monkeykey

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With all this talk about about many new dental schools opening up and corporate dentistry taking over as well as saturation what can a new dentist expect to make straight out of school in 2019? I see many posts with people claiming to start making under $80-90K starting which seems like an unreasonably low return on investment as far as dental school tuition cost and lost opportunity cost of other careers? Also it it reasonable to expect to be making $200K 5 years out? Thanks!
 
Jan 1, 2018
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With all this talk about about many new dental schools opening up and corporate dentistry taking over as well as saturation what can a new dentist expect to make straight out of school in 2019? I see many posts with people claiming to start making under $80-90K starting which seems like an unreasonably low return on investment as far as dental school tuition cost and lost opportunity cost of other careers? Also it it reasonable to expect to be making $200K 5 years out? Thanks!
Whoever that told you 80-90k is either not being truthful or they really sell themselves short. It will be at least 100k I can guarantee that for you, assuming you work full-time. Likely more. However it doesn’t mean you’ll make $200k after 5 years. You can, but it’s just not that easy as an associate.
 
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Rainee

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Whoever that told you 80-90k is either not being truthful or they really sell themselves short. It will be at least 100k I can guarantee that for you, assuming you work full-time. Likely more. However it doesn’t mean you’ll make $200k after 5 years. You can, but it’s just not that easy as an associate.
I find the 120-150k reasonable for a new grad. 200k+ is something that exists if you have a few years experience and located in a GOOD associateship. The rest like 250-300k+ is more or less associated with UNICORN associateships meaning 1 in a million sorta thing...and you WILL be working your ass off. However 250-300k+ is easily attainable with ownership.

I would say 80-90k is like something for a part time associate.
 
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With all this talk about about many new dental schools opening up and corporate dentistry taking over as well as saturation what can a new dentist expect to make straight out of school in 2019? I see many posts with people claiming to start making under $80-90K starting which seems like an unreasonably low return on investment as far as dental school tuition cost and lost opportunity cost of other careers? Also it it reasonable to expect to be making $200K 5 years out? Thanks!
The income depends on how hard you work and the number of patients you treat per day and the type of patients (PPO vs HMO vs medicaid) the office has. The more patients you treat, the higher income you will have. Being out longer and having more years of work experience don't necessarily mean you'll make more. It depends on the location and the office that hires you.

Last week, I traveled to another corp office to cover for a colleague, who was on a vacation. And when I was there, I met the managing general dentist, who has worked at this same corp office since 2004, the year he graduated. After working there for a few months, he was promoted to managing dentist position. According to him, he (and another associate GP) used to produce at least $100k every month at this corp office. With bonuses, he brought home more than $300k/year. He bought a nice house in Hungtington beach and a used Lamborghini Gallardo for $170k. When the recession hit in the late 2008, this office has lost a lot of PPO patients. He said he now makes less than half of what he made before. He used to refer a lot of patients to the orthodontist, whom I helped cover for that day. There used to be 6 ortho days per month at this office....now, there are only 3 ortho days here. He sold his Lambo and now drives a Model 3 Tesla. I asked why he doesn't look for another job that pays him better. He said everywhere in SoCal is bad and he's happy with his current salary since he already paid off his student loan.....and his fiance, whom he will marry soon, is an ER doctor.
 
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Any newly graduated dentists care to chime in?
My first job offer was for $100k. I didn't take it. Instead I did more job searching and connected with recruiters. I received guaranteed salary offers of $175k (private) & $200k (corp). I ended up not taking either of them for different reasons and settled as an associate with a different private practice. I was offered $800/day or 32% production, whichever greater and I made $180k the first year at 32 hours a week.

It's very possible to make $200k 5 years out but there's no formula, everyone's way of getting there will be different.
 
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studentdent00

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I asked why he doesn't look for another job that pays him better. He said everywhere in SoCal is bad and he's happy with his current salary since he already paid off his student loan.....and his fiance, whom he will marry soon, is an ER doctor.
This is very important to new grads with lots of student loans. I plan on marrying a physician as well. Having a high income earner as a spouse allows you to take more business risks.
 
