I also wear multiple hats at the practice. If there is an unexpected vacancy, I’ll do whatever I can to make sure our day flows seamlessly. I can’t fill in for the dentist or the hygienist, but those are my only limitations.
What’s your favourite quote, mantra, or motto?
“Well done is better than well said.”- Benjamin Franklin.