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What Do Dentists and Auto Repair Centers Have in Common

Brian England, Wed, Feb 21, 2018

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Recently, one of my teeth broke. I put off making an appointment for a week or so because the dentist is not my favorite place to go. I was not looking forward to having a root canal or a cap.

Anyway, it turned out that Dr. Katkow. the dentist we have used for years, could repair the tooth! Within an hour my tooth was fixed!

Afterwards Dr. Katkow told me that the repairs he has made to teeth have lasted for decades! Then, he showed me an article about how caps are oversold. He explained that some dentists default to using caps, not because it’s the right repair to do, but because it’s the more profitable!

Dr. Katkow teaches an ethics course at the University of Maryland, and he says he is not sure his message gets across. There are many pressures on qualified dentists, not the least of which is the fact that students can graduate from dental school with up to $200,000 in debt!

Dr. Katkow has built his dental practice on a foundation of “preventive care,” and when it comes to decisions related to what is right for his patient, he bases those decisions on ethics, not profits.

I shared with Dr. Katkow that we use that same business model at our auto repair shop. At BA Auto Care, it’s all about looking after the interests of our customers and making sure their car is safe and reliable. Dozens of times customers have walked into our shop, just like I walked into the dentist office, expecting to spend a lot of money. Instead, they walked away spending a lot less and sometimes with no charge. In fact, one of the reviews we share on the BA Auto Care homepage is from a customer who had a similar experience.  Ultimately, we believe that this actually will result in more profits in the long run because customers have the security of knowing that we are looking out for them. That’s where our new tag line, Looking Out for You and Your Car, comes from.

Both Dr. Katkow and I have built our business in Columbia, embracing ethics just like James Rouse who built our city. Sure profits were important for the Rouse Company but it was not the first consideration. People came first.

Do you have stories about businesses that have put your needs ahead of profits? Share them with us in the comments. We would love to hear them!



photo courtesy of Irina Patrascu’s Flickr Photo Stream


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About Brian England


Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care) got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in the northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD, and a few years later, started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. A big believer in preventive auto maintenance, Brian's philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of adhering to a regular maintenance plan.