If you have recently graduated or have been Associating for 2+ years don’t let anyone convince you that owning a private practice is out of reach, or an unrealistic goal. The ADA has projected that there will be a shortage of dentists available to serve the needs of the US population until the year 2033. Dentists who can provide good quality dental care will be in great demand for the foreseeable future. This means opportunities, options, and choices for successfully launching your own private practice will be very high!
Just the other day I read a blog by Travis Hornsby, CFA and founder of Student Loan Planner, entitled Corporate Dentistry vs. Private Practice: The Impact on Your Student Loans. He is a leading student loan expert and financial planner. He makes an excellent case for private practice ownership as the best solution for tackling student loan debt and achieving professional autonomy. Corporate dentistry and DSO offer tempting promises to guarantee a salary, remove the uncertainty of practice ownership and to help pay down debt to entice students right out of school to sign on. The security of these promises sells short the opportunity you have as a private owner to get out of debt sooner and keep more of the revenue you will be generating for yourself.
My experience with dental practice owners over the last 25 years has consistently proven that, with the right plan in place, private ownership is a lucrative and extremely viable option. Students and recently graduated doctors need to consider carefully the current need for good dentists to meet the demand of the public for quality, convenient care. Take some time to evaluate all aspects of committing to a lifelong career in corporate dentistry, or in a DSO managed practice, and get good advice about how your debt and financial goals may be much better managed and attained by owning your own practice.
If you do decide you want to launch a dental practice I can help you avoid common pitfalls, and ensure that you have the guidance and support you need to make a practice growth strategy that is optimal for you. I recommend these 2 steps in your postgraduate plan:
Step 1: Spend 2-5 years getting experience in a private or corporate practice as an associate. This is really part two of your dental education, learning how to be a practicing doctor and learning all you can about business management and operations, clinical skills, and what kind of practice you want to build for yourself.
Step 2: Contact me about two years in to allow yourself time to plan responsibly. Forming a strong relationship with a trusted advisor will help you make a solid 2-4 year plan including financials, location options and all the other issues and concerns that will arise as you proceed. Having the insight and support of an advisor will prove invaluable and save you time, headache and money.
There is no better time to take charge of your future, achieve the productivity and success you’ve always dreamed of, practice state of the art dentistry, and love what you’re doing more than you ever thought was possible!