Host: Welcome, Dr. Diana Tadros, and congratulations on being one of our “40 Under 40” honorees. We’re going to get to spend 20 minutes together now. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your very busy practice and spending some time with me doing this podcast. So, welcome.
Dr. Diana Tadros: Thank you. I appreciate you for having me.
Host: First and foremost, where does this podcast find you? Where are you right now?
Dr. Diana Tadros Right now, I am in Fort Lauderdale. I have a practice here. I’ve been here for about two and a half years. Prior to that, I was in Manhattan for many years.
Host: I was a sales rep in Manhattan. That’s how I got my start. Where in Manhattan, and were you with a group practice?
Dr. Diana Tadros Yeah, I was in Gramercy for a while. Then, I had another practice up in the Upper East. So, between the two.
Host: The weather is definitely better where you are.
Dr. Diana Tadros: It’s much different, too. I mean, now Manhattan is a little bit of a ghost town, but I can’t say that I don’t miss it every now and then.
Host: It’s true. So, you had your start in Manhattan, and then what was the reason you were looking to move to Florida? When did you move?
Dr. Diana Tadros: We relocated. My husband finished his medical residency, and then we moved down to South Florida. I had a bit of a hard time finding a really good practice to purchase down here. I didn’t find many well-trained dentists. There were a lot of shady practices. Luckily, I had a mutual colleague that knew somebody down here, and I bought a practice. The previous owner stayed on board. He works for two days; I work for two days. It’s been like that now for about two years.
Host: That sounds fantastic. Sometimes working with a partner can be difficult. Is this the first time you’ve done that?
Dr. Diana Tadros: Well, he’s an associate. I bought the practice completely, and it’s been a phenomenal relationship. We didn’t hire a lawyer when we did the practice transaction. We wrote our contract ourselves, and we kept saying, “I hope this is the right thing to do.” But we just got along so well. We have similar values. It’s a small fee for a service boutique practice. I let him do his thing on his two days, and he runs it kind of the way he wants to the staff. And I do it on my two days, and it’s been a big blessing.
Host: That’s fantastic. You know, I often wonder how many business relationships that I formalize with contracts that really don’t need to. So, the way you did it with a handshake, and you both got behind your Word processor and went back and forth, you wonder, if more people did that, the lawyers would go out of business.
Dr. Diana Tadros: Right.
Host: But probably 90% of business arrangements could be done that way.
Dr. Diana Tadros: Yeah. What usually happens in a traditional practice sales is you’re going through a broker and that’s how you find that practice, and you don’t have much time to connect with the previous owner.
Dr. Diana Tadros: I shadowed the practice for a good two months before I bought it. I was down here anyway in South Florida. I wasn’t trying to find an associate job. We just moved from Manhattan. I was gung-ho on finding a practice to buy. And so I had nothing but time.
Dr. Diana Tadros: I came in every day. I really like the staff. I love them. They’re all still with me today. Everyone in the office has been with us for over 20 years. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else, and I don’t think he could get rid of me anyway, so he had to just sell it to me.
Host: That’s fantastic. If you don’t mind, can we go back to, I guess one of my favorite questions, when did you decide to be a dentist? Some people knew when they were 7 or 8 years old. Some people didn’t really realize it until they started wondering what they were going to do after college. So where were you on that continuum?
Dr. Diana Tadros: Okay. It’s kind of an interesting story. I was in a seven-year medical program out of high school. I got accepted into this dual-undergrad med school program. And the only requirement was after you finish your undergrad, you had to do the MCAT, then you would be guaranteed admission to that school.
Dr. Diana Tadros: So, the summer before I was forced to take the MCAT. We had a family reunion, and one of my uncles was a physician and another one was a dentist. The one who was a physician said, “I’m just going to say this in my many, many, many years of practicing, I’ve always heard physicians say they wish they were a dentist, but I’ve never heard of dentists say they wish they were a physician.” So, he was like, “Just do with that info. what you will. It’s a lot more years of training.”
Dr. Diana Tadros: At that time, it was a big shock for my family because I was so medical school-driven. My parents didn’t know what to do with me. One day, I just decided, I think it was a week before my MCAT, that I’m not taking the MCAT. And my mom said, “What do you mean, you’re not taking the MCAT?” She went crazy.
Dr. Diana Tadros: They shipped me up to my uncle, who was a dentist, to shadow him for a week. And I just really liked it. I don’t know if I comprehended everything that we were doing in dentistry. I just saw that he ran a small practice. Everybody knew who he was. He knew all his patients. They just have this relationship. I guess, it kind of clicked, and I’m very thankful that it did. I’m thankful for that conversation I had with my uncle many years ago.
Host: That is such a great story. You know, it wasn’t always that way in the 1970s and 1980s, early 80s, I think. The tide turned, I think in the late 80s, early 90s. But at that time, many dentists wished they were physicians.
Dr. Diana Tadros: Right.
Host: Now, the tide is turning, and there are so many reasons why.
Dr. Diana Tadros: For sure.
Host: You mentioned that your partner is a physician.
Dr. Diana Tadros Yeah, my husband. He’s an ER physician.
Host: Okay. That’s a specific type of physician. The work that he’s doing is obviously as important as you can find in any field yet. But that’s an adrenaline-fueled profession.
Dr. Diana Tadros: He’s a total badass. Am I allowed to say that?
Host: What’s that? Are you allowed to say that? You’re allowed to say it. Definitely.
