How will you gain the practical business and leadership knowledge you need to succeed? Find your framework for bridging the gap by doing these few things; 1. Get your professional TEAM in place 2. Acquire a MENTOR - someone who can give you reputable advice and guidance in practice management 3. Take business CE courses 4. Join STUDY GROUPS and follow online sources for dental business information.

WHERE TO BEGIN | looking for work

Local Dental Society | Accounting Firm | Placement Services | Study Clubs | Supply Reps | Labs  - reach out to these groups and individuals as a starting point for getting your foot in the door.


1.Do you have an employee handbook (office policy manual)?  Who maintains it and how often is it updated?  2.How long will you continue to practice?  3.How much equity in the practice are you willing to share with other partners/owners?  Is it important to you to remain a majority owner over the other associate(s)?  4.Will you be looking for additional associates/partners in the near future?  5.What is your approach to resolving conflict with an associate or team member?  6.To what extent do you see yourself as a mentor to an associate?  7.What practice management responsibilities are delegated to an office manager / staff member?  8.What are some of your positive and negative experiences with previous associates?  9.What are the most important qualities an associate will need to be successful in this practice? 10. What is your approach to marketing your practice?  What areas are you looking to expand or improve upon? 11. What kind of experience does the patient have in the practice?  What things do you do to let the patient know that they are valued? 12. Tell me about your clinical philosophy.  What do typical treatment plans look like in this practice, and how are they executed?  Do you expect an associate to adopt your philosophy 100%?  13. What is your approach to incorporating new technologies / materials / techniques in the practice?  14. If an associate has a particular instrument or material they would like to use in practice, do you accommodate that request? 15. If an associate wants to attend CE to develop a new clinical skill or practice management skill, do you accommodate that request?  16. To what extent do you expect an associate to be engaged in marketing in the community, volunteering, etc.?  What is expected from an associate in terms of representing the practice?  17. How are patients and treatments assigned to an associate v. owner dentist?  How do you ensure that an associate is not relegated to low-end procedures, exams, cleaning, etc while the owner dentist cherry-picks high-end procedures?  18. What is the dynamic of the team during the work day in front of patients?  Relaxed and informal?  Highly professional?  Doctor and assistant conversing during treatment v. silence?  19. How many active patients does the practice have per provider?  Are you happy with this number?  20. How far out is the hygiene schedule currently booked?  Are you happy with this?  21. How many new patients does the practice welcome each month?  22. What is the practice’s policy on referring treatment out?  Is an associate permitted to refer cases to specialists at his sole discretion?  23. Are there certain procedures associates are prohibited from doing?  24. Which is the most important for success dentistry—high technical/clinical skills; interpersonal / communication skills; business management skills, etc?  25. What happens to an associate’s schedule compensation /job if business slows down?  26. How much staff turnover has the practice experienced within the last two years?  27. How is new staff trained?  What do you look for in a successful staff member?  28. Do staff members report to associates in the practice, or solely to the owner dentist?  How responsive are staff members to instructions given by and requests from the associate?  29. What is your tolerance level for creativity, trial and error, and new techniques in clinical treatment?  30. What is your tolerance level for clinical imperfection?   

Amy Deschamps

SUCCESS ESSENTIALS | Dental Management Consultant