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monkeykey

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My first job offer was for $100k. I didn't take it. Instead I did more job searching and connected with recruiters. I received guaranteed salary offers of $175k (private) & $200k (corp). I ended up not taking either of them for different reasons and settled as an associate with a different private practice. I was offered $800/day or 32% production, whichever greater and I made $180k the first year.

It's very possible to make $200k 5 years out but there's no formula, everyone's way of getting there will be different.

What did you see as the consensus from your surrounding classmates?
 
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What did you see as the consensus from your surrounding classmates?
In general, I saw those who did a residency fare better than those who did not. A busy GPR/AEGD with diverse clinical experience allowed them (and myself) to increase confidence, speed and skill set. That one year of residency can add 3-5 years of clinical experience for a new grad. I also saw the ones who continued to invest in themselves with high quality CE courses do better.

There are many factors influencing success/income potential but the most predictable factor is investing in yourself and your skills set.
 

Rainee

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In general, I saw those who did a residency fare better than those who did not. A busy GPR/AEGD with diverse clinical experience allowed them (and myself) to increase confidence, speed and skill set. That one year of residency can add 3-5 years of clinical experience for a new grad. I also saw the ones who continued to invest in themselves with high quality CE courses do better.

There are many factors influencing success/income potential but the most predictable factor is investing in yourself and your skills set.
That goes with outside investments to. When you get into middle stages of your career, you start having personal advisors, real estate guys, stock brokers try to talk to you about how if you invest in this stock, this real estate second house, this commercial property that you will grow your money exponentially. While it CAN be true, the best investment is YOURSELF and your business. If I ever have extra money lying around, I put that money into myself with CE, courses, and growing the practice. You can control your own investment, but you can't control how Amazon will do a year from now with your 100 measly shares of Amazon stock.
 
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monkeykey

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In general, I saw those who did a residency fare better than those who did not. A busy GPR/AEGD with diverse clinical experience allowed them (and myself) to increase confidence, speed and skill set. That one year of residency can add 3-5 years of clinical experience for a new grad. I also saw the ones who continued to invest in themselves with high quality CE courses do better.

There are many factors influencing success/income potential but the most predictable factor is investing in yourself and your skills set.
Would working a busy schedule for a year or two at a corporate chain be similar to a GPR/AEGD? Are these dental residency's 80 hours a week? You would get at better at speed quickly right? And make more money right out the door to pay off loans. How do these residency compare to a 1 year OMS internship for someone who might want to go into a surgery heavy practice?

267356
 
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Jan 27, 2019
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Would working a busy schedule for a year or two at a corporate chain be similar to a GPR/AEGD? Are these dental residency's 80 hours a week? You would get at better at speed quickly right? And make more money right out the door to pay off loans. How do these residency compare to a 1 year OMS internship for someone who might want to go into a surgery heavy practice?

View attachment 267356
Consider what a person learns in residency and who he/she is learning from. In a good GPR/AEGD residency program, you'll have core curriculum classes with pHDs, general dentists and specialists. You'll have dedicated clinic time with specialists as well as literature review with them. You'll have case review/treatment planning seminars with knowledgeable general dentists. You'll work under/ learn from different dentists who each bring unique experiences. And if your co-resident has an interesting case, you'll get to learn about treatment planning and managing it too. Working a busy schedule at any corp/private practice clinic does not compare to a good GPR/AEGD residency because it's not only speed which needs improvement for a new grad. New grads need exposure to a variety of cases and guidance on how to treat/manage them. With that comes the confidence needed to set the new grad up for success in the real world. This is how a good GPR/AEGD program can add 3-5 of clinical experience in only 12 months.

My residency schedule was 4 days of clinic with evening literature review/case presentation twice a week. 1 day a week was dedicated to didactic courses, usually a couple hours a day, sometimes in the evening. Maybe it was 80 hours a week but it wasn't a difficult/exhausting 80 hours a week. I had time for family, friends and traveling.

I'm not sure how a GPR/AEGD compares to an OMS internship. Maybe reach out to GPR/AEGD programs and ask them what kind of surgical experience residents receive. They should have exact numbers for the surgical procedures their residents have done but understand that even the experience for each resident can be pretty different. It just depends on the needs of the patient. For example, one of my co-residents placed 30 implants but did zero perio surgeries. I placed 5 implants but did 13 perio surgeries.
 

