Dr. James Ho

Dr. James Ho – Founder of GPlus and G GPlus Dental Center

Dr James Ho’s commitment to exceptional patient care, recognising that patients also have a role to play, has enable him to create a thriving practice.

What’s your story?

I am driven by Singapore’s supportive business environment. I also miss my parents and Singapore. I was a pioneer in Invisalign and Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation.

There are different regulations; also workforce considerations, cultural nuances and language diversity. Even Doctor-Patient-Staff ‘hierarchy’ (people here don’t call me James).

I prioritize tailored patient education, emphasizing personalized care, informed consent, and cultural sensitivity. My U.S. expertise aids in integrating and differentiating my practice effectively.

I am recognized for patient-centric care and building trust. I have patients who would fly across borders to be treated by only me. I train my team to provide the same care.

What excites you most about your industry?

Digital dentistry, 3D printing, and AI are constantly evolving. They integrate with the development and use of more durable and biocompatible materials (mimicking the natural properties of dental tissues) for fillings, implants, and prosthetics. The integration of probiotics also contributes to enhanced oral health and better aligns with the body’s natural processes.

Customizing dental treatments according to a patient’s genetic profile allows for personalized preventive care, predicting susceptibility to oral diseases like bruxism, gum disease, and root enamel issues and offering targeted and individualized interventions.

Adopting sustainability practices and eco-friendly approaches, from reducing waste in dental materials to implementing energy-efficient technologies.

Dr James with Kath and Jess treatment room

What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?

I approach business with a prudent mindset, aligning with the philosophy ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ The risk-reward equilibrium favours the prepared mind, ensuring calculated decisions. While I strive for excellence, I prioritize patient well-being. Putting in 150% effort guarantees optimal results; aiming for 100% may fall short. It’s not about reckless risks but a strategic commitment to success, applying diligence in healthcare and business. I assure my patients that my dedication to their oral health remains unwavering, emphasizing a clear separation from entrepreneurial pursuits.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

Mastering patient communication is an invaluable skillset in Singapore’s diverse landscape. Communication extends beyond vocal expression (which is essential); it involves deciphering subtle cues and understanding unspoken concerns. Patient expectations vary significantly from Palo Alto, where comprehensive dental insurance sets patient expectations. In Singapore, some practitioners may place less emphasis on the check-up on gum disease due to the need for more adept communication.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of clinical advice I’ve ever received, and that I often share with my patients, is “Only floss the teeth that you want to keep”.In people management, I’m beginning to embrace the principle of elevating over motivating. Simply motivating people isn’t effective. Success lies in supporting those already motivated to grow. Pouring energy into individuals who seek improvement yields results, while attempting to inspire the disinterested proves unproductive.

Prioritizing patient well-being ensures trust, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth. Satisfied patients become advocates, attracting new clientele. In healthcare, a focus on excellent care naturally fosters a thriving and sustainable practice.

Who inspires you?

Elon Musk, renowned for his contributions to Tesla electric cars inspires my unwavering commitment to patient-centric care in my Dental Practices. Similar to Musk’s resilience in the face of business challenges, my vision remains steadfast. In healthcare, a dedicated focus on excellent care mirrors Musk’s determination and brings return customers who become our friends. And they entrust their families’ oral healthcare to us as well. Like Musk’s journey with electric cars, my evolving path to success centres on an unwavering dedication to my end goal: exceptional patient care.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

Recently, I ventured into social media for business relevance, leading to a surprising influx of new patients. In the consultation room, I emphasized the holistic journey of oral care, a collaborative effort between the dentist and the individual. It’s crucial to convey that dental procedures aren’t miraculous one-time fixes; they require a thorough process involving consultation, examination, X-rays, treatment options, Q&A, risk discussions, and financial considerations. I was reminded that prioritizing patient understanding and engagement is paramount. Rushing or abbreviating this comprehensive process compromises the quality of care, underscoring the importance of a meticulous and patient-centred approach in dentistry.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

Given the chance to revisit my journey, I’d stress the importance of developing clinical and business skills concurrently. While patient care remains the top priority, integrating business acumen early on would have allowed for a more strategic career trajectory. Hindsight suggests the value of heeding advice, often overlooked in the earlier stages. Life circumstances, including raising young children, influenced decisions, making simultaneous growth challenging. Recognizing the significance of holistic skill development now, my advice echoes the wisdom of balancing clinical excellence with a strategic business mindset from the outset, a lesson time and experience have underscored.

How do you unwind?

I bike around Singapore in my foldable brompton bike! I always tell my team that cycling offers numerous benefits: it improves cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, enhances joint mobility, and boosts mental well-being. It’s eco-friendly, reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion. Having to focus on my patients’ oral treatments the whole day, I take my time on the bike trail to improve my navigation skills, increase exposure to sunlight, contribute to vitamin D intake, and it lets me develop better sleep patterns.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?

My transformative mindset shift unfolded organically through adopting Invisalign and Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation.These complementary skills, combined with my existing expertise, unlock new dimensions of patient care.Invisalign’s global impact, evident in 16 million transformed smiles, attested to its efficacy and constant technological evolution. Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation, a minimally invasive solution for gum recession, revolutionized traditional approaches. The amalgamation of these cutting-edge techniques aligned with industry trends and fortified my commitment to progressive and patient-centric dentistry. This pivotal moment propelled me towards a more comprehensive and advanced approach, ensuring optimal care and staying at the forefront of dental innovation.

Everyone in business should read this book:

Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne introduces a groundbreaking approach to strategy. It advocates for the creation of uncontested market spaces, or “blue oceans,” rather than competing in crowded markets (“red oceans”). The essence lies in reconceptualizing market boundaries, focusing on innovation and value creation, and challenging conventional industry assumptions to unlock new growth opportunities.

GPlus Dental Center Logo

Shameless plug for your business or career:

My vision for G Dental and GPlus Dental Practices is our unwavering commitment to patient-centric care. Every team member prioritises the patient’s well-being, from dentists to dental assistants. Trust is built not only on clinical expertise but on genuine care. The focus extends beyond treatments;it embraces tailored treatments for each individual. Diverse skill sets within the team cater comprehensively to patient needs. Empowering patients with choices ensures their active involvement in treatment decisions. Retaining patients within our family practices allows personalized care, leveraging collective knowledge. The emphasis is on selling value, establishing enduring trust and delivering optimal, tailored oral healthcare.

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This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.

About The EnterpriseZone Writing Team

Shining A Light on the Small Business World and highlighting Entrepreneurial Investing Opportunities.

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