After winning the inaugural Nifty Award for Dentist Influencer of the Year, Dr. Paul Goodman sat down with me to share his mission and advice for dentists.
“I’m on a mission to make the dental world ‘less annoying,’” he remarked to me. “I don’t know what happiness is all the
time, but I definitely know what annoyance is. And my goal is to make things less annoying for people.”
Can anyone relate? Put positively, Dr. Goodman loves to help dentists bond together, to feel proud of themselves for the
work they do, and to, frankly, inject a little bit of humor into what can be a monotonous day for dentists.
Life outside the operatory.
Early in Dr. Goodman’s career, he ran a group called the Rising Dentist Study Club of Philadelphia. He saw from the beginning that so much of the dental community focuses on life INSIDE the practice. We talk about implants, patient communication, and getting to multiple practices.
Instead, Dr. Goodman sought to initiate in what he calls “spicy conversations” of life outside the operatory. This includes
things like dental school debt, DSOs, the way dentists treat each other—all built around the idea that we’re in this together as dentists.
The limits of social media.
Although he is active on social media, Dr. Goodman also understands that it has its limitations. “There’s nothing like meeting someone in person and speaking to them face to face,” he said, continuing, “the written word has no context.” He shared a story about posting things on social media that were factually true, and would have been completely understandable in person, but when he posted them online? He was accused of sounding doomy and gloomy.
He also shared a humorous story with me about having trouble finding paper towels. He said if his kids make a mess
and he asks his wife where the paper towels are in person, she could easily show him where they are. However, if she’s out of the house and he texts her that same question? It’s so much harder for her to respond in a single text that helps him find them.
From Facebook to face-toface.
Because of all these limitations, when I asked Dr. Goodman his goals for the near future, he mentioned that he’s dreaming of ways to help people connect in person. This could mean establishing and coordinating events on his own, or even encouraging people to attend events put on by others.
“Dentists will never really have an impact unless we get together face to face more. After all, like Gary Vaynerchuk talks about, ‘You can’t learn how to be better at pushups by reading about pushups.’”
Beyond the four walls
When I asked Paul about his personal goals for the next year, he mentioned spending more time with family and making
more connections with the people who matter most. In fact, for anyone reading this, he encourages them to call up the nearest dentists down the street and invite them to lunch: “Don’t stop calling until someone says yes… the more you can
connect with the people in your neighborhood, the better things will go for you.”