With a hat tip to Hall & Oates’ “Private Eyes.”
Today was an interesting day. I had two new patients that came to me via my website. I always ask how they found me, my site, and why they chose my practice over others if they visited other dentists’ websites. The first new patient mentioned that she was impressed with my reviews on Google. The second also mentioned my reviews as an influence on his decision. But, he also liked the photos of actual patients on my website.
But, something else happened today that was truly titillating. I got a special email from the ADA. It wasn’t spam or a mass email. It was to me, from them – the ADA. It reads:
I fixed my web page and sent my reply within 2 hours of receiving the email. I absolutely agree and understand that they would not want dentists to misrepresent their membership in the ADA. And, it was never my intention. It was an honest oversight on a deeply-placed webpage that gets 0.5% of the traffic on my website. That traffic figure is not hyperbole. I checked! Not once since I created my website in 1999, has a patient mentioned viewing my resume as a factor in choosing my practice. Accordingly and naturally, I have simply not even looked at that page in quite some time.
The attorney’s very valid point aside, I have to admit I’m quite amused and bemused. The fact that the ADA’s attorney apparently had the free time to search for MY website and then drill down through two menus to find my resume is impressive and noteworthy.
Furthermore, it’s obvious that the ADA is aware of my feelings towards the organization. I suppose they may be following some of the ADA threads on Dentaltown.com.
I’m not the only one that has lost faith in the ADA. And, the plummeting membership numbers reflect that. They’re bleeding members. We don’t feel they represent us, nor do they address our concerns. But, instead of listening, they regurgitate their talking points. They shun us and dismiss our concerns.
I was a member for many years, and I DID “get involved”…. all the way to President of the local affiliate association.
Several times in recent years, as one of many “Key Opinion Leaders” (KOLs), I’ve been invited by various dental manufacturers to be a part of what I would call “focus groups.” They have us test and review their products and materials. They ask for honest feedback. It’s a fantastic and productive exercise.
I submit that the ADA would do well to meet with KOLs that have dropped their membership. Instead of being defensive, they should LISTEN. Yes, we know the ADA DOES accomplish some good things. But, they’re ignoring other issues important to us. If the ADA would like to become REALLY effective with the grassroots being the real strength of the organization, they could learn a thing or two from the NRA. Yes. I said it, and objectively, it’s TRUE.
I would LOVE to get together (along with some non-member colleagues that are more qualified than I am) with the powers that be in the ADA. Let’s get this sorted out and make our profession STRONG. Shall I hold my breath?