This week, we caught up with dentist and pistonhead Neel Jaiswal. Neel talks about his early years and introduction to the craft, as well as his hopes for the future.
We also got to chat with Neel about one of his biggest passions – fast cars.
Recently, Neel has been dividing his time between clinical practice and work with Professional Dental Indemnity – an insurance company he set up to service dentists. Neel shares some of the unique insights he has gained through PDI, as well as his thoughts on some of the regulatory and legal challenges faced by today’s clinicians.
“Look after your health, have the right people around you, do the right thing, support each other.” – Neel Jaiswal
In this week’s episode
01.58 – Early years
17.16 – Passion for cars
32.32 – Private practice
38.24 – On Pankey, Spear and networking
42.09 – Ambience, communication and rapport – tips for practice
49.41 – Pet peeves and key mentors
53.49 – In ten years time
54.58 – Professional Dental Indemnity
01.08.00 – Highs and lows
01.13.14 – Spinning plates
01.16.30 – Health
01.17.56 – Legacy
01.19.09 – Complaints and the GDC
01.26.24 – Tips for a 20-year-old Neel
About Neel Jaiswal
Following graduation from Birmingham University in 1996, Neel has practised in the UK and Australia
He has trained at the Eastman Institute, the Royal College of Surgeons and the Spear Dental Institute in Arizona, US.
Neel was UK director of the Dentinal Tubules, co-founder of the British Academy of Microscope Dentistry and founder of the Turbine social and educational events group for dentists.
Neel is now director of Professional Dental Indemnity insurance set up to serve the dental profession.
Connect with Prav and Payman:
Payman: Hi guys. We’ll come to the dental leaders podcast. Today’s guest is Neil Jay’s, well, one of the most high profile dentists out there. Not only because of his love of cars and what kind of guy, he’s a connector, knows everyone in dentistry. The way I see it lately. He’s also started a new defence organisation. So I thought it was super nice talking to him finally, you know, in public like bears to get his sort of state of the union on generally on where things are and especially [00:00:30] at this time perhaps with the GDC issues and the defence issues to have the balls to say I’m going to have a defence organisation. It’s just lovely to see that
Prav: it’s cool and just his, you know, what it took away from that was his approach to providing cover based on measuring risk accurately rather than just taking a blanket approach to defence. And then his love of cars. I was never aware that you could own half a car. [00:01:00] Phil Neil told us about, about the concept. So really interesting conversation. Really nice guy. It just great chatting and um, apparently we have the same body posture. So he told me anyway, enjoy guys. It’s going to be fun.
Neel: It’s really nice. Now where was, I was like gumball on Regent street and I was queuing up to watching the cars go past and there was three guys next to me and Oh, let’s take a picture for turbine and I go, that’s me. That’s me. So [00:01:30] the artist,
Intro Voice: this is dental leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
Payman: Lovely to have you.
Neel: Thanks for having me.
Payman: Thanks a lot for coming down. I’ve known you for a long [00:02:00] time because your dad is friends with Sanchez. That right? My partners Dad?
Neel: So I grew up in a little Northeast town called Cleethorpes, which is near Grimsby. So it’s in the Northeast coast. It’s funny, people think I’m a southerner, I was born in London, but no, grew up in Grimsby and quite proud of it. And actually San Jews, one of the enlightened directors, obviously a dentist as well. We knew his whole family, a very early age, pre 1977 or something.
Payman: Your Dad’s a doctor?
Neel: My dad’s a doctor. His dad was obviously [00:02:30] a doctor as well. So I’ve got fond memories of, you know, an Earl and Sanje and going to Cleethorpes beach and eating ice cream and riding donkeys.
Payman: Did you have in Cleethorpes until you went to university?
Payman: No Cleethorpes and Grimsby, which has sort of neighbours and then Sanjay moved to Birmingham, but we stayed in touch. And then just by chance we were both dentists. And actually when I came to uni in 91 I don’t think I had accommodation for a little while. So I stayed with the parents and you know, stayed in the house for a [00:03:00] few months.
Payman: So you studied in birmingham?
Neel: Yeah. So I studied in Birmingham and obviously Sandra’s in Cardiff and yes, I’ve known him a long time and it’s, you know, I’m really proud to see such a nice guy as you know, a very humble guy. And just to see his development and I’ll CC you guys how well you’ve done with enlighten, with all the struggles he had. People don’t see the struggle. I saw you guys struggling and it’s so pleasing to see what you’ve become.
Neel: So no. Yeah, I’ve known him a long time probably, you know, 40 odd years.
Payman: So what kind of, what kind of a kid were you? Were you academically good [00:03:30] to you? What kind of kid were you?
Neel: I think generally I’m quite bright and I’m quite sensitive, which is a kind of way I’m now, I’m a relatively intelligent, relatively sensitive to communication and people. But I have to say I was probably, I struggled a little bit in childhood with confidence and with being the only Indian person in the school. So I think in junior school isn’t the, you know, one in a couple of hundred when you went to secondary school? I was one in 1200 I think I always gravitated towards girls. I’ve always [00:04:00] liked girls, you know, and their company, lots of female friends. And I think that’s just comes from a young age where, you know, they’re more comforting, the more nurturing, the more social, whereas boys just want to hit each other or.
Payman: Do you have a sister?
Neel: Now just me and a younger brother who is a solicitor. So I kinda think I developed into a sort of a softer person and maybe not so confident. And then as I got a bit older through uni and not through uni, through secondary school, I think by the second year people sort of see you as an individual [00:04:30] rather than as a, you know, you still get it here and there. I mean it was a tough area. Grimsby, you know, is not the most salubrious of places. So that was a little bit tough. But I remember one incident if then, if he is a bit of a boring one, but I remember we used to play football. I used to love football, used to play a lot of it. So you know, every lunchtime, every dinner it goes to the yard and you’d, you’d have massive football games.
Neel: And I think I was probably a first year and some of the second or third years were trying to steal the ball off me. It was my ball. I remember holding onto it really tight and all these kids trying [00:05:00] to grab it and push me around and stuff and I didn’t let go. And I think after that it wasn’t me standing up for myself. It was just, it’s my ball and I think a little thing like that and it just changed the balance and they left me alone. Bizarre, stupid little thing.
Prav: You mentioned you were the only Indian brown guy in school. Me and my brother were the same. Right. And.
Neel: Where did you grow up, sorry,
Prav: And we went through a pretty rough time, especially a primary school. Can you, did you have a similar experience or,
Neel: I think not in primary [00:05:30] school. I think they were just quite nice. Primary school kids and middle-class parents. And initially I went to sort of a quite a nice primary and a posh school – a junior school. And then my dad took me out of that as, it must’ve been finances, I think, and went into a Catholic school. So I actually probably did six till 11 in a Catholic school. So I’m quite good at ASCE and uh, you know, and I’m Catholic school. Yes. Yeah. So we all can sing to hym.
Neel: [00:06:00] Right. I mean it was quite interesting and that, and that’s where I’m kind of, if you want to go into religion, I had quite a Hindi background, but I also had that kind of Christian background. And then as I’ve grown up having Jewish friends and Muslim friends from Birmingham, you kind of see all the similarities between all the cultures and religions. And it’s a shame that we’re all divisive. We’re actually, you know,
Payman: Do you believe in God?
Neel: I don’t think I’m clever enough to sort of, I mean, a belief is a belief. So, you know, who knows. I would say obviously this higher [00:06:30] power, there’s a spiritual nature in us all. We naturally want to do good things, you know, and help each other. That’s the natural human state. So yes, I believe in God and I kinda think God’s come to us all in different ways.
Neel: I don’t think he is just for one type of nation or one type of person. And I kind think I, you know, the Abrahamic religions, whether it’s two days in Christianity, Islam, they’re all, to me it’s like, you know, star Wars, return of the Jedi is all a continuation. Really just different stories which get adjusted for the times, you know, weather, [00:07:00] things like not to eat pork, you know what I mean? I wouldn’t have very safe thing to do. So it’s interesting that, you know, Christianity and Judaism have that. Islam has that as well. So no, I definitely believe in it. I hope. I don’t believe in karma, but I think if you do the right things and do good things and help others, I think it’s practical. Yeah, it’s practically, it makes, it makes it, you know, it’s altruistic. You want to do things that you enjoy.
Neel: And one of the things is helping people.
Payman: Do you remember when you decided to look at dentistry as a career?
Neel: Didn’t want to do dentistry?
Payman: What did you want to [00:07:30] do?
Neel: I think I want to draw cars draw fast. That’s all I ever did when an aeronautical engineering [cross talk]. Oh well I liked art, I liked books. I read voraciously as a child, you know, book a day and you know, under the covers with a torch and mom telling me off at three in the morning when you know, Lord of the rings at nine 10 you know, difficult books. Shakespeare, I used to really enjoy reading so I was probably a reading creative type person, but obviously with Indian parents. So you know, when it came [00:08:00] to picking my O levels, which is, you know, GCSE for younger guys it was ‘right, you’re doing, chemistry, physics, maths, biology, and going to be a doctor.’ And I’d sort of done English, French, you know, art history.
Neel: So yeah, I didn’t really want to do dentistry and didn’t do very well in my O levels at the time. You know, as I said, it was a big comprehensive school. The average grade was probably D’s and E’s. I think I got C’s and D’s if I did better than most. But it really was a long way short. And [00:08:30] at that time dentistry and medicine were A’s and B’s, you know, it’s not like now where it has to be a triple star or whatever it is. So I was fortunate enough, and again, you know, people look at other people and think, Oh their parents have helped him out and this and that’s why successful. And you know, we all have those privileges. We all get help from a family and we would do that to our own family. But you have to kind of do it yourself as well.
Neel: You know, you can easily squander those opportunities. So I was lucky enough when I was 17-18 to relocate, although it was difficult,from Cleethorpes to Cambridge. So I re-sat my a levels in the six months [00:09:00] in a year. And I think it went from CD to AAB. So it just shows you maybe being away from home a little bit. That helps. But actually.
Payman: did get to of those tutorial.
Neel: to a place called st Andrew’s, which was one of the best times of my life and really, really just started to open. I was, yeah, I was a small boy from Cleethorpes and I ended up, everyone was wearing blazers. This was sort of 1988 now, you know, and there was people with helicopters from Nigeria, from Brazil, from [00:09:30] Boston, you know, all the global, kind of one of the like a Benetton advert, you know, really.
Payman: And it just changed me. And the way I, even the way I spoke, cause no one could understand that.
Payman: you have a Northern accent.
Neel: I didn’t know the accent, which basically involves swearing every other word and people really couldn’t understand me. And so you had to speak slower because there were foreign nationalities and they also, a lot of them were public school educated. So you just kind of, [crosstalk]. I can do it. Imagine you [00:10:00] with it. Not that I can do it just involves swearing. I don’t want to swear. I don’t encourage swearing. I’ll do it to later.
Prav: What about under the influence of like drink or something like that?
