Juggling Multiple Tasks & Responsibilities

In Conversation with Dr. Julia Palm


  • Introducing Dr. Julia Palm

  • A normal day in the life of

  • Moving in a new dental practice

  • Implementing a relaxed atmosphere

  • Perfecting through consistent practice

  •         Creating a positive working environment
  •         Managing social media and marketing

          

Dr. Julia Palm

Head of Dentapaz - Zahnarztpraxis

Moltkestraße 40, 74072 Heilbronn, Germany

In Conversation with Dr. Julia Palm


 
 

Running and managing a dental practice is a full-time job. Anyone who has ever embarked on a mission to move in a new practice knows how challenging the process can be, especially if you’re doing so while also seeing patients regularly. And the challenge is further compounded if you also handle the marking for your business while being a mother to a young child and pregnant with another on the way.

Dr. Julia Palm, the owner of a dental practice in Heilbronn, finds herself in exactly that position. She recently appeared on the Zircon Medical Podcast to discuss the trials and tribulations of managing a dental practice and balancing it with personal responsibilities.

Introducing Dr. Palm, the head of Dentapaz - Zahnarztpraxis Dr. Julia Palm und Kollegen in Heilbronn

Dr. Palm is the head of Dentapaz, a dental practice located in Heilbronn. Dr. Palm has recently moved to the dental office in Moltkestr. 40. She manages 17 female employees. Dr. Palm has a Master’s degree in periodontology and implant therapy, and she also specializes in prophylaxis, preservative dentistry, pediatric dentistry, endodontics, and dental surgery.

She aims to help patients eliminate their dental anxieties and fears, so they’re encouraged to visit dental clinics regularly. Her dental practice is designed uniquely to ensure comfort, where patients can wait at “visitor rooms” instead of “waiting rooms.” Her patients are also greeted at the front desk like hotel guests instead of patients.

In addition to her responsibilities as a business owner and dentist, Dr. Palm is a mom of a toddler with another one on the way, a dog mom, and a wife.

A normal day in the life of…

Dr. Palm says her days usually start at 6:15 AM, unless her son wakes up earlier at around 5:45 AM, following which she devotes at least an hour to taking care of her child. After an hour, her son is taken to the nursery, which is on the way to her practice. In the meantime, her husband walks the dog. Dr. Palm works in her practice in shifts. Some days, she’s in the practice all day until she collects her son from the day care centre, and some days, when she has a late shift. she doesn’t see her son all day. That’s why mornings are sacred for her — that’s often the only time she can interact with her son.

Moving in a new dental practice

Dr. Palm’s current practice has been in Heilbronn for over 30 years, having been founded by her father and mother. However, after her parents divorced 10 years ago, her mother left the practice, and that’s when Dr. Palm joined the team. She joined the practice immediately after her studies and essentially took up her mother’s part in the clinic. When she joined the practice, she was determined to eventually start her own practice later. In the meantime, she has been focused on modernizing the dental practice in Heilbronn.

Despite her best attempts to modernize the practice in Heilbronn, Dr. Palm eventually realized that there was no way to change the practice completely. If she wanted to establish a practice that truly reflected her modern expectations, she would have to start a practice from scratch. Over two years, Dr. Palm explored dental clinic options and found the right practice with the right landlord. It was a process that lasted over two years, but she could eventually manifest her vision into reality and put it into practice.

Dr. Palm says one of the biggest challenges with starting a new dental practice was ensuring everything moves according to schedule. Even though they had everything in place, there were numerous delays in the delivery of certain jobs and items. In some cases, she had to deal with craftsmen who accepted the job, only to retreat when they realized the true scope and specialization involved. Due to such massive delays, they opened the practice later than they had initially planned. But Dr. Palm also concedes that such delays are a part of the process.

Overall, the dental practice was only closed for a total of two and a half weeks. Despite the delays, they managed to complete the entire project within that period, though some parts of the work continue to drag on even now. However, the clinic was complete enough that they could open the door to patients on the 1st of October, 2022.

Implementing a relaxed atmosphere

Dr. Palm says she was committed to designing a dental practice where patients feel safe and comforted. Fear and dental anxiety is a major problem in a dental practice, especially since it can prevent patients from seeking timely care. The experience starts the moment the patient enters the dental practice — Dr. Palm has implemented an almost four-square-meter jungle wall hangingin the entrance area, full of real plants, such as eucalyptus. The forest wall, inspired by her holiday in Mallorca, radiates positivity and helps patients feel comfortable.

Dr. Palm says most of the patients who visit her dental practice ask if the plants are real. And when she says they’re real, they’re completely detracted by the plants, which instantly makes them feel more relaxed. Sometimes, distraction is an excellent way to help people relax. Dr. Palm says her entire practice has been inspired by the natural world and the tropical atmosphere. Furthermore, the waiting room is called the visitor’s room, and it’s full of lounge, armchairs, or wing chairs, ensuring patients feel comfortable.

Dr. Palm’s staff also offers the patients coffee or water. She also ensures that her staff members maintain eye contact with the patients and accompany them to the doctor’s room. She wants her patients to feel seen and heard, so they don’t feel like just another number in a queue. Furthermore, Dr. Palm also ensures that all patients are seen with little to no waiting period. Which further makes them feel like they’re a priority.

Perfecting through consistent practice

Dr. Palm says her team is taught the very basics of working with patients. From the practice manager to the trainers, everyone is explained how to disinfect a chair properly, how to sterilize everything perfectly, and how to greet patients. They conduct role-play exercises to practice greeting patients and answering their concerns. She ensures that her front desk team is always attentive, waiting to greet new patients the moment they enter the practice. According to her, the best way to teach the staff is through active and regular role-play and training sessions.

Creating a positive working environment

Dr. Palm emphasizes the need to create a positive and healthy working environment for everyone. She says it’s important to give the entire team a sense of security. It starts with rituals — the entire team has morning meetings during which they discuss practical issues and what they can do better. She also solicits feedback from her team and reassures them that they can speak their minds, which, in turn, makes them feel more secure. They also host team events, take lunch breaks in which everyone is encouraged to talk about anything, even if it’s not related to work.

Managing social media and marketing

Dr. Palm also handles the social media and marketing for her practice without the help of external agencies. She says she doesn’t hand social media over to an agency because she wants the content to feel authentic and real. She wants everyone to know that the social media truly represents her and her personality. She says she was initially nervous about getting in front of the camera, but now she doesn’t have any issues shooting a video with her phone.

You can contact Dr. Palm via Instagram or LinkedIn. You can also listen to her on the latest episode of our Zircon Medical Podcast.



Importance of Optimal Soft Tissue Health in Implant Patients
In Conversation with Dr. Esha Katyayen