“Personality definitely plays a role as well, but if the doctor and the new associate do not have the same philosophy of care, it will not work out,” she said.
To ensure she found an associate with a similar practice philosophy in her search, Dr. Gagnon decided to try a new service offered by the ADA a try.
“I took the ADAPT application very seriously and put a lot of thought into it as I filled out my profile,” she said. “I figured that the more complete and honest the profile, the more likely I would be matched with the right candidate.”
In July, Dr. Gagnon officially welcomed Dr. Jessica Sikora to her practice, Gagnon Dental in Farmingdale, Maine. The two were matched by ADA Practice Transitions (ADAPT), a service backed by the ADA focused on helping dentists make the process of joining or leaving a practice predictable and successful. This occurred as Dr. Sikora neared graduation from the University of New England College of Dental Medicine earlier this year.
Come October, dentists nationwide will be able to take advantage of the ADA Practice Transitions like Drs. Gagnon and Sikora.
The service announced Sept. 9 it is expanding its services to all 50 states and is encouraging dentists to answer three quick questions at ADAPracticeTransitions.com to become an ADAPT Insider and receive early access to create a profile before the October opening. By filling out the form, dentists will also be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card.
Dr. Gagnon, who serves on the Maine Dental Association board of directors, was impressed by a presentation on ADA Practice Transitions last fall, and began her profile right away, as Maine was an early pilot state for ADA Practice Transitions.
“I could not be happier with my new associate, Dr. Sikora,” she said. “It is very obvious that the ADA has done their homework in attempting to set up a successful matching service.”
ADA Practice Transitions piloted the service in Wisconsin, Maine, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota and New Hampshire for dentists seeking to join or purchase a practice in those states who are looking to hire an associate or find someone to purchase their practice.
Through ADA Practice Transitions, dentists receive:
• Matches with dentists or practices that aligns with their personal and professional goals.
• Step-by-step support from a dedicated ADA advisor.
• Customized resources and help defining the right path.
ADA Practice Transitions helps retiring owners find the right person to continue to care for their patients, and helps owners hire associates who share a similar philosophy of care, ensuring a successful transition and continuity of care for patients.
In addition, ADA Practice Transitions helps buyers and associates find the practice that fits their criteria and shares their goals. ADA Practice Transitions can also help a dentist explore and narrow down their options to provide more confidence in taking their next steps.
The service matches dentists with practice owners by considering aspects such as philosophy of care, personality traits, location and desired practice characteristics.
ADA Practice Transitions includes an online profile with demographic information, a personality assessment and a detailed section that helps a dentist articulate their philosophy of care — their unique approach to dentistry.
The service provides intuitive filters when pairing potential dentists, including location preferences and whether a person is looking to purchase or find employment. An assigned personal ADA advisor reviews each profile and makes suggested matches based on the criteria, with an emphasis on a shared philosophy of care.
The assigned ADA advisor is there to help facilitate the process and foster a positive relationship for both parties. The ADA advisor guides participating dentists through each step to ensure they feel confident they are connected with the right dentist.
“One of the most important things I was looking for [in an associateship] was to connect with a doctor who was willing to be a mentor to me,” said Dr. Sikora. “I was looking for someone who would not be annoyed if I had a question about a case but would rather be excited to teach me how to approach the case. At the same time, I wanted to make sure that the doctor I worked for was not too hands on because I also need to build my independence and confidence.”
“Dr. Gagnon has been even more wonderful than I could have imagined,” Dr. Sikora added. “I could not have dreamt of a more perfect fit for me.”
In addition, ADA Practice Transitions protects the confidentiality of participating dentists. Unlike a typical classified or online posting, ADA Practice Transitions profiles cannot be seen by everyone. Rather, an advisor will show both dentists only the basic profile details, including general location and essential practice information, plus philosophy of care statements. Identifying information, such as names and photos are blocked out.
This prevents other dentists on the platform from learning who is looking for a change.
The ADA Practice Transitions service was developed after field research uncovered a need in the marketplace for dentists who want to connect for both employment opportunities and to facilitate the transition of a practice from one owner to another. Research also found additional needs around learning skills related to basic business management, ownership, patient acquisition, purchasing and staff relationships.
“As I look back on my experience with ADAPT, I have to give [ADA advisor] Dr. Suzanne Ebert a lot of credit as I think she had great insight,” Dr. Gagnon said. “She is responsible for a perfect match in my eyes. The ADAPT program is so well organized and thought out, I would highly recommend it to any colleague.”
To learn more about ADA Practice Transitions, visit ADAPracticeTransitions.com. ADA Practice Transitions is also hosting a free webinar, Find Career Success with ADA Practice Transitions, on Sept. 21. Register for the webinar here.