Neel: It’s so far removed. I mean it’s, you know, half it’s a half a lifetime away. I can do. It’s a parody. It’s probably not a real accident. I can kind of, I’m just caricature.
Payman: Caricaturing yeah. So then you decided to apply for dentistry?
Payman: Oh, you didn’t even then?
Neel: No. Medicine. Dad was a GP, you know you’re going to be a doctor. And I knew I [00:10:30] didn’t want to be a GP because when we were younger we lived above the surgery and I just saw the amount of stress my dad was living above a surgery is not a good idea. And the kind of person he is, he was always on call. He would always help somebody. He would always…So all I saw with lots of ill people coughing in the waiting room and just these long hours. And it wasn’t like now when you were doing on call, you were on call and you were working the next day. And again having to put up with racism and things. I remember there’s all sorts of things written on our Gates and window smashed and car scratched.
Neel: But I mean [00:11:00] it’s always a minority and you know, most of the patients absolutely adored him. And that’s where I got my kind of caring side from. I think he was just genuinely, he put, and he’s one of the Indian dads, he put his heart into work and the family was left with mum and the kids to sort out. So he was very much there for his patients. And I do that a little bit as well. Now I’m there for my patients and when I’m off work I kind of really shut down a little bit and I’m a more closed person. So you know, you do develop into your dad to some degree.
Payman: Sorry to interrupt, but do you two feel racism now?
Prav: Certainly not [00:11:30] me. Not anymore. But growing up,
Payman: Does it ever crop up?
Neel: No. I mean I live in Wellington, which is a very white area again.
Neel: And I was at the pub quiz and I noticed – hang on – I’m the only Brown person here, so it didn’t, that wasn’t racism.
Payman: When you’re the only Brown person. I don’t think there is racism because you’re a curiosity more than anything else.
Neel: I don’t think they even notice. I really don’t think they notice.
Payman: You think as a country, Britain’s over that.
Neel: I think there’s a bit of a, well,
Payman: There’s a bit of a revival.
Neel: I know [00:12:00] in London, which is what I love about London. It’s a global city. And I consider myself a global person. So you know, we met Laura, the Lara, the other just now is Spanish and you guys and everyone’s from everywhere. And I think that’s the home counties is a reflection of London because London’s expanded. So I think where we are, it’s quite normal. I think if you do go to some isolated places, I don’t know.
Neel: I haven’t been there for a while, but when I did my VT in Norfolk, you’d get phone calls from patients saying to these speak English, you know, things like that. So that was 20 odd years ago [00:12:30] whenever it was. Yeah, I’m sure it’s better now, but it’s all about, um, the mix of people that are in place. And obviously I think also when communities isolate themselves, they sometimes don’t do themselves any favour. They become scapegoats, you know, rightly or wrongly.
Payman: So come on with the story. You, you didn’t get intimate.
Neel: I think my two A’s and a B weren’t enough. It would’ve been all right first time. It wasn’t enough as a re-sit. And then I think I probably took a year out trying to get through – I don’t even can’t remember – clearing and things like that, whatever it was at the time. And I worked a little bit at an accountant’s [00:13:00] in London, so I lived in Queens park, which was a really dodgy area at that time.
Neel: Did some travelling, went all around Europe. So that’s where my love of travelling sort of started. I mean my parents had taken me to India every two years, so we’d go to London two or three times a week and in Cleethorpes, if you’d gone to London, it was a big thing, let alone going abroad, you know it’s pre eighties /seventies when it just started, you know, the charter flight actually to go to London was a huge thing and go abroad. So I had already done that. And then I think it’s probably in that [00:13:30] year off, let’s call it , I Euro-Starred around Europe, you know this is pre-phones pre-internet pre-wifi? Sent a postcard here and there and I also got an amazing deal from – and i can’t quite remember it – but it was six weeks worth of airline travel in the States.
Payman: Yeah, we did that.
Neel: For like 600 bucks.
Payman: Something like that on any Delta plane that is there is a seat on, yeah, nothing. We used to, we used to run out of money in Miami and say well we can’t afford a hotel. [00:14:00] This is get on an overnight flight to San Francisco, get a meal, get some sleep.
Neel: Was it six weeks?
Payman: It was a monthly thing.
Neel: A month or something.
Payman: If it was the same thing as I’m talking about, it’s called Delta.
Neel: I’m sure that’s it. I’m glad you remembered cause.
Payman: We had it on our elective.
Neel: How old were you then?
Payman: Elective, so 21-22, that sort of thing.
Neel: He must’ve been around that time because I went to everywhere I went to Minneapolis.
Neel: Um, I went to Minneapolis. I’m a big Prince fan.
Payman: Yeah, me too.
Neel: And in terms of, you know, when [00:14:30] you’re growing up, you’re talking about that earlier, you sort of, you want an identity and obviously you know, so I sort of took on Prince’s persona a little bit. Not with the falsetto but just kind of a little,
Payman: Did you get to Paisley park studios.
Neel: I didn’t get to Paisley. I did get to Minneapolis and stood outside first Avenue. I couldn’t actually get in. I was too young. But it’s interesting, you know it was just for me, ‘oh, Neel’s a Prince fan’ and it just gave you an identity and obviously you grow out of that. But I think teenagers do need to sort of figure out who they are or even adopt a persona. [00:15:00] And I do, I mean having the younger patients now I really feel for them because they can’t hide or they can’t reinvent themselves.
Neel: And you know, there’s all the Facebook and Instagram and you see that some of the bullying and the way society’s changed. So I think we were, we were more sheltered, but we also were allowed to develop yourself in a different way without, you know, the whole exposure of what happens now.
Payman: So then what happened?
Neel: Er, didn’t get into medicine. Got into dentistry. Though this is going to be easy.
Payman: Were you disappointed in yourself? What was – I mean – how did you feel? You feel [00:15:30] like a failure?
Neel: I think when I got my level results, I was really happy. You know, getting two A’s and a B in six months or nine months, you kind of think, Oh, this is good. I remember the joy of that. But I suppose as a teenager, introverted, you don’t, you know, you’re not a grown man, only about 35 years. So when you’re an 18 year old, 19 year old, you don’t know what you’re doing.
Neel: You don’t know the how it’s going to affect your life. So I just think I just got tottered along in my sort of belligerent, Kevin and Perry way.
Prav: Were your parents happy with dentistry?
Neel: Uh, [00:16:00] no. I think they thought it was a failure really. I think there was a thing that dentists were, you know, medics didn’t make it, and actually I wasn’t sure about dentistry. I did think was going to be easier if it wasn’t going to be medicine. So I did cruise a bit, but I remember sort of my first – I had two positive experiences of dentistry when I was younger, which kind of made me think this might be okay. One was I had a horrible dentist who I hated when I had a little filling occlusal amalgam, which I’ve still got up and then didn’t go back to him for years.
Neel: So managed, luckily got away with it but I was used to these [00:16:30] old school dentists who weren’t very nice. I went to see probably when I was 15-16, Peter – I can’t remember his surname – is still practising in Cleethorpes, and I thought, Oh, he’s got a nice car, and his hygienist is nice. And he showed me the x-ray and they did a scale and polish. I thought that felt better. So actually a saw even then, you know, which was 20-30 years ago, a different side of dentistry. And the other person was Neil Sikka. I’m sure you guys know Neil Sikka So he’s from Grimsby as well as all the good people from Grimsby and he had a Saab 900 convertible and he [00:17:00] seemed to be doing really well. And I thought this dentistry actually might not be just a secondary job. It actually has its own merits. So I think I had that and it, it did take me till I kind of finish university and beyond really to find the dentistry that I enjoyed doing.
Prav: So from that age it seems you had a passion for cars.
Neel: I think. Yeah. I don’t know where it came from really. But it’s again, probably from childhood dad taking you to motor shows, you know, that was such a big thing at that time. You know, you’d go to the London [00:17:30] motor show and you get these to get loads of freebies, you know, all the little bags full of stuff, which is like the dental showcases used to be, you know, when you’re a student. So I think that, and I remember also my dad first having a mini, you know, small little mini, which was our family car, you know, I don’t know how we all got in there. And then I think he went from that to afford Granada, which I used to say Ford Banana because I couldn’t say Granada at that time.
Neel: And then he went to a Mercedes. Now this was probably 1978 and if you’re an Indian person with a Mercedes, you kind of made it, [00:18:00] you know, it was a orange one or a and then a cream worn. And I actually thought the joy of him having that car and seeing actually all the, the abuse and the effort and the hard work. So to me it was kind of the reward for him. And I think probably that sort of stuck with me a little bit in terms of that. And then so I’ve always liked cars and then I’ve enjoyed driving cars as you’ve got a bit older.
Payman: So we’ll fast forward quickly then to Turbine the Facebook group . You started [00:18:30] that when like two, three years ago, longer,?
Neel: You know, time is really weird.
Payman: Can’t remember?
Neel: I don’t know what I had for dinner yesterday. And the thing with phones nowadays I found it takes a bit of your memory away because you rely on it for phone numbers, addresses so, you know, it’s like it should be connected and wired into us.
Neel: Yeah. So I actually don’t know what day time, year or what I’ve done. It’s because you’ve just automatically in your brain switched it off. So that’s a dangerous thing. So I don’t know how long it’s been going to answer your question. Probably three or four years.
Prav: How many members?
Neel: I think it’s pretty good. 1500 1600 [00:19:00] and I was just saying to Sanjay earlier, they actually, the active membership is, cause there’s loads of crews for thousands of members and nobody posts anything. It’s really pleasing to see. We’ve got 800 900 active members, people looking at it and stuff. Really good ratio, you know, so it’s a, it’s a powerful group and obviously it was a reflection of me a little bit in terms of, I don’t mind sort of negative stuff and you know, and that kind of thing.
Payman: But I think you organise sort of drives and track days and all [00:19:30] of that sort of stuff.
Neel: Yeah. I think just basically Facebook when it was sort of at that time there was just lots of arguments going on and lots of hatred and lots of egos. And I think, you know, when you, when I talk to you guys, I’m talking to Prav, we’re just going to be obviously very civil to each other. And if we have a disagreement about something we can, I can see his micro expressions and we can walk away. Facebook is, you know, [crosstalk] difficult. Well it’s a bit like two people driving a car. You don’t see the person’s face, you just get the road rage. And I just thought this is really unhealthy. And there’s [00:20:00] stuff going on with the, you know, the GDC and indemnity and CQC and all those other factors. And I just thought we just need to bring dentists together. So it wasn’t really just let’s look at who’s got a nice car. It really was a means of we’ve got a shared passion, let’s bring dentists together.
Payman: You don’t worry that some Daily Mail will get their hands on it or something?
Neel: Well, there’s a, there’s lots of, um, recent newspaper articles of dentists with wealthy cars and wealthy houses and all that stuff. So they can always find stuff if they want [00:20:30] to find stuff. Of course. And again, it’s approach mentality of is success a bad thing? It’s okay if you’re on made in Essex and you’ve got, you know, million dollar watches, but if you’re a dentist and you work hard, you’re actually a bit of an evil person.
