Bridget and I love to share. Hopefully that’s abundantly clear on OrthoPundit and on the Ortho101. Sharing what we have learned with others is our favorite thing to do. Well, it’s our second favorite. Our absolute favorite thing in the world is to help others achieve things they didn’t think were possible. Of course these two things go hand and hand and the pinnacle of sharing and succeeding is the ProOrtho FE Study Group. This weekend we got together with 350 of our closest friends to discuss the current State of Dentistry and to prepare for where it’s headed. We had a fantastic time debating various models, positions, techniques, products and services and every single one of us learned a substantial amount about our options and ourselves. In a word, the meeting was a great big SUCCESS.
What’s that? You’ve never heard of ProOrtho FE? How could a group like this escape your notice? Don’t feel badly. We don’t talk much about FE outside the group and we haven’t exactly solicited new members. However, just like Fight Club, somehow people keep getting wind of what we are doing and asking to join. I was unsure which direction the group would take until yesterday and I’ve held off several dozen of you from bringing your friends into the fold. Based on what I saw at the meeting, now I’m certain. We are going to grow ProOrtho FE into a geographically exclusive group that covers at least 80 percent of the population of the US and Canada. When you think about it, we only have two choices – stagnate and become irrelevant to “keep the intimacy” that every orthodontist decides is important right after THEY join, or continue to grow and expand to increase our ability compete effectively with regional and national DSOs through programs like GMS and LTR and to lead the profession in the direction we believe it should go. In these terms the choice is obvious and given the success of our 5th annual meeting, Bridget and I are confident we can work out the logistical challenges that come with having a larger group.
FE is not for everyone. It’s expensive, takes commitment, you gotta bring something to the table and it is not a group designed to make you feel like superman. We don’t care much for consensus and we do love a good debate but we are experienced enough to know that there is no correct answer. The membership is comprised of many of the smartest and most successful people in our industry and the conversation can get intense at times. But if your ego can handle it, there is nothing better than having one’s ideas and beliefs tested daily by the sharpest minds around. I couldn’t live without the constant back and fourth or without my friends and colleagues telling me why I’m off base, out of bounds, crazy or just not seeing that there is more than one way to look at any given subject. Knowing that this group has vetted my most intimate thoughts and closely held beliefs gives me great confidence to implement and innovate.
What is FE? Who is in it? I’m glad you asked.
FE includes a broad cross section of the Progressive Orthodontists in the US and Canada (but I’m not opposed to innovators from other countries joining so we can learn from them and vs/vs). There are solo practitioners of every kind, ortho only practices, ortho-pedo practices, ortho-gp practices, multi-specialty practices, practices that rely heavily on general dentist partners for referrals, practices that control their own patient base in many different ways, SL practices, twin bracket practices, Invisalign only practices and practices ranging from a couple million in production to regional DSO style practices with dozens of locations. FE is a buffet of ideas, ideals, models and resources. Each member and our teams take what we find appealing but in the process we are made aware of much more. We cannot make choices that we aren’t aware of so, in my mind, the most important thing about ProOrtho FE is the fact that simply being in the group expands our minds, increases our options and empowers us to better prepare for the future. Geographic exclusivity and not sharing information outside the group are the bedrock of ProOtho FE and we defend these tenets fiercely! I’m positive that the only reason this group shares and does so much is because of how seriously we take the confidence of fellow members. Unfortunately this means that not everyone can be in ProOrtho FE, but such is life.
The world is changing and the orthodontic profession must do the same. This is not a bad thing, it just is. Those who are prepared will find great opportunity comes with great change. Don’t be afraid, be prepared! Message me or go to TheProOrtho.com if you would like to apply for ProOrtho FE but please don’t get your feelings hurt if your area is taken or you’re just not a good fit for the group.