cmcner

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Jan 4, 2008
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Excluding the military I was wondering if anyone knows about jobs in dentistry working for the govt. or for a nonprofit and what those jobs are like?
 
Nov 2, 2010
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i've shadowed a few that work for the county, but they only work part time and don't seem to be the happiest people.
 

Saddleshoes

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Oct 28, 2007
607
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Dentist
Excluding the military I was wondering if anyone knows about jobs in dentistry working for the govt. or for a nonprofit and what those jobs are like?
I have owned my own practice as well as worked as an associate in the private practice world early in my career. I have spent the bulk of my time working for the state and in a federally qualified community clinic. I like working in the govt./nonprofit area best. You do your job and go home. Minimal headaches. In the short run you may make less money but in the long run you come out MUCH farther ahead.
 

omaralt

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
May 31, 2004
686
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Dentist
In the short run you may make less money but in the long run you come out MUCH farther ahead.
Please explain to me how you make out MUCH better in the long run when your colleagues that own their own offices make double or triple what you make; while many times working less than you. Jobs in community health usually max out around 130K or so; and most of the time your miserable. If you have absolutely no business sense than ya public health is for you otherwise owning your own practice is the way to go
 
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cmcner

10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2008
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Thanks for your response saddleshoes.

And Omaralt one of the main reasons for me posing this question originally is because students today who have to take on $400,000 in loans would be eligible for federal public service loan forgiveness after 10 years working in a nonprofit or govt job. Assuming that you have a 25 year loan that would amount to about $1,000,000 in total debt after interest and $800,000 of that total would be forgiven in loan forgiveness after 10 years of service which in my mind makes it more appealing financially. Let me know what you think about the govt. non-profit route with that in mind.
 
Last edited:

Saddleshoes

10+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2007
607
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Dentist
Please explain to me how you make out MUCH better in the long run when your colleagues that own their own offices make double or triple what you make; while many times working less than you. Jobs in community health usually max out around 130K or so; and most of the time your miserable. If you have absolutely no business sense than ya public health is for you otherwise owning your own practice is the way to go
1. Money is not the only thing I was referring to in my statement.

You can own a private practice -OR- the private practice can own you. I have found that private practice ownership was just more hassle then it was worth. I would rather take less money and have more "life".


2. I have not been miserable in my government/community health work.

I’m a dentist that has managed to string together a bunch of part-time jobs into a great adventure of a career.

I have plied my craft for the military, in prison, public and private clinics, in college programs, in hospital programs and with a mobile unit that went into schools. I have been lucky enough to practice my profession on three continents and 7 states. (BTW I have done most of this working a 4 day week.)


3. Let's talk money/benefit plans.

I have found that my totally paid for health insurance plan is far better then my peers. I have always received paid vacation time (at one time in my career I had 4 weeks of paid vacation annually) , paid sick time (for which I could cash out unused days), paid personal days, paid CME days and paid military leave time. Many of my professional expenses are taken care of by the government. For example malpractice insurance, CME, License fees, mileage, etc.

Then there is the big one (if you are lucky and plan well)... IF you play your cards right, it is possible to receive a federal pension, a state pension and a university pension at the same time as you are working in a community clinic.

Without talking specific dollar amounts....
Trust me, I am doing just fine.
 

drusier

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I work for a county health department. I graduated 1.5 years ago. I dont like to talk specifics but maybe it will help someone make a practice decision. My first year...I made 120K salary, an additional 12K in 401K, and great benefits (health, dental, eye). I also get paid vacation/sick leave and it is very hard to fire someone who is a govt employee so add to that job security. Okay thats not really that great BUT I also get 50K (tax free) for 2 years of service with the NHSC. Thats about 32K if I had to pay tax on it. If I sign on for a third year...its 40K (tax free) for that additional year. I believed they raised the initial contract to 60K for 2 years of service. All the NHSC monies must be paid to student loans. I graduated with 250K and after 1.5 years I owe about 170K.