Bodhi4092

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My experience:
Graduated in 2013 with around 200k in student loans. Did not do a GPR (or buy a practice yet) for geographic/family reasons but in general would recommend it, your work will improve in quality and you'll get better exposure to specialty procedures. A *good* GPR can probably teach you what took me a few years in private practice to learn.

My first two jobs were in nice private practices, one PPO, one FFS. My first four years I earned around ~$100k on a four day work week. Decent money for sure but could have paid off loans faster if I had two part time associateships instead of one slower associateship at a time. I did get a lot of mentorship at these offices which helped lay a good foundation for later though.

Currently I work at a DSO with a~ $120k (500 per day) draw, i.e. if you don't produce enough to keep up before you leave you would owe money, so read your contracts carefully when they say there is a daily guarantee. Here I work a 5 day a week schedule with busy hours and will probably earn $180k ish this year. Would be very hard as a new grad but just kind of a nuisance at this point in my career. In general would recommend buying a practice after a few years as opposed to associating.
 
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Screwtape

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I'll add my $0.02 as a 2017 grad.
I did a GPR after dental school. I am finishing up my first year as an associate and I will gross $180k as a 4 days a week W-4 employee with decently good perks (vacation time, 401k, healthcare etc.) My first 6 months I did not beat my base guarantee of $700 a day. However now I am producing about $100k a month and have renegotiated my contract. If I continue this pace I will gross about $280k on 4 days a week next year. BUT, I do not like working at this pace and we are hiring another dentist to help lighten my load. I am hoping to do $225-250k in my third year after dental school at a more desirable pace. I would not be in this practice nor producing these numbers in this practice without my GPR.

I am definitely above average compared to my dental school friends, but I have two friends who are both at about $200k in year 2 after dental school (no residency). The others are stuck around $120-140k, not beating their base. It's all about being in the right practice where you can produce. I know a few of my classmates received guaranteed offers of >/= $200k right after dental school, but in very rural locations. Best of luck!
 
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monkeykey

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I'll add my $0.02 as a 2017 grad.
I did a GPR after dental school. I am finishing up my first year as an associate and I will gross $180k as a 4 days a week W-4 employee with decently good perks (vacation time, 401k, healthcare etc.) My first 6 months I did not beat my base guarantee of $700 a day. However now I am producing about $100k a month and have renegotiated my contract. If I continue this pace I will gross about $280k on 4 days a week next year. BUT, I do not like working at this pace and we are hiring another dentist to help lighten my load. I am hoping to do $225-250k in my third year after dental school at a more desirable pace. I would not be in this practice nor producing these numbers in this practice without my GPR.

I am definitely above average compared to my dental school friends, but I have two friends who are both at about $200k in year 2 after dental school (no residency). The others are stuck around $120-140k, not beating their base. It's all about being in the right practice where you can produce. I know a few of my classmates received guaranteed offers of >/= $200k right after dental school, but in very rural locations. Best of luck!
What aspects about the GPR increase your speed? Is it because you are not really the head dentist for the patient and have more time to treat them and ask a superior for advice on treatment?
 

Screwtape

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What aspects about the GPR increase your speed? Is it because you are not really the head dentist for the patient and have more time to treat them and ask a superior for advice on treatment?
Speed just comes with reps. If anything GPRs are probably slower in regards to increasing speed vs a busy private practice. However I learned some high producing procedures (implants, surgery, endo, etc) and gained confidence by doing lots of tough cases with a specialist to bail me out if needed. Some of my gung-ho classmates are catching up to me in regards to procedures offered but they spent a lot of money and a lot of weekends learning them. But I also took a pay cut to be a resident. I’m not saying my way is the right way. Lots of different ways to achieve whatever goal you may have.
 

TanMan

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With all this talk about about many new dental schools opening up and corporate dentistry taking over as well as saturation what can a new dentist expect to make straight out of school in 2019? I see many posts with people claiming to start making under $80-90K starting which seems like an unreasonably low return on investment as far as dental school tuition cost and lost opportunity cost of other careers? Also it it reasonable to expect to be making $200K 5 years out? Thanks!
Minimum for a dentist these days is 120k/year. 200k 5 years out is totally reasonable, if not underestimating your earning potential after 5 years. Ownership is where it's at and if you're willing to produce, medicaid mills are your best bet in an associateship.

