Geoff Parkes

Geoff Parkes

The Australian College of Dental Education, Australia

Title: Understanding the business of dentistry


Geoff Parkes is a founder and director of the Australian College of Dental Education. The college was established in 2013 to provide dental graduates and practicing dentists with post-graduate level business education. Students can elect to undertake study towards formal post-graduate qualifications, or else enrol in individual subjects of their choosing. All study is conducted on-line over 15-week semesters, and features high-level interaction for students with highly qualified educators and dental professionals across a variety of disciplines. Geoff’s background includes an MBA from Monash University, and many years of healthcare experience with GE Medical Systems and as Director of Equipment for Henry Schein Halas in Australia. Geoff is also a Director of Dental Advantage Consulting Group, and is committed to helping dentists align the objectives of ethical and profitable dentistry, with optimal patient health outcomes at the forefront. He owns and operates two successful dental practices in Australia, and has had numerous articles published in the dental industry press relating to the business of dentistry.


Dental graduates are typically underprepared for the business of dental practice. Increased supply of dentists and relative lack of opportunity in the private sector mean that traditional mentorship pathways are no longer as frequently available to young dentists and, even so, may not be as appropriate or effective for today’s competitive environment. Young dentists, faced with the challenge of developing their clinical skills “on the job”, in many cases do not learn that successful dentistry can often be as much what happens outside the mouth as inside. Engaging with prospective patients, effective communication, providing a high quality patient or “customer” experience are as important to many of todays’ consumers of dental services as is the clinical outcome. This presentation highlights the need for dentists in the private sector, whether they be new practice owners, prospective owners or employed dentists, to fully understand the business environment in which they and their patients operate, to prepare themselves fully for this, and to implement effective strategies. Using real-life examples, and encompassing areas such as dental practice operation, marketing, human resources management, accounting, health economics and entrepreneurship, this presentation details the specific benefits for dentists of undertaking formal business study following completion of their undergraduate degrees.