Dr. Jeff Shao is the owner of Showtime Orthodontics,[1] an orthodontic practice that has won numerous awards - with Dr. Shao being named Best Orthodontist in The Woodlands, Texas every year since 2016. It’s a testament to how he has always found ways to do things differently, even before he began operation.

Dr. Jeff Shao served as chief resident during his last year in orthodontic residency and was the first orthodontic resident to graduate with a Master of Science in Dental Science at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Immediately after graduating from residency, he became a board-certified orthodontist through a rigorous in-person examination, a distinction only 1 out of 3 orthodontists currently have.

Dr. Jeff Shao has taken different approaches than others when striving for his goals. Naturally, that’s how he wanted his bank to operate.

His way of looking at things differently drew him to a relationship with PNC Bank. According to Dr. Shao, the bank stood out among the competition in not only small business banking, but in its local expertise in health care banking and its dedication to minority business development.

His relationship manager at PNC, Moses Alexander, is based in the Houston area and has helped Dr. Shao’s practice grow substantially over the past 5 years, offering guidance and recommending specific banking products along the way.

“Dr. Shao established his practice quickly in a booming health care landscape, mostly because of his unmatched work ethic,” said Alexander. “We’re here to help him capitalize on that. PNC’s small business banking products are tailored to fit client’s needs, including solutions specifically for those in the health care industry. For example, our convertible line of credit gives doctors an interest-only draw period to help minimize debt while they’re building out an office, acquiring another practice or starting a new one.”

Dr. Shao recently elaborated on his practice’s unique operation, how PNC helped him grow and his perspective of the bank’s commitment to developing minority-owned businesses in the Houston area and beyond:

Can you tell us how you came across PNC and how the bank helped you start your business?

I walked into a branch one day because I was looking for a loan to start my practice. At the time, I was doing so many things at once. I had been living in San Antonio for orthodontic residency while also practicing as a general dentist. As you can imagine, I was working a lot of weekends. Finding a bank that can cater to my specific circumstance is important. Among the various banks I visited, PNC gave me the most advise and have the most helpful staff members. I had initially tried to acquire a practice, but the seller chose another route. So, when it came time for me to finally start my practice, PNC provided the guidance towards the best path forward. PNC helped me create a different opportunity for myself with a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. They walked me through the process, lent their expertise, and really were a huge part of my ability to start Showtime Orthodontics and transform it to what it is today. From this experience, I have learned that if the opportunity is not there, create the opportunity. It will not be an easy route but it will be the most rewarding route.

You graduated at the top of your class in dental school, so you know what it takes to be at the top of the competition. What do you think helps make PNC stand out?

Expertise in a wide range of banking options. It’s also convenient that this type of expertise is right at your doorstep. Moses and his team have helped me connect with the right people in real estate as I think about owning instead of renting my building, matched me with the right products to finance my growth, and provided me with flexibility that has been integral to my practice, particularly a recent bridge loan they offered. As an American of Chinese descent, I appreciate PNC’s focus on minority business development. This has created an extra layer of trust in my banking relationship.

Can you expand on that last point regarding PNC’s work in minority business development?

My heritage originates in China. Diversity is an extremely important value to me and how I do business. I have patients that come to me and tell me that they want me to be a role model for their children as an Asian American professional and because of my ability to relate to diverse cultures. I see PNC having those same values. I think it’s amazing that the bank has an outreach program that can help minority entrepreneurs succeed. It’s great to have a bank that can provide minority business owners with excellent resources to achieve the American Dream in the land of opportunity.

How would you describe your practice and how do you strive to differentiate from others?

It’s very important to stand out and show that I’m capable, this was especially true as I was starting out as a young doctor. I have to make sure my patients trust me and know my abilities. I need to show them that I have not only the credentials, but the quality of care and service that’s expected. Then, it is important that I go above and beyond that. I treat every single patient as if they’re family. I also want to put myself in their shoes. What really differentiates my practice from others in the area are the hours of operation that align with my patients’ schedules. The clinic is open Thursday through Sunday, with late hours on the weekdays, allowing parents the flexibility needed so they don’t miss work, and their kids don’t miss school.

You spoke about how much emphasis PNC places on developing minority business owners. How are you finding time to give back to aspiring orthodontists who also identify as minorities?

I get a lot of questions from patients about how long it takes to be an orthodontist. This includes patients who are Asian-American students who see someone who looks like them owning their business and leading their own practice. One thing I do with any patient who is interested is refer them to a local academy that’s focused on math and science. That same academy sends their students to my practice two or three times a month in the summer to shadow me and ask questions about the field. It’s extremely rewarding to give back to the diverse communities that call The Woodlands home.