I dont like non-dentist telling me what to do. I dont like the lack of mentorship. I dont like the waste. But I love the "work stays at work" approach I can take to my life. Overall, I recommend this approach to the more risk averse, or those with heavy student loans.
 

BestDoctorEver

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I work for a county health department. I graduated 1.5 years ago. I dont like to talk specifics but maybe it will help someone make a practice decision. My first year...I made 120K salary, an additional 12K in 401K, and great benefits (health, dental, eye). I also get paid vacation/sick leave and it is very hard to fire someone who is a govt employee so add to that job security. Okay thats not really that great BUT I also get 50K (tax free) for 2 years of service with the NHSC. Thats about 32K if I had to pay tax on it. If I sign on for a third year...its 40K (tax free) for that additional year. I believed they raised the initial contract to 60K for 2 years of service. All the NHSC monies must be paid to student loans. I graduated with 250K and after 1.5 years I owe about 170K.

I dont like non-dentist telling me what to do. I dont like the lack of mentorship. I dont like the waste. But I love the "work stays at work" approach I can take to my life. Overall, I recommend this approach to the more risk averse, or those with heavy student loans.
Wow...A county health department is giving a dentist 120k...that is outstanding because I work with a dentist in a county health department in South FL and I heard he said he makes a little bit over 90k but he has great benefit though. You are right that the dentist is not in charge and he does not like that someone who has no idea about what he does telling him what do to. However, overall he likes his job. These county jobs for health care practitioners are usually almost stress free...and most people who work in these type of jobs usually like them. Kudos to you because you probably have one of the best jobs in dentistry.
 

S Files

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i know a few doing similar jobs as you've described, specifically for the state dept of health. one thing that most people don't understand is the benefits are huge. take a look at what health insurance for a family of 4 costs, also my friends echo your statement of generous paid vacation time, and retirement, educational savings plans. plus not having to deal with staffing issues, etc. not for nothing, ur probably having more of an "impact" than suburbia private practice. kudos to you.

1. Money is not the only thing I was referring to in my statement.

You can own a private practice -OR- the private practice can own you. I have found that private practice ownership was just more hassle then it was worth. I would rather take less money and have more "life".


2. I have not been miserable in my government/community health work.

I’m a dentist that has managed to string together a bunch of part-time jobs into a great adventure of a career.

I have plied my craft for the military, in prison, public and private clinics, in college programs, in hospital programs and with a mobile unit that went into schools. I have been lucky enough to practice my profession on three continents and 7 states. (BTW I have done most of this working a 4 day week.)


3. Let's talk money/benefit plans.

I have found that my totally paid for health insurance plan is far better then my peers. I have always received paid vacation time (at one time in my career I had 4 weeks of paid vacation annually) , paid sick time (for which I could cash out unused days), paid personal days, paid CME days and paid military leave time. Many of my professional expenses are taken care of by the government. For example malpractice insurance, CME, License fees, mileage, etc.

Then there is the big one (if you are lucky and plan well)... IF you play your cards right, it is possible to receive a federal pension, a state pension and a university pension at the same time as you are working in a community clinic.

Without talking specific dollar amounts....
Trust me, I am doing just fine.
 

iDreamofDent

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2009
109
9
USA
Status
Dentist
The CIA hires medical officers, they prob want considerable experience though, oh yea.....and you can't tell anyone you work there.....:nono:

Medical Officer
Work Schedule: Full Time
Salary: $127,542
Location: Washington, DC metropolitan area

Join us on the world stage. As a premier agency responsible for intelligence about the ever-changing global political, social, economic, technological and military environment, the CIA has never offered more exciting and challenging opportunities for new employees. Are you up to the challenge? The Office of Medical Services is hiring individuals with medical degrees and broad certification in primary care specialties to provide medical care and advice to Agency employees, dependents and assets. Positions are available for overseas assignments.