Everyone with kids knows school will be out soon. While parents are preparing for Armageddon, teachers are looking forward to freedom and a little piece of paradise. But did you know that if you’re a doctor, you should also be looking forward to a little vacation? Learn the best and worst vacation weeks for doctors to avoid killing your production in exchange for your little piece of heaven.
As a DSO coach, the Director of Practice Development for Family 1st Dental, and a third generation dentist with over thirty years of experience in dental management, I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge in the way things work in healthcare. From my experience, here are the best and worst vacation weeks for doctors:
Start planning a little trip, because this is a great week to vacation. In my experience, this week has the most changes in the schedule from late cancels to no shows; similar to Saturdays, with Friday afternoons in a close second. I never regretted missing this week so pack your bags for Cancún.
This week is good for the same reasons as above, but not nearly as significant. Still, if you want to take advantage of the last days of summer, this is the best week to leave the office. Here we come Bora Bora!
Whether it’s for financial reasons, traveling for the holiday, or the hustle and bustle of the season, not a lot of people want to get treatment before Christmas. Although, I did get new patients during this time due to loss of insurance, it was still a great time to vacation. P.S. there’s no snow on Po'ipu Beach in Kauai!
During this time of year, college students come home and production increases. This was especially true for me as I did lots of third molars, but college students need adjustments, check-ups, and other treatment outside of dentistry as well. Time to put away that fancy Hawaiian vacation shirt.
These days are high production days. In fact, I always produced more during this week than the rest of the month combined—usually insurance-driven. Typically during this time, I would "phase" treatment to fully utilize insurance maximums, completing the remainder of treatment during the first 2-3 weeks of January. There’s always a panic to use insurance before the end of the year. I learned to reserve this time for treatment only, seeing recares in hygiene, but no new patients as they required more of my time. Whenever I hired new team members, I made it clear to them that this one week was not a week to request off. When Christmas fell on a weekend, it was great for the practice, because I had more work days available for more production. Time to wrack in the dollars for those weekend trips to Aspen in February!
Early on, when I would take a vacation with my family, my life was always more miserable playing catch up when I returned than before I left on vacation.
“No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.”
― Elbert Hubbard Tweet This
A vacation should never be counterproductive, but as with most things in life, I learned that timing is everything. Now, the information above is NOT a mandate, but simply information for your thoughts to potentially make your life a little easier. As I gained more experience and learned when and when not to vacation, life became a whole lot simpler for me and my company’s production benefited.
Next time you feel ready for a vacation, take this information into consideration and avoid killing your production in pursuit of your tranquility. Above all else, life is short so get out there and swim in the Luminous Lagoon in Falmouth, Jamaica, or take a beautiful canopy walk above the forest floors of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
You deserve a vacation!
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