The Thorne file Featured

8:00pm EDT October 26, 2010

Born: Fitchburg, Mass.

Education: B.A. from UCLA and master’s in health administration from Chapman University

How did you end up in the dental field?

My father is a dentist, so that’s the connection. Before I graduated from school, I was pretty good on computers, and he asked me if I would computerize his dental office. That was 1989. So that was my original entrance into dentistry. I had no plans of staying in this business at all. I was going to go into the investment banking world or the accounting world.

If you could choose anyone from any time to be your mentor, who would it be?

Abraham Lincoln would be one and probably John Wooden would be No. 2.

What’s your definition of success for your business?

As an organization, I would love to see us advance the dental delivery model to where it should be in this country.

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

The best business advice I got, I got from a lawyer (who) told me when I was starting in this business, ‘Hey, you’ve got to find a way to help these dentists be owners and partners with you in the business. Otherwise, you’re going to run the risk of big dentist turnover.’

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I’d love to be able to change dentists’ behaviors, whatever superpower that is. There are a couple studies done in health care that say the average clinician — whether it’s a physician or a dentist or whatever other health care provider — it takes 18 years to adopt a new form of practice. I’d like it to be like 18 minutes.

What’s your favorite stress reliever?

Hanging out with my family

What reading would you recommend to other leaders?

I love any Peter Drucker books.