You don’t have to chat with Jen Bell very long to realize what an extraordinary woman she is…her natural warmth and big, beautiful smile grabs your attention, and you immediately want to get to know more about her! And if she looks even the slightest bit familiar – it’s because she’s quite active in dentistry! Jen’s an industry KOL, speaker, and co-host of the weekly dental podcast, Dentists in the Know.
Let’s go “Outside the Op” and get to know Jen’s secret sauce to balancing dentistry, multi-practice ownership, and personal wellness!
Click below to watch the full interview with Jen, or continue reading:
How did you decide to become a dentist?
Jen: Well, it’s quite an amusing story, actually. I was just a college student with dreams of medical school when my hometown dentist changed the course of my life. During a routine dental visit, he casually asked about my post-college plans. I confidently replied, “med school!” He chuckled and said, “You don’t want to go to med school; you want to go to dental school.” I protested, but he silenced me with an offer I couldn’t refuse—a summer job at his office. I was hooked!
As a dentist-owner, what are your biggest challenges in the dental world today?
Jen: It’s definitely a constant juggling act. The top three would be:
- Keeping and maintaining a skilled and motivated staff, while also providing opportunities for their growth and professional development.
- The never-ending struggle of working harder than ever, without seeing any increase in pay from insurance companies.
- Managing our practice’s finances, given that we haven’t had any rate increases, yet we face significant overhead increases year over year.
Dentistry is tough…the business of dentistry is even more tough. For dentist-owners, self-care is extremely important…and many don’t prioritize it. Talk about how you balance your work with your personal life.
Jen: Absolutely! As much as I love dentistry, family comes first. When I’m not being a dentist-owner, I’m a mom of three! My husband, Brian, and I want as much time with our kids as possible, so I made the decision to hire a personal assistant/nanny who helps me with everything outside of the operatory. She handles tasks like buying birthday gifts, running to the bank or post office, handling errands, and taking care of my kids’ activities. It was a game-changer, giving me the freedom to focus on my dental practice and myself – things that I am passionate about that help me continually grow and develop.
How do you manage to fit “your things” into your life, and how does it help you decompress?
Jen: I have a few “things.” Besides dentistry, I’m passionate about my outside business interests, such as my podcast, speaking engagements, lecturing, and writing. But I also find solace in cooking and gardening at home. These activities allow me to escape the demands of my practice and patient care, helping me decompress and recharge.
You’ve found a great balance. What advice would you give to other dentist-owners who are looking to find their “thing”?
Jen: My advice is simple but powerful: Build a life that provides you with the mental space to pursue your passion with unwavering enthusiasm. Find the right support system, whether it’s a supportive spouse, a trusted business partner, or dedicated hired help, to carve out the time needed for your additional interests and desires. Success knows no bounds when you can allocate daily mental energy to what truly matters to you. Think of your life as a business – delegate where you can, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Here’s a few more cool things about Jen…
- What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Jen: In 2019, over a weekend I was able to attend a VIP experience with Nascar in Richmond, and then flew to the Masters for the Sunday round when Tiger Woods won.
- What’s your favorite quote?
“There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” Ronald Reagan
- What’s your biggest regret in life?
Jen: Nothing specific, just taking too long to make important decisions due to fear or avoidance of confrontation.
- What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever done?
Jen: I packed a dinner (meat wrapped in a napkin) for my husband who was running late for the muscial, Hamilton….super classy move – and my purse smelled terrible.
- Who do you admire outside of dentistry?
Jen: My parents
- Who would you have dinner with, alive or dead?
Jen: Ronald Reagan
Thanks Dr. Jen Bell for sharing a few moments of yourself with us – you are AWESOME! Cheers!