That goes with outside investments to. When you get into middle stages of your career, you start having personal advisors, real estate guys, stock brokers try to talk to you about how if you invest in this stock, this real estate second house, this commercial property that you will grow your money exponentially. While it CAN be true, the best investment is YOURSELF and your business. If I ever have extra money lying around, I put that money into myself with CE, courses, and growing the practice. You can control your own investment, but you can't control how Amazon will do a year from now with your 100 measly shares of Amazon stock.
This is true to a certain extent. There are certain things you can do in your practice that will definitely pay off such as advertising and CEREC(s) (if there's enough patient volume). There are other aspects that dental reps will try to sell you on that will supposedly "revolutionize" your practice... every quarter when they have to meet quotas.

Would working a busy schedule for a year or two at a corporate chain be similar to a GPR/AEGD? Are these dental residency's 80 hours a week? You would get at better at speed quickly right? And make more money right out the door to pay off loans. How do these residency compare to a 1 year OMS internship for someone who might want to go into a surgery heavy practice?

View attachment 267356
If you work for a chain for a year, you'll develop a lot more speed. OS's can charge more from an insurance standpoint due the specialty and the built-in capability for sedation. A lot of the OS's in my area tend to do 3rds with ridge preservation, sedation, and all sorts of other add-ons. As a GP, if you are PPO heavy, the fee schedules for 3rds may not be as profitable. If you're looking at implants, same deal as to whether you plan to be the surgical and restorative dentist simultaneously. The surgical part of all on X's is more profitable than the actual restorative portion (due to the lab costs and workup time).

A GPR/AEGD is more for people who need guidance performing a procedure and learning in a more structured environment. If you're the type that can attend a weekend course (and start doing those procedures monday morning) or can watch a youtube video 10 mins before and execute the procedure, then a GPR/AEGD may not be suitable for you. The advantage of those that can do the weekend/youtube route is that you can learn quickly and build your speed up significantly faster than your AEGD/GPR counterparts. I think that's where the "doctor" part comes in. If you have complications, your inner "doctor" instincts will tell you what to do to fix it... or have one of your specialists fix it.

Edit: I think speed is more important in the beginning. The habits of speed that we acquire in the beginning can set the tone of your future practice speed and volume.
 
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Rainee

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I'll add my $0.02 as a 2017 grad.
I did a GPR after dental school. I am finishing up my first year as an associate and I will gross $180k as a 4 days a week W-4 employee with decently good perks (vacation time, 401k, healthcare etc.) My first 6 months I did not beat my base guarantee of $700 a day. However now I am producing about $100k a month and have renegotiated my contract. If I continue this pace I will gross about $280k on 4 days a week next year. BUT, I do not like working at this pace and we are hiring another dentist to help lighten my load. I am hoping to do $225-250k in my third year after dental school at a more desirable pace. I would not be in this practice nor producing these numbers in this practice without my GPR.

I am definitely above average compared to my dental school friends, but I have two friends who are both at about $200k in year 2 after dental school (no residency). The others are stuck around $120-140k, not beating their base. It's all about being in the right practice where you can produce. I know a few of my classmates received guaranteed offers of >/= $200k right after dental school, but in very rural locations. Best of luck!
Holy Moly 100k a month? I produce about 40k a month, the other 60k is from 2-3 column hygiene. You must be a beast. Place implants, sinus lifts, third molars exts? Does that include hygiene exams or straight production? Considering most practices are weighted 2/3 doc production to 1/3 hygiene with a 55-65% overhead- you are going to be killing it when you go into ownership.

along with providing location, can you also include where you completed your GPR/AEGD? You guys have been super helpful!
@ZestyToothpaste @Bodhi4092 @Screwtape @Rainee
Worked in California. Moved out to Wa/Or and been happy ever since.
 
