We're shining the spotlight on Dr. Glenn Chan, Principal Dentist at Harker, Chan & Associates in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Chan tells us about his journey in the industry, the importance of enhancing the patient experience, and how he helps shape dentalcorp’s vision and direction as a member of dentalcorp's Partner Advisory Council.
Please share a brief summary of your professional experience in the industry.
I realized early on that my passion was practice management, and I'm now a principal dentist at five different practices. I enjoy mentoring young Associates in various disciplines, like surgery and endodontics. I also find it very fulfilling to learn the financial aspects behind a practice and how to optimize operations while improving the patient experience. I've been practicing dentistry for over two and a half decades and have been a part of the dentalcorp network for the past eight years. My partnership with Dr. Harker and dentalcorp has been incredible and allows me to grow as a practitioner.
What excites you most about being on the dentalcorp Partner Advisory Council? What areas of dentistry are you passionate about?
It is an absolute honour to sit on the board. The Partner Advisory Council (PAC) helps ensure that senior clinical representation is meaningfully considered in shaping the vision and direction of dentalcorp and our 8,500 team members across Canada. To be able to represent and give dentists a voice is very flattering. We have the unique opportunity to work closely with top-tier dentists and impact change by influencing policy and protocol.
How does the PAC impact patient care in Canada?
Patient experience is at the core of everything we do. While I understand the importance of the business side of dentistry, patients will not return to your practice if you aren't doing everything possible to keep them happy. It's been wonderful working with the board to figure out how to enhance that patient experience. All practice decisions affect our patient care to some degree, and our PAC involvement ensures our 538-plus locations are all rowing in the right direction.
What do you feel is the board's greatest accomplishment to date?
The creation of the board has provided an opportunity to interact directly with other dentists on the frontlines and create a feedback loop whereby communication from individual practices can be aggregated and used to optimize processes. Additionally, dentalcorp put together an implant sub-committee. Though the committee is outside my area of expertise, it's been wonderful to help drive that specific part of dentalcorp's participation in dentistry.
What is your vision of what dentistry will be like in 5-10 years?
I think there will be more aggregation of dental offices by corporate entities. I'd love to believe that dentalcorp will become more prominent than ever and continue positively impacting the industry. Tech is going to push things forward dramatically – it's inevitable. We'll have software that reads the films for us, artificial intelligence that will flag areas of concern, and perhaps even the centralization of patient records. It will be fantastic, and most importantly, it enhances the patient experience and reduces redundancies.
How has organized dentistry positively impacted our industry in Canada?
Aggregating practices has allowed us to benefit from centralizing specific critical processes. With a significant number of administrative tasks now optimized and purchasing power providing pricing benefits, dentalcorp has accomplished a great deal – quickly. When you start to centralize processes, it creates efficiency. dentalcorp has been excellent at taking the minutia out of the equation for the dentist, so they can focus on what they love — the patient/practitioner experience.
Do you see any big disruptors on the horizon in dentistry?
Artificial intelligence and technological aspects continue to permeate the medical field, and dentistry will be no different. We've already seen software that can flag caries and pathology, and present alternate diagnoses to us. We've also experienced the shift from analog to digital, allowing for higher resolution and greater efficiency in diagnosing issues.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
Work and spare time continually blend because I enjoy practice management so much. That said, relaxation comes easily during the summertime. I like to hide out in the Okanagan with my family on a boat. The rest of the year, you can usually find me at a new restaurant, or watching our kids' hockey games or swim meets. I also enjoy tormenting my wife with Dad jokes.