Payman: so you don’t worry about it.
Neel: No, never have. I really, I think, and also if you look at turbine, we might up pictures of Ferrari’s and stuff, but we’d also put up little pictures of cars.
Payman: Yeah, you’re right. It’s a car enthusiast group.
Neel: Love and we all appreciate 40 year old classics and we all appreciate a LaFerrari, [00:21:00] which we know we may never see or hear, but you know, it’s just gonna…
Payman: It’s definitely raised your profile in the whole dental world a bit, hasn’t it? Yeah?
Neel: Which is really nice. I mean I think people knew me a little bit before from sort of the spear stuff maybe from tubials from other stuff as well. You know, and I’ve tried to help a lot of people and engage a lot of people, but generally I think it’s really nice now where was, I was like gumball on Regent street and I was queuing up, watching the cars go past and there was three guys [00:21:30] next to me and say, Oh well let’s take a picture for turbine. And I go, that’s me. That’s me. So it’s really nice that, you know to…
Neel: Yeah. People do say, Oh you like the cars and they do think sometimes I own all the cars I post, but that’s not the case.
Payman: But what cars do you own?
Neel: At the moment? I’ve got a little BMW I3 which I actually love, absolutely love. And I am pro electric cars, which sort of divides the group. We might have to change turbine to, you know, battery [00:22:00] might have to change the name of it. But now I love the I three and his work superbly in town and I’ve got half an Aston Martin GTA,
Prav: which half?
Neel: hopefully the engine.
Neel: But what I learned early on is actually, um, a lot of these nice cars they have, you don’t really drive them that much. You know, they’re special occasions, nice weekend cars. And the fixed costs are still the same.
Payman: GTA’s the one with the big wing, the big racing car.
Neel: Yeah, it’s got the big front splitter and I mean it’s one of the fastest car by any means. But [00:22:30] you know, to me it’s not about speed, it’s about emotion.
Payman: It’s hot.
Neel: And when you see in it, when it rumbles, the exhaust titanium exhaust, it’s just really, really emotive car. And if my brother was into cars, I’d have bought half with him. You know, and if you’ve got a family and a few of you together, you know, why not get a nice car together and share it. So in a way, what I’ve developed a little brotherhood of my own.
Payman: So what’s the arrangement.
Neel: Well I think we do about a thousand miles a year. So we get about 500 each and [00:23:00] then anything we do together, if you want to take it somewhere, I want to take on the track. You know, I’m quite amenable and easy to get on with. And you know, usually I find if one person’s amenable they can work.
Prav: with a close friend or.
Neel: a friend and a peer. So again, the opportunities that brings, because suddenly I’ve got someone in my life who I can talk to and who’s more learned than I am and more experienced than I am. So actually it’s a connection that helps me in other ways as well. And then you have another goal. I had a Ferrari four 88 spider for three months, [00:23:30] which is quite hilarious. But again, another friend of mine who’s a vet and he loves his cars as well. So we kind of figured out we could just about have the Ferrari, move it on, do 2000 miles an hour and not lose too much.
Neel: Which is lucky what happened, but it’s honestly a bit stupid and a bit of a risk. But it’s one of the best experiences of my life. Having that car and you know, tick box, you know, done and dusted and considering that costs like five grand to hire a day, I think it costs us five grand for the three months we had. It [00:24:00] is not a bad idea and it was a beautiful, beautiful thing. So I like Ferrari’s obviously a very nice, I do like Aston’s as well and they have a nicer image.
Payman: Looking at it from the outside, you seem to have a relationship with some of the garages and all of that. Is that something you actively go out to get? Do you talk about turbine and one and a half thousand vendors or what?
Neel: Well initially one of the things I hated, and it’s whether it’s in dental practises, in hotels, restaurants is service.
Neel: I really like good service and I think it’s not difficult to be nice to somebody and you know, appreciate them [00:24:30] and thank you for their business. And you go into most car dealerships and they’re absolutely awful. They really are awful and I mean, I’m spending a lot of money. I don’t want to be treated like rubbish. I just want a thank you or an acknowledgement even. So I think from there I just started to, and I realise you know, it’s all about buying people. You know, when I buy Enlighten I buy you, you know, or if I do, the websites aren’t by you as a person. So the company and what you do is one thing. But actually we all like to deal with people that we get on with, we like, we trust, we want to support. Yeah. So [00:25:00] within the industry of, I found a few people that I just thought these are decent guys.
Neel: They do what they say and they’ll try and help you. And just by my own links, whether it’s Ferrari or Aston or whoever, or BMW or Audi, Porsche, I’ve tried to make links. And within the group we always try and recommend people because I always think it’s like when I see some great work, I mean most of my new patients come in and they’re not in a good a good way. Unfortunately British dentistry is in a difficult state, but when sometimes you see some beautiful work, you know, really nice occlusion and I will ring the dentist up and just say, Oh you saew this patient 10 years ago and he’s [00:25:30] actually looking really nice, just we don’t see a lot of good work. I just want to say, you know, give you some feedback. So I think it’s always nice to have that. So with these guys as well, you know, if we want to support them because we want the good guys to win.
Neel: So we have a list turbine recommended dealers and people and stuff and that changes. But also it’s accountability cause they kind of know if they annoy one of us, they annoy a thousand of us.
Prav: Is there like a minimum standard or whatever? Is there some unwritten rules they abide by? So they [00:26:00] must offer great service and.
Neel: Well there’s nothing written. So I do, I mean obviously we’ve got deals with us not deals with car dealers, but we try and support them and hopefully they look after us. Porsche don’t really help us very much because they can sell cars hand over fist. But you know like you know,
Payman: and also recently missed that Lamborghini day of yours.
Neel: The other day. Yeah.
Payman: And it was because I had to pick up my daughter because we brought my dad, he just left. But my daughter apologised to me.
Payman: [00:26:30] She could tell what I was,
Neel: You’re raising her well then.
Payman: Eight-year-olds. Apologise.
Neel: It was such, it was such a nice, such a nice car. Surprise. Yeah. Because I don’t like SUVs because when I’ve been in Megannes and stuff I just feel they wallow, like your sitting on the back of an elephant. And that’s what I was expecting because some of the Alpine pass corners are quite tight. I forgot I was in an SUV. I don’t know what they’ve done, but it’s really, really, it’s a sports car and I think I did 160 on [00:27:00] the straight, 140 on the uh, the bank track and it was really stable, I don’t know if I’d get one.
Payman: What’s it like inside?
Neel: There’s a sport version, which is nicer. It feels like very Lamborghini and all the buttons, everything. And there’s a comfort one, which was a bit ordinary for me. I’d rather have the sports version, but I think the problem of SUV is if you’re going to get one, we’re now looking into electrics and hybrid technology. I think getting a Petrol SUV is not a longterm good option.
New Speaker: Yeah.
Prav: You a good driver?
Neel: On the whole, [00:27:30] no, I’m a three out of 10 and I know my three out of 10 because I passed the high performance drivers club so I wanted to go and I want to, I’ve taken lessons, I do track lessons, I do road lessons. I’m a safe driver. I’m not naturally talented and I don’t have enough. I need to drive more to, you know, you got to practise about really pleased to get into the high performance drivers club, which is a two day test. And to get in is a little bit tricky and I was pleased to get in but they marked me at three so it means I’m good.
Neel: But he shows you there’s [00:28:00] guys who are eight or nine.
Prav: and when we’re talking about driving, they were talking about a truck. Are we talking about on the road?
Neel: Both the different, very different. The apex is a different, how you drive is different. I think on the road, firstly I don’t think half was a safe. I think most driving is, it’s appalling. You know? And I think there should be a test every five to 10 years that you have to pass again. And I think there needs to be a test. If you get a car that’s over 300 brake or over 500 brake, cause you’ve got too many people are very, you don’t have to drive with very expensive fast cars and you can see them on YouTube getting into trouble. [00:28:30] And it’s an easy one for the government. It’s an easy taxable thing, you know, make you retake it, retake your test.
Neel: So I’m pretty safe on the road and I’m always careful of speed limits, especially through villages and schools. You know, you’d have to be, we don’t like people being idiots because we do these drives as Payman was alluding to. We do lots of different things. You know, we’ve gone to Geneva, we’ve done Lamborghini days, we did Aston days, we’ve done, we do drive out, we’re getting to the Isle of Man, we’ve been to Wales few times, but anyone who doesn’t drive, um, you know, in a polite manner we don’t ask them [00:29:00] them to come back Really. Track again is a whole different ball game, you know, as much higher speeds, much different awareness. And whenever I’d be in, I always get instructor because you, you know, you’re twice as fast with an instructor and you learn more. And I’ve got a few instructor friends now as well, so that’s quite interesting.
Prav: I went on a track for the first time this year, right. And I drove, I think I was going around a corner at 50 miles an hour and I felt like I was going a lot faster than that.
Payman: Scared you?
Prav: Yeah, absolutely. Can you remember [00:29:30] your first track day?
Neel: Yeah, I think it was Silverstone and I really didn’t enjoy it. There was too many cars on the track. I didn’t really know the route very well. You know, it wasn’t familiar and yeah cause getting past you a huge speed so, so that’s why second time and third time with an instructor much safer, much more fun and you can get him to, you know, what do you want out of the day. The other thing I did the week before is watch the lap on YouTube every night. So I knew every corner [00:30:00] cause that’s half the thing – where the road going.
Neel: So I think, you know, learning the track before you go. And I know my friend Shiraz was doing that as well with Silverstone. You know just learning it and learning and learning it. And I think if you have these, I don’t play video games but you know these PlayStation games or the tracks and stuff, they don’t give you the elevation. But you know, I’m sure a lot of these kids know exactly what’s going to come next and what bend.
Payman: I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve understood, I understand actually you can do much better drag times. If you played those games,
Neel: That’s probably that’s probably why I’m not very quick.
Payman: What’s [00:30:30] your dream car dream half of your dream?
Neel: I think it would have to be a dream garage, really. You know, I know people who’ve got 10 cars, 20, 30, 100, 200 300 cars and you know, obviously it was, why do you need 200 cars or 20 cars?
Neel: And it’s a bit like, you know, I didn’t need 20 shoes. You know, it’s just if you can and you enjoy it. And actually look at some of the dentists with a huge car collections, what a, you know, investment they’ve been. So I would, I’d have to, I could probably narrow it down to 10 or 20 as a collection.
Payman: What’s [00:31:00] your favourite car? Come on. What’s your favourite car?
Neel: Past, present, future, anything. All time. I think if you could have a DB five Aston or Ferrari 250 you know, a classic, it says class all over it. It’s a beautiful thing. May not be the best thing to drive, but when you arrive in a car, it makes you feel special. Even if no one’s looking. If you’re in a car that’s got a heritage, provenance, quality, you know, interesting stories behind it.
Neel: It’s a bit like [00:31:30] a Patek Phillipe, you know, you never just buy one.
Payman: I was just about to bring that up. I was just about to bring that up because I, I don’t get watches at all. I get it, I get it then you’d be wrong. I get it. But I’m not interested at all in watches when someone’s not interested in cars, do you get it?
