Becoming business partners

Mentorship turned into a dental practice partnership for Drs Rachel Mascord and
Joanna Wyszynski.

  8 minutes

Never let it be assumed that the juniors and assistants working in a practice are not paying attention to what the senior practitioners are doing. Doing so could prove to have a dramatic and lasting impact.

That’s certainly the case with dentists Rachel Mascord and Joanna Wyszynski, new practice partners with Dr Helen Zongas of the Dentessence clinic in Sydney. Eighteen years ago, Dr Mascord was a senior dentist in a Sydney practice, and Dr Wyszynski was the new assistant.
The pair struck up an instant rapport, and Dr Wyszynski was so impressed by the way Dr Mascord worked, she soon decided she too wanted to become a dentist. After leaving school, Dr Wyszynski studied dentistry at Charles Sturt University.

“Rachel was my inspiration in becoming a dentist through those years of assisting when I was at school and later at uni,” Dr Wyszynski recalls. “I loved watching the way she worked with patients and we also worked well together. It has been a great mentorship over the years.”

An easy fit

Fast forward, and the pair found themselves at Dentessence, working together again—this time as fellow dentists. Earlier this year when one of the practice partners announced his
plans to retire, Dr Mascord came up with the plan that she and Dr Wyszynski could buy into the practice and create a partnership trio with the already established Dr Zongas.

“We had both been with the practice for a while—I had been working there for one year and Joanna for about two and a half years—so it seemed an easy fit,” Dr Mascord explains. 

“We had both resigned from our other jobs to commit to this practice, and Helen was so encouraging about the prospect of forming the partnership, so it seemed like it an easy arrangement.” With the trio in agreement about the new partnership, the business plan worked out and a loan approved by BOQ Specialist; the deal seemed to have fallen neatly into place in April. It all appeared to just be a matter of signing on the dotted line to close the deal. 

Sadly, that was when all their best laid plans veered way off course. 

Bring in the lawyers

“When three lawyers with very different agendas became involved, there was just so much stalling over various issues that everything became so delayed,” Dr Mascord explains. “It eventually reached a standstill where nothing was proceeding. 

“They were all doing their jobs and undertaking the necessary due diligence, but with lawyers for the three partners, as well as the seller, it just became complicated.” The deal that initially seemed so straightforward was soon drowning in red tape that posed a threat to its future. When it finally reached a point of impasse with Dr Mascord and Dr Wyszynski wondering if it was just too hard to proceed, it was BOQ Specialist’s Luke Truscott who stepped in to rescue the deal.

Bringing it all together

Dr Mascord laughs as she recalls a meeting Luke called for all the involved parties, and laid down a strict plan of what needed to be done and who needed to take action.

“It was like a scene in a Western, when the good guy rides into town on the white horse and saves the day,” Dr Mascord says. “It was literally going nowhere, so Luke took control, set out a schedule that all of us needed to follow and then helped guide us through all the twists and turns. With Luke at the helm it very quickly came together. He went above and beyond our expectation of a Financial Specialist and we can’t thank him enough”

Dr Wyszynski adds that a deal that was on the verge of collapse only days before suddenly took on new life. “A week after we had that meeting when Luke set out the schedule, we were in a giant boardroom signing the deal,” she says. “That was how quickly it all came together once Luke took charge. He brought all the pieces together.”

Making it work

On August 10, almost five months after the plan was first discussed, a small but vital gathering of dentists, lawyers, accountants and assistants under the direction of Luke finally saw the contracts signed. The new partnership of Dr Mascord, Dr Wyszynski and Dr Zongas at Dentessence was finally formed.

“We were so stressed about this, so once it was all signed, we both just went over and hugged Luke out of sheer relief,” Dr Wyzsynski recalls. “If it hadn’t been for his persistence, we might still be waiting.”

These days, there are new directions taking place at Dentessence, as the newly-formed partnership trio establishes new ways of working together. For Dr Mascord, it’s the second time she has been an owner in a practice, but for Dr Wyzsynski, this is a confident new move, buying into a practice only four years out of dental school. 

“This is the next career step for me and it does feel different being a partner. But I have worked in dental practices as a receptionist, assistant, nurse and now as a dentist, so I have seen how good teams work together to make it all work,” Dr Wyszynski says.

Making it their own

One of the first things they did in those early days of taking over the business was clear out all the cupboards of their practice rooms to set up their own systems.

“I think we dug out enough composite to do mock-ups for every human being on the planet for the next few years,” she laughs. “It was actually important to find out what we had bought, and it became a matter of claiming our space and making it our own, having come into the business now as equal partners.

“We have plans we want to roll out through the coming months, and the three of us know what’s most important now is keeping good communication open between us. That’s the plan.”


Thinking about starting or growing your practice? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for setting up a practice. Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 160 160. 

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