The Difference Between Management and Leadership: How the Apex Model Empowers Dentists

Running a successful dental practice is a challenge, and it’s not for everyone. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve poured your heart and soul into building and managing your own private practice, and you’re now looking for a change. At Apex Dental Partners, we have one of the industry’s best models for dentists who have become fatigued by the administrative burdens of practice management.

Understanding the difference between management and leadership is the core of our solution for building practices that thrive. Simply put, a manager handles the tactical responsibilities in the practice as compared to a leader who focuses on the strategies that move their unique team toward success. Here’s how the Apex model, Private Practice Reimagined®, can benefit you. 

Business Relief

Business Managers at Apex oversee the day-to-day, non-clinical operations of the practice, implement innovative strategies for productivity and efficiency, and guarantee the practice has adequate and suitable resources to achieve high-reaching goals. Partnering in tandem is the role of the Clinical Leader. The leader of the practice coaches, influences, and motivates their team to ensure patients receive the greatest quality of care possible.

Being successful as both the full-time business manager and clinical leader of your practice requires significant dedication and sacrifice. With Apex, you don’t have to abandon the traditional values of private practice to receive the high-level support of a large organization. Our mission is to reimagine how dentistry affects the lives of our dentists, teammates, and the communities we serve. In demonstration of this, our Private Practice Reimagined® model is designed to cut your dual responsibility in half. By reassigning the administrative tasks necessary to running a business to our world-class managers, our doctors gain the freedom to focus on evolving into the leaders their practice needs. 

Dr. Terry Reavis and his wife/Business Manager would regularly have to sacrifice their weekends to keep up with the overwhelming workload that comes with managing a small business.

“Managing a dental practice is not easy – as everyone knows. Allowing Apex to step in and take over the management side has taken a lot of stress off both me and my wife. After owning a practice for 30 years, I am now able to clock in at 8 a.m. and leave at 5 p.m. Removing the stress of management has been the best part of my transition.”

Since partnering with Apex in 2019, Dr. Reavis has been given support to focus solely on his patients, his practice, and his eventual plans post-retirement. Dr. Reavis’ experience is unique to Apex Leaders and highlights the relief our management team offers to our doctors’ lives,both in and out of the workplace. 

Maintaining Autonomy 

When successful, the partnership between management and leadership is an environment rich with opportunities for our doctors to achieve their goals. The two roles are not meant to intrude or overrule one another. Rather, managers and leaders are designed to work together harmoniously to maintain and grow the practice’s individual identity and clinical philosophy. 

For many dentists, working in an environment where business managers hold significant power and restrict the clinician’s ability to provide necessary treatment can lead to frustration, burnout, and diminished quality of patient care. After transitioning from one group practice that offered limited autonomy, Dr. Kenneth Mueller was grateful for Apex’s unique model that trusted and encouraged him to lead his practice. 

“In the past, I’ve had office managers who made major decisions without me. Since partnering with Apex, I’ve enjoyed collaborating with my managers to make the best decisions for our patients. It’s been a huge benefit to have this level of trust and autonomy over my practice.”

Private practice dentistry is a profession founded on the ability to foster and grow long-term relationships for the goal of positively impacting the lives of others. When considering a practice transition, it’s common for doctors to be concerned about losing their influence in the critical decisions made for their practice, patients, and team. However, with Apex’s partnership approach to group dentistry, you can trust you will be valued as a clinical leader.

Leadership Expansion

For doctors interested in expanding their leadership potential, Apex offers a unique approach to collaboration and networking. We are currently partnered with over 80 like-minded clinicians who aspire to provide outstanding patient experiences. By joining the Apex family, our doctors gain access to a diverse group of clinicians who have a proven history of success. 

If our doctors wish to communicate with peers, share ideas, discuss treatment plans, or solve problems collaboratively, we encourage them to connect with other clinical leaders within our organization. Regardless of whether you are a recent graduate, an emerging leader, or a veteran in your practice, the goal of providing access to this network is to make you feel supported and confident along your professional journey. 

Our Business Managers and Clinical Leaders are prepared for a prosperous partnership due to the training, resources, and mentorship opportunities provided by Apex. Office managers are taught modern techniques and given tools to increase efficiency so their practice is always operating at a high level. Clinicians are supported with peer-to-peer coaching from both a clinical focus and a business focus so they can be well rounded when leading their practice. 

Before joining Apex, Dr. Yvonne Safo-Kwakye was looking for a dental partnership that could help her elevate her clinical abilities. Finding a group that also prioritized leadership growth and offered continuing education opportunities was very appealing to her. 

“I appreciate that Apex has a group of doctors I can lean on for clinical mentorship and treatment advice. Knowing I can always call one of my peers concerning a treatment plan makes me feel like we are all part of the same team. It’s exciting to continue learning from professionals in my industry who I know support me.”

We call ourselves Apex Dental Partners because we view ourselves as allies to the teams who serve our patients every day. This means we work hard to provide our managers and leaders with the relationships, resources, and encouragement their practice needs for long-term success. At Apex, we value your role as a leader and will always empower our doctors to remain the figureheads and clinical decision-makers their communities need.

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By choosing the right partner, selling your dental practice can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your professional career. At Apex Dental Partners, we work closely with you every step of the way to ensure you feel comfortable and confident you're making the best decision for your future.