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Episode #434: It's Ok To Not Be Ok, with Dr. Gina Dorfman

the best practices show podcast Jun 17, 2022

 How much do you trust your team members? Do you question their abilities, or do you find them capable? Do you delegate, or do you feel better off doing everything yourself? If there is one ingredient for success in anything, it’s trust. And Kirk Behrendt brings in Dr. Gina Dorfman, co-founder and CEO of YAPI, to reveal how trusting her team at the highest level led to running multiple successful businesses. For her advice on how to build the ultimate dream team, listen to Episode 434 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

  • Find the right people for your practice.
  • Share your vision with your team.
  • Trust your team of being capable.
  • Designate adequate time for training.
  • Give them the right to make decisions.


  • “People always ask me one question, ‘How do you get all of this done?’ And the secret is, I don't do anything. I just have people around me who are absolutely amazing.” (5:12—5:25)
  • “I'm nobody without the people around me. And I sincerely mean it.” (5:43—5:50)
  • “First, it starts with vision. If we want our people to come to work and build what we want them to build, our vision needs to trickle down to them. And we’re doing a very, very bad job at doing this as a profession, as dentists, because we talk to our patients and — I mean, I get it. Throughout the day, we hear things like, ‘Doc, this tooth didn't hurt until you touched it. And nothing personal, but I don't like the dentist.’ And so, what we do is we hide. We hide in our offices.” (11:11—11:52)
  • “We tell the story to ourselves that unless we do it ourselves, no one is going to do it better than us. And even if they could, by the time I teach them how to do it, and by the time we get all the quirks solved, it’s better and faster to do it ourselves. That's a bad story.” (13:48—14:15)
  • “You [start to believe the story you tell yourself]. And you believe them so much that you keep telling those stories to yourself. And your team starts to believe those stories because they see that you have no confidence in them.” (14:37—14:49)
  • “You have to delegate, and you have to trust your team to get the job done.” (16:57—17:04)
  • “Dr. Howard Farran says that you have to delegate authority. And in my office, we call it a $200 decision. So, in my office, every team member has the right to make a decision. And if I lose $200 because of that decision, it’s going to be just fine. The worst thing that can happen is they come to me asking questions all the time, because then I can never leave the office. How can I go to Maui for 30 days? How can I run a software company if my team cannot make decisions without me being there?” (17:06—17:50)
  • “We’re struggling to even hire people right now. But I think the fact that we are afraid to delegate, and we’re doing a lot of jobs that are beyond our pay grade, I think that's a problem for us.” (18:17—18:31)
  • “You have to have the right person with the right training. And I see it all the time. It’s like, ‘Oh, well, if the hygienist has downtime, she should call the recall.’ Uh-uh. No. No — not unless she has the right verbal skills.” (19:46—20:03)
  • “How many people get to answer a phone in a dental practice before they get trained on doing that?” (20:34—20:40)
  • “I cannot tell you how many times we've trained an entire team on how to use a software that is designed for the whole team to use while they're still checking patients and doing things. And I get it, production is important. But it’s also important to delegate time to non-production, training your team to getting better.” (21:41—22:06)
  • “When you have 20 years of people liking you, you're doing something right. I have seven associates, and all of them have been referred to me by previous associates. That's — you're doing something right. And the thing is, you train people, you share your vision, and you trust them to do their job.” (26:16—26:38)
  • “Treat people well. Literally, when you make the people around you realize their dreams, they come through brick walls for you. And there are a few people who don't like me. But I think, for the most part, I've been able to surround myself with people who are really good people. And I think this is the secret — this is the secret sauce, the people.” (28:50—29:22)
  • “My office manager in my dental practice has been with me since she was 17. And I remember her in the chair. I remember interviewing her, and she looked like she was about to burn through this chair because — so much positive energy. And I didn't have a job for her. She went through a dental assistant school. She never had another position before. And I remember looking at her, thinking, ‘I need to hire this person, and I need to figure out what I can have her do in my practice.’” (29:36—30:12)
  • “I was absolutely the worst assistant, ever. I suctioned a wig . . . I think that was my last day on that two-week journey. I don't know why they kept me on so long, because I literally was absolutely the worst assistant. And that goes to the point that sometimes you have the right person who has all the right values, and they're just in the wrong job. But I also had no training, no experience. They just told me to hold this suction.” (43:14—43:56)
  • “Find the right people, who have the right attitude, who believe in your vision that you share with them, and make sure they have the right skills.” (44:13—44:23)
  • “Advice for new dentists: find a mentor and learn as much as you can, because you don't know what you don't know.” (46:59—47:10)


  • 0:00 Introduction.
  • 2:06 Dr. Dorfman on being a “horrible” mother.
  • 4:49 Dr. Dorfman’s background.
  • 7:16 How she founded YAPI.
  • 10:47 How she kept two businesses going.
  • 13:03 The story that dentists tell themselves.
  • 19:38 Delegate time for training.
  • 23:02 How Dr. Dorfman develops her team.
  • 26:49 Other key secrets to her success.
  • 31:42 It’s okay to not be okay.
  • 33:56 Maui and Clockwork.
  • 38:54 Advice for a successful career.
  • 40:14 Right people, right seats.
  • 45:11 Last thoughts and more about Dr. Dorfman.

Reach Out to Dr. Dorfman:

Dr. Dorfman’s website: https://ginadorfmandds.com/

Dr. Dorfman’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gina.dorfman

Dr. Dorfman’s social media: @drginad


YAPI: https://yapiapp.com/

Good to Great by Jim Collins: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/good-to-great-and-the-social-sectors-jim-collins?variant=39971261972514

Traction by Gino Wickman: https://www.eosworldwide.com/traction-book

Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz:  https://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/564817/clockwork/

Dr. Gina Dorfman Bio:

Dr. Gina Dorfman graduated from the University of Southern California in 1996, earning a degree in Biochemistry. She completed her dental training at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 2000, and shortly after started her practice near Los Angeles, California.

A recognized speaker and author, Dr. Dorfman is regularly invited to teach other dentists how efficient practices can be organized and operated, and how dental teams can work together to overcome obstacles and reach their goals. She has presented at multiple local and national dental meetings, such as the Townie Meeting and Practice on Fire Live. Recently, she’s had the honor to join the faculty at the Dental Success Network, a unique community dedicated to advanced learning and collaboration.

Dr. Dorfman is also a frequent contributor to several industry blogs, and is the host of the Behind the Smiles Podcast, which features the most disruptive and influential members of the dental community who are moving dentistry forward.

Her passion for creating systems and leveraging technology to streamline practice operations is what eventually led her to co-found YAPI, a paperless dental software, where she is currently serving as the CEO of the company. 

When she is not working, Dr. Dorfman enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her husband, Ken, their two children, Mila and Lenny, and their two dogs, Axel the German Shepherd and Flash the Poodle.


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