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Screwtape

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Holy Moly 100k a month? I produce about 40k a month, the other 60k is from 2-3 column hygiene. You must be a beast. Place implants, sinus lifts, third molars exts? Does that include hygiene exams or straight production? Considering most practices are weighted 2/3 doc production to 1/3 hygiene with a 55-65% overhead- you are going to be killing it when you go into ownership.



Worked in California. Moved out to Wa/Or and been happy ever since.
Ha the $100k is my total production, including periodic exams (I don’t get production on x rays hygiene take). My offices average adjustment is 30% so my average monthly adjusted production is about $70k, which is what I’m paid on. I am a full scope general dentist at a very busy practice. I cover 3-4 hygiene columns. I do big extraction cases with dentures, implant placement and grafting, erupted thirds only, fair amount of endo, and then plenty of the bread and butter. Nothing too crazy, I send the hard cases out to OS and endo.
 

Screwtape

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along with providing location, can you also include where you completed your GPR/AEGD? You guys have been super helpful!
@ZestyToothpaste @Bodhi4092 @Screwtape @Rainee
I work in the Midwest in a city with a population less than 1 million. I did a VA GPR in a major city. Sorta vague but that’s the best you’re gonna get seeing that I disclosed income on here.
 
Jan 27, 2019
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For those providing income detail, it would be nice if your included your general location (e.g. NYC). I think income is greatly influenced by location.

Bondi4092 - where are you practicing? In PA?
The job I accepted with $800/day or 32% production was in a suburb of Cleveland. $100k & $200k offers were in suburbs of Pittsburgh. $175 was in rural PA. None of these were medicaid mills, all PPOs and FFS. All 4 days/week.

along with providing location, can you also include where you completed your GPR/AEGD? You guys have been super helpful!
@ZestyToothpaste @Bodhi4092 @Screwtape @Rainee
I completed my AEGD at UCLA in Venice. It's a satellite clinic with no other specialties except ortho and peds so we did everything. More importantly, Dr. Colby Smith does a great job of training residents on how to diagnose and treatment plan multiphasic therapy. Speaking with colleagues and attending general dentistry meetings has made me realize most general dentists are very weak when it comes to this and only know how to treat one tooth at a time.
 
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Chiming in here, but don't rule out public health either starting out. Yes, it takes a specific type of person to function happily in public health. That being said, a buddy of mine was offered 4 days a week (170K) to be a general dentist in a public health clinic right after finishing his GPR. Not too shabby and to not have to deal with a lot of the bs of a private practice (there are of course some disadvantages, but that's public health for ya...)
 
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beannaithe

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Income tends to be pretty location dependent. It includes your percentage, insurance reimbursement rates, and your schedule. I think $80-90k can likely happen in the bigger metropolitan areas. Think SoCal or NYC where there's an oversupply of dentists. $200k at 5 years will again, depend on your insurance reimbursements, your skill set, and how many days a week you work. It's doable, but I don't think you'd likely hit it doing just straight bread and butter and working 4 days a week. I think you'd likely need to take on more advanced procedures like placing implants, extracting 3rds or more complicated root canals. I'd say endo or implants would be what I'd recommend starting with as a newish grad.

I did a little over $100k last year on 2.5 days in a medium-sized city in a semi-rural area. I'm in PA. Our reimbursement rates from most insurances plummeted (~20-25%) a few years ago. Incomes took a huge hit as a result.
 
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Chiming in here, but don't rule out public health either starting out. Yes, it takes a specific type of person to function happily in public health. That being said, a buddy of mine was offered 4 days a week (170K) to be a general dentist in a public health clinic right after finishing his GPR. Not too shabby and to not have to deal with a lot of the bs of a private practice (there are of course some disadvantages, but that's public health for ya...)
was that with the NHSC or did he just find a clinic on his own? where would i find these clinic listings?
 

Bodhi4092

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For those providing income detail, it would be nice if your included your general location (e.g. NYC). I think income is greatly influenced by location.

Bondi4092 - where are you practicing? In PA?
I don't want to get too specific but I have been in the Mid-Atlantic region. My first jobs were in small semi-rural towns and am currently in a well known city where it's more saturated.
 
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could i hope for a 100-120k/year out of residency in the Boston area? is that reasonable?
i wish i could go rural but boyfriend will be doing is phd at MIT so i don't have much option...
 
