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Martin L. "Bud" Schulman (1920-2008)

It is with a deep sense of personal and professional loss that I have learned of the death of Bud Schulman at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on Sept. 27, at the age of 88. He was preceded in death by his lovely wife, Jody, in 2005.

His full name was Martin Leonard Schulman, but he always preferred to be known as "Bud". He was educated in Washington, DC, and shortly after graduation from college, he entered the U.S. Army, serving during World War II. He then entered the photo-finishing business started by his father. In due course, his natural business acumen came to the fore, and he expanded the company nationwide.

Retiring from the family business around 1962, he accepted the presidency of a small orthodontic company called Dental Corporation of America. DCA was set up by Dr. Harry Galblum as an extension of his orthodontic office laboratory, primarily to produce positioners and orthodontic models, although it later expanded with a line of orthodontic appliances. By coincidence, Harry Galblum was a good friend of mine and one of the original Contributing Editors of JCO.

I met Bud at the annual AAO meetings, and we soon became fast friends. He found a niche in the orthodontic world with his talent for business, which most orthodontists lacked, and he became a consultant in managing orthodontic practices, in setting up partnerships, and in facilitating the purchase and sale of practices. On top of all this, Bud was a prolific writer and speaker. He wrote management books and published a newsletter in which he specialized in gathering data on the income and expenses of orthodontists. He was a frequent contributor to JCO in both interviews and articles. Bud was also an astute investor; for years, the last page of his newsletter was devoted to a rundown of the best current corporate bonds, steering orthodontists away from risky investments.

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One of Bud's proudest accomplishments was his assembly of the Schulman Study Group, which consisted of a limited number of the most successful practitioners in the specialty. The Schulman Group met, and still meets once a year, with each member bringing detailed practice data for evaluation and comparison with the group and sharing information and ideas on how to make the best even better.

So there you have it: a life well-lived. Bud often said to me, Gene, after I'm gone, I'm just not going to worry about it." So long, dear friend--you can stop worrying about it.

Senior Editor, JCO

Our profession lost one of its giants on Sept. 27. Martin L. "Bud" Schulman devoted much of his life to the education and mentoring of orthodontists.

Bud's innovative approach to orthodontic practice management had its roots in the management of his family's photo-processing business. He understood the value of customer service, and through several mergers, he developed the business into a nationwide firm. Bud then became involved with orthodontists over his 20 years with DCA, and it was during this time that his practice-management philosophy was developed. The demand for his advice converted Bud to a consultant and speaker of national prominence.

I met Bud Schulman in 1975 while attending one of his practice-management seminars. I recognized him as a kindred spirit, and over the next three years developed a close working relationship with him, as he helped mentor the growth of my practice. The Schulman Study Group was created by Bud in 1978, when he hand-selected 10 orthodontists for advanced training in practice management and development. I was fortunate enough to be included as one of the founders of the group. We adopted the credo of "Success Through Sharing", as each member-orthodontist contributed annual practice statistics for the benefit of the entire group. Statistical analysis of our practices became the basis for many of Buds innovations. Using the concept of "geographic exclusivity" to avoid any competition among members, the Schulman Group continues to share practice data and to promote excellence. It has now grown to 165 orthodontists across the United States and Canada.

Bud Schulman will always occupy a special place in my heart. He has touched the lives of thousands of orthodontists and helped them succeed. Bud's innovative business methods and practice-promotion advice have helped propel the orthodontic specialty to heights we would never have believed possible. We have lost a great friend to orthodontists and the profession.

Godspeed, Bud.

CEO, Schulman Study Group
Technology Editor, JCO

Bud Schulman was fond of saying, "Orthodontics is the greatest profession in the world." He was an exemplary model for orthodontists, a man who was always looking to leave the profession better than he had found it. Bud's tireless efforts to improve the field of orthodontics are evident from his numerous publications and his commitment to the Schulman Study Group. He was also one of the first individuals to bring the CEO mentality into our profession.

I have the good fortune to be a member of the Schulman Group, the organization that Bud founded and presided over for 30 years. "Success Through Sharing" was the motto of the group, and it's one we take into our personal as well as our professional lives. Bud pushed us all to continue improving, sharing, and making decisions that will strengthen the profession long after we are gone. We are forever grateful for his energy, enthusiasm, and enlightenment. He made us better clinicians and better people.

Thank you, Bud.

Contributing Editor, JCO


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