Durnell ’14 Learning More Than Medicine

Dustin Durnell ’14 – I would like to begin this blog entry by thanking the Lilly Endowment and Wabash alumni, friends, and family who have donated towards the Business Leaders Program. Without their generosity, this internship would not have been possible.

With that being said, my overall experience at Fort Wayne Dental Group has been both enlightening and eye opening. It has provided me with a wealth of knowledge that could have only been demonstrated to me by a Wabash graduate. Dr. Matthew Creech ‘96 and his staff have taken me under their collective wing and shown me what it really means to be both a dentist and a small business manager.

Creech and Durnell

The standout lesson of my experience, so far, revolves around communication within a business setting. There are certain levels of communication that are expected within the office to foster efficient treatment of patients as well as effective billing and case management of these patients. There must be communication between the doctor and the patient to allow for diagnosis of the problem and resolution of this problem. From here, there must be communication from the doctor to the assistants in order to implement a treatment plan. The doctor must then relay the prescribed treatment to the team working the front desk in order to confirm an accurate and fair price to be handed down to the patient. If all of these communication levels are not met, the company doesn’t run as efficiently as is necessary which could have drastic consequences upon its success.

This idea of communication is something that had never even crossed my mind until partaking in this internship. From my, and what I assume is a large majority of the general public’s point of view, I understood communication between doctor and assistant and for some reason thought everything else just took care of itself. However, it is this intricately woven network of communications between staff members that allows for the smoothly operating system that they embody. In doing so, they not only increase their own overall output, but aid in the comfort of the patient which is paramount in building new bridges with which the company expands upon. As a result of being shown this intricacy by Dr. Creech and his staff, I now feel confident that any future career or staff I may have will have the advantage of understanding these communication concepts and be able to immediately grow and improve in other ways.

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