As a new dentist, you will have many professional options after graduating from dental school. One of these options is joining an existing office as an associate dentist. Although it may seem like an ideal route for you, it may face some challenges if the future associate and the practice owner do not discuss — and put in writing — important hiring agreements such as compensation, benefits, laboratory expenses, supplies and future purchase terms.
As dental students, most of us did not have many options when it came to which dental materials to use in clinic. There was one brand of composite, one brand of impression material, one brand of prophy paste, etc. These limitations often carried over into the free patient home-hygiene bag given out after cleanings. I was a creature of habit and did not put much thought into the products that were given to our patients. At that time, I did not have any influence over which products were recommended to my clinic patients.
You’ve been crouched over your patients for hours. Your hands are starting to cramp and your neck is getting a bit stiff. You don’t really have the time to stop and go get a massage so you push through the discomfort and finish delivering the necessary care. Unfortunately this is a common response to pain. It’s a negative habit that can have real physical consequences in the future.
If you’re in the market to buy a practice, the first step is to create a dental-specific team of advisors to guide you through the purchase, transition process, and the operation of the practice after purchase. Your team should include the following members who each have dental-specific experience in their fields:
Whenever I talk to ADA student members, I always stress the importance of enrolling in the no-cost ADA student members disability insurance as soon as possible. I’ve been working as an Insurance Plan Specialist for Great-West Financial long enough to know that having disability coverage while you’re in dental school is one of the most important ways you can help protect your future.
There are countless ways you could become disabled. Fall off your bike and break your leg. Slip on the ice and injure your back. A skiing accident could end your career as a dentist. You could also be diagnosed with an illness, such as cancer, that could force you to interrupt your education.
A business owner policy, frequently abbreviated to “BOP,” is an insurance policy that typically covers you for events ranging from fire, to theft, or a general liability claim against your office.
As I sit here, I can’t help but notice the decreased emails, the increased silence of my phone, and my shorter “to-do” list. Life post-presidency has not been as exciting as it once was, but it has given me some time to reflect on my experiences. What a year it has been. A year filled with accomplishments, expansions, victories, innovations and, above all, personal growth. I can never be thankful enough for those who put their faith in me as president to help continue to lead the American Student Dental Association forward. This is an experience I guarantee you I will never forget. I am going to miss the countless emails, travel and conference calls, but it is nice to be able to focus back on school and make sure I actually graduate on time.