Should you take the money

The true cost of a signing bonus

Image of ADA Practice Transitions graphicIf you ask a dentist about “corporate dentistry,” you may get a strong reaction. Opinions range from “corporate dentistry is destroying the profession” to “corporate dentistry is ideal – it allows a dentist to focus on dentistry rather than running a business,” with many flavors in between.

In particular, I have heard a number of established dentists lament how many new graduates choose the corporate dentistry route for their first job. Whenever I encounter someone who is disappointed with a new graduate’s choice outside of independent dentistry, I often have the following conversation:

“Have you ever hired an associate?"

“Of course I have.”

“Did you hire a new grad?”

“Oh, I would never hire a new grad. Someone has to have two to five years’ experience before I would consider them.”

Read that over a couple more times if you missed the irony.

Don’t get me wrong. There are certainly dentists who are willing to hire and train new graduates, then mentor and nurture them as they gain speed and proficiency. But it is alarming to me how often I run into dentists who want an associate with significant experience but just can’t understand why new grads often choose corporate dentistry.

Why does corporate dentistry offer signing bonuses to new hires? Find out what that signing bonus might cost to associate dentists, owners and the industry.

Will a signing bonus help you reach your career goals? Find out how to decide between short-term money and long-term autonomy.

Short-term cash or long-term goals? ADAPT CEO Bill Robinson explores how signing bonuses are changing new dentists’ options. Read more in the ADAPT Blog.