Ann-Marie Bard owns a busy mixed practice in Shropshire. She tells us about her day:
My alarm goes off…
I get up at 6.30am, rush around organising my 14-year old daughter feeding dogs, cat, etc and usually leaving the house five mins later than I should have, if the teenager hasn't cooperated.
Breakfast is usually porridge with fruit or a banana in the car if I'm running late. I drive to work via school drop off and it's a lovely run against the traffic through the North Worcestershire/South Shropshire countryside.
I'm responsible for…
A five-surgery mixed practice with 22 staff and approximately 8,000 active patients. What makes the practice unique is that we offer a wide range of treatments under one roof, including general dentistry orthodontics, implant treatment, facial aesthetics, Cerezen, and the service of hygienists and a clinical dental technician.
I got the job!
I ended up in South Shropshire as a practice purchase I was involved with fell through, so I decided to look in a different direction, and I haven't looked back since.
Buying your own practice can be stressful and complex, but for me, it was all totally worth it.
We've recently refurbed our premises, which was a massive job and involved the support of my fabulous team. We pride ourselves on our friendly, caring and motivated approach and we aim to offer the higher standards of care.
I wanted to be a dentist since the age of 16, when I spent time doing work experience with my uncle in Malta.
My typical day and what happens when I get to work
What doesn't happen!? After 10 years as a practice owner, pretty much nothing can surprise me - and I mean nothing.
Being responsible for staff, including a foundation dentist, can be challenging at times but is also very rewarding.
I work closely with my practice manager and business manager - good relationships here are key and essential to our practice running smoothly.
I believe that there is always a solution to any problem.
My biggest achievement
Definitely my home life – I'm proud of my kids and my marriage.
The worst part of my job
Getting attached to patients who then become ill and pass away – I will never get used to this.
Best part of my job
Making a difference to a patient, however small, and building good long-term patient relationships.
I love spending time with my family, dogs and cooking Mediterranean food. I really enjoy going to flea markets and upcycling items that I find - including bits of old furniture.
My plan B
Interior decorator? I'd definitely do something artistic!
Ann-Marie Bard, practice owner