e-mail Print Share

Is this Group Practice Right for You?

This is a test

April 12, 2014

The different group practice models are growing in popularity, but every opportunity isn't a good fit for every dentist. Dr. Rebecca Warnken has worked for a group practice since graduating from dental school in 2013. She offers these suggestions for ensuring you have a good fit.

Make an In-Person Visit

This might seem obvious, but one group practice offered Warnken a job even though she had never set foot inside the facility. "It was definitely a challenge for me to search for opportunities in Florida while finishing school in Wisconsin, but my solution was to take a few jam-packed trips to tour facilities and meet people in person. I would never accept an opportunity based solely on phone calls and photographs."

Don't Feel Obligated

One group practice paid to fly Warnken to tour a prospective opportunity. "That was thoughtful and a little flattering. But I interpreted that as a reminder that even as a new dentist I have potential to bring a lot of value, not that I should be beholden to them for making it easier for me to get a comprehensive picture of the practice."

Ask about Patient Care

"I wanted to be sure that I was the one who would be making decisions about patient care, and that those decisions would reflect what is best for the patient, not what's most lucrative for the bottom line. And I talked to both management and to dentists who were in my same position. If they hadn't allowed me to talk confidentially with fellow dentists that would have been a red flag!"

Clarify the Non-Clinical Responsibilities

"Every group practice approaches these questions differently. I wanted to gain experience with the small business side of dentistry, so it was important for me to have responsibility for things like balance sheets and be able to track the financial health of the practice. There were some HR changes shortly after I arrived, and I had assistance in navigating those and ensuring the team was fully staffed during the transition. This works well for me, but if I had just wanted to do dentistry and not any of the other business pieces, that would have been frustrating. So ask those questions!"

And No Matter What

"At the end of the day I'm the doctor and these are my patients. It's my professional reputation, it's my license, it's my credibility that's on the line. And that's true no matter whether I'm practicing dentistry in a private practice, or as part of a large organization or at a charity care event or any other setting. That's not negotiable!"

New Dentist Now Blog

My New Dentist Life: First year lessons
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:30:14 +0000 Editor’s note: This is the final article in a New Dentist Now blog series, My New Dentist Life, following a new dentist’s first year experiences [...]
‘Manage My Debt’ web portal launches
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:03:45 +0000 As the average educational debt for senior dental students continue to grow, the ADA launched in September a new web portal dedicated on money-saving resources [...]
DRB Financial Series: How to tackle credit card debt
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:31:01 +0000 Editor’s note: This is the first article in a fall financial series of New Dentist Now blog posts from Darien Rowayton Bank, which provides student [...]
Learn more about the ADA Clinical Evaluators Panel at ADA 2016
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:00:09 +0000 Interested in joining the ADA Clinical Evaluators (ACE) Panel? If you’re attending ADA 2016 – America’s Dental Meeting, come to the ADA Clinical Evaluators reception [...]
Arizona dental students debate hot topics
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:51:07 +0000 Tough industry issues such as workforce and licensure aren’t just the concerns of seasoned professionals — they’re at the heart of dental students’ concerns as [...]
Three new dentists, three different paths
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:35:50 +0000 Whether it’s the working in public health, a small group practice or in academics, dentistry offers a wide range of workplace settings. The ADA New [...]
Call for nominations: National Board Dental Examination Part II Test Specifications review panel
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:54:08 +0000 The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) requests the assistance of new dentists in soliciting nominations of highly qualified individuals who are willing to [...]
Institute for Diversity in Leadership 2016-17 class announced
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:44:42 +0000 The ADA Board of Trustees announced in August the 2016-17 class of the Institute for Diversity in Leadership, which includes several new dentists. The class [...]
Applications for four dental student-focused ADA Foundation grant programs due in November, December
Thu, 15 Sep 2016 15:01:42 +0000 The ADA Foundation is accepting applications for four programs that provide funding to dental students as well as dental schools for student-driven efforts whose goal [...]
Practice profile: Chicago dentists build vision of success
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:49:53 +0000   As soon as you walk into the reception area of Dentologie, you’re aware that little about this dental practice could’ve happened by chance. From [...]