Carrie Webber: [00:00:09] Welcome to the Jameson files. I’m Carrie Webber and I’ll be your host. On this episode we are joined by Dr. Loeta Robles of Chico California. And we have the chance to talk about her incredible origin story as her journey in becoming the phenomenal dentist that she is today. So thank you for being here.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:00:34] This is just wonderful. I just love OKC I love Jameson so it’s just been wonderful visiting with you.
Carrie Webber: [00:00:41] Well every time we’re together we always tend to have these moments like Oh a love fest yes oh I love it. But I wanted to connect with you in this way because you have an extraordinary story. I like to call it the origin stories of great dentists and you have this amazing story of how you found yourself practicing dentistry at this time in your life. And you know you you are continuing to experience great success in your practice and there’s a lot that that is behind that story behind the curtain of where you are right now. So I want to talk about that and how you as the leader of your practice and your business have have carried vision over vision over vision forward for your business. But but first please do share with everyone you know this story that is you becoming the dentist that you are today.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:01:42] Oh yes yes. It is a good story I admit it’s it’s it’s an interesting story but it started when I was in high school and I answered an ad for basically like a front office redoing paper charts after school I had zero interest in dentistry at the time. It wasn’t on the radar at all. So I did that and slowly I learned to become the sterilization assistant there. So sterilization assistant for ended it being two years and during those two years you know my mentor Dr. Barbara Beckett told me that I should become a dentist and I said You are crazy you’re absolutely crazy. I’m like that’s not happening. And I said But hygiene hygiene looks great. And what I wanted to do before was to be a teacher and I thought this would be the best thing because I can teach people how to maintain the health of their teeth. And that would be that’s what I want to do. So I graduate from high school and did my prerequisites for dental hygiene school and then went to dental hygiene school at UCSF graduated moved back to Chico and worked at Dr. Beckett’s office. I got a job. There was an opening there and I was very thankful and I worked there for 14 years as a hygienist. So it was kind of like being at home and I knew you know the office manager all the assistants. It was just like home and all the patients. And one day I was seven months pregnant with my second child and I had this amazing experience at the office and Dr. Beckett wanted me to do some work and I went home to my husband and I said the most amazing thing just happened today and I said I just I thought that it was incredible. I was just warmed my heart and he said you need to go to dental school. And I said You’re crazy. Yeah I’m seven months pregnant with our second child. That’s nuts. People don’t do that. So with his encouragement I looked into you know going to school and I I had since had been so long I had to do some more prerequisite work and it ended up taking me about six years after I quit my job as a hygienist to graduating from dental school.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:04:10] I was fortunate enough to go back to UCSF and graduate from there with my DDS. And that was June 2015. And as soon as I graduated, we had, Dr. Beckett and I had plans to have me purchase her practice. So I graduated June 2015 and I purchased our practice October 2015 and it was just like you know a dream come true really for everybody. Patients were excited I was excited that the team was really excited and from there you know kind of extending Dr. Beckett’s dream but I had my own and my own vision of what I wanted. And it’s been three and a half years now and things are changing so fast I can barely keep up with all my visions.
Carrie Webber: [00:05:05] I want to rewind just a little bit because I think there’s a lot of power in your pursuit of this goal. I mean let’s talk about those six years. Well let’s talk specifically about the time in dental school when you had you had children you had and a little bit of that. It’s extraordinary not just for women in dentistry to hear this level a the commitment you had and what kept you going in that. But as parents right. Parents in business. Moms and dads. You know right you get clear division for for your career and for you know for what you want to do in your life as a business. That you made you made some big sacrifices in and stuck with some big commitments with your husband and through there.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:05:53] Oh absolutely we did. We we had decided to keep my family in Chico. My girls were 3 and 5 when I started dental school and we made a very last minute decision, and said it doesn’t feel right to move the family to San Francisco. So my girls and my husband stayed in Chico and San Francisco’s three and a half hours away. Yeah and I found a little apartment and I stayed there Monday through Friday and Friday after class. I would drive the three and a half hours actually was with traffic it ended up being more like four four and a half home to Chico. And during the weekends I was a wife. I was a mother. And that was all I was. Yeah Saturday and Sunday I was strictly a wife and a mother and Monday morning 3:00a.m. I woke up and I drove to San Francisco to finish dental school and I did that for four years and my husband and I we kept the commitment of always having breakfast together and always having dinner together and Face Time is a wonderful thing. And we Face Timed for breakfast and we Face Timed for dinner and we made that commitment to for our family. And without the support his support right. As well as my parents my in-laws and my community as a whole. They were there for I I say my husband but really for all of us. So my sense of giving back to my community after all the support that they gave me and my family through dental school is eternal. Yeah it’s it’s it is part of my mission is to serve my community. And it’s very very important to me.
