“I’m not the Tooth Fairy!” Frustrated by dirty mouths, Dr. Eric Foltsys drilled out a new niche for himself.
Dr. Eric Foltys, DDS, had a thriving Illinois dental practice he shared with his brother. But after seven years, Foltys became frustrated by a glaring flaw in the profession: Lack of patient education resulted in a lack of compliance with his suggested treatment plans.
“What I found was patients had unrealistic expectations for what we could achieve for them,” Foltys said. Patients just weren’t compliant with suggested treatment plans, which led to poorer oral and overall health. A major reason was that, for all Foltys’ preaching about better oral hygiene and care, patients didn’t really understand why these steps were necessary.
“Many patients, I felt, wanted me to wave a magic wand and make their pain or their problems go away,” Foltys said. “It was so frustrating – I mean, I’m just a dentist, I’m not the Tooth Fairy!”
So he moved on to other fields, and after an unsatisfying stint in a sales position, he set out on a new job search that would leverage his doctorate in dentistry, bachelor’s in software engineering and sales skills.
“I wasn’t entirely happy with my last job,” he explained. “I made a lateral move, got a big impressive title, and was basically doing a lot more work for a little less money.”
Fed up, the 41-year-old Foltys embarked on a new job search using CareerBuilder.com, which he describes as an “utter failure.” When he saw a banner ad on the Web advertising Ladders.com, he decided to sign up but balked a bit at the membership fee.
“Then I thought, ‘Hey, what’s $75 to invest in my future?’ So I signed up for SalesLadder, and so much of what I saw was better suited to my skill set, my background, my interests and my salary requirements,” he said.
A more polished resume
When Foltys found a marketing consultant position at patient-education software provider Brican America LLC, he knew he’d found the job for him.
“Brican America develops and markets patient education software for dentists. They were looking for someone with a software, dentistry and sales background, and I was, like, ‘Where do I sign?’ ” Foltys laughed.
Before he could jump on the opportunity, however, he realized he’d need to make some improvements to his resume, which he recognized was outdated and needed some pizzazz.
“I’d redone my resume years ago, and the format was outdated, and I’d sent out about one hundred copies of the old version and received no responses,” he said. Foltys said he knew he’d need some professional help to spice up his resume and give him the recognition he deserved.
He took advantage of Ladders’ free resume critique, which was an invaluable resource. Ladders advised Foltys to focus on his accomplishments and career milestones rather than detailing specific job duties and mundane, day-to-day responsibilities.
While the process was rather brutal, the end result was well worth it, Foltys said: He was able to not just update his resume but make a much more compelling presentation of his previous jobs, skill sets and areas of expertise.
“They absolutely just tore my resume apart, in a way that helped me highlight my experience and my credentials so my resume could get noticed,” he said.
Once the new version of his resume went out, Foltys said the response was overwhelming. The response to his new resume made it simple for Foltys to sell himself to potential employers during the interview, since he’d already highlighted his strengths and achievements.
“It made it really easy for me in interviews to make a great presentation about myself,” he said. “I know I would have been overlooked and passed over for opportunities had I not revamped my resume.”
Reducing dentist headaches (and patient toothaches!)
While the economy in general continues to decline, the healthcare industry is poised for growth, analysts at publisher McKinsley & Company say in a recent research piece. And as the cost of healthcare rises, technologies that can put patients in better control of their health, therefore lowering the need for care and reducing the financial load on insurance payers, are in high demand.
A new presidential administration with a focus on both technology and increasing access to healthcare – including dental care – will spur growth in the sector and provide opportunities for software companies looking to introduce progressive, cutting-edge solutions to providers.
“Dentists — especially those under the age of 45, I’d say — are a pretty tech-friendly bunch,” Foltys said, who has relocated to Tampa, Florida for his new job. “They’re always into the newest laser, the latest air-abrasion system, the latest toy. Anything that costs them less than $500 and can help maximize the outcome of their patients’ hour in the chair, they’ll buy,” he said.
In his new role, Foltys will be addressing the exact pain points he once lamented at his own practice in Illinois – educating patients about the importance of complying with their treatment plans. This education can help patients take greater control over their own care, and mean fewer visits to their doctors and dentists while at the same time increasing their overall health.
“I am sure that this patient education software will help tackle that major missing piece of educating patients,” Foltys said. “Now I can help other dentists increase treatment compliance and therefore patient outcomes.”