Corporate full time job VS AEGD PLEASE ADVISE

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7+ Year Member
May 28, 2015
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Got into an AEGD, one that seems promising, just me as a resident working with two experienced dentists.

People experienced with dental residents created a new AEGD site for which I will be the first resident, the GP I will be working with seems like a very nice guy but has never had a resident working with him, I do not know his level of knowledge or the quality of his work.

What the AEGD told me during and pre interview:

I would work 4 days/week in an outpatient clinic in one location with a single experienced GP dentist, a hygienist and my own assistant with my own chair, a prosthodontist would visit 2 days per week

1 day a week I go out (50 miles away) to another site to rotate with endo, OS and perio at a site with specialists (3 months at 1 day/week for each specialty)

They repeatedly said I “need to be patient with the program” which is understandable and I agreed to since it’s a new site for a resident (site itself has been around for a decade)

I find out very recently:

Prosthodontist “fell through”, will not be coming to the clinic 2 days a week, instead, they will be hiring a new GP that has good GPR experience (taking their word for it) who will help me out with surgical extractions etc.

Site with specialists will pull endo rotation from me, meaning I have to do endo in the outpatient clinic, no working with an endodontist for me as I was originally told, GP was asked and said he is not too comfortable to do molar endo but I can do endo in that clinic, he is set up for it and if it gets too complicated it would be referred out to the specialist site, but not clear on whether I go with the patient to do the RCT myself or not.

GP said I would only go to the specialty site for perio and OS rotations and it would be 1 day a week and not for the whole year. Basically will be doing crown/bridge, exams, emergencies, simple endo, removable dentures, simple and surgical extractions at the outpatient clinic with 2 GP’s, I did make sure to ask if I still had my own chair and assistant and he said yes, but that last conversation did not leave me feeling confident I was told the complete truth or that he was aware of what the truth was since it was so unorganized and unclear and he didn’t make a lot of the major calls in terms of employment etc.

I do not want to specialize, my logic with doing a residency is this: I will know more and be able to do more procedures at the end of my first year working at a residency than I would working full time for private practice or a corporate office, simple as that. I tell myself it will serve me in the long run; it will help me be better prepared to be completely on my own down the line and will help me get a job at a private practice easier the following year. This is what I am gambling on, of course I don’t know this as a fact, the site is new, and my guess is it’ll take about 3 months to know if I got screwed or not. I figured I would moonlight at a private practice or corporate office on Saturdays to help with the low income, and I will be going there fully licensed, so I’m not depending on completing it or their accreditation, I personally don’t care about the credit of doing it, only the experience I have while there. I figured if I see it is going down hill, I quit, stay in the same area, work at a private or corporate office for the rest of the year then move back home.

The clinic is 2000 miles from where I live (family friends etc), they are not assisting with moving expenses which will be around $2000. I will also be taking a significant pay cut compared to classmates I felt had less clinical experience who will go straight to work in private/mostly corporate offices, lets say about 1/3 the money, possibly even less. Student loan debt all together with every institution is around 500k.

A corporate dental office an hour and a half away from where I live now said they want to do a working interview for a full time job, lets just assume they will take me, its one of the better reputed corporate dental offices. They tell me the associate leaving is moving out of state which is the only reason he is moving (implying he would stay otherwise, but of course they wouldn’t tell me if there were personality issues with employers), they told me he did $3000 a day in production.

One way or another, my pay is about $70-100,000 less with the residency than it would be working full time for a private/corporate office, the way I am thinking now, not only are things unclear, but I would have to have a really incredible amount of experience to justify a pay cut of that magnitude plus difficulty of relocation no? The education would have to be worth $70-100,000 to make it worth it, and at this point I don’t even know what that experience will be for sure.

If you have experience working in private/corporate offices or after doing a really good or bad AEGD/GPR residency please let me know considering all this information what would you advise me to do? Obviously the decision is mine, but I appreciate all constructive feedback and opinions, even harsh reality, thanks!

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Why did you select a program so far away, when you are clearly ambivalent about it? You also knew it was a new program, and with any new venture there are growing pains. If you are going to quit, do so ASAP so the program can find a new resident. From my perspective, the major difference here is working in a corporate/private office will certainly pay more, but there are no guarantees. Mess up and you could be out on the street with no job. The AEGD, by its nature, will be more tolerant, as it is not considered work, but an educational training program, and stands to actually lose money if you leave. In the end, it is only one year over a long career. In the end, you will have spent the money you made this year, and never see it again. In the end, you will have a certificate from the AEGD that might come in handy for the rest of your career.
From what I've seen a lot of these AEGD's are just looking for cheap labor for community clinics. I had a friend do a Lutheran AEGD that sounds like a similar type of setup, and from what I saw and heard of it - waste of time. What are you going to learn doing endo under a GP that doesn't do molar endo?

If you are not working with specialists on a day to day basis, I wouldn't bother unless you just have no confidence. There are great AEGD and GPRs out there that are totally worth it; this does not sound like one of them.
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I agree with the previous responses. Also, the other associate is leaving the state probably due to a noncompetition clause preventing them from working in the area. Sounds like this AEGD is not so good. Get a job.
navydentist is correct. The community clinics benefit financially from the relationship with Lutheran and basically use the AEGD residents to help with production. The community clinic where I worked had general dentists teaching endo and OS. Some of the attending doctors only had 1-5 years of experience and most had no background in education. What is the point of doing an AEGD if you are not receiving truly advanced training? Yes - get a job and take some CE.
How comfortable are you with your dental skills? If you're comfortable, go for the job, if not go for the AEGD