Solo practitioner and Baptist minister creates a million dollar practice in an impoverished area
Name: Dr. Jeff Carden
Practice: Dr. J. Carden, General Dentistry
Practice Location: Tuskegee, Alabama
Dr. Jeff Carden is a general dentist and sole practitioner. “We do everything except full bonded orthodontics. We do periodontistry, root canals, and I have advanced training in all specialties,” said Dr. Carden.
He graduated from dental school in 1974, spent a year in general residency then spent 6 years working for the Veterans Administration. He went into private practice in 1981 and spent the next 12 years struggling to produce over $105,000 per year.
“I had low income, bad staff, no personal time and I felt I was running ragged. I just couldn’t get any further ahead. At the time, being a dentist was nothing like I expected or how I felt it should be,” said Dr. Carden.
A lot of people ask Dr. Jeff Carden what he did to change his practice from producing an abysmal $100,000 per year for 12 years to producing over $1.3 million per year in one of the most impoverished areas of the United States, Tuskegee, Alabama. He’s always happy to tell them.
Setting out to change that situation, Dr. Carden hired practice management consultants. The first thing he did was to implement management by statistics, a cornerstone of his consultants’ program. He said that this enabled him to get his bearings and eliminate a lot of confusion.
He said, “In my first six months with my consultants, I did $176,000, my next year I did $376,000, and the next $509,000. It has gone up like that nearly every year since I’ve been involved.”
Dr. Carden is currently producing over $1.3 million a year but only works four and a half days a week. He said, “I always did dentistry as well as I do it now, I’ve got the same physical facility, I’m no better a dentist than I used to be. There is one and absolutely only one thing that is in place that can account for this change – my practice management consultants. Everything else is the same.”
“I recouped my initial investment in their program in only 3 months. Since then I’ve received numerous services from my consultants and, regardless of the expense, I have always recouped the investment (including all expenses) within a month.”
He was asked that if he was doing so well, why did he continue to use a consultant. He said, “There is no such thing as just staying the same in anything, including being successful. You have to keep becoming successful, you have to work at creating and maintaining success. You have to expand or you’ll contract, even if it is just to keep up with inflation. I left my consultants for about 3-4 years but signed up again last year when I realized I needed a new game. I’m planning on buying up other dental practices in Alabama and will begin training associates so that I can move to an executive status and eventually move out of practicing dentistry. I wanted my consultants help in that. They have helped me set up my own in-house staff training academy to train the staff that will be needed in this expansion phase. We use the Hubbard Management Technology exclusively, and prefer it to anything else simply because it gets predictable results. My consultants also help us with consulting and advanced training outside of our in-house training facility.”
Doing so well has given Dr. Carden plenty of time for his family and his hobbies. He has been married to his wife Lauren for 21 years, has twin 17-year old daughters and a 14-year old son. He likes the outdoors, hunting, backpacking, camping, is an avid water-skier, and has been a coach for 8 years in baseball, soccer and basketball. He’s also an ordained Baptist minister and associate pastor at his church and is responsible for the music ministry. He jokingly said, “Have guitar, will travel.”