Neel: Yeah, absolutely. You know? Yeah. We all have our passions and actually all people say as well, and you need to go A to B and actually you live in London and what, what’s the point of having a nice car? You just need an autonomous and sit in the back. So if it’s not your passion and if you.
Payman: On [00:32:00] the flip side, is there a deficit that you’re filling with the car? You know, like that?
Neel: Well, I think a bigger picture thing, this is getting existential.
Neel: Women make babies, they have a connection with human beings that no man can ever have. You know, no matter how good a father you are, I’m sure the connection with in uterine is surpassed and they’ve created something. We don’t create a lot really apart from mess. So actually we probably look for mechanical [00:32:30] things to nurture. So whether that’s a pet or a car or aeroplane, we want to have something, we want to have a with it, want to have experiences with it. I mean I put my car, in its pyjamas at night, you know, it’s almost like a child, you know the car cover goes.
Prav: oh really.
Neel: And I know people who kiss their cars good nigh and.
Payman: Are you nifty at fixing cars.
Neel: No, I’m terrible. I like engineering and obviously, having placed a few implants and stuff you understand the sort of that side of it and [00:33:00] I time watch YouTube things, but in there there’s lots of people who are much better at it than I am and understand it more. Luckily electric cars are quite easy to understand without an internal combustion engine. But no I’m not tinkerer.
Payman: changing gears. I remember.
Neel: no fun intended.
Payman: First time I met you I think was at Perry’s practise I think in uh,
Neel: in Wellwyn Garden City. Yes. He’s just bought a new car, which I helped him with 911 GTS. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying so. And he’s really worked [00:33:30] hard for that lovely car.
Payman: What I remember – yeah nice guy – what I remember about you back then was, and I see it, it’s common practise now, but back then you had you, you would talk to your patient and your nurse would be typing, typing away. And I remember even back then thinking, this guy’s going to be really good as a boss. He’s going to be able to inspire his people because she was so into what she was doing. Remember that? Are you a good boss?
Neel: Am I a good boss? I think the boss [00:34:00] being a leader has so many facets to it.
Neel: Yeah. And that’s what we’re looking at nowadays. And then, you know, it took me through quite a lot about leadership skills. And you know, we helped grow the study clubs from one to 50 and we created leaders within those groups. Leadership, I mean, you must do it with Enlighten. It’s about passion. Actually. If you got passion, you’re halfway there. If you believe in what you do, if you’ve got – I hate to say it – a mission statement or something in your mind that you want to do, which is, you know, we want to really help people. We want, I want the best practise in England. We want to do things really well. I want my team to, people are rewarded [00:34:30] and my everyone to be happy. You know, it’s a basic kind of premise of what we’re about.
Payman: People can get behind that.
Neel: Yeah. Who doesn’t want to be happy?
Neel: You know, I’d love to, you know, double my nurses wages and give them a great life and be a successful practitioner and, and change lives and smiles, you know? But then, you know, we’re all human beings and we all falter. So sometimes we better than others. And I noticed the really successful dentists, they’re so disciplined. I wish I was a bit more disciplined, but people like Mark Hughes and Ravel and Joe bough, you see these guys [00:35:00] I know you had earlier on. They get up in the morning, they do their work, they’re machines. And I’m probably having not been married and no kids. I’m still probably an overgrown teenager a little bit and you know, and haven’t had that drive. I think once you have children, the drive to kind of do something better for them comes in. So I think I’m a reasonably good leader, but I could be better.
Payman: You practise in Wellwyn village, this is not,
Payman: it’s Old Wellwyn sort of a, it’s a Roman [00:35:30] little village,
New Speaker: different than Wellwyn Garden City.
Neel: Yeah. Wellwyn Garden sort of came up out from that. A new town, but Old Wellwyn’s really charming and full of history.
Payman: So I remember when you opened that, and I remember the early days you were very worried and quite rightly so. But anyway, don’t get me wrong. How far in was it when you thought, right, I don’t need to worry anymore.
Neel: Three years.
Payman: Three years.
Neel: Yeah. I think the – you know, again, you know, we’re dentists, we’re not really business people unless you’ve got that kind of family background, which I haven’t had so you naively [00:36:00] go into it thinking I’ve just got to make a nice practise and be nice to people. I know how much it’s going to cost to build. I know how much I need to earn to live, which was not a lot for me because I was on my own.
Neel: And I thought, all right, this is gonna work and it did work. But what I didn’t realise was actually there’s overheads and if you talk to associates now and you show them the overheads, which I like to do because it’s good that they know about these things, but they’re shocking. Our overheads are shocking in dentistry and whether that’s VAT, whether it’s exchange rate, whether it’s staff [00:36:30] costs, whatever, you know, pensions. So it really had to borrow my way out quite a few times in the first two years just to keep going. And I was fortunate again, whether it’s friends, family, banks, whatever, to have the opportunity to do so. But if they hadn’t supported me, the business would have gone.
Payman: You didn’t go in with a giant building and you know, in a small place,
Neel: Two surgeries, modern place. Bought the freehold. Wasn’t expensive.
Payman: where you can, you can see where, you know, some people over stretch on size and on.
Neel: [00:37:00] I think we should, we have our dreams of what we want. But actually sometimes you have to break down the dream into little pieces sometimes. Right. And there are huge risks in running a private practise. There really are. You haven’t got that squat from school as well.
Payman: And what would you say, what would you say is your top tips? Like if someone was going to do that, what sort of thinking about doing that right now, what are your top tips?
Neel: I think one is have a, a good surplus of money and more than you think. Probably double more than you think. I think look after your health because [00:37:30] when everything goes to pot and being men and we just throw ourselves into it. So you know the weight goes on eating badly, don’t exercise because you feel a bit of a martyr to it. And especially when you owe people money, you think I can’t, I shouldn’t be happy because I’m not in the place where I should be.
Neel: So you sort of demonise yourself. For two years I was just my worst enemy and didn’t look after myself and still has effects. Now I’m not super healthy yet. And I remember going to spear and that sort of nicking the bread [00:38:00] from lunchtime to have it dinner, you know, and getting buses in the pay for school. Yeah, I think, I don’t know how in the overdraft,
Prav: I have to steal bread.
Neel: but it was priorities and spear changed my life and without spear that practise wouldn’t have succeeded. So it was a sacrifice at the time.
Payman: So if that advice you’re giving to the advice I’m giving one who is going to open a squat? Good spear.
Neel: I think I like the American school of holistic thought of big treatment planning, looking after people comprehensively. [00:38:30] It’s a Pankey philosophy. You know, know yourself, know your patient, know your community.
Neel: So I really liked the Pankey philosophy gets a bit lost in translation. It can be a bit sort of people think it’s about happy clappy but actually it’s a really good philosophy and spirit [inaudible] endorsed the neural panky link to some degree. So I think we’ve never even as undergraduates, in fact most people haven’t even came to come across that kind of thinking. And when you look at people like crystal or and stuff, they’ve been to Spiro Chen has been to spear. So many of our leaders [00:39:00] in the field at the moment have got that from lots of other things and lots of hard work. But they’ve seen a different way of doing things.
Payman: And how much have you done the whole thing?
Neel: It would spear, there is no continuum like Coys cause there’s obviously 2030 things you can do. So you can dip in and out.
Neel: But I’ve probably been 10 12 times. I think climbing is an expensive business. But it does you good. It changes your life. And also they’re so nice to dentists out there and it’s such a nice place, you know, it’s sunny, the hotels could people call it, you know the nurses are nice to you and they call your doctor and when you’re an American hysteria dentist, dentist,
Payman: what [00:39:30] does it really every time.
New Speaker: if you do the seminars, I think it’s about $1100 plus getting over there plus accommodation at hands on workshops, which I think are two days or three, I can’t remember about five grand.
Prav: So each time you go, what do you spend in flies, accommodation, the course fees.
Neel: if you do on a budget, which I was doing pretty much six grand, seven grand, 11 times 11 I didn’t do workshops every time. And that was a faculty club member for a while and there was conferences and there was nice stuff, but it was a great community.
Neel: [00:40:00] So I would definitely say look at Pankey, coy spear, look at the American wave and just dip your toe in just to get the vibe. I almost feel like I want to go back just to get the reading reinvigorate. You guys get to Chicago, Chicago, don’t you? Do you feel that difference? Do you feel that kind of energy?
Payman: Yeah, I hear you. Yeah. Okay, so more advice there. I mean, look after yourself, have some money,
Neel: look after yourself, get some education, know your craft and know your community. Be in the community. That’s what really helped me,
Payman: that I was talking, we were talking about this before, after I came [00:40:30] to your place. Then we went to the pub. You knew everyone. It’s a small place, but you’re, you’re that cat. Right?
Neel: I think, you know, initially it was like going to every business, giving them toothpaste and saying, yeah, you know, I mean, we didn’t spend any money on marketing.
Neel: I know Chris said to us, I don’t know how you did it without 50 grands worth of marketing, but I think we spent 500 quid in the first year, but it was, you know, going to each business is saying, hello eating in the pub, going to the pub quiz. Yeah. Yes. Networking is just being part of the community and when people [00:41:00] feel that means they want you already. I was living there, which is one of the reasons why I started there because I knew the area. So it’s being part of the community and even like think in the third year, I don’t think I got my first Aston, which was kind of an a knackered old seven, eight year old car and it was a stretch to get to it. But even then that paid for itself because suddenly I was in the mastermind owner’s club and I think 15 of the members became practises patients.
Neel: So it’s all just getting yourself into opportunities and extending yourself and one thing [00:41:30] leads to another. But it was just about being nice, being helpful, all that kind of local stuff. Location, location, location. It’s a nice spot right on the [inaudible] feel. So you know these guys starting up in central London where you can’t have any billboards, no one knows where you are, so you have to spend a hundred grand on Google. Whereas we’re on the corner, we’ve got good signage. So look, if we had, if location was anywhere different, we wouldn’t have succeeded.
Prav: I’ve made a tonne of mistakes in business, you know, just starting out and they will look back at the stupid mistakes that [00:42:00] I made back in the day and a lie. Why did I do that? But obviously experienced teachers and you learn from failure. What’s the biggest business mistake you’ve made now? Or some of them?
Neel: Some of the business mistakes I think I don’t lose touch with them being any huge ones. And I think as you said, you do make little mistakes and you keep changing and you keep changing the course.
Payman: What would you have done differently.
Neel: What would I have done differently.
Payman: knowing what you know now?
Neel: Well, we’ve definitely outgrown the business. So yeah, I mean it was the right premises to get because [00:42:30] there’s so it’s next to the doctors, it’s opposite a car parked on the corner and probably we’d reached its capacity probably a year four. So we’re at year seven now, I think. So it needed a second site or to relocate. But when you relocate, you lose the premises. Whether that be, you know, there’s some probably some rationale three years ago to have it as people come in and then they go to somewhere else if you really want us to grow so we don’t have a staff room, we don’t have an office and we struggle to plan a little bit [00:43:00] and not having that space to plan into.
