What Does a Clinical Director Do?

Leaders in the dental space might be asking, “How do I grow my practice? And what should I be doing in my day-to-day life to make that happen?” We’re teaming up with Dr. Steve Markowitz of MFD Dental Management—and Skytale client—to talk about the most important things a clinical director can do to grow their business.

It might be tough to measure your progress as a director, and some days might feel downright unproductive. But the steps you take today can mean growth for your business tomorrow. “We’re responsible for the success of our doctors, the quality of the care they deliver, and how they best support our patients and practices,” Dr. Markowitz says.

Here are three things that successful clinical directors do:

Clinical Directors Recruit

“We’re only as good as the quality of care our doctors provide,” Dr. Markowitz says. Clinical directors are responsible for finding top talent and creating opportunities for them. In fact, being understaffed can be one of the biggest inhibitors to growth. If you have patients phoning in for appointments and you’re booking weeks or months in advance, it’s likely time to hire.

Dr. Markowitz explains the process for recruitment:

  • Determine how many new doctors your organization wants to hire for the year.
  • Create a plan and find opportunities to meet doctors.
  • Share your vision and create a roadmap for what a successful doctor looks like at your organization.

“Recruiting is a full time job,” he says. “Recruiting efforts should be constant—always be meeting people even if you think the office might be full right now.”

Retain Providers

Once you’ve hired a great team, it’s the clinical director’s job to keep those people on board. How long do providers stay with your organization? Are you creating and maintaining a culture that the team is proud of?

According to Dr. Markowitz, “Ensuring your team is engaged comes down to three principles:

  1. Do the organization and their leader truly know them?
  2. Are they able to understand how their work helps the purpose?
  3. Are they able to measure how they’re doing?”

Dr. Markowitz points out that compensation is only one piece of the puzzle. To improve retention, a clinical director might also dive into the quality of care and set standards. It helps to create measurements and KPIs for doctors’ success. Then, you can help doctors meet their goals.

“When the right environment is created and the doctors’ needs are understood and surpassed, retention of doctors will create optimal patient care and dental group practice success,” he says.

Grow Revenue

Finally, clinical directors are responsible for growing their practice’s revenue. It helps to build a detailed plan to achieve revenue goals—whether that includes cutting costs, hiring a new provider, ramping up marketing, and so on.

“If we provide the support for our doctors to keep their patients healthy, improve patience case acceptance, and have systems and processes behind the scenes that allow for patients to be treated in the most optimal way, the outcome will be an increase in revenue,” Dr. Markowitz explains.

The Making of a Successful Clinical Director

Dr. Markowitz suggests that when scheduling your weekly and daily calendar, your activities should revolve around recruiting, retention, and revenue. “The more time you can spend in those buckets, the happier your doctor team will be, the healthier your patients will be, and the more success your organization will have,” he says.

Dr. Steve Markowitz is a third generation dentist and the founder and CEO of MFD Dental Management. Steve’s love for the profession came from his father, an entrepreneurial dentist—before it was the cool thing to be. MFD is a tribute to his father, whose impact was measured not by profits but by the level of care shown to his patients and team. It’s with this spirit that Steve continues to find his passion in developing his team and creating new and innovative ways to improve the lives of his patients and team members. Currently, Dr. Markowitz and his team lead seven practices, 21 dentists and almost 140 team members. 

Steve’s drive for leading and developing himself and others comes from his beautiful wife, Lynn. Together they have three wild and crazy boys and work hard to try and keep up with all of the fun.