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Mar 6, 2012
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Graduation is approaching and one of the many things to be juggled is the job application process. I have started emailing my resume to various offices who have posted openings but have received only one call back, which occurred while I was busy with a patient. I followed up later in the afternoon but only got voicemail and I left a message, but never received a return call again and that was a week ago. Would those members of the board who have already been through this process enlighten the rest of us about what we should expect? How many places did you apply to before landing a position? How long does it usually take to hear back from offices and at what point do you cut your losses and move on? What is the sequence of events from initial contact to signing a contract etc? Thanks in advance!


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well, since no one else is answering, I'll talk...

But the problem is your question has way to many variables to get a good answer. Like,

Are you applying mostly to FFS offices, PPO offices, Medicaid offices, HMO offices, or a mix of them?
Are you applying to corporate dental practices, large group practices, small dentist owned group practices, cottage private practices?
What state, and even better yet, what city are you applying in?
Do the majority of the jobs you apply to say new grad welcome? or are most asking for some experience and you are trying anyway?

All of these will greatly differ in how quickly you get responses, if you get responses, and if you get offers. It will also effect what the hiring process is like:

For example, a lot of medicaid and HMO large group and corporate practices will hire with just an interview, some just a phone interview. On the other hand a lot of private practices will want a phone or in person interview and a working interview where you work with patients all day or for several days before they decide to hire you. Some corporate groups will have mock patient visits that you have to do with regional managers and owners watching you. A lot of FFS private practices in high end areas wouldn't give a new grad a second look, while medicaid practices thrive off new grad applications and will contact you within a day.

personally, I work in Dallas.
I came here after dental school and applied to three jobs (two PPO and FFS offices - one that was a large group of practices, another that was a small group, and one corporate office). I got interviewed for all three, offered jobs at two, and chose the FFS/PPO large group practice. Worked for a year there. All this took about two weeks.

one year later I quit that job and went looking again, it was easier with just that one years experience. Applied to 3 jobs, got offers from all three, didn't like one of the offers and struggled with deciding on the last two. Chose a FFS/PPO private cottage practice. Worked there for two months and got a call from a friend with another job offer and took him up on it.

But again, that's texas for you, different places, way different experiences.


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Mar 16, 2005
Phila, PA
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When I finished residency, I sent out 100+?? resumes. I applied to everything that I could find that sounded half-way decent that wasn't a medicaid or HMO mill. I also mailed my resume to several dentists who I thought might be needing an associate (limited office hours). I think I started in April and right up until my residency was done. It wasn't until I got closer to finishing my residency that I ended up getting more interviews. I interviewed at 10 places. Liked a PPO/FFS office group practice and a very high-end FFS office. Did a working interview at the FFS office and hung out at the PPO/FFS office for a day. Got offers from both. The process for the high end office took ~1 month from contact to offer and the PPO/FFS office took ~2 weeks from contact to offer.

I chose the PPO/FFS office and signed the contract before my residency was over and I could not be happier.

If you send out a resume and you don't hear back from someone, keep sending out resumes. If they're interested, they will contact you. Don't stop looking/sending out resumes until you've signed a contract. I had a great interview with an office when I was applying for jobs and they were going to contact me for a working interview...pretty much told me I had the job. Tons of follow-up e-mails and then I never heard from them again. I'm glad they didn't, because I'm happy with where I am now. It'll all work out. But it gets easier when you get closer to graduation...


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I found that building a relationship with supply reps in the region you're interested in working is the best way to score solid associateships with potential buy in opps.

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