Sonia Chopra is a board-certified Endodontist, on a mission to decrease global healthcare costs by providing endodontic training to general dentists. At the age of 17, Sonia went through her own dental trauma and experienced firsthand the challenges within the field. Following a 9 month ordeal, a misdiagnosis led to the removal of the wrong tooth.
Some people may only graduate with having performed 2 root canals…
Sonia explained in our interview.
After being in private practice for 12 years, Sonia felt that more education was needed in her expertise.
Looking back at my own endodontic residency I realized there’s not enough time spent in this area.
When I started practicing I realized that my own tooth story was turning up every day in my own patients….I decided there’s more to me, and what I want to give back to the world than the four walls of my practice.
Her desire to help patients save their teeth and save money while helping general dentists to increase their confidence and knowledge in endodontics has inspired Sonia to create E-School, an online learning platform that provides general dentists with endodontic training.
“The program is like a mini endodontic residence. I’ve taken everything I use in my practice and packaged it up in a way that makes so much sense. One module builds upon the next. it’s about an 8-week program with lifetime access, which is super important because every time you go through it you learn something new. They also have access to me. There are recorded modules with downloads to help them and then once a week we meet to answer any questions.”
Sonia has now also launched a further program, E-School Live, a live patient hands-on experience, where 5 dentists have the opportunity to come and gain hands-on experience at her practice.
As well as providing specialist training for general dentists, E-School is also able to provide affordable access to care, for patients who would otherwise not be able to afford treatment.
In this interview, Sonia shares her experience of launching an online business, all while juggling a busy endodontic private practice as well as being a mum.
- The biggest challenges Sonia faced when starting an online business
- The challenges of managing two businesses in tandem and the changes Sonia had to make to grow both
- The mistakes Sonia made and what she learned about leadership as a result
- How to be a great leader and the importance of personal development
- How to prevent burnout
Read more interview highlights below or listen to the full interview here or on your favorite podcast platform!
When it comes to habits and productivity Sonia swears by a strict schedule…
I try to template my schedule as much as possible. Mondays and Tuesday’s everyone knows you will not hear from me. I am strictly dedicated to my patients on those days. So my team knows I will not put out fires on those days.
In order to run two busy businesses successfully, Sonia has had to set boundaries but this didn’t come easy…
I had to learn about myself. I’m not a good clinician and manager at the same time. I cannot wear both hats at the same time. I had to go through a lot of turnover at my office to really understand that because I was not being as kind in my communication with my team as I would have wanted. When I’m with my patients I’m so invested in that moment. I don’t want to talk about someone who didn’t pay their bill but people would ask me those questions and I would get a little snippy. And I didn’t like that about myself and unfortunately, it cost me a lot. After a few times, I had to open my eyes and see what was the problem, what was the common denominator in all of these situations? And the common denominator was me. I had to point the finger at myself and not anyone else.
I needed to accept that when I’m a clinician I’m a clinician and when I’m a manager I’m a manager. I cannot overlap the two.
When I was open and vulnerable with my team and let them know that, everything started to change, My relationship with my team changed.
After her own experiences with her team, when it comes to leadership Sonia advises…
Good leadership starts from the top down, if you see that things are breaking down underneath you, always shine that mirror on yourself first before you start placing blame and pointing fingers.
When you change yourself in a positive way everything around you will start to change in a positive way.
Like many people, when it came to starting an online business, Sonia found that technology was definitely the biggest challenge, but that this hasn’t and will not hold her back.
It’s all about recruiting the right people with the right skill sets so that everything doesn’t have to be on your plate.