There is little question that hiring an associate dentist is a momentous decision for your practice. Besides taking another salary onto the payroll, you are also trusting your reputation to another provider who will be working under your banner. While there are risks, there are also numerous benefits of hiring an Associate Dentist that will justify your decision. Here are some ways that it could help your practice.
Hiring an Associate Dentist Means More Office Coverage
Like anyone else, you need to take a vacation sometimes. Dentistry is a stressful occupation, and recharging batteries is a must. However, when you are out of the office, you cannot see patients. You may not want to close the office or even scale back to go away because it could cost you business and patients. In a sense, you end up tied to your office far more than you want.
Hiring an associate allows you the time to take a break. You have office coverage at more times. This is important when you have a family emergency or when something else comes up in life. You could have the associate see your patients when you are unable. This gives you relief and confidence that your practice could keep running without you.
Adding an Associate Helps Expand Your Practice
More dentists mean more patients. While some dentists are comfortable with a single-dentist operation, many practitioners have long-term goals to expand their reach. There is only so much that a solo dentist practice can do when it comes to seeing patients because you have a limited amount of time.
You may have inactive patients you want to reach out to, but you are afraid of having too many people come in for appointments. Not only does hiring an associate allow you to go out and get new patients, but it also permits you to expand outreach to your existing patients who may not come in as often as they should.
Dentists need to market their practice, but there is a fear that they can be too successful and will need to turn patients away. Building up your staff and hiring an associate positions you well when your marketing efforts begin to bear fruit.
An Associate Lowers Your Stress Level
As the manager of your own practice, there are so many things expected of you. Treating patients is only part of your job. In addition, you have to handle the business aspects of your job, including marketing as well as managing employees. You can imagine how that can get stressful after a while. You may even find that your practice suffers because you get caught up in some of the details.
This adds up to a situation in which you may be wearing too many hats. It can get stressful for a solo dentist with everything on their plate. While you may not be able to pass practice management functions off to an associate, they certainly can lighten your load in treating patients. You could breathe much easier knowing that there is someone there to share your responsibilities, taking some burden off your shoulders.
Increasing Transition Possibilities With a Dental Associate
As a solo dentist, you will not want to simply close up shop when it comes time to move on or retire. You have business from a roster of patients, and this has value that you should not sacrifice. This is what you have spent a career building.
Hiring an associate may pave the way when it comes time to transition. Your associate could be the one who takes over your practice. You could enter an arrangement in which the associate would agree to purchase the practice when you are ready to retire. This gives you some options when it comes to planning for your future.
An Associate Improves Patient Care
In many cases, there is strength and quality in numbers. Bringing on an associate not only increases the time to see patients, but it also brings in different experiences and skill sets. Your patients will benefit from the diversity in training and specialties among the practice’s dentists.
It can improve both the quality of care in your practice and the patient experience. If you are overburdened and pulled in too many directions, it could harm the patient experience. Taking some of the load off makes things such as scheduling much easier.
It Increases the Value of Your Practice
When you have associate dentists on staff, your practice has more ability to grow. When someone is interested in purchasing your practice, they are not just looking at your current number of patients. They are also considering your infrastructure and room to expand.
Even if you are not looking to sell anytime soon, an associate builds the value of your practice. You can market more and acquire more patients knowing that there is someone else who can treat them.
Of course, you should not just expand for the sake of expansion. Hiring a dental associate is a large commitment and will increase your payroll considerably. You should either have the existing patient base to support it or the ability to quickly grow your business. In addition, you must make sure that the person you are hiring is the right fit for your practice.
In the end, you may find that the benefits of hiring a dental associate far outweigh the costs. If you can afford the salary, it could change your practice for the better. Give us a call to learn more.