Received this message (below) today – one of several similar ones in response to The American Orthodontic Dream. I think it’s great and hope that others will open up and share their challenges for the benefit of all. If we orthodontists stop being so proud and secretive then perhaps we can even learn to ask for help BEFORE things get sideways! I sure wish I had….

Hi  Ben,

Read your Cautionary Tale post. Resonated. Sounded much like my first year. It was an ass kicking. The practice I bought 12 months ago was twice as big so maybe twice the load of crap to handle. Happy no family and children were involved to suffer through that but also a tiny bit sad to suffer through that alone. Let that guy know he isn’t alone for me and there are tons of good people out there fighting the fight along side in the same boat. The seller of my practice left me hundreds of messy cases many of which are patients losing their teeth. Adult Perio where the cases never should have been started and paid in full so I look like the idiot. And can’t speak the mother language as he did so I’m the bad guy. He lied about the accounts receivable to the tune of $300,000 so that doesn’t help my cash flow at all. 1/3-1/2 my schedule some days are non income producing. Rebranded. Mistake. Dropped from top of page 1 google to middle of page 5 further hurting the business. Patients would see the look on my face those early months and think hell no I shouldn’t refer my friends here. My staff would call out “RBF” for resting bitch face when they saw that look so that I could know when my face looked like I had just been hit with a cattle prod. I guess those patients told their GPs so the GPs stopped referring as well. So without google, patient or GP referrals that left me trying to undercut the price of even corporate chains around me. Another mistake. People who started treatment previous to the price cuts started asking for money back and demanding the discounts their friends or family just got. I really enjoyed taking those phone calls from mom and dad on Friday and Saturday night… and yes, I gave them what they wanted. Went from a staff of 10 to now 6 people. Never fired anyone. People jumped ship. One of the people who stayed was the office manger who makes 4-5x my salary. My sibling encouraged me to see a shrink for the first time in my life. I did. And after venting for an hour and paying the guy. He was like “you have some real issues that would make me stressed to the hilt so go out there and handle it instead of talking to me.” Chatted with DR AWESOMENESS a tiny bit after his post ON ORTHOPUNDIT. Definitely hard to get support when I keep things so private. Anyways brother just wanted to share with you because whoever that guy is he isn’t alone and thank you for helping him. If I can help him in anyway please let me know. On my end things will just take time. I’m staying in this fight. I’m a gladiator and will go out swinging.