The Tremendous Pace of Change


Ralph Crawford


November 19, 2014

November 19, 2014

In mid-September my graduation class of 1964 gathered together in Winnipeg to celebrate our 50th anniversary of graduation from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry.  It was a wonderful opportunity for classmates to gather, celebrate and particularly reminisce on the myriad of changes that have evolved over 50 years.  Certainly, we ourselves have changed in appearance, energy and ambitions but the change that made its greatest impression occurred when we were given the opportunity to tour today’s state of the art dental faculty.  The University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry, founded in 1958, was the first new dental college to open in Canada in over 40 years and when the clinical facilities opened in 1960 they were state of the art.

But how things have changed!  I still have the receipt for my 1960 tuition – quite a difference from the $629 then and the almost $40,000 now.  And looking back, there were no lounge patient chairs because it was stand up belt-driven dentistry with drill speeds up to 12,000 rpm’s.  And to list just a few, there were no composites, no implants, no computers and no digitalized radiography. Another remarkable change when compared to today’s dental schools was that the first three Manitoba classes — 1962, 1963 and 1964 — had only one female dentist each class.

Looking back over the years one can’t help but recall the saying of Jawaharlal Nehru – India’s first prime minister in 1947 –  The basic fact of today is the tremendous pace of change in human life.

And how about some of the changes in practice over the past years as shown in this particular issue of The Professional Advisory. We can be sure that the Discomfort Zones – Lease Time Lines outlined by Ian Toms probably didn’t exist 50 years ago. And when David Rosenthal discusses the Legal Checklist to Sell a Dental Practice I can’t recall any of my classmates even buying a practice.  They either joined as an associate as I did with a 70-30 per cent agreement – where I got the 70 per cent – or they opened a practice and the public rushed in to seek care. And when he outlines Specialty and General Practices: A Changing Interface Ron Weintraub describes how much the interface between specialty and general practices has changed over the years.

Mark McNulty introduces for us his new book The Patient $6 Million Dentist and focuses upon the 8 Modules to help dentists “Live the FULL Life”. Talk about change. I still have my 1965 income tax form that shows the total taxable income from my first full year of practice. Hard to believe it was $12,972.31, and we didn’t even dream of $6,000,000. Income tax is still with us (and always will be) and as David Chong Yen and Louise Wong propose their seven valuable points for your Year End Tax Planning Tips for Your Personal Taxes it certainly shows how much our tax situation has changed over the years. Colin Ross raises the question Why Do a Practice Valuation? I’m not Selling? and you will note how a valuation performed by a reputable firm will take you to places you have never been in your practice. Again, going back 50 years I can’t recall valuations.  It just shows how close to the truth Nehru was – The basic fact of today is the tremendous change in human life. Be ready for change and let the The Professional Advisory contributors help you deal with it.