Neel: So yeah, I think the biggest thing is just not having space and we still trying to find contingency plans and we haven’t come across it yet.
Payman: But I mean it seems like because you said you had these cash crises and if you’d go, if you just started with a bigger place that could have been, again,
Neel: I think it was the right thing to do and the right location. It was just probably a year four. We probably needed to say year three was pretty good year for the year five you pay off, your dad’s good. Most of them are five-year things. Then [00:43:30] he said, Oh, this is a good year. And then what happens in this year, seven is everything goes wrong and you have to buy new equipment or technology catches up with you. So I think there probably the time to sell, it’s probably about a year five year six if we have to reinvest.
Payman: Are you looking for new premises.
Neel: Now we were doing and we’d had something in mind, which was just across the road, but a little bit small. But I’m cutting back a little bit. I’ve got so many plates spinning that I want to just concentrate on two things, which is basically the practises that is, and I think it could be the best practise in England. I was doing some judging for private dentistry awards and lots [00:44:00] of lovely practises, but I said, I don’t think we’re too far off. It just needs a little bit more. And going from a seven to a nine or an eight to a nine is very tough. Going to afford to an eight is quite easy. So it’s a, it’s gonna be a challenge, but honestly think we could be the best practise in England or one of the best. I know it’s arbitrary and it’s only an award, but the ideology of actually this should really be a flagship practise on how to do things for patient care.
Payman: Well man or do other things well, but actually it’s a really good model of looking after patients holistically. That.
Prav: sounds egotistical. [00:44:30] Differentiates you Neil. So you know Joe blogs off the street and you talk about customer service, the experience being different. I talked to a lot of my clients about how they can create almost like a shock in our customer service experience. Just talk me through like if I was a patient at your practise, well what would I expect differently from job logs down the road?
Neel: Well, I mean we have new patients every day locally, which is really nice and it’s my favourite bit because it’s a chance that they’ve actually, I [00:45:00] mean some of them integrate practises and you know, you’re not going to get the wow of shock and awe. Nor is he do because thankfully there are other, the good practises aren’t there, which is brilliant.
Neel: But if they’d been to an average practise and they come to us and it starts off with actually the reception is we’ve made it very non dental and it doesn’t smell like, and actually the lady this morning, I can say she was an aromatherapist there’s quite interestingly she felt, he said a, normally I’m anxious in the waiting room because of the smells and the sounds and the feel. So she was really relaxed straight away. So I like that. It feels like [00:45:30] home to me a little bit, you know? And I’m quite comfy there. It’s not like a workplace. I think if you’re going to, cause I was living at work really, you know, for the first few years he might as well make it nice. Yeah. So the ambience in the field. And then the other thing is we’re talking about leadership earlier and being a boss.
Neel: If all the staff are happy and smiley and Elsa, you’ve employed those people or you’ve attracted those people. We always have nurses laughing and smiling and that’s such a positive thing. You know, if you’ve got one miserable person in the room, patients feel it, you know, they’ll come and they’ll tell me about [00:46:00] it if they know. So creating that positive environment is an intangible, you know, it’s a bit like, um, yeah. And you can say, Oh, you need a Sarah machine or we need this or need that. Actually, you just need nice people being nice to people in a nice place. And that really comes from the top as well. You know, if you’re gonna kill people, the reflection as to your customers and for sure. And then really it’s simple things. It’s rapport building, you know, and um, I sit them down next to me by the computer and I try and gain rapport as quickly [00:46:30] as I possibly can and not in any kind of, I want to influence some way, but if they like me and unlike them, we can have a better conversation and understand their needs.
Neel: So I’ll sit down with them and figure out where they are, what they’ve had done, what their issues are, and we will plan a phased approach. But it will be, you know, the launch of my practise is with so many great dentists. You’ll see me. Then you’ll see Mel Preble who’s our brilliant therapist hygienist. Then you might see Addie is a fantastic endodontist to get that redone. Then you might [00:47:00] see Rachel as specialist orthodontist and remove these teeth in a better place than you might see David bloom. Who’s going to make these teeth look great. So it’s a journey and no one’s ever really talked to them about, I want to use you, get the rest of your life for the rest of your teeth. So I’m thinking, especially with our cohort of patients who are generally older or they start thinking about their lives as well and what they want out of it.
Neel: You know, when you’re younger you kind of just think, let me fix this problem and go away and back to work.
Prav: So a lot, a lot of dentists that I speak to struggle with this rapport building. So you [00:47:30] know though, getting in those seats, Oh God, I’ve got to follow this system, this process. I’m going to ask the patient how they got here today. How was the journey, et cetera, et cetera. And it seems like, you know, that’s probably one of the most important things in your consultation is building that rapport. Yeah. What advice would you give someone who’s new at this game?
Neel: So I think it’s a key. I mean, I just went to Barry’s course, Barry Alton’s course as a refresher. And again, that’s a great course to do. By the way. First of all, you’ve got to like people, if you don’t like people, you’re not going to artificially [00:48:00] gain rapport with them.
Neel: And there’s a story and everyone, every patient that comes in that you always find something interesting about them or a human, you have to find the human in them. So I think people think, Oh, I’m going to ask these questions. They’re going to watch where their eyes go and I’m going to try and emulate them to mirror them. Actually just find out who that person is, where they like you guys are doing today rather than tactics, actual interest, being interested in people and they forget. I mean, they’re so busy doing the tactics and the checklist and have eyes, you know, Oh, he’s crossed his arms like that. Cross my arms. Just actually think that’s a human being [00:48:30] is a new friend. You want to kind of know a little bit about him. It’s not speed dating, but you know, where did you grew up? Where, who the last dentist?
Neel: How’s your experience has been? What do you want from your teeth? How can I help? You know, I’m going to try and find solutions to help you. We’re going to work this together. It’s just being nice looking in the eye. Don’t talk to him in the dental chair because you know, you, if a friend came round, you will put him in dental chair and start quizzing him. You know, you’d get him a glass of water and you would sit like this and we’d have a chat. And I think communication is for kids, for teenagers, for work, for relationships, [00:49:00] for relations with your family and friends. If you haven’t got communication, you’re going to struggle in life and you can get away with a lot of lack of skill. If you’ve got great communication and you can get other people to help you, the little things, but it comes from communication and you’re looking at practise.
Neel: Melanie Preble, a brilliant communicator. David bloom, brilliant communicator. [inaudible] brilliant communicator. So you surround them and then the nurses pick up on that and they know how to talk and what to say. And you kind of create this thing.
Payman: What’s your, what’s your pet peeve regarding associates, dentists who work [00:49:30] for you?
Neel: I think engagement. I think if you’ve got a really good team,
Payman: how’d you know though? Whether they’re engaging with their patient is that we mean engaging with their patient.
Neel: engagement in the practise.
Payman: Oh, I see.
Neel: So there are associates who are mercenaries. They will come in for themselves. Yeah. You know, do something that is not black and white, but they’ll come in there, everything’s ready for them. They’ll see a few patients, they’ll treat them as a job or a project or you know, like a car coming into service, do this, whatever needs doing and then [00:50:00] go say thanks to the nurses.
Neel: Brilliant. Which is okay. Back in the day, you know, that used to work. But at times the tough, now, you know, competition is hard, overheads are hard. We all need new patients, you know, whether it’s through SEO, marketing, whatever we need, we’re all looking for new patients because the overheads are much different to what they were 20 years ago. And the profitability has gone from like 50 60% to 15% if you’re IDH, I think it’s five 7%. So the biggest earners for us are those new patients who are willing to, with their oral health. So I think [00:50:30] if they realise what’s good for the practise, it’s good for the associate, then come to meetings, engage positively, you know, be nice to your nurses. Don’t be there on time, respect their time, respect the patient time. So just if you can make the practise as good as it can be, you’ll have a better environment for yourself.
Neel: So I think it’s really just, I think if you’re an associate, engage with the practise and even if you’re gonna leave in a year or two, you’ll gain so much from that knowledge and the experience of engaging. You’ll know what to do next time.
Payman: Yeah. I think that’s for me [00:51:00] a key key point that you can learn on someone else’s dollar or whatever. They’d like someone else’s risk. As an associate, you can really get yourself involved.
Neel: and free mentoring.
Payman: Of course.
Neel: You know, nobody gets anywhere without mentoring. I was just reading the book from, what’s it called, different dental masters, but it was a, the collection of stories has just been released. Mel was in it. She let me the book, so I read it all in about an hour, just kind of get through it and thought it was between patients and the stories were very similar.
Neel: They struggle a little bit through uni or through school. Then [00:51:30] they, um, at the right time got the right job with the right mentor. A lot of them went abroad for their studies, bought a practise and it was one woman in their life where they found the right person, whether it was a great dentist or someone who’s really good at PR or someone who’s connected or someone who knows all the other, you know, it was a person. And you can use these mentors to guide your life and you don’t have to reinvent it. The steps have already been done. Just find someone that you like trust and whether it’s exercise [00:52:00] or dentistry o.
Payman: who your key mentors. Frank Speer?
Neel: Yeah, I mean I’m in relationship with Frank, obviously his ethos in terms of the way they do dentistry, which has that sort of Pankey philosophy I would suppose.
Neel: But it’s, it’s, I try and surround myself with people who are nice because I think if you hang around nice people you’ll be nice as well. And also, I know lots and lots of dentists and I like dentistry, but also I really find it interesting if I meet someone who’s into our history or who’s into engineering [00:52:30] and have a broader outlook on people. But I have to say, you know, people like yourselves and unreal and Mark and re-haul and um, the guys in my study club and drew, just everyone I hang around with, there’s something to be learned from everyone.
Payman: Drew’s a real enigma, isn’t he, Drew.
Neel: He talking about passion drive at the expense of everything else, whether it’s as health and time, you know, he’s obviously a superhuman person and really it’s finding the right mentors [00:53:00] and they’re always around you. And I remember Raj, Arla Wally was one of my early mentors.
Neel: He said, they’re always there. It’s just you weren’t ready for them. You didn’t see them. So they are around you. You just got to figure out a lot of people phone me and just say, Oh Neil, should I do this course? I should have that course. Cause they tend to follow herds. They see who’s popular on Facebook and thinking, I’ll do that or I’ll do an implant course or I’ll do this. And I usually say, actually, where do you want to be in 10 years? Which throws them, where do you want to live? What do you see yourself doing? Do you want to practise? Do you want to just to endo and then just work backwards and find people to help you on that journey. Too many people [00:53:30] don’t know where they’re going, so they’re not going to get there. So I think a 10 year plan, which, you know, when you’re young, you can’t think 10 years ahead, but when you’re a bit older you start sort of thinking, you know, where am I wanting to be?
Neel: And whether it’s in relationships or in business or in financially, you know, have a goal and then that’s makes that sets all the decisions up.
Prav: So where do you want to be in 10 years?
