Career Pathways: Becoming a Dental Leader with Dr. Reza Naserhojjati RoodsarPosted on April 11, 2023
Career Pathways is a Schulich ExecEd ongoing series showcasing some of our talented alumni. Everyone has something interesting and insightful to share, from independent business owners to corporate managers. We want to share their stories with you.
With over two decades of experience, Dr. Reza Naserhojjati Roodsar is a dental entrepreneur currently working as the Lead Dentist and Head of Clinical Team at three dental offices across Southern Ontario.
After moving to Canada from Iran in 2017, Dr. Reza joined the team at Bayley Dental in Waterloo. In 2021, Dr. Reza decided he was ready to open his own practice in North York while continuing his work at Bayley Dental. Despite his confidence in his abilities as a dentist, the unprecedented novelty of a post-COVID-19 world presented a unique challenge to opening a new clinical practice.
“I was lost,” Dr. Reza admits. “I had just opened a new dental office in a very competitive area, while trying to maintain my practice at my first office. How can I succeed? How can I do this? Is it too much? What’s the next step?”
Dr. Reza had questions, so he began to search for answers.
The Starting Point
After looking at many MBA programs, he came across the Schulich Mini-MBA: Dentist Business Leadership Program – the first and only of its kind in Canada. This program offers essential business training for dental entrepreneurs, covering core topics like strategic management, communication, marketing and finance. Dr. Reza reached out to the program coordinators to learn more.
“I knew this program would be worth my time after meeting the people in the faculty,” Dr. Reza says. “They were all very supportive of me from the beginning. I had a chance to speak to some of them before I enrolled, and they were very helpful in deciding if this program was a good fit for me. Even if I didn’t join the program, they were there to help.”
For Dr. Reza, this unprecedented level of support was the deciding factor, and he decided to enroll in the program less than a week later.
Over the next six months, Dr. Reza and his fellow dental entrepreneurs began to learn key business management skills to drive long-term growth and profitability for their practice. The program focuses on developing management skills for dental entrepreneurs to run their practice more successfully, but it also touches upon key leadership topics for effectively leading teams.
“One of the most important things I learned was about different styles of leadership. For example, when you’re leading a team, are you a coach or are you a captain?” Dr. Reza says. “If you are a coach, you prefer to keep your distance with your team members and dictate responsibility. I learned that I’m more of a captain. I want to play with my team members and work with them to achieve our goals together.”
Created By Dentists, For Dentists
Dr. Reza was extremely impressed with the expertise of both the Schulich ExecEd faculty and his program colleagues. The program modules included fireside chats with renowned Schulich MBA instructors, experienced dentists and business leaders in dentistry.
“During the program, I was running two dental offices, and I couldn’t decide how I should proceed. I sent a message to one of my Instructors, Timothy Brown, and said ‘Tim, I think I made a mistake’. Right away, he emailed me back. He said, ‘Celebrate your mistakes’. Wow. I know it sounds cliche, but it really worked for me. I did make some mistakes along the way, in strategy or planning – but that’s life, we’re human. So that’s okay. Make mistakes, and learn from them.”
Graduates of the Schulich Mini-MBA: Dentist Business Leadership Program will be eligible to receive advanced standing toward the highly sought-after Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation, the only certification program for Canadian health leaders.
Continuing to Grow
Today, Dr. Reza continues his work as Lead Dentist and Head of Clinical Team at Bayley Dental and Respond Dental. In January 2023, Dr. Reza opened his newest practice in Kitchener: North Arbor Dental. He continues to share his passion for dentistry and encourages anyone in the industry looking to take the next step in their career to learn more about this program.
We want to thank Reza again for taking the time to chat with us for the Career Pathways series. If you’re interested in learning more about Schulich ExecEd’s Mini-MBA: Dentist Business Leadership Program, you can read more about it here.
Not sure what program is right for you? Our expert advisors can help. Talk to a Schulich ExecEd advisor today.