MEDIATION – DENTISTS DISAGREE – EPISODE 1

Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

7 July 2022

MEDIATION #257

You live in the West Country. You qualified as a dentist in London + set up in private practice 18 years ago in Bath. You married your dental nurse + have two daughters. You graduated into dental mediation after stumbling into a mediator’s role at the request of dentist friends who were having problems in their practice. You enjoyed the experience; you decided to undertake dispute resolution training, and now spend more of your time working as a dental mediator than as a dental practitioner.

You are approached by British Dental Association who invite you to become involved in mediating a dispute that has developed among the partners of a dental practice in Bristol. In summary an entrepreneur dentist has purchased a number of West Country dental practices. He is a dentist and has practised for many years but recently has switched his focus to buying small maximum two partner practices. He pays a sum to buy the practice and then integrates it into the growing parent dental company. There are cost savings as he adds new practices and the joining dentists receive a salary based on their turnover + an annual bonus from the parent company based on its overall profitability.

Problems have arisen. The entrepreneur is on an acquisition drive which is leading to increased centralised control of purchase of essential supplies at the expense of local dentist initiative; the rush to add more practices is causing a lull in annual bonuses and there are grumbles as each local practice is subject to quarterly financial audit and increased direction from Head Office.

Things are happening; the local dentists have come together as a group to reduce supervision by Head Office and are sharing moans + complaints; the entrepreneur has attracted the attention of a US investor; and an audit reveals the existence of two significant negligence claims for root canal work against one dentist and two complaints of sexual misconduct by another dentist.

EPISODE 2. 8 JULY 2022.

TENSIONS GROW BETWEEN THE OWNER + THE DENTISTS.

Episode

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