New Year’s Resolution for Associate Dentists in 2022
Happy New Year! We would like to wish you a new and improved year over 2020 and 2021. If you’re like most people, you have set some New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps one of them is going to the gym. Another may be eating healthier. A third popular one is spending more time with family and friends. Statistics show that on average, it takes 32 days before people give up on their resolutions. My thought is, why wait? I’m having a hot fudge sundae for lunch and not going to the gym! But how about a resolution to further your career as a dentist?
One way to further your career may be to learn a new procedure or two. As an associate or existing practice owner, you can improve your skills and your income by learning new procedures. A few suggestions would be to advance your endo skills. Maybe you know enough but just haven’t had any advanced training. There are a lot of courses to further advance your endo skills. You can also learn how to place implants. There are probably a lot of patients in your practice who want an implant, but don’t want to go to another office. If you’re a general dentist, you can also learn how to do some form of orthodontics with either Invisalign, ClearCorrect, or another company’s process. Learning a new procedure can make you more marketable as an associate and as a practice owner.
Another way to further your career may be to find a new associate position. If you’re frustrated in your current role because you’re not allowed to do anything more than hygiene checks and fillings, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere. The state associations list openings in their classified ads. If you’re not happy where you are, staying there will make you disgruntled with dentistry and cause you nothing but grief.
A third way of expanding your career in 2022 is by purchasing a practice. Practice owners make 15% to 20% more than associate dentists. They also build equity in their practice typically paying off their entire loans in 10 years. If you purchased a $500,000 practice and simply sustain its production, you now have earned 15% to 20% more per year PLUS you’ve earned $500,000 of equity in your practice. If you grew it 10% per year, you now have over $1 million in equity. I know many associate dentists are afraid of owning a practice. They think Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) are going to take over the world and they get better deals on supplies. First of all, DSOs will not be taking over the world. There will always be room for individual practice owners. In fact, if I had a choice, I would prefer to go to an individual owner before I would go to a DSO or group-owned practice. I think most people would agree. Regarding better deals on supplies, I’ve had several supply reps tell me that they would give the same deal to an individual as they would to a DSO. Supplies as a percentage of gross revenues make up a small number. So, even if they did get better deals, it would not make that big of a difference. Don’t be afraid of owning a practice and competing against the big guys. You can provide a much better and more personalized experience than they can.
These are just a few ideas for your New Year’s resolutions if you haven’t come up with your own. Now, go to the gym, grab a salad and then, go improve your career!