ADA Center for Professional Success

Will you be an employee or an independent contractor?

When you leave dental school and head out into the world, it’s likely that you will consider joining an existing practice. Whether you hire or are hired, you will likely sign an employment contract. An employment contract is an agreement under which a dentist commits to perform certain services and a practice agrees to compensate that dentist for performing those services.

Be prepared for your next medical emergency

Medical emergencies are uncommon, but when they occur, it’s imperative that you are prepared. Right now, you are likely relying on the school clinic emergency kit and training protocol. This might be a good time to think about what you’ve learned and what you have available, and then use this article to think about what it will be like once you’re in practice.

Is stress stressing you out?

For established dentists and dental students alike, dealing with stress is an occupational hazard. A survey conducted by the ADA in 2015 found that 75 percent of dentists experience moderate to severe levels of stress. In addition, a 2017 report from the American Psychological Association identified health care, money and the economy to be key drivers of stress among Americans overall.

Properly managed debt can be an investment in yourself

As a dental student, you may already be carrying significant student loan debt. Paying down that debt requires income — cash flow that may best be generated by opening or buying into your own practice upon graduation. New dentists and those about to graduate often feel caught in a vicious circle when they perceive that debt may deny them a practice loan and prevent them from moving forward in their career.