Imagine stumbling upon your life path almost by accident. When Dr. Anne Marie Ross graduated from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY, she wasn’t entirely sure where life would take her. She toyed with the idea of being a pharmacist and then a medical doctor, but neither of those professions felt like her.
“I was at the dentist one day, and he said, ‘You would make a great dentist,’ and that’s when it clicked,” she said.
In 2011, Dr. Ross graduated from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in Louisville, KY. It was decision time again, and she had to determine what career path within dentistry she wanted to take. After learning about Heartland Dental from a doctor recruiter at school, DSO support seemed like the most reasonable transition for her.
“To be quite honest,” said Dr. Ross, “I originally chose this path because it offered a much higher guaranteed base salary, benefits and a plethora of continuing education. Similar to my transition to dentistry, I came into this not knowing what to expect. I never dreamed that I would be where I am now.”
Since joining Heartland Dental, Dr. Ross has been able to flourish both professionally and personally. She has reached success at an accelerated rate. In less than five years, she increased her office’s access to care and doubled the size of her team. Most importantly, she grew as a leader. Dr. Ross believes that being a strong leader is essential to having a successful practice.
“The clinical classes are phenomenal – you can focus on whatever you want. I learn something new every time I attend, even if it’s just a basic course. But, in my opinion, the leadership classes are even more beneficial. You can clinically be a great dentist, but if you can’t relate to your team and your patients, and you have a horrible atmosphere in your office, then it’s going to be a real struggle to be successful.”
As someone passionate about continuing education, especially leadership, Dr. Ross is a teacher in the leadership series and also serves as a lead mentor for newly supported doctors. She advises her peers on both clinical and leadership skills, offers advice and invites them into her office to observe her procedures. As much as her pupils learn from her, she learns from them too. Being able to teach and mentor others has helped her become a better dentist.
Dr. Ross was influenced to help guide others to success by her own mentor, Dr. Anna Singh. Dr. Singh has worn many hats in the 15 years she has been supported by Heartland Dental and currently serves as a vice president of clinical affairs. Before starting in her own office, Dr. Ross spent a week observing Dr. Singh. They hit it off immediately. The two share a similar passion for dentistry and insight into how to help people.
“From the beginning, Dr. Ross was very dedicated and always figured out how to overcome a challenge. She looked at challenges as a way to find success. That impressed me. I wanted to be her mentor and help guide her,” said Dr. Singh.
At Heartland Dental, we have a mentoring program that is designed to teach people how to be a successful mentor. The mentor track itself enables our supported doctors to be their very best. It helps build them clinically and teaches them skills such as how to communicate more efficiently and be a better presenter. It forces them to reflect on themselves and their practices. Ultimately, it pushes them to grow as a person, not just a dentist.
“I don’t think people understand the importance of having a mentor that you can feel completely comfortable with,” said Dr. Ross. “I was never afraid to call Dr. Singh, and she always extended a helping hand and was available to support me.”
Last year, Dr. Ross found herself at the forefront of another life transition, but this time she was ready to make the leap. She recently transitioned to a brand-new supported office, Dental Care of Spring Hill, located in Spring Hill, TN. Having experienced so much success and growth in her previous office, she was ready for a new challenge.
“Walking into my new office felt a lot like walking into my previous office on the first day. I was excited and terrified at the same time. It’s truly incredible though to reflect on this journey and see how far I’ve come,” she said.
There are many different avenues and paths to explore with Heartland Dental. Whether doctors come as a new dentist or an experienced dentist, they have the opportunity to explore and grow themselves and their offices. Our organization promotes a great culture, where we all support each other and what we do. We are a company that helps frame great doctors, and we inspire and push each other to achieve great success.
“The people I have surrounded myself with and the opportunities I have taken set me up to be where I am today. It would have taken me longer to achieve success had I not taken this path,” commented Dr. Ross. “Being in this environment, it’s hard not to be inspired.”