The fact is that being an orthodontist of any kind, owner or associate, can be incredibly lonely.
You’re the one making all the decisions. Treating patients. Hiring staff. Firing staff. Figuring out all the things they didn’t teach you in orthodontic residency. Like how to run payroll. Or set up a marketing campaign. Or create systems to help you stop doing work outside of office hours. And if one more of your team members comes to you with a problem that they haven’t at least tried to solve on their own first… you might scream. (On the inside, at least.)
You’re an excellent orthodontist and you genuinely care about your patients. You’re sure that the extra time and care that you bring to the table is what sets you apart in the market — yet your practice still isn’t growing at the rate you’d like. And unless you can clone yourself, you’re not quite sure what your next steps are.
Maybe you’ve hit a plateau where you can’t figure out where to maximize your time to continue growing….
Maybe you’re wondering how to get new patients in the door (without trying to become besties with yet another local dentist)…
Maybe you’re approaching exhaustion and burnout from years of doing the same freakin’ thing…
Either way, you’re looking for an edge.
The thing that’s going to help you get to your next level in your practice.
You’d also love a sounding board and community — because if there’s anything you’re absolutely tired of… it’s trying to figure this all out on your own.
That’s where WIO comes in.
WIO is a community, coaching, and education resource for female orthodontists who seek to grow their practice with both tried-and-true strategies and a network of supportive peers.
Founded by Dr. Courtney Dunn, WIO offers an annual conference, growth-focused workshops and seminars, as well as a yearlong elite mastermind program for those who are ready for personal support and custom training to grow their practice.
We combine strategic, practical guidance with a supportive, nurturing community to help you put in less office hours and still see your practice grow. While that might sound like a pipe dream — it’s actually entirely possible and precisely what we, as an organization, help our community with.
To explain our WHY, let’s look at some facts. In the 1980s, women comprised less than 15% of practicing dentists. Today only 30% of orthodontists are women, but these numbers are rapidly changing. As of 2017, nearly 50% of orthodontists under the age of 35 were women. With a greater percentage of women going into dental and orthodontic programs, it’s time for the profession — and how we run our practices – to change. Overall, the profession is still built for men. Men are widely represented in national orthodontic meetings, whereas rooms for nursing mothers were only implemented last year. We’ve seen how co-ed groups can be intimidating to female orthodontists who don’t want to ask a question and be “man-splained” or offered a solution that doesn’t appeal to their personal values, goals, or leadership style.
We created WIO to provide a place where Women in Orthodontics can receive support from their peers who truly “get it”. Because as much as we’re working towards being on an equal playing field to men on a professional level, the truth is — we are different. And the support we need to grow our practices and provide excellent care to our patients is also different.Join Our Group
Dr. Courtney Dunn is a practicing orthodontist, wife, mother of three, the Founder of Women in Orthodontics® and the Co-Founder of Dunn Orthodontics, a multi-location orthodontic practice in Phoenix, Arizona. Described as smart, ambitious, opinionated and a force of nature, Courtney has won the Milo Hellman Award, served as President of the Arizona State Orthodontic Association and been interviewed by such diverse media sources as National Public Radio (NPR) and Fox News Channel.
Originally from Phoenix, Courtney attended Loyola Marymount University and then the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) for dental school and orthodontics. After she and her husband (Matt, who is also an orthodontist) finished residency, she decided to move back home and open her own practice even though the orthodontic market in Phoenix was already saturated. A year later, the great recession decimated the real estate and job markets in Phoenix forcing nearly 100 dental and orthodontic practices in the Phoenix area out of business.
By following both proven and innovative business and marketing strategies, Dunn Orthodontics not only survived those tumultuous years, but grew to four practices. To date, Dunn Orthodontics has treated over 10,000 patients from more than 35 states including professional athletes (NFL, NBA, MLB), television personalities (ESPN), dentists, hygienists, physicians, lawyers and CEOs along with their families. Dunn Orthodontics was recently named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies and the Phoenix Business Journal’s list of the Largest Family-Owned Businesses in the Phoenix area.
Fun Fact: Courtney co-authored the book Brace Yourself: The Ultimate Guide to Braces, Invisalign and a Beautiful Smile! Brace Yourself, available on Amazon, is a clear, easy to understand resource for anyone interested in orthodontic treatment.
Courtney and her husband, Dr. Matthew Dunn, started their practice in 2006 from absolute scratch. At the time, they had one employee, no patients, and a ton of debt.
In the beginning, they tried every marketing idea out there to bring in new patients, from visiting general dentist offices to ask for referrals to newspaper ads to starting digital marketing campaigns before that was wildly popular for the orthodontic industry. They tried it all. Then, a year and a half into their office opening, the great recession hit — and it hit the Phoenix area especially hard. Dentists were going out of business, subdivisions became ghost towns, and patients had no money. The Dunns had to be scrappy and creative and quickly adapt in order to stay in business.
According to a study in Phoenix Business Journal, 100 dental offices in that area went out of business in 2009 — but not the Dunns.
Not only did they stay in business during the recession, they grew.
Trying to run a practice when the economy was crap and their service was considered “optional” for most was the best business schooling they could have ever had.
The Dunns kept their practice small and lean and focused heavily on marketing and managing their practice to get new patients into treatment. Matt began learning how to do website design and Search Engine Optimization. They credit a great deal of their growth to effective digital marketing — strategies they still implement and teach to their private clients today.
Mindset became much more important to get new patients into treatment. This focus on mindset, systems, and support that helped the Dunns grow their practice during a recession — and even open a third office just 5 years later — is the basis of what they teach inside of their Elite WIO Mastermind and the content they feature on stage at WIO Conference.