Carrie Webber: [00:07:40] I mean you know. When you think. Back. I mean it’s just the extraordinary amount of emotional commitment that must have taken and the drive we were talking yesterday and said someone had asked you know do you did you know so and so that went to the same dental school and you’re like. That. I had one goal. I was focused. You were talking about I don’t have I don’t have time I have time for this. I write I am laser beamed in how did you get to that level of. “I know what I want I know where I’m going” I mean because that was your first true as the as a dental practice owner as a dentist more than likely that is the first example of you really establishing a vision for yourself and working super focused and clearly to accomplish that vision in the best way possible. I mean how did you get to that.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:08:34] Well I mean yeah it was it was. It’s from the very beginning. The advantage I had of my 14 years of experience from being a dental hygiene. Yeah I already knew the philosophy of dentistry that I wanted to practice. So I had that under my belt then I’m thinking now I have four years that I’m sacrificing time with my family. Yeah. The cost of going to dental school and the value of the time away from my family was I am going to suck everything out of dental school as I possibly can. Right. And I also knew from my experience of being a high dentist is some of the important things about you know OK I really need to pay attention when they’re talking about occlusion and when they’re you know just there are certain thing aspects of of dental school I said I need to squeeze out all the knowledge as much as possible because my time here is limited. Yeah. I have four years and there’s a lot to learn whereas my classmates I barely you know sometimes I barely knew their names I just I studied during my lunch hour. I studied after school my goal was to get at least five hours of sleep at night because I did not study on the weekends. I was a wife and a mother.
Carrie Webber: [00:09:43] Yeah. You’d said that you when you went to hygiene school you were one of the youngest in the class and when you do you’re one of the class. I love that you know. But you definitely had had that clear idea of where you were going and you’re like I’m getting there.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:09:57] This is what I’m doing. And. Yeah. And once I got into clinic and dental dental school when I they assigned us to coaches for the last two years I took my coach aside and said listen these are my goals. Why I need to accomplish this in the next two years and apparently you’ve been assigned to me and now it’s our job to get me here.
Carrie Webber: [00:10:17] Congratulations. Yeah. Lucky you! You know. So let’s fast forward to the practice your three four years in and not even for you and you are. I mean you set some vision and from the very beginning. It seems like you’re I mean the pedal is still to the metal. I mean it really are. Things are grow. I mean it’s healthy is growing almost to a point that you’re like let me catch my breath.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:10:44] Right. Yeah, my my feet are off of the pedals because they’re just spinning way too fast. They’re just spinning way too fast.
Carrie Webber: [00:10:51] So what’s the what’s the vision. What’s the vision casting for you look like over these last few years and and the planning of that and what’s made a difference what’s been difficult. You know what’s that look like for you in the process. As the leader of your practice.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:11:08] Yeah I think you know the difficult part for me is ice. I I feel like I’m a baby dentist but I’m not in a baby in the dental field. So I still feel like I need to learn a lot clinically. And I’m learning a lot of the business side you know. So there is a lot to learn in kind of a short amount of time and because of. The mission that I have with my team and the vision that I have with my team my vision changes so much because things start happening way faster than I can plan for.
Carrie Webber: [00:11:43] You cast the vision and then, Oh! Oh! Vision met vision met.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:11:48] Like I’m gonna be here in three years I’m like up that took me three months. I’m like Okay. And yeah it’s just it it just happens so for me it’s more of trying to keep up with how the response I get from my mission. Yeah. The support I get from my team where they take us you know because this isn’t something that I’ve necessarily done because I cannot do this by myself. Yes. I don’t have a solo practice. I have 11 other people that are part of my practice that I can’t do what I do without them.