Dr. Diana Tadros: Obviously, this past year was a really trying time for that field of medicine. It was a gruesome time for them. But I knew he would fight it until he couldn’t anymore. So, he’s a cool guy. And I’ve been able to catch him save lives on random trips we go on, on planes, and stuff like that. So, it’s kind of neat.
Dr. Diana Tadros: But, you know, what he does is very important. But he’ll be the first to tell you that the malpractice is high. Everything is high. Liability is high. They’re working these long hours, and when you’re in a hospital system like that, sometimes the recognition is not as great as the workload.
Host: It’s sad, but it’s true.
Dr. Diana Tadros: Yeah, for sure.
Host: So, that’s how you selected dentistry. And then you went to dental school where?
Dr. Diana Tadros: That’s another interesting story. I spent dental school at the University of Tennessee. I’m from Florida. My brother was doing his last year of pharmacy school there. So, they considered me like an in-state, and I guess like a legacy because he was there. So, I went there for dental school, and then I went back to Florida for residency.
Host: Very cool. I’m very interested to hear how your practice has been doing in the pandemic. What I’ve found is that in the South, it’s been generally better than in the North. But what have you found in your case? I mean, now I’ve been vaccinated. I’ve had my second vaccine. I’m sure you have to, or you probably have to. But for a while, it was pretty touch-and-go. What was it like in your practice?
Dr. Diana Tadros: I’m a very unique situation. I’ll tell you what happened to me. A lot has happened in the last seven months with our practice. [00:08:33]From August, because I had autoclaves in my extensions and things like that, [4.7s] I went digital. I got a scanner, and I got software that dental labs used called exocad, where they design all your cases for you, wax-up, and you know what it’s about.
Dr. Diana Tadros: For me, what was happening in the practice is I was doing this wax-up. But they charge you for it, and a lot of the patients were hesitant. So, I ended up buying the software myself, and I trained myself on it. Then, I got a 3D printer, and it grew so much. Now, we have four 3D printers, and now I lecture for the exocad.
Dr. Diana Tadros: We’ll have our first webinar in two weeks that I’m the speaker for. My practice grew, and I don’t know if it was really because we were in the South or because I put in this digital component where we were able to show them chairside right away without even charging for wax-up.
Dr. Diana Tadros: We were able to fill the schedule very quickly because I’m not waiting three weeks for the turnaround time from the lab to do the wax-ups anymore. So, everything is designed here. And then we’re printing the temps or the waxes before they even come for the appointment. Now, I can see them the next day, if I need to, and get started.
Host: That’s fantastic. You’re a great person to ask this next question because you made a big investment in technology, and it’s paid off.
Dr. Diana Tadros: Right.
Host: So, I would imagine somebody like you is always thinking about what’s the next thing and what is going to be the thing in 3 years and what’s going to be the thing in 10 years. And so I would ask this, what does dentistry look like in 5 years and 10 years?
Dr. Diana Tadros: Honestly, I think we are at the forefront of a lot of great things happening in dentistry. And I see this, too, because as social media picks up steam with the younger generation, they now have access to these wonderful mentors and lecturers.
Dr. Diana Tadros: When I first started dentistry, we didn’t have Instagram, and I didn’t have mentors I could easily access. I would have to email somebody. Now, younger dentists are seeing all these exceptional dentists doing great things, and they’re able to approach them directly.
Dr. Diana Tadros: Do I think it’s going to be digitally driven? Absolutely. I mean, we now face-scan everybody. We’re not just scanning their teeth. We have a whole face scan with a camera, and we can put that into the software. We can design everything facially driven. So, I think dentistry is only getting more and more exciting.
Dr. Diana Tadros: I don’t know about the insurances and how that takes into play. We don’t take insurance at our practice, but I think there’s so much that we have to look forward to now. I think in the 90s there was the rise of everyone getting veneers and cosmetic surgery. Now, I think that’s revamping but at a whole higher-quality level now and a more accurate and precise level. So, I’m excited about it.
Host: I totally agree.
Dr. Diana Tadros: I hope I’m right. If I’m wrong, I’m going to be sipping pina coladas in the Bahamas somewhere.
Host: But either way, it doesn’t sound like you could go too wrong. Okay, so I’ve got one more question. I know how busy you are. I’m going to let you get back to your day. If you were to be speaking to a group of high schoolers, what bits of advice would you give them?
Dr. Diana Tadros: When I was in high school, I had no confidence. I didn’t know who I was going to be and what I wanted to be. I had my small group of friends. I was not in the popular crowd or anything like that. But the one thing I could tell high school students is, just be kind and stay focused.
Dr. Diana Tadros: When you’re in high school, you think that’s the whole world. Now, I look back, I maybe keep in touch with one or two people from high school, and the friends you meet along the way as you grow, they’re even more substantial. So, I don’t know. I would just say stay focused, and let success make the noise for you.
Host: I like that. Let success make the noise for you. That’s great.
Dr. Diana Tadros: Right.
Host: Well, Dr. Tedros, thank you so much for taking 15 minutes out of your very busy day. Congratulations once again on being one of our 40 Under 40 honorees. We look forward to what you will build in your new practice. It sounds very high-tech, and we’ll be checking in on you from time to time.
Dr. Diana: Awesome.
Host: Thanks once again. It’s great meeting you and make it a great rest of the week.
Dr. Diana Tadros All right. Take care. Bye-bye.