Job hunting is an arduous process. From struggling to find opportunities and evaluating your options to interviewing and negotiating your pay, finding your dream associateship is stressful. Asking the right questions helps you decide if an opportunity is right for you.
In this edition of Let’s Talk, Christian Pearson, national director of dental partnerships at Treloar & Heisel, Inc., continues the conversation with Stephen Trutter, director of consulting and partner at Ideal Practices, as they discuss what students and new dentists can do now to prepare for private practice ownership.
I considered writing this post about obtaining the ideal associateship. I quickly realized, though, that “ideal” is misleading and different for everyone. Our goal should be a successful associateship — one that creates success for both the associate and the practice. This looks different across the board, but in my experience in several different environments, the following have been keys to success — or causes of failure.
Imagine sitting in the waiting room of a dental office at your first associate interview. You’ve prepared all night and put on your best suit. You meet with your potential employer, and everything is going great — until he/she asks an inappropriate personal question.
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.
For many students, the choice between doing a residency and going straight into private practice is a tough one. In today’s world of growing student debt, it’s important to be aware of the costs and benefits of each.
Here’s a simple model. The American Dental Education Association says 2013 dental school graduates had an average debt of $241,000. If you graduate with the average debt and do a one-year residency, your debt will generate around $15,000 in interest during your first year out. (This assumes 6.8% interest rates.)