Dental podcasts: Eliminate costly staff training

Feb. 26, 2015
Kyle L. Summerford explains how five-minute podcasts can be integrated into your weekly dental office meetings to help build your practice and generate more revenue … and most importantly, train your staff. He talks about what you need to use podcasts in your practice and how they can turn unproductive staff meetings into interactive, open-discussion training sessions.

Let’s face it; staff training is an area that needs more than a little attention. Most staff members in the typical dental practice are not made equal. It’s quite rare to have a dental practice where each team member is a superstar, and this is why staff training is necessary. Many practices may rely on staff members to train each other, but how can you assume this is working and productive?

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Well, it’s difficult to really know. This is why another method that yields some benefits as an alternative is to hold weekly effective staff meetings. Unfortunately, in my last 14 years of working in the dental industry, I have learned that most staff meetings are unproductive and usually involve complaints. There are no real results even though everyone believes they accomplished something.

We need to turn those boring, unproductive staff meetings into interactive, open-discussion training sessions.

But how?

What if I told you that integrating a five-minute podcast into your weekly office meetings could help build your practice and generate more revenue … and most importantly, train your staff? Podcasts can also help your staff members learn about important areas such as the new-patient experience, productive scheduling, telephone etiquette, case presentation, and team skills, just to name a few.

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To get a clear and full understanding of podcasts, first let’s discuss what a podcast is. It’s a free and simple, five-minute audio clip that can be heard on a laptop or desktop using Bluetooth or a Sonos sound system, or on a smartphone. All you need is an Internet connection and a credible source for the most up-to-date practice management information.

How to use a podcast in your practice
Think of it as an office meeting. A podcast such as “The DDS Guru Podcast Series” offers a variety of topics about improving your dental practice. It’s designed for today’s dentist and high-achieving staff members. The boutique practice is an ideal environment for learning and using many of the techniques discussed throughout this series, but it’s available to any practice anywhere.

The unique structure of this podcast series revolves around you. Before starting your morning huddle, gather your team around, grab your Bluetooth speaker, laptop, or smartphone, and head over to or iTunes to ramp up the podcast series. Once loaded, a new topic is discussed, which is released weekly and introduced to your staff in a five-minute audio clip. Each topic is explained in full details in the simplest terms for everyone to listen in on.

If you and your staff can dedicate just five minutes a week to listen to the many tips and tricks offered in the “The DDS Guru Podcast Series” during your staff meetings, it will provide a tremendous amount of practice management education for everyone. (Click on any of the links in this article to get started.)

Kyle L. Summerford is CEO and founder of Summerford Solutions, Inc., and editorial director of PennWell's Dental Assisting Digest e-newsletter. He runs a podcast series titled "The DDS Guru Podcast Series." He provides private business coaching for dentists. Mr. Summerford is a professional speaker focusing on topics such as increasing profits, staff etiquette training, and maximizing dental insurance benefits. He is a contributing author for Dental Economics, DentistryIQ, and Surgical-Restorative Resource. Visit his website at, available to dentists and team members for educational purposes, or contact him by email at [email protected].