After graduating from dental school, you’ll need to make a crucially important decision: What do you do next? Where do you want to practice dentistry, and what type of dental work do you want to be doing? This decision will affect you for the rest of your life. It is important to take time and consider all of the ways your choice will impact you and your family. To help you make the career decisions that are right for you, ADS has created a list of factors to consider when you start your dental career or are thinking about buying a dental practice.
Where is it that you and your family ultimately want to live? Would you prefer a big city, or a quiet town? Do you want to live by other family members? Do you want to live close to mountains? A lake? The beach? It’s helpful to have a list of several cities and states in which you would like to practice as you are looking for a dental practice.
Consider the cost of living in the locations that appeal to you. Think about the lifestyle you want to achieve. Try to determine how much income you need or want to earn, and pick a practice that will help you to achieve your monetary goals.
Starting as an associate within a dental practice can lessen the amount of responsibility you feel out of the gate. You’ll have time to gain valuable experiences before you become a full owner. However, you won’t be a full owner, and won’t get the perks that come with that position. On the other hand, if you want to own your own practice right away, there is a lot more work and responsibility involved. It’s more difficult than buying an existing practice because you’ll have to build your own patient base and infrastructure, rather than simply maintaining one which already exists.
For every practice you are interested in, what are the future possibilities? If you are considering an associateship, is there a high likelihood that you’ll be able to own the practice someday? If you are thinking about buying an existing dental practice, is it possible for the practice to grow and be successful within the area? What services might you specialize in? What possible revenue streams present themselves? It may be worth choosing a practice that does not yet meet your ideals, if you can see a likely path to the level of success you’re seeking.
One of the most important–and most subjective–questions you can ask about your new dental practice is whether it’s what you want. This can take many shapes. Are you looking for opportunities to teach as well as practice? Do you have any philosophies or beliefs about dental care that you want to implement? What do you see yourself doing 5 or 10 years down the road? Consider your personal feelings carefully so that both you and your patients can have the greatest benefit from you work.
At ADS Dental Transitions, we’re here to help. Contact a broker today so we can help you figure out what path is right for you.