Jul 5, 2009
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It seems like most people here are aiming to have their own dental practice one day. I'm wondering if anyone doesn't plan to?

Now I admit I'm young and once I gain some experience I may change my mind... But I feel like owning my own practice may be more responsibility and stress than I am willing to take on.

I'd love to be able to come in at 9, clock out at 5, and enjoy the rest of my day instead of worrying about how my business is doing, how the future looks, competition from other dentists, etc. I think I will enjoy the work in being a dentist (helping people out directly), but I don't know if I would enjoy the business aspect of this.

Does anyone else feel this way, or am I the only one? Is NOT owning your own practice even after years of experience an abnormal thing for dentists? Even as an associate you're making 6 figures so as long as I live modestly I don't see why I have to be making 300k/year unless I really wanted to.
 

Sephisabin

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My roommate in dental school doesn't want to own his own practice. One of my classmate's mom is a dentist and she recently sold her practice to become an associate because she didn't want to deal with owning an office anymore. While owning an office or doing a group practice is popular, you don't need to feel obligated to join the masses. One of the bigger reasons for owning a practice is that you can run it the way you want. My dentist works 10am to 7pm, 4 days a week. While he gets to keep the hours he likes, it also brings up another issue... being your own boss. If you worked for him, you'd have to work 10 to 7 as well, not 9 to 5.
 

Kneecoal

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Mar 2, 2009
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as of now i don't want to become my own if i'm a mom someday... wouldn't want to put in all that extra time if there are kids to take care of too!

but i'm sure i'm in the minority on this forum.
 

Ranelar

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Mar 14, 2008
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Lots of people don't want to run their own office out of a mixture of fear and laziness. It's safer to hide out as an associate in someone else's office for the first 5-10 years of your career, or to work for some mega-corporate dental office. But most of the time you're only selling yourself short.

Words of wisdom from my father who has taught at Harvard and BU, and currently owns a private practice.

edit: with regard to making 6 figures as an associate, you're going to lose more than 30% to taxes, so your take home is a lot less. Then you have to pay off student loans and you're back to "nothing". Of course, buying or starting a practice requires an investment as well, but it's like the difference between renting and owning a home.
 
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rewJW

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Lots of people don't want to run their own office out of a mixture of fear and laziness. It's safer to hide out as an associate in someone else's office for the first 5-10 years of your career, or to work for some mega-corporate dental office. But most of the time you're only selling yourself short.
Wow, way to categorize an entire group of people. :thumbdown:
 

ohdearhopeipass

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Mar 24, 2009
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good thread. i'm leaning towards a NOT owning my own clinic right now because i feel as far from a business person as possible. as in i will probably make all the wrong decisions etc. PLUS. i don't want to be "tied down" to a clinic. i want to be able to live in different cities and so maybe working at a hospital is the best thing for me. but like the OP, i'm young and stupid so this may all change :D
 
May 15, 2009
1,922
3
CA
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Dental Student
It seems like most people here are aiming to have their own dental practice one day. I'm wondering if anyone doesn't plan to?

Now I admit I'm young and once I gain some experience I may change my mind... But I feel like owning my own practice may be more responsibility and stress than I am willing to take on.

I'd love to be able to come in at 9, clock out at 5, and enjoy the rest of my day instead of worrying about how my business is doing, how the future looks, competition from other dentists, etc. I think I will enjoy the work in being a dentist (helping people out directly), but I don't know if I would enjoy the business aspect of this.

Does anyone else feel this way, or am I the only one? Is NOT owning your own practice even after years of experience an abnormal thing for dentists? Even as an associate you're making 6 figures so as long as I live modestly I don't see why I have to be making 300k/year unless I really wanted to.
Trust me, half of the people who want to own their own private practice don't know anything about running and managing a business. I work for a dentist who owns his own practice and he has several other dentists working at his office as well. The amount of stress and work is beyond belief. He basically doesn't do much dental work. He arrives at the office at 9:00AM and spends the majority of his time in his office doing paper work and stuff. He's more of a businessman (a rather successful one) than a dentist. So, the point is that managing a business is not an easy task and not everyone is good at it. Besides, working for a dentist or some dental corporation often comes with benefits such as health insurance. So, there are many people who would much prefer to work for someone else rather than owning their own private practice. A friend of mine graduated from UCLA's Dental School last year. He got a great job offer in TX and he moved there. He's pretty happy with his situation right now and is not planning to start a private practice anytime soon (specially with this economy).
 

Svart Aske

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Some dentists hire office managers for that purpose.
 
May 15, 2009
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Some dentists hire office managers for that purpose.
Sure! But like I said some people love the business aspect of dentistry and they're quite successful at it. On the other hand, some dentists suck at running a business, which is why they either work for someone else or they hire an office manager. Right now, I don't think any dentist wants to hire any additional employees unless it's absolutely necessary. In our office, they even fired couple of the assistants in order to save more money!
 

K Niner

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Jul 11, 2009
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Owning a dental office is not a lot of work. You don't have to do anything really. Its like renting an apartment, you pay bills for supplies/rent. sometimes you have to hire someone, if you want you can advertise, but the bottom line is it takes very little work. I think your mind will change after you work as an associate for a couple years.
 