Neel: Now I would like to be financially secure. I think I’d like to look after my family, make [00:54:00] sure they have a nice life. I’m not thinking it has to be spoiled and wealthy, but just, you know, have, I think money buys your health care and it buys you education. So if I can educate them and give them health care and a nice place to live and a safe place to live. So I’d like to do that. So that’s a personal goal, is to have a strong family and look after them. And I think partly one of the goals is financial is to try and get there. And I think also, um, changing and we’re talking to Sandra Lee about this as well.
Neel: [00:54:30] I still want to keep my hand in dentistry and I wanna understand how dentists have feelings cause I need to represent them, but it’s the indemnity business now. So with dentistry I can help maybe a thousand people a year maybe. You know, I think with indemnity I can help 20,000 people a year because if you help a hundred dentists, you’re going through litigation indemnities, not just them who were affected, it’s their wives and practises.
Payman: When was it that you have the idea for PD?
Neel: PDI? So professional dental [00:55:00] indemnity, just to give it a plug. So I was helping drew, I was doing study clubs, I was running the British Academy of Microsoft dentistry and I thought, and it is, education is the way out, you know, for all these young dentists who are struggling in whatever way and they want to be more, it’s, you know, we have to educate them.
Neel: And I was doing my best to mentor and help people and get phone calls and the phone calls I was getting from younger dentists where I’ve had a complaint about this or I can’t do that. Or you know, they want to leave the profession because they left an apex in [00:55:30] and they’ve had a complaint. So I kind of had it in my mind that wanting to teach someone is not a safe environment to be learning. We learned on the NHS, I made thousands of mistakes and you learn from them and get better. Now if you make a mistake you are really, it could be the end of your career. And it’s happened to some young dentists, you know, not to name any. So had that in the back of my mind. And then I had a complaint from an anaesthetist who was a casual patient, not the kind of patient like we’d like to see you and we want to see people and grow with them and develop them.
Neel: [00:56:00] And he just basically used it as an emergency service and ring me six in the morning. And because he was a colleague or a peer, I tried to accommodate him, but he got to the point where it was saying, actually I don’t think this is the type of practise for you. Can I help you find another dentist? And um, maybe I should have worded it better. And we’re talking about communication. And this was after about a year of patching things up in glissando, which is not what we do at all. And he was just that professional courtesy. So he wrote a seven page letter to the GDC and probably for three months I was, again, [00:56:30] we talked about self-flagellation. When you’re starting a business, you just think you’re an awful dentist. You hate your patients, you think of them all is out to get you and you lose.
Neel: I honestly am a very caring person. I want to help my patients. I have no, I never think financially, I never think like that. I just want to do the best for them. And that’s my capacity. So when someone, what you feel stabbed in the bag, you lose all your heart and it affects your staff and the friends around you and the people around you. And I thought this isn’t even a big complaint and it could have gone to the GDC because who knows what they’re going to do. [00:57:00] But it would, I would have left the career over one complaint because the human nature is we get 99 thank you is we get one complaint, we feel like we’re the world’s worst dentists. And then I talked to people I already share and they told me about their TDC experience and nurse. I talked about other people and it seems like everyone’s got a GDC issue now.
Neel: 20 years gave him in the GDC, you’d done something and there is a need of the GDC. We all know that, you know, we have to go in and be, we have to be policed, but the current GDC is just, I don’t know what’s happening and it’s just overreaching. Their powers charging us a huge amount. [00:57:30] Doesn’t think to be fair. And I’ve had friends who are on the GDC panels and stuff and they’ve walked out because, and I’d like to know what that lady, when she left, while the gagging order was what she was thinking. So it was kind of in my mind. And then through turbine through cars, I met a chap called Gary Monaghan, is my, who turned out to be my business partner. So he’d run an indemnity company, insurance company where you can reverse the terms for plastic surgeons in. They pay about 50 60,000 pounds a year.
Neel: And when they paint that much, they start looking around and [00:58:00] they weren’t getting the service as well. And that’s what I found actually with my insurer when I actually rang them for advice. They were so poor and I said, was I used to ring you guys 20 years ago and you were brilliant. What’s happening? And you know, actually want to complain. I don’t think it’s very good. And they said, Oh, well there’s an already a complaint system. Just talk to your advisor. I’m sure you’ll be all right. And I just thought I, from having a huge confidence and trust in this entity to having, actually maybe it’s the emperor’s new clothes, it’s not as what it seems. So Gary was running a indemnity company for plastic [00:58:30] surgeons with a partner at I think two partners. And it became hugely successful, is still going. And I was talking to my niece to this friend and he’s actually a member, so he created something amazing.
Neel: And then he left the company and he basically had an exclusion to say and I think for a year. And he likes cars and he knows lots of plastic surgeons. So he was doing CPD for plastic surgeons in Switzerland, you know, they drive car around and you know, enjoy some nice food and wine and so from turbine. So you know, one thing leads to another. So you can say actually his cars are a waste of time. But actually his opportunities and meeting people, [00:59:00] we just started talking and I said, this is what’s happening in, you know, you’re talking about indemnity, this is what’s happening and this is how we feel. And from there we basically, he already knew fantastic underwriter Sharon. And you met her colleague job and you met Cheryl. Oh yeah. So she’s phenomenal and she’s a fighter and she doesn’t like rolling over and paying in and you know she’s worked hard, really hard in a man’s world to get where she is.
Neel: Very clever, astute lady. And we have a good relationship. Again, it’s about rapport building and [00:59:30] having good relationship with people. You buy people. So I basically bought her, I think she’s brilliant and she’s got so much dental knowledge. She’s been in the industry. Yeah. And you know caring as well. But she’d come on, it’s a tough cookie but she actually cares what she does and she’s proud of what she does. She’s had the best policies and she knows she has the best policy and when she looks at other underwriters and they just copy her or they don’t know anything about dentistry. So it’s quite good actually. I really feel we have the best policies, the best product and the best underwriter. And then from there we have brokers who are intermediaries. [01:00:00] And then Gary and I’s job really is to market this vehicle, talk about car analogy and also liaise with Sharon and make sure we have got the best product and that we know our customers are happy and dentists are being looked after because actually the way it’s going, everything is going to be insurance-based.
Neel: And if we don’t have a say in it, it’s going to be like car insurance where you ring up, they can do what they want and they’re separate entities. So actually this is the chance where actually a dentist can have his say and we can say to [01:00:30] Sharon, actually, Oh brilliant Weldon, can we have this? Can we have that? What can we do? Or actually we’re not happy. We’re going to move the whole lot over to another underwriter.
Payman: Unpack this sort of discretionary situation. So what would the traditional indemnity alumni’s, they don’t have to support. Well what that means.
Neel: in a way. So when the indemnifies started, which are all the big guys, they had really strong principles, let’s get dentists together. Let’s look after each other. We’ll all put some money in, we’ll invest it. And [01:01:00] this was a time when we didn’t get sued a lot and there wasn’t this no win, no fee and all these different scenarios at different time.
Neel: And those guys had brilliant education, really supported you had the top people on board and looked after you, put her arm around you and you felt supported. I think times have changed. The financial things have gone silly in terms of how much the pay outs are. And I don’t think the model works anymore. And what they say is you give us some money every year and we will look after you. That’s all you have. And they’ve been doing that for years. But then now cracks and chinks [01:01:30] are appearing where they’re, the good of the members may be outweigh your good. So if they feel that they want to settle, they have the choice. If they feel they want to drop you and don’t want to represent you any more because you’re a risk, they dropped me overnight. If there’s a condition that you get. So I don’t know.
Neel: To me having not been in a little while. And I’ve seen lots of, you know, you get to hear all the stories and you get to see things that are unfair. And it’s a shame because I think they have been brilliant, but I don’t think it works in the current model. [01:02:00] So when you, when I was with whoever we’re going to say every year you just pay renewals, you didn’t have any kind of contract and you’re just relying on Goodwill within insurance products. It’d be like buying car insurance. Now there’s cheap car insurance and there’s expensive car insurance and there’s something which she feels appropriate for you. And I always buy decent car insurance cause I’ve got a nice car. It’s very important for me that this car gets looked after, whether it’s, my analogy being my career is very important to me. So I want to know, I’ve got great lawyers, great understanding, and a really comprehensive contract.
Neel: [01:02:30] So that’s what we’ve done with PDI. We’ve created a really comprehensive contract. We’ve got a really big legal team. Wait men’s, I think they got 50 men, male lawyers, and you’ll speak to the senior partner and they’ll ask who’s wife’s a dentist as well. So if I’m going to be a member of it and my and my friends are, the responsibility for me is to make sure we have the best product and we honestly have the best product. May not be the cheapest product but with the best product and when you’re the GDC or when you have a car crash, you don’t get a nice courtesy car. You’ll wish you had.
Payman: But it’s cheaper [01:03:00] than the traditional.
Neel: it is. Yeah, it is cheaper and it’s also fairer. So at the moment you get lumped in with everybody else and as their risk goes up overall, your, your premium will go up.
Neel: And if they’re paying for doctors as well and add that in, especially the GPS are now going to change to crown indemnity. We send you, I think it’s a five to eight page letter and we ask, you know, who are your mentors? If you had a trouble, who would you ask? What courses have you been done on? And you know, and the underwriters will go to clinics and they will [01:03:30] go and see ortho places and they’ll come and see you guys and get an understanding of what you do. So they know actually actually these guys, he’s got mentors, he’s in a great practise. He hasn’t had a claim. He’s been on the right course because we know who these courses are. We know they run well.
Payman: They can assess the risk more accurately.
Neel: It’s a person, it’s not an algorithm. The other one is you, you know, one year, two year qualified, are you doing implants?
Payman: Not, and that’s your band.
Payman: Is it scalable in that sense?
Neel: It’s scalable in what way?
Payman: Or you know it seems like it’s not, it’s not an algorithm.
Neel: It’s labour intensive. So we can [01:04:00] take two days to do it. We can take two weeks to do it. And if you’ve got a lot of claims and a lot of history, we can take three months to do it. But Sharon keeps a very clean book. She is very key. We reject, which is unfortunate for us, about 30% of people applying because what Sharon says, these guys are risky, rightly or wrongly because you know, we don’t know the circumstances. And if I had to put everyone’s premiums that next year because I’ve miscalculated it, you won’t be happy. So we have very clean good dentists who care about what they do, [01:04:30] who look after the patients and you know, improve that.
Neel: Educate themselves. And why wouldn’t you want that? Isn’t that kind of dentists want other support?
Payman: I think dentists are, it depends on the risk profile of the, of the insurer. I mean there might be another insurer wants massive because it’ll come with the high risk.
Neel: Well they might sell their book in three years, build them up quickly, get them in cheap. And then actually we’ve made our money out of this and now it’s looking risky. He wants to buy it now.
Payman: But what the question’s gonna ask you is a lot of patients, a lot of dentists, [01:05:00] they worry that the insurance company is going to settle when, when they did nothing wrong. And either they’re not going to defend.