Carrie Webber: [00:12:26] Oh I love that. I don’t have a solo practice. I have an eleven member practice.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:12:31] Yes. I can’t do what I do without them. So without them and with their support we’ve got we have gotten to this point and that’s the hardest part is just trying to keep up with where that is.
Carrie Webber: [00:12:45] How do you you do have. I’ve met your team. You have an awesome team. And how do you how do you how do they get involved and how do you keep that rolling with them and do you do you do that vision planning together do you. How how how are they so rallied to the cause and helping you execute so quickly.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:13:06] So you know with me part of the interview process is a lot about how they deal with change. I really want to know how you handle change and based on some of their responses I can kind of tell you know is it you know cause it’s gonna be uncomfortable and that’s OK. And if they tell me it’s uncomfortable that’s OK because that’s normal. Can you tell me some of the like what are the statements or the questions that you asked in those processes that that help you get what you’re looking for in that process. So a lot of times I ask them about a time in their life. How did you deal with a certain change that you had whether it was something that you could control something that just kind of happened to you. How did you manage that. How did you. Yes it’s uncomfortable but how did you manage that. And you can see a lot from a person in that way. Yeah. I also need the passion for dentistry. Yes you have to have that. So if they have the passion and they’re they they they need to want to grow because that’s the part of change because yeah growth is change. I really. Support and encourage change and growth growth mostly in my team. And if there are team members and there’s nothing wrong with somebody saying you know what I’m really happy to be in the way doing hygiene the way I do hygiene or assisting the way I’ve always assisted and doing that the rest of my life. That’s great. Yeah that’s fabulous. I’m glad I know that because that’s not the type of person I need here. Yes. And it’s not me. There’s plenty of other places for you but it’s just not me. Yeah.
Carrie Webber: [00:14:54] So when do you want to know that now is good and now is good. Get ready to say that now is good. I need to know that now and I’m glad I know that. Right. Right.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:15:03] But with all of my team members I really encourage growth and I look for growth. And it’s that’s just as rewarding to me as you know the outcomes I see with some of my patients is just the outcome I see with my team and the support that I give them and their growth.
Carrie Webber: [00:15:21] Yeah so but you know probably a lot of people listen you’re going to I can’t find those people. How are you finding those people I mean is that process sometimes is that for trading is that difficult? And how do you go through the process of finding the right folks for you.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:15:35] It’s, I live in a smaller community. So a lot of people are like Are you using this Web site are you. And now I it’s a lot of word of mouth lots of word of mouth and patients patients in that you have to have you know the time patients with us see patients with the nasty patients with this thing. So I don’t want to just if I need somebody I’m not going I go oh you’re a warm body. Yeah I’ll come to my team now. That’s I. You just have patience and and word of mouth. Most people Chico’s so small people know what I’m about. Yeah they know what I’m about. So it it works out.
Carrie Webber: [00:16:17] Yeah. It’s just such a great story. And in a continued story and I love how you embrace that casting vision and pursuing a vision does not have to be a solo endeavor that you know even when in your early stages with your with your family and friends and loved ones that that they helped you pursue that vision. And now with your team to to surround yourself with people that believe in your purpose and your vision to help you accomplish that. Any any great tools or what’s the next step that someone that’s looking to to create more of an environment in a work culture like yours that you might share with everyone.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:17:00] I read a lot. I when I feel inspired I feel like I can pass that on to my team and I pass on along that inspiration. And what I mostly hear about from my team is that my passion for dentistry is contagious. The way I present it so they say you have your passion I feel it. And then I want to do it. I’m like Oh great. So it’s. I just look for that as I’m I’m constantly reading books that will help me. You know I’ll have my team meetings and and read excerpts of books for them. And every morning huddle I have you know a little saying from “You’re a Bad Ass”. This is the quote from the day and just to give them that little push.
Carrie Webber: [00:17:55] Yeah. Putting your passion on your purpose.
Dr. Loeta Robles: [00:17:58] Yes.
Carrie Webber: [00:17:59] Thanks Dr. Robles. I’m looking forward to talking more on other episodes with you really soon.[00:18:04] Oh I look forward to it.