We’re shining the spotlight on Terence Fok, Senior Director, Practice Optimization at dentalcorp's Support Centre. Terence tells us about his journey in industrial engineering, elevating the patient experience with consistent patient care, and the importance of building connections in the workplace.
Tell us about your background — how long have you been with dentalcorp, and what were you doing before you joined?
I'm a trained industrial engineer, and my first job after undergrad was at Shoppers Drug Mart. I was there for nearly 11 years before I joined dentalcorp four years ago. My specialty is process-reengineering to help optimize day-to-day operations and optimize output. From a patient's perspective, it's about enabling the most consistent and efficient experience when visiting a dental practice.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I always wanted to be an astronaut and was fascinated with math and sciences as a kid. Before choosing what I wanted to do after high school, I took an open-house seminar at the University of Toronto, demonstrating how engineers can build computer simulations to model a hospital's day-to-day operations. It showed an influx of patients coming into the emergency for a natural disaster and how to plan for it. The seminar propelled me to study Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto, and ironically, I now work in healthcare.
Can you tell us a bit about your role on your team? What does a typical day look like?
I am the Senior Director, Practice Optimization, and I report to our Practice Development department, which falls under Operations. The Practice Development team develops processes and programs to help elevate the patient experience through better care. My team is focused on optimizing the administrative function of the practice, so the team members can spend more time with their patients. I currently manage work streams focused on driving optimal patient recare, ensuring that patients are on top of their hygiene continuing cycle to advance their oral health. We do our best to keep patients on schedule so they're not late for their appointments, which could further deteriorate their oral health.
What are your aspirations for personal and professional growth? Do you have a 5-year plan?
What I love about dentalcorp is that as we continue to grow as an organization, there are opportunities for team members to grow professionally. I want to continue to soak up experiences and build my tool kit. I've been very fortunate because the leaders at dentalcorp have invested in me to flex my muscle on different projects. I've had the privilege to play key roles in multiple important transformation initiatives in the business, which I appreciate as they help me refine my skills and build my experience and confidence as a leader.
As for my personal growth, since the start of the pandemic, I began volunteering at the University of Toronto with student application screenings for the Engineering program. It has given me great satisfaction to welcome new students and help them take the first step to becoming an engineer. I love being able to help young people grow and help them shine. That's my way of giving back.
What advice do you have for new team members joining dentalcorp's Support Centre?
Come to the office, walk around, meet new faces, ask people what they do, and figure out how your role plays a part in the entire dentalcorp ecosystem. We're a growing organization, and there are always new challenges and opportunities. It’s important to build connections and learn about the projects the company is working on. dentalcorp is an exciting organization. It’s still very young with so much potential, and yet it's impressive to think about how far we've come and what we've accomplished.