Neel: It’s a huge thing, isn’t it? Like dentists generally feel like they’re caring people, they’ve done the right thing and it’s, you know, it’s wrong that we should settle and you know, we want to defend ourselves.
Neel: And in those cases where the dentist wants to defend themselves and can be prepared for whether this takes three months or two years, if they’re willing to do that, if their notes are good [01:05:30] and they’re in the right, then we will always fight and we’ll encourage you to fight because why should we just settle on? Because it’s not good for anybody, but the factors are, if your notes aren’t good, we might have to say, look, actually, if any written XLA upper left seven, there’s not a lot we can do with this. Or actually, you know, I’ve got a family, I’ve got a kid. It’s a big stress on me. I actually don’t want to, you know, and you don’t need, and I can understand that you may not want to. So it’s a dialogue and it’s a conversation. They’re not [01:06:00] going to say you must settle.
Neel: They will have a conversation. When you said that these are the plus points, these are the minus points, this is what we feel you should do. What do you feel? And there’s a number and there’s an insurance ombudsman as well and they’re very regulated, extremely regulated. They have to be seen to be doing the right thing for you. They can’t let you down, they can’t misrepresent you. So you have a lot of rights. But unfortunately there’s a lot of good dentists out there who don’t want to go to the fight, which I understand. And there are some Eagle tickles, egotistical dentists. He might think, actually [01:06:30] I’m mr God Ashley, even a million pounds worth of claims, maybe you need to look at what you’re doing and do it slightly differently. And people are people. So it’s interesting what we see on paper, but you can kind of quite easily know.
Neel: Actually I get to talk to quite a lot of them and I kind of know within five minutes who’s a decent dentist. So he’s not a who cares about his patients and their education and then the way that they look, you know, you get a sense of someone, you do it all the time with your clients, you do it all the time, you know who’s a good guide only.
Prav: of course you do. And you mentioned that you look at what courses [01:07:00] they’ve taken and stuff like that. Does that impact the premium?
Neel: Yeah, I think if you’ve done a weekend course and you’re placing 300 implants a year, it might not work in the longterm. If you’ve done a really approved course and you’ve had mentoring, I think doing a course is one thing. Actually. I think mentoring is more important. You know, you can know everything you want, but you know, I think my first 20 or 30 implants I placed, I had someone next to me and it’s invaluable.
Neel: And having a principal next to you maybe has placed a thousand implants next to you. You know, I met a girl yesterday whose dad [01:07:30] does loads of implants and she’s doing a lot already at 26 and you think that’s a risk? But actually a dance next door mentoring her and he’s a an expert. So they will look at you in terms of what you’ve done, what support you have and it isn’t just the courses and that’s one thing. It’s what support you have. And the question is, you know, if you weren’t sure about something, who would you ask? What resources do you have? I’ve never had any insurance company asked them.
Payman: the question.
Neel: going back to being what we’re talking about earlier, mentoring, coaching. No they did. I know which [01:08:00] is even better.
Prav: We had, we had Mahmud Maldjian earlier today and he is really inspirational. Good story behind it. And he talks about life being full of ups and downs. You ever had like a really low point in your life that you’ve had to bounce out of? You could share with us.
Neel: I’m probably have quite a load and, but you know, just one thing that comes to mind, which is probably not quite the question you’re asking, but you know when the first thing you think in your head, and that’s the answer, isn’t it? So the arms to me, I was, [01:08:30] I was working in Australia for about two years and when I say working, it wasn’t really working, but it was in between travelling. I was doing some dentistry flying doctor stuff and some stuff in prisons. It was really interesting. I was there for the Sydney Olympics and I think I was in Queensland and I’m near Darwin crocodile Dundee territory. And I got bitten by a spider and I’m in the middle of nowhere and my eyes started swelling up.
Neel: And so I have to get off this bus and check into, I don’t know which hospital it was. And there was a doctor from Malaysia [01:09:00] and his English wasn’t great talking about rapport and communication and he basically drew me a diagram of my face. Then we are going to put some local anaesthetic, we’re going to cut this out and you’re gonna have a big defect in your face and being on the other side of the world, on your own. Uh, you know, I was 23, 27, 28, so I’m still a kid.
Neel: terrified. And, um, I was with dentist job search and they were really nice to me. They were nice people and I rang her. I didn’t wanna ring my mom and dad up. Oh, they’re not listening because I thought what they’re going to do, how can they help me? They’re just [01:09:30] going to be worried.
Neel: So I ranked into job search up and talk through it through them. And luckily having some dental knowledge and some medical knowledge, I basically got a tax discharge myself. Got a taxi, which was $400, which is quite a lot of money for me. And went to Darwin, wait in a three in the morning, put myself into a private clinic, you know,
Payman: was it getting worse at this point?
Neel: I couldn’t see you and I was feeling sick and you know, I mean I wasn’t well on your own, on my own and got into it, you know, talking about environment [01:10:00] and how an environment is field. Nice hospital, knife pay, you know, nice doctors, nice nurses look after you feel a bit better. And they said no, you wouldn’t want a local anaesthetic in there. You’ll just spread the infection. We’ll have a short GA and I never had a GA before and we’ll incise it and drain it and petrified.
Neel: You know what, if you don’t wake up and this silly silly things and talking about, you know, how you make a patient feel. The most important thing I remember from there is when I was on the trolley going in, I know it’s not easy to bite, but actually one of the nurses [01:10:30] did that to me, which I’m just holding payment’s hand, which he’s very comfortable with and that hand touched to resonates with me and the human contact, that reassurance. So I know we’re not allowed to touch our patients, but I will tell them on the shoulder or on the hand and just say, you’re doing really well, are you okay? And I know our nurses will do that to our patients. And it’s just something that comes back to me from when you’re distressed or a bib said, you know, a cup of tea and a hug or something like that is what you need.
Neel: And I think the scar I’ve got left, you probably just can’t even see it. [01:11:00] It’s a little red line. But you know. Yeah. And I think, you know what? I was 27. I was good looking in vain to say to ruin my face. I’d be then.
Payman: what about a professional low point.
Neel: professional list? I think it’s just whenever I’ve got a complaint letter, which is probably in you know, 20 years.
Payman: break, you can’t like break your comp.
Neel: Let me think. Two or three times. One probably in 2004. This is an Easter sky. [01:11:30] Um, one on Tuesday. Actually I had one last week. Um, I fitted a gold crown two years ago and a lady who had existing bruxism, TMJ and she said I made a bruxism worst cause I’ve pushed this crown in so hard and uh, you know, it’s chronic situation and nothing. Why would she come back two years later?
Neel: I’m sure she’s got some financial difficulties, but again, just upsetting, you know, so that’s a low point is when you don’t feel it’s right, you’ve done your best for the patient, you’ve cared for them. I really, this is a friend of a friend, so you go the extra mile and [01:12:00] now that I go the extra mile anyway, really cared for her. She’s very nervous patient and they’ve actually just thought of you as a greedy dentist and not actually appreciated how much care and time you gave someone. So they’re the low points radius when people don’t feel appreciated.
Payman: And what’s the best decision you made.
Neel: going to spear.
Payman: Do you really think.
Neel: that changed my life.
Neel: You know you were saying people know me through turbine, but there were knowing me before that because I jumped a level from, no not very good associate. It didn’t really understand dentistry, didn’t understand comprehensive [01:12:30] care, haven’t got great hand skills from just doing that course to actually really understanding dentistry, reengaging my passion in it and jumping up, you know, you’re suddenly in the big boy league, you know, so the people you’re hanging around with.
Neel: And so just by doing that, although I was broke when I did it, it got me around know Raj and Mark and hap Gill and all these people. So I was in a different, you know, fish tank, I was swimming with different guys and then our learning off them. So it wasn’t just the five grand and do a course. It was the mentoring, [01:13:00] the companionship that way. It made me feel and it set my practise over my practise. The way we do things is not just a single dentist and refers when he needs to. It’s a team effort of getting a patient from a to B, you know, which I don’t think happens very often and I think we’re doing patients to disservice.
Payman: How many days do you work load yourself?
Neel: I do about two and a half days a week of dentistry and it is, I’d say it’s new patients and recalls.
Neel: My shoulder’s not great. I’ve actually sort of given up a little bit of some of the, you know, difficult dentistry [01:13:30] and as PDI takes off, I need to give it more time really. And I’m in that kind of phase where the practise needs me and PDI needs me and I’ve kind of kind of make a jump. But otherwise both. They’re going to go down a little bit as I’m trying to manage my time, but it is be like you guys when you were practising and with enlighten, there’s a time when you actually need to step and be brave and it’s easier when you’re younger and younger commitments,
Payman: but it’s actually Prav who helped me do that. Really it was, I was doing one day a week, I had a bad day and then I talked to you and he’s, [01:14:00] he’s given up medicine one six months into being a doctor and he said to me, why?
Payman: Why are you doing this one day? And I was like, it’s a shame. I want to keep my and acres. Just get out of it. You know? You’d said those need permission.
Payman: Yeah. You’re where you need to, someone to reflect for you as well. By the way, I’m not sure that’s the right move for, you know, I’m known a practise, practise, different situation. Now, what I’d like to do is it’s going to be able to run without you, I guess because the, yeah, the PDI thing, [01:14:30] you know that that’s a business, a business needs.
Neel: and again, mothering, you know, I think it’s really, it’s a pivotal point. It’s a turning point. We, everyone’s talking about it. Everyone wants to move, they’re all a bit scared.
Payman: It’s a great sign for that.
Neel: Say they want to move and unless we have a big enough model that can take one thousand two thousand five hundred and ten thousand dentists, you know, is talking about scalable.
Neel: It is scalable because the lawyer is massive. The underwriter’s massive big global company. But if we as dentists don’t have a say in it and there’s probably five or six other products coming into the [01:15:00] market as we speak an.
Payman: it’s just an insurance basically a either a CEO to run PDI or a CEO to run, you’ll tend to see at the moment I’m kind of CEO both fully.
Neel: I think with the practise, if I can get a dentist and I’m looking at a few who can fume plan and has the approach and the patient care philosophy, then I’m happy to pass that on now and just keep an eye, keep leadership and overview it. And I think the [01:15:30] more I put into PDI, the bigger it grows. So I just need to kind of figure out the next three months really and how I transition.
Neel: But it is spinning plates the now I’ve got a lot of plates spinning your guy, you guys all have losses and I’ve let a few go that the microscope grew, grow a little bit. I’ve let you build, grow a little bit. So I want to concentrate on PDI and the practise and relationships and my health. So talking about my health, he is, my blood pressure was crazy in the beginning of the year. I think one 80 over one 20 you know, not good. And it’s just that years [01:16:00] it’d be like other people do. They throw themselves into the work that comes first. They neglect themselves. We’re all alpha males, teenagers thinking we can wear immortal. So actually having to take some medicines now, which I really don’t like. Um, I think actually now I need a bit of time if I’m, I’ve gotta be around for the next 30 40 years.
Neel: I need to just actually have some time for myself. So getting back to what advice, you know, don’t look back and think actually I’m really unwell and I’m making the people around me suffer because I’m unwell, you [01:16:30] know, look after yourself.