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could i hope for a 100-120k/year out of residency in the Boston area? is that reasonable?
i wish i could go rural but boyfriend will be doing is phd at MIT so i don't have much option...
It depends on the number of days you are willing to work. Dentists usually get paid a daily rate. The more days you work the more $$$ you will make. If the average daily pay in Boston area is $600/day and you plan to work 6 days/week, you will make more than a dentist who gets paid $800/day (in an area where it’s not too saturated) but only works 4 days/week. To get 6 days/week schedule, you may have to work at more than 1 office. There are a lot of Asian dentists in Boston area...I am pretty sure many of their offices are opened to treat patients on Saturdays and Sundays.
 
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With all this talk about about many new dental schools opening up and corporate dentistry taking over as well as saturation what can a new dentist expect to make straight out of school in 2019? I see many posts with people claiming to start making under $80-90K starting which seems like an unreasonably low return on investment as far as dental school tuition cost and lost opportunity cost of other careers? Also it it reasonable to expect to be making $200K 5 years out? Thanks!
I graduated in 2018, went straight to work. Most of my job offers were around $145k/yr (all in public health settings). I was a position making $200k first year and now second year will be making $220k.

I haven't heard of anyone making < $100k since like 2012. That kind of salary is totally unsustainable if you have any sort of student loan debt
 
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thestylishgeek

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I graduated in 2018, went straight to work. Most of my job offers were around $145k/yr (all in public health settings). I was a position making $200k first year and now second year will be making $220k.

I haven't heard of anyone making < $100k since like 2012. That kind of salary is totally unsustainable if you have any sort of student loan debt
may i ask what state you're practicing in? i always wonder if the cali 120k starting estimates quoted on sdn are true
 

MaxAnn

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Starting salary will vary by zip code, and the new doc's employer (assuming they are starting as associate).

Honestly, I think working as an associate for longer than 1-2 years is wasted time. You will never be paid what you're worth unless you're an owner or very least partner in an office.

Also, the real "learning" doesn't take place in residency or working as an associate while the owner takes all the big and most profitable cases for themselves, but happens when you practice and see what patients and work does and doesn't come back to your office.

This is just my opinion, but salary is mainly a consequence of building your "own" practice and growing your business regardless of where you are in the country.
 
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monkeykey

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I graduated in 2018, went straight to work. Most of my job offers were around $145k/yr (all in public health settings). I was a position making $200k first year and now second year will be making $220k.

I haven't heard of anyone making < $100k since like 2012. That kind of salary is totally unsustainable if you have any sort of student loan debt
I don't understand how people can graduate and start making 145K with no experience while the US BLS says the median dentists is making 152K as of 2018. Where are all of these dentists below the 150K mark?? It seems like everyone is making over 200K on SDN. Am I missing something???
 
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monkeykey

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Also Id be very curious to hear from anyone who graduated with a job in one of the large Texas cities.
 

Cold Front

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If we are talking extremes, It’s possible to graduate and open a practice in 6 months and make $300k first year. That’s what I did, and I don’t think I would recommend it to most new grads.
 
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If we are taking extremes, It’s possible to graduate and open a practice in 6 months and make $300k first year. That’s what I did, and I don’t think I would recommend it to most new grads.
Can you elaborate on how you did this? That's like everyones dream
 

Cold Front

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Dec 6, 2005
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953
281
Ohio
Status
Dentist
Can you elaborate on how you did this? That's like everyones dream
To be fair, I graduated 9 years ago and opened my practice from scratch during an economic recession environment in the midwest. Like I said, and I can’t highlight all the specifics, but it can be done if you are extreme minded and have the guts to pull something like that off. I wouldn’t encourage it, but it can be done if you plan ahead. I started planning opening a practice from scratch when I was in my 3rd yr of dental school - when everyone else was focused on specializing or just trying to get out and finish school.
 

P7898

2+ Year Member
May 14, 2017
174
111
81
I don't understand how people can graduate and start making 145K with no experience while the US BLS says the median dentists is making 152K as of 2018. Where are all of these dentists below the 150K mark?? It seems like everyone is making over 200K on SDN. Am I missing something???
BLS is BS.