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Ronald Silverstein is a veteran dentist and seasoned marketeer, practicing on the East Coast of the United States. Like many of his contemporaries, he started off with “drill, fill, and bill,” but unlike many of his contemporaries, he has adjusted to the new times—with success. As you will see, he’s not afraid of ruffling some feathers.

Remember my mantra, that dentists had better learn the importance of marketing and the necessity of modern treatment procedures? Well, long before I assumed the status of a contemporary Paul Revere—shouting that repetitive slogan, “The patients are leaving! The patients are leaving!”—there was The Pankey Institute, an organization dedicated to providing dentists with economic knowledge and technical expertise. Headquartered in Key Biscayne, Florida, the institute sits among some of the state’s most beautiful real estate, a retreat that truly combines work and pleasure. (Full disclosure: As a young man, which means no one has a right to ask about my true age, I vacationed in Key Biscayne, enjoying its peaceful climate and general tranquility. The place is truly a refuge from the ordinary.)

The folks at the Pankey Institute grasp a fundamental truth: that the dental profession, like any other industry, must repeatedly embrace technological change and offer patients worthwhile services. Simple, right? Hardly. As I have stated previously, my colleagues generally refuse to modify their business structure, which is premised on such an ancient ideology—the false hope of increasingly sick patients—that reality barely intrudes upon this fiction. Hence the importance of the Pankey Institute.

This fine organization recognizes the need for—the absolute centrality of—teaching dentists new ways to confront medical challenges and economic facts. After all, how many dentists would otherwise know the intricacies of sustaining a successful business, coupled with the ability to absorb the latest industry developments? In part, these actions explain the vitality of the Pankey Institute and its core philosophy—give dentists the intellectual tools for lifelong success!

The institute reinforces my firm belief that dentists be both energetic practitioners and rigorous entrepreneurs. These skills are not mutually exclusive, but equally complementary; they make dentists better professionals and more capable experts. Thus, I salute an organization with courage, resources, insight and respect. Kudos to the Pankey Institute.

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