Prav: So what are you doing to your health now?
Neel: Interestingly, a friend of mine, his neighbour, Graham Phillips, he’s a really senior pharmacist and we’ve been talking a lot about the effect that gut has on inflammation on insulin. So giving insulin to a diabetic is the wrong thing to do because it just really makes them more polarised. So if you can stop your blood glucose spikes, you’ve stopped your insulin, insulin spiking, you don’t put on weight. So he had a blood glucose monitor, which sort of sticks in the back of your arm and you can zap it with your phone and get readings. [01:17:00] So I did it for three weeks and I lost eight pounds.
Neel: And it was just having the angel on your shoulder all the time. So it worked well. Then life got in the way and I’ve stopped using it.
Payman: It was a blood glucose monitor.
Neel: Yeah. It just tapes on your own sort of peers is even not that you’d notice or really doesn’t even mention it and you get your iPhone and you click it on some diabetics. Javier, I don’t think it’s on the NHS but children have it if there is severe. Yeah. And so when you can see actually a porridge was making me spike to 14 you know, whatever millimoles of glucose [01:17:30] and bread was and this was whereas other things were keeping and you just want to kind of stay in the zone and you’re not hungry, be just choosing more sensibly. And my willpower isn’t good enough to do it without it. So I bought a few more and Graham’s actually going to be speaking to our study club next year as well.
Neel: Because again, part of that thing about being comprehensive care where I want to offer our diabetic and a cardiac patients, a way of helping the general health cause they amounts aren’t going to get better if they’re not healthy.
Payman: What would you like to be known for? Like [01:18:00] I will legacy,
Neel: I think a nice guy who tried to help people. You know, I don’t really want more than that. I think if I’ve left the place and enriched some lives in whatever way that’s more than any bank balance or anything, you know, it’s really about him. Not influences is the wrong thing, but actually helping, you know, I think in the more people you can help and in a way you might say bill Gates helps lots of people or you know the Apple guy because they’ve created a product that brings so many people together. So for [01:18:30] me it was that the dentists, I can only help certain amount of people with insurance company.
Neel: Maybe I can help ten thousand twenty thousand people. I’d love to help 105 hundred but that’s being an industrialist really. So I think the more you, I mean each person valuable if you change one person’s opinion or duration. And I, and I think I’ve done that quite a lot and it’s really rewarding. But when I said, you know, these are the low points in your life and it is those complaint letters and let alone if you have to go to the GDC and the effect. And I know so many good dentists who’ve left the profession wrongly. So if I can save [01:19:00] through the insurance company and that grief, that hurt that I’m going to give up on the 15 years education and the time I put into it because of one thing.
Payman: What’s cool and what’s your advice? If someone gets a letter from the GDC tomorrow and their world’s falling apart because it does, right? It does worse than the letter from patient as they, cause.
Neel: I think don’t be ashamed because like I said, 10 years ago you got letter, you’d done something wrong. Chances are you might have done something a little bit, but you’re being overly punished for it. So I think you’ll be [01:19:30] surprised. Talk to your friends, they’ve all been through it and you know, just get someone to buy your beer and actually talk your way through it because they’re, you know, problem shares from the half. So you know, it’s a cliche, but get your support group around. You get your nurses and your team around you say this is what happened. You know, I think, and there is amazing, like this complaint letter I had on Tuesday, all my nurse and team are gay are all behind me. They’re all like, I can’t believe this. You know, and they’re not looking at me like I’m a worst dentist cause they know who I am.
Neel: They’re actually thinking this is a story state to be in. So [01:20:00] I feel better that people around me are supporting me if I don’t feel vilified unless they have a right to be. And really comes down to talking about drew and two bills and some of the education stuff we’ve could Scott to have fantastic notes. You know, record keeping, get in trouble. Camera picture says a thousand words. I was talking to a VJ from Evo, you know we on Saturday they videotaped the whole conversations and the little harddrive so it’s a bit American is a bit far, but actually yeah they [01:20:30] can send it and they’ve got an amazing consent process. They know they do all these Tara gourds and they’re doing one thing really well. So they’ve got it down and they said, you know, if you send a lawyer 16 hours of video tape, they’re going to think twice because they want to watch it cause it’s time is money for them.
Neel: So actually you’re defending themselves because it’s all there. Now some people might say, well what if I miss something? You won’t miss anything because you’ll have your checklist, you’ll be on video. And a picture is brilliant because you know a picture of a cracked tooth or this is what I did all this is what tooth I worked on. I think it’s a shame but I think we’re going to have to start videoing things. [01:21:00] So record keeping note taking in whatever form is paramount. Second thing is work on your whole team. If a complaint happens because you’ve rescheduled the patient twice cause the lab hasn’t returned it stuff. The receptionist hasn’t smiled at the patient. The lose dirty, they’ve come in, they’ve seen some dust and all, something’s scruffy. Then you give them an injection. So now they’re on their fifth negative thing and you think if their first negative thing.
Neel: So bring the team together, create excellence, create care, create an [01:21:30] environment of care. Because if they like you and they’re like, you know, multiple like points, they like their hygiene. If they like the nurse and the reception, they’re more willing to work with you cause you know we do make mistakes and things do go wrong. Something go.
Payman: Yeah. Speaking to your Android Jew, she said to me was that you guys get more complaints from NHS patients than private ones. Now is that because there are more,
Neel: I have a lot of statistics.
Payman: She said she had an easy thing. It was more, it was actually something to do with the [01:22:00] [inaudible], the volume she was, she was saying that they feel entitled to a free GP and I don’t like paying for dentistry. In fact they’re paying, albeit NHS fees makes them much more consumerist and there’s complaints happy. Which kind of surprised because I thought, I thought it was more a private dentist problem.
Neel: I think, well, most dentists in England and the NHS say proportionally, if you’re going to see more full-stop now, what are the advantages you’d like to have with your patient? You’d like [01:22:30] to have time, you know, and you don’t even need a lot of time for a poor. You need to just have the will to build rapport and your focus has to be on patient care, not UDS. So if you’re going to practise thinking, I really going to care if this patient spend the time they need. And do a great job. Then you’re probably halfway there. If you’re thinking, I’ve got 30 patients today, my, you know, I need to get my UDS, are we going to get clawed back and penalise your mind? Some might be slight different.
Neel: I know with best intention they all want everyone to help people but if it’s not your primary goal objective, [01:23:00] patients might pick up on that. And I think it is very difficult. You know the NHS colleagues are trying so hard in a very difficult situation, a very, you know, time and resource, limited opportunity and I think they aren’t going to get into trouble. I’m worried about root canal. Three treatments, you know are root canal treatments or practise had done superbly well and they can be done very well on the NHS. But if you’re not, I’m wondering five years if you haven’t got me, cause I know I’m dental upon ship, I’ve got a CT scanner in the office apparently. So if you’re not getting media buckled three and you’ve been paid [01:23:30] 40 quid or whatever it is to do an endo, which we charge a thousand pounds for, it’s not the same but it’s just going to, I think it’s gonna be another revenue three from them and they’re trying to increase their business by 20% next year.
Neel: Some people said, Oh and vicarious is the other one. Vicarious liability. The going for the principals, not the associates now because the associates, you could argue some of them are actually employees. They’re there five days a week. They have a contract and they have a certain amount to do. And the PA, the patient came to your practise with your name on it with your materials and your staffing. [01:24:00] So, and it’s an easier, it’s easier to go after them. And if the associate’s gone back somewhere or changed or retired, there had been vicarious cases, so unfortunately there’s going to be another bill our door for we need a vicarious liability.
Prav: What about people who teach other dentists so you know they, they teach and train and mentor. Do they need protection against various liability?
Neel: Depends on which way. I know like we’ve, we’ve talked with some of the, I don’t [01:24:30] know if I can mention them, but you know some like IAS or whoever.
Neel: Yeah, of course they are giving advice and there’s mentoring, which is the right thing to do. You know, you don’t want to just go on a course and they leave you. So I think those courses which are very good, have a high standard. There’s an element of mentoring. Send your case along, we’ll discuss it. You need an element of vicarious, it’s not going to be a huge risk, but they will need something if you’re doing a three day course and that’s the end of the course at the end of the time, I don’t think there’s any risk then. Okay.
Payman: What are you, where are you seeing? Are you seeing the stats or where [01:25:00] the claims are coming in from? What kind of treatments is also growing?
Neel: I think basically the basic things, what we do is crown bridge perio. It still is, I think I can’t, I haven’t got the facts, but I think it’s still 80% or whatever.
Neel: That’s my feeling too. You know, hard to do crowns well are two. You know, if someone’s been at practise for 10 years, you know, and I was saying to patients say is it’s not that the dentist generally does something wrong, but when you move into a new house, I see everything wrong. So when I see a new patient, I see 50 I think this lady, I can see 15 [01:25:30] things wrong with you, but in three or four years we’ll build a rapport. I’ll get, we’ll get comfortable with each other. It’s like living in a house and I’ll let those things go a little bit. And I think over time it’s human nature. You don’t want to give people bad news, you don’t want them spending their money. They know their grandkids have got that. So I think just as human beings, we tend to let things go a little bit and it’s probably a nice thing. And in our practise we do is every couple of years have a recall with somebody else. Just get some fresh eyes on it. Yeah, that’s interesting. I think it’s useful because you know, I always say there are 10 [01:26:00] different ways of doing this and they’ll get 10 different opinions. What we want is a consensus that works for you.
Prav: I’ve got one last question from me, which is looking back in time, having a conversation with 20 year old now,
Neel: Oh God,
Prav: why advice would you give him.
Neel: stop looking in mirrors.
Neel: Nothing seriously. It’s have a 10 year plan. You know, I couldn’t think more than a month a week. But if you’re going to achieve something, whatever age [01:26:30] it’s, have a plan, figure out what you want in life. You may not know, but you can have an idea. Sure. And get the right people around him.
Prav: Mentors and.
Neel: mentors, friends, uncles, whoever they are. You know, I remember when I went, you know when I did that state thing where I stayed and uncle the always find you find family everywhere when you’re travelling on it. Yeah. And he used to get up every morning at 5:00 AM and do an hour’s yoga. And you know, my 18 year old me thinking what a waste of time. But actually that same up for the whole day. So yeah, look after your health, have the right people around you, do the right thing, [01:27:00] support each other.
Payman: Very nice.
Neel: Thank you for having me. Thank you. For me, it’s very enjoyable.
Payman: Really lovely conversation.
Neel: in what we’ve talked about is he’s a little rubbish, but you find something interesting in there.
Payman: Thanks for coming.
Neel: Thank you. Thanks Prav.
Prav: Thanks for your time.
Outro Voice: This is dental leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry, your hosts, Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
Prav: [01:27:30] Thanks for listening guys. If you got this far, you must’ve listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guests has had to say because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.
Payman: Get some value out of it. Think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who’s using might get some value out of it too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.
Prav: and don’t forget our six star rating.