As a dentist it’s very unlikely clinical skills are your biggest challenge. Dental schools are very good at teaching the mechanics of our profession.
What they are not so good at is preparing us for running a business.
For most of us it’s a trial by fire. The average dental graduate comes out of school with a mountain of debt.
According to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), the average debt per graduating senior is $287,331 (according to a 2017 survey).
That’s a big hole to dig yourself out of.
And starting a practice of your own isn’t cheap either. According to Bank of America, the average cost to set up a dental practice is just over $400,000.
That’s just the start up costs. Let’s say you’ve managed to secure financing and open your doors. Being a dentist today is not the same as it once was. Where we once were able to grow our business over decades, today there is increased competition from Managed Service Organizations and Dental Service Organizations that can leverage their size and buying power to negotiate better deals than a single dentist can hope to get in their wildest dreams.
At this point you might be thinking that there is really no hope. But that’s not the case. These organizations got where they are in the marketplace because they identified the lack of business experience most dentists bring to the table.
As a working “wet-finger” dentist myself, I believe it is the responsibility of local, state and national dental associations to help their members learn more about what they are facing and give them the tools to compete against these MSOs and DSOs so they can continue to thrive and grow.
In addition to one-on-one coaching and consulting for dentists, I regularly offer free webinars to dental associations to bring attention to this issue. If you are in a leadership position at your association send me a note and let’s talk about a free session for your members.
If you are a member, make an introduction. Connect me with your programming or education person and I’ll do my best to set something up so you and others in your dental community can learn more about MSO’s, DSOs and corporate dentistry.