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I Knew It Was Time To Quit…

I Knew It Was Time to Quit…

I Knew It Was Time to Quit…


I was sitting in a Dental Sleep Medicine (DSM) course in Scottsdale, AZ. Pre-pandemic. But that doesn’t matter. It might have been my hundredth DSM CE course. Maybe the 200th.

There were 12 dentists and 17 team members in the meeting. 9 of the team members were with one office from Wisconsin, and that crew wasn’t hiding the fact that the doctor promised them a weekend of warm weather and cold drinks. Their disinterest in the content was evidenced by their obsession with Facebook on their phones. Doctor Dumas didn’t seem particularly interested in the course’s content either. I suppose suffering through the course is the price you pay to write off a trip to play golf and get hammered with your employees.

Do the math. That left 8 team members for the remaining 11 dentists in attendance. Most of the dentists chose not to bring a team member along to learn about a life-saving procedure they might want to implement into their dental practices – a life-saving procedure whose workflow requires delegation to the team who will drive most of the workflow.

I was there as the organizer of the event. Since I live in AZ, and the course was basically in my backyard, I doubled as a sales rep for the company I worked for. Yeah, I was one of those guys. Suit and tie while everyone else was casual. Smiling and engaging everyone with alacrity while they’re reluctant to touch a free bagel out of fear that means they’ll have to talk with me at 7:53am.

I conversed with attendees during the breaks, offered a few comments relevant to the lecture content, and ensured the grossly overpriced coffee carafes were always at least half full. Or half empty based on this group’s disposition. The lecture continued, and the attendees oscillated between disinterest and questions that indicated a basic lack of understanding of the subject matter.

“What is AHI again?”

“Can’t you just make them a snore appliance anyway and bill their dental insurance? This seems like a lot of work?”

It was annoying. It is also deplorably common. I witnessed this same scenario played out dozens of times before.

After day one of the weekend course, we always invited the attendees to be our guests at dinner. Most decline. After explaining that “be our guests” meant that we picked up the check, nearly everyone opted to accept the invitation. Apparently, the only thing better than Sex on the Beach and lukewarm linguine is FREE Sex on the Beach and lukewarm linguine.

At dinner, I spoke with many of the attendees about what led them to the course. Some shared their plans to transition out of restorative dentistry to exclusively focus on sleep. They asked questions that illuminated their basic grasp of the content from the day’s lecture.

Full stomachs. Lessened inhibitions. Sunshine Act, be damned.


Sure, until they told me they had never treated a patient, had failing practices, and their social awkwardness made me feel queasy. Two drunk, crying attendees later – one a dentist and another a hygienist – time to call it a night with Ubers on us and a friendly reminder that we reconvene at 8am.

Flash forward. Here we are today on day two. Participants are trickling in. Some are in sunglasses blindly feeling about the continental breakfast table for coffee. More coffee. The teetotalers among us get a bit of schadenfreude out of seeing last night’s aftermath.

The lecturer is doing an exemplary job covertly weaving our product into the educational content. The morning lecture concludes, and now – it is my time to shine. Time for me to address the group and give my sales pitch. I’ve done this a zillion times, and I’m certain I can give a compelling call to action to purchase our product. The only thing I am more certain of is that not one of these dentists will succeed in Dental Sleep Medicine.

I stroll to the podium and, unable to be a part of the lie, incapable of perpetrating this fraud anymore, I dismiss everyone for a 20-minute break to “use the restroom, catch up on calls, or whatever you need to do.”

Dr. Dan Druff hurriedly asks if he can get his CE so he could cut out a bit early. He and his assistant showed up 2 hours late on day 1 and their vocal disdain for the office manager (Mrs. Druff is the office manager) made everyone ill at ease. They were equally vocal about their affinity for free drinks and each other. Sure, no problem. Here’s your alibi masquerading as a CE certificate.

That was it. That was when I knew I had to end this phase of my career. I can’t do this any longer. I decided to put my dental sleep career to bed.

 Then came a real wake-up call, one that forced me to write a book.



The Step-by-Step Guide to Double Your Sleep Patients, Increase Physician Referrals, Simplify Processes, and Improve Your Life.
Paperback & Hardcover will be available via Amazon on 1/24 and you can pre-order the Kindle version now.


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