Tips for Entering Your First Practice

You are out of school, and it’s time to begin your dental career. Where will you start? Have you found a place to work? As multiple questions run through your head, let’s discuss some tips that will help you navigate through the “what’s next” phase so you can start in the right direction.

Gain Experience

Working for an existing practice will help you gain the experience you need to develop your skill sets as well as well help to build relationships with patients without the concerns or challenges of a business owner.

Do Your Research

When researching the best place to practice your associateship, it’s important that you take your time so you can find a practice that is a good fit.  Don’t rush into an agreement if there are any uncertainties. Here are a few examples (not comprehensive) of what you should be discussing during the interview process:

  • Clearly communicate your income goals
  • If you’re interested in purchasing the practice down the line, share your intentions
  • Be honest about your skill sets and comfort level
  • Inquire about the mentoring dentist’s clinical philosophy. Will you be expected to follow his or her guidelines fully?

In order to find a good fit, open communication is essential. After covering your key areas, the mentoring dentist should also clearly communicate his or her expectations. Such as production goals, required schedule, transition plans, compensation, as well as the role you are expected to play in relation to the staff. Again, these are only a few examples; you should seek as much clarification as you need to confidently make a decision.

Begin Your Journey with an End Goal in Mind

Do you plan to own your own practice someday? Speak with your potential employer about the possibility of buying into or purchasing the practice in the future. Negotiate a guaranteed salary when you begin work at the practice.  After nine months discuss basing your salary on the amount of business you bring to the practice.

Take Time to Consider Location

Pay attention to the location of the practice in which you are considering for your associateship. Ultimately, of you plan on owning the practice, its location will determine your future patient base, and how your revenue stream will look.

Develop Your Team

Begin relationships with bankers, CPAS, investment broker, attorney, and insurance agent as well as dental brokers. It’s never too early to establish a strategy with a team of advisors that can help you elevate to the next stage of your career. Also, building relationships with other employed team members can be beneficial later on in your career.

Have a Plan

The key to successfully transitioning out of dental school is to have clear vision of the direction in which you want your career to go. With any professional journey, obstacles are inevitable. By having clear goals and a long term plan in place, you will remain on track for a successful future.

For more information, contact our office at 844-DENT CPA (336-8272) or 

Note: The content is accurate as of the date published above and is subject to change. Please seek professional advice before acting on any matter contained in this article.