Have a vision. Comprehensive treatment. You will not know when you have reached your goal if you don’t have one.
As a part of our interview series with prominent medical professionals called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly Successful Private Practice” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Leonard Umanoff.
Dr. Leonard Umanoff is an accomplished and compassionate dentist at LuxDen in Brooklyn, New York. With over 20 years of experience in the field, he is renowned for his expertise in implantology, a specialized form of dentistry that deals specifically with the use of various implants to address specific dental challenges. Dr. Umanoff is a Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry and NYU College of Dentistry graduate as well as a member of the Second District Dental Society, North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners, International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics. In addition to his specialty in implant dentistry, Dr. Umanoff is Zoom! Whitening System Certified and trained in the CEREC System.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you ended up where you are?
I was born in Moscow. Graduated from Moscow dental school. Immigrated to the USA and Graduated from NYUCD in 1999. I first started working as an associate in the big practice and renting a chair in the office to build my own patient base. I knew from the start that I wanted to have my own practice and 2 years after graduation my dream came true.
I’m a huge fan of mentorship throughout one’s career. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Who has been your biggest mentor? What was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?
I would say it was Gay Geier presentation at the SI. He has shown that dentists should be business owners as well as great clinicians.
What made you want to start your own practice? Can you tell us the story of how you started it?
Starting a practice is a huge challenge specifically because of the lack of proper training during dental school. I always wanted to be my own boss and provide the service I would have liked to receive myself. That is why after I had enough patients I found a great location, secured a loan and got to work. After 4 months of stress, doubts, and break throw associated with dealing with contractors, suppliers, coop board, etc. The practice was opened in May of 2001.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
William Castilange, a 91 year old WW2 veteran, came to me for help. He had lost his bottom front tooth. LuxDen took Mr. Castilange as a charity case and 2 implants were placed with a bridge.
Because it is a “helping profession”, some healthcare providers struggle with the idea of “monetization.” How do you address the business aspect of running a medical practice? Can you share a story or example?
I think doctors who have their own practices should take the responsibility for the success of the clinic as a business. It is not helping anyone if a great doctor goes out of business because of financial, marketing, or business mismanagement. I always wanted to provide great care to my patients but to be able to use the best materials, technology, and personnel you should charge what you are worth. I was on the brink of bankruptcy after being in business for 2 years because my low fees didn’t correspond to the high level of care.
Managing being a provider and a business owner is a constant balancing act. How do you manage both roles?
I would say it’s a juggling act. You have to make time to grow professionally and take care of business. I began to take a lot of care not only for a profession but also for business management. It is safe to say after each of the retreats businesses went up.
Ok, thank you. Here is the main question of our interview. What are the 5 things you need to know to create a thriving practice, and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Be a great clinician — continuing education. I spent time and money to gain knowledge about implantology and now implant is #1 revenue for the practice.
- Have a vision. Comprehensive treatment. You will not know when you have reached your goal if you don’t have one.
- Treat your patients as you would treat your family. It doesn’t matter to LuxDen what insurance the patient has. We would create an ideal plan and present it.
- Keep yourself and your team accountable.
- Have fun along the way. I am trying to give back to my team by organizing extra events. Boat ride, picnic, etc.
As a business owner, you spend most of your time working IN your practice, seeing patients. When and how do you shift to working ON your practice? (Marketing, upgrading systems, growing your practice, etc.) How much time do you spend on the business elements?
I have dedicated one day a week to work on my business. I have conference calls with my marketing department, office manager, accountant to see where I am standing.
I understand that the healthcare industry has unique stresses and hazards that other industries don’t have. What specific practices would you recommend to other healthcare leaders to improve their physical or mental wellness? Can you share a story or example?
I would strongly suggest yoga or anything else that can switch your mind from stress. I began to feel back pain after 10 years of work and picked up yoga for mind and body relaxation. Feel much more comfortable and energetic now.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story about how that was relevant in your own life?
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there!!!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
They can follow us on Instagram/Facebook/TikToc and visit us on the website www.luxden.com
Thank you for these great insights! We wish you continued success and good health!