Finding Inspiration in Every Meeting
North American Society of Periodontists (NASP) is a group of eleven periodontists who have been working together for more than 20 years. The NASP focus is primarily non-clinical, with the members coming together once a year to explore how to distinguish their practices in the areas of marketing, management, practice development, growth of referrals, and staff issues. Additionally, key office staff members in managerial positions are also invited to participate.
The NASP Core Member Group
The Core Group represents some of the most successful and highly productive periodontal practices in the U.S. The doctors, if not always visible in the conventional lecture circuit sense, as defined by the American Academy of Periodontology, are nonetheless extraordinary models of excellence.
Once a year at their annual meeting, the membership is opened, by invitation only, to approximately thirty additional practices. These Periodontists, most of whom have become perennial participants, share the belief that real success in practice is only partly about who has the best clinical training and technical expertise.
The group is diverse, with some members having less than ten years of practice experience to several soon approaching retirement. The varied perspectives of this wide continuum of successful practitioners are what makes this group unique.
Annual Invitational Meeting
The Annual Invitational NASP meeting is a two-day event. The first day consists of a nationally recognized speaker, presenting material on the subject of practice management. Day two consists of The Doctors' Mastermind Session, considered by most of the attendees to be more valuable than the formal podium presentation.
Prior to the meeting, in preparation for the Doctors' Mastermind Session, a series of questions is posed to the participants. Each individual is required to come to the meeting with short answers to each question. Sample questions range from "What has been your most effective marketing strategy?" to "How do you deal with employee issues and manage overhead?" These answers must be printed and are distributed to each doctor in attendance.
In addition to the foregoing, there is often a topic for discussion such as "Provide us with one great clinical 'pearl.'" Each doctor is further asked to bring a sample of his or her most effective office form. Each participant has approximately five to ten minutes to present answers and explain what they have brought to share. Active discussion and participation occurs with everyone freely sharing information. Each participant returns home with a large body of information, often containing a year's worth of great ideas which can be selectively tailored and implemented into one's practice.
The staff members in attendance participate in their own Staff Mastermind Session, requiring answers to questions similar to those posed to the doctors. Their answers are also presented in written form, providing the material for a spirited discussion. The unique perspective that staff members bring to the table provides yet another benefit to the practices participating in the program.
In short, because of NASP's size and the skewed sample of successful doctors, it has accomplished what other more formal organizations representing Periodontists has failed to do effectively: help create successful businesses. The group's unique focus assists individual practices in developing strategies for success in the real world.
The feedback NASP routinely receives from the doctors and staff members in consistently outstanding, hence the return of many of the same doctors year after year. The most frequently heard comment is, "This is definitely the best meeting of the year! We wouldn't miss this meeting and look forward to returning year after year.