Barriers and Opportunities for Dental Graduate Students
Comments about the barriers and opportunities regarding joining private practices versus dental service organizations have been entered into columns B and C of the attached spreadsheet. They include both comments from the perspective of dental graduate students as well comments from the perspective of professionals.
- Dental graduate students can obtain useful clinical and business knowledge as well as personal mentorship if they join a good private practice with seasoned dentists.
- Private practices are far more in number than DSOs, so it is easier for dental graduate students to find a private practice in a place where they desire to live.
- New dental associates are often made to start out with limited patients and simple procedures at private practices, thereby hindering their proficiency.
- Dental graduate students who join private practices are expected to earn less income until they are able to build a stable client base of their own. Also, most private practices don’t provide healthcare benefits.
- Private practices typically operate as a tight-knit family. This enables a lot of communication which promotes growth to take place between the owners and the employees who join them.
- Private practices provide fewer career advancement opportunities for professionals who join them.
- Private practices can hardly cope with the complexity and rising cost of providing insurance and healthcare benefits for professionals who join them.
- Professionals who join private practices have their income tied to the amount of work they do and it declines when they are not working.
Dental Service Organizations (DSOs)/Corporate Dental Offices
- Since all administrative tasks are typically handled by the corporate team, dental graduate students who join DSOs can focus on treating patients, paying off their student debt with a steady income, and enhancing their dental skills.
- Different DSOs operate with different business models, so dental graduate students would learn different skills depending on which DSO they join.
- Different DSOs also have different clinical support. Dental graduate students should determine the type of dentists they want to be and find out if they can be accommodated.
- DSOs are quite busy and efficient. They provide a great opportunity for dental graduate students to learn about the inside operations of successful and profitable DSO practice.
- DSOs usually provide comprehensive benefits packages. This is an incentive for dental graduate students who are accepting their first job.
- DSOs can offer the flexibility of relocation to professionals who join them in order to practice in other locations in the US or progress to other career positions.
- Many DSOs hire part-time and traveling professional dentists and this gives them more flexibility and options to continue practicing.
- Joining a DSO provides professionals with the opportunity to just show up, do dentistry work, and leave.
- Professionals who join DSOs generally have lower overall earning opportunities than their counterparts who join private practices.