As a dental associate looking for a job, it goes without saying that your choice of a practice will have a large impact on both your present and future. However, you may have a hard time knowing, after only a handful of conversations, whether a certain practice is the right one for you.
They Are in a Good Location for You
Dentistry is not a job that can be done remotely. You will end up a part of the community in which you practice or live somewhere nearby. It has to be in a location in which you are comfortable and can see you and your family living for the long term. Pay close attention to the neighborhood and the city to know if the fit is right.
The location must also be sustainable, meaning that it can support your job for a long time. Even if you do not stay with the practice forever, the market itself must be robust enough to support your personal career so you do not have to move in the future.
There Are Growth Opportunities for You
If you are looking for an associateship, you may have some ambition of eventually owning your own practice or becoming a partner in your own group. Many practices will allow dentists to buy or obtain an ownership interest over time. If you want to move up eventually in your practice, it is important to look for one with growth opportunities for you over time.
As an associate, you may want more of a financial interest some day without necessarily starting a practice of your own. Of course, this is something for the future and not the present, but it may help you to know that the opportunity is there when you want it.
The Practice Is Stable
There are certain situations that indicate possible instability in the future. For example, the practice could be headed by an older dentist who may sell it once they retire. This means that the practice that you work for today may not be the same one as in the future.
Make sure to ask about succession plans and where the business is going. Ideally, the right practice is one that can offer you stability for as long as you want it. The last thing that you want after you have gone to the effort to find a new job is to have to look for a new one within a few years.
You Are in Sync With the Practice?
One of the most important factors is your chemistry with the other dentists and staff. These will be the people that you work with for at least a part of your career. We cannot understate the importance of getting along with your coworkers. It can make or break your job. This is another way of saying that culture matters, and it is perhaps the most important thing about a practice.
Chemistry also means that you are in step with the practice philosophically. There are different business theories that underpin a practice, and some of them may not match your own personal view of care. Take some time to learn how the practice views patient treatment and how it mixes business into the equation. If you have a close match in philosophy, chances are that this practice may be the right one for you.
Research Their Reputation
You can learn a lot about how a practice really works by reading what the patients have to say. Their reviews can capture daily moments in the life of the practice that you may not pick up during the interviews. Ultimately, the patients are the best judge of the practice, and they could provide a reality check about the type of care provided. Patients may uniformly say that the level of service is excellent, and the dentists are caring professionals. The patients swear by the practice because of their experience with the dentists and office. This is how you know that you have found the right practice.
Speak to the Other Associates
Besides having chemistry with the people you are working for, you also should be sync with the other associates. They may also be able to give you valuable pieces of information in a conversation. Try to envision the environment that they are describing when you talk. If you can see yourself working with these people every day, it is a sign that you are a fit. You can do all the research in the world, but actual conversations with your possible coworkers can tell you the most.
Speak to Your Recruiter
Many potential dental associates will use a dental recruiter in their job search. Our recruiters at Henry Schein Nationwide Dental Opportunities will have an open conversation with you about dental practices, using our detailed knowledge of the industry and the people involved. We pride ourselves in knowing the dental business and can act as a guide through the process when you work with us.
You can have a conversation with a recruiter and ask them the hard questions about the dental practice that you may be afraid to ask during the interview process. The more information that you can get from different angles, the better of a decision that you can make. Feel free to ask us point-blank and direct questions during the placement process.
If you are looking for a dental associateship position, whether it’s a General Dentist or Specialist position, having an expert guide you throughout the process will help you make an informed decision. Choose the recruiters at NDO to ensure a successful job hunt.