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N

NAVY DDS 2010

Lots of people don't want to run their own office out of a mixture of fear and laziness. It's safer to hide out as an associate in someone else's office for the first 5-10 years of your career, or to work for some mega-corporate dental office. But most of the time you're only selling yourself short.

Words of wisdom from my father who has taught at Harvard and BU, and currently owns a private practice.

Have you ever thought that some people just have no interest in owning and running their own practice? It has nothing to do with laziness or fear. Some people aren't in it just for the money. Some people want the option to be able to pack up and move if they don't like an area - not easy if you own a practice. Some people don't want to have to worry about the business aspects of a business. No matter if you have an office manager or not, if you own a business you are going to worry about it.

I have chosen to do a military career as a dentist because it offers what I want. I will have to opportunity to move around. My wife and I enjoy livign in new locations experiencing the different local cultures. I like the fact that I not not having to worry about whether my practice is bringing in enough patients to support my business and the lifestyle I want to live. Plus, after retiring from the military in 10+ more years, I will beable to meet another desire of mine - teaching at a dental school. Not ownign a practice allows you more freedoms to do this. Now, a lot of dental school professors still work part time and own a prctice, but by not owning one, you have full flexibility and can concentrate on what you want when you want.
 

jay47

Think Positively!
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Trust me, half of the people who want to own their own private practice don't know anything about running and managing a business. I work for a dentist who owns his own practice and he has several other dentists working at his office as well. The amount of stress and work is beyond belief. He basically doesn't do much dental work. He arrives at the office at 9:00AM and spends the majority of his time in his office doing paper work and stuff. He's more of a businessman (a rather successful one) than a dentist. So, the point is that managing a business is not an easy task and not everyone is good at it. Besides, working for a dentist or some dental corporation often comes with benefits such as health insurance. So, there are many people who would much prefer to work for someone else rather than owning their own private practice. A friend of mine graduated from UCLA's Dental School last year. He got a great job offer in TX and he moved there. He's pretty happy with his situation right now and is not planning to start a private practice anytime soon (specially with this economy).
Seriously, lol to this one. I think I agree; however, I would guess that half of those people are still "learning" to own their own business, the other half have already "learned". With time comes wisdom, read my sigs...lol.
 

jay47

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There are a lot of office managers that don't know much about running an office either. So, this is not always a sure thing.
Plus, the only person you can trust when it comes to the sustainability and integrity of your money and office it YOU. Unless it's your wife, and then its hers anyways too....can't steal from your own bank acct....
 

Ranelar

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Lots of people don't want to run their own office out of a mixture of fear and laziness.
Wow, way to categorize an entire group of people. :thumbdown:
Have you ever thought that some people just have no interest in owning and running their own practice?
I didn't think I was making a blanket statement. I apologize for the misunderstanding. For what it's worth, I meant that lots of people who choose not to run their own office make that decision based on fear and laziness. I did not mean that there are lots of people who choose not to run their own office, and that it's because of fear and laziness. In effect, I'm defining a category, not throwing people into a category.
 
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zoralsurgeon

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May 25, 2009
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Cool post; I know a few dentists that are associates; I personally want to own my own OMFS PC; But - That’s why I also pursued a business degree – and thankfully, learned a CRAP ton. One of my economics professor’s friends graduated DS, opened his business, and went broke in 3 years…So it’s a risk…but as you know, risk is what it takes to either make or break yourself…if you don’t want to risk it, be an associate…if you take the risk, you’re probably going to be making boat loads of green stuff…lol
 

hs113891

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Apr 30, 2009
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Trust me, half of the people who want to own their own private practice don't know anything about running and managing a business. I work for a dentist who owns his own practice and he has several other dentists working at his office as well. The amount of stress and work is beyond belief. He basically doesn't do much dental work. He arrives at the office at 9:00AM and spends the majority of his time in his office doing paper work and stuff. He's more of a businessman (a rather successful one) than a dentist. So, the point is that managing a business is not an easy task and not everyone is good at it. Besides, working for a dentist or some dental corporation often comes with benefits such as health insurance. So, there are many people who would much prefer to work for someone else rather than owning their own private practice. A friend of mine graduated from UCLA's Dental School last year. He got a great job offer in TX and he moved there. He's pretty happy with his situation right now and is not planning to start a private practice anytime soon (specially with this economy).
That's when a dentist hires a business manager... makes their life a lot easier! I know the founder of a dental clinic with 18 dentists and specialists... he basically comes in three days a week to see his patients, and is making fortunes...
 

Doctor Pretty

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I don't want my own solely practice, but I would be interested an associate of a practice.
 
May 22, 2009
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Owning a dental office is not a lot of work. My dad owns his. You don't have to do anything really. Its like renting an apartment, you pay bills for supplies/rent. sometimes you have to hire someone, if you want you can advertise, but the bottom line is it takes very little work. I think your mind will change after you work as an associate for a couple years.

Your dad is lucky then. The dentist I work for owns his own business and he is ALWAYS stressed!! He's not making as much money as he can be and he spends a lot of money advertising and etc. He's also out of network with all dental insurance so it makes it harder to get patients in expecially with the current state of the economy. If I do own my own practice I am definitely hiring an office manager and not practicing in Vegas where the market is saturated with dentists.