Do's and don'ts for cross-training team members

By Dr. Roger P. Levin, contributing writer

December 12, 2022 -- If you've been practicing dentistry for a while, you've probably experienced high-stress days when an important member of your team suddenly gets sick ... or quits. You may have also had to limit your productivity (and lose income) when someone goes on vacation. To avoid experiencing hardships when these absences inevitably occur, you must cross-train your team members.


Include cross-training as part of your regular employee training programs. Whenever you're training one staff member to perform important protocols, ask yourself who will handle those procedures if that individual is unavailable. The backup team member may not need full training, but be sure that they learn enough to at least "get by" should the need arise.


Don't approach cross-training as a "one-and-done" proposition. As your staff, systems, and situations change, new gaps in training will probably emerge. When they do, remember that new backup plans may also be needed, and cross-train staff members accordingly.

Dr. Roger P. Levin is CEO of Levin Group, a leading practice management and marketing consulting firm. To contact him or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit or email

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2022

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