THE NEXTDDS Fall 2015 Magazine is now online! This issue features an article entitled Pick Your Path--What is a DSO? (on page 20) that looks at the role of the DSO-supported practice in modern dentistry and how new graduates may benefit from joining such a practice. Whether recent graduate or practicing dentist, there are many who may benefit from practicing in a DSO environment. Those desiring flexible schedules, bearing the burden of significant student loan debt, or needing to build competency in a structured practice model are ideal for the practice supported by a DSO. New dentists who wish to learn from proven business systems rather than a traditional solo practitioner are also well suited for the DSO model. Below are 5 benefits, that you can find out about more fully within the article, of a DSO-supported practice.
With a guaranteed steady patient flow (a key driver in any practice) and competitive salary packages, it’s not surprising that this is a major factor in the decision for new graduates. Many affiliated dentists enjoy higher production and earn more than their counterparts in private practice due to an ability to spend time on patient care rather than business activities.
Ease of Employment
New graduates can face difficulties finding immediate employment for a number of reasons. Dentists are retiring later than in previous years, so the number of practices for sale/partnership have reduced. Recovery from the recession has been slow, so fewer private practices are hiring associates or graduates with little experience. It can be difficult for a new graduate to get a foot in the door or, alternately, to obtain capital for practice acquisition. Practices supported by DSOs are willing to employ new graduates and are able to support them to a degree that a private practice often cannot.
Upon graduation, the average dentist has nearly $250,000 in student loan debt, creating a barrier to practice ownership. Generating enough income to cover debt and expenses the first few years as a solo practitioner can be challenging. Some DSOs have programs in place to help dental students retire their dental school debt faster.
Modern employment trends are evolving, and lifestyle preferences such as regular hours, mobility, and flexible work schedules are becoming increasingly important. A successful dental career isn’t all about money, and married professionals and dual-profession families require a lifestyle that practice ownership doesn’t always allow.
Opportunities to Acquire Experience
Increasing confidence and clinical speed while building patient production is a big attraction for new dentists. Practices supported by DSOs are able to offer clinical supervision, ongoing education, in-house training, and other benefits that usually aren’t available in a traditional private practice. The opportunities for interaction with other dentists and peers is also an attractive feature of a larger practice structure. Organizations such as the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) have formed out this same imperative, enabling affiliated dentists to join a community and to brainstorm and collectively discuss issues affecting the profession.
DSO-supported practices are part of a growing trend in the industry to provide quality and affordable care to improve public health. Why is joining a practice associated with a DSO a smart move for a new dental graduate? Access the article now!