This might help you form an opinion. If you were a dentist who charged $200 for a procedure but then dentistry was suddenly forced into managed health care and you were only paid $110 for that same procedure how would you feel?
Here is a link I found a while back discussing managed health care in dentistry http://www.mapol.com/FutureOfDentistry.htm .
Well from the dentist point of view. I agree. Why would you receive less for the usual and customary fees. But for most of the population, there are people who have no choice with their insurance coverage? I would mention in the interview how you are against HMO's politically but would be sensitive to the needs of people to have no choice in the matter.
I heard that many starting dentists accept hmo plans until they have a nice patient pool and stop taking those plans afterwards.
Just some scattered issues you might want to think about for your interview
I could tell you everything you could ever want to know about HMOs and dentistry. Most HMO plans give a set amount of dollars per month for an individual or family. You then have to provide many services (fillings for example) at no cost. Some services (a crown for example) may have a low copayment. You may get supplemental payments for certain extensive services. Specialty referal may come out of the general dentist's wallet.
The good news is that if the patients don't come in (low utilization rate) you make more money. Maybe you can talk about the conflict of interest in this kind of practice. Fortunately with the shortage of dentists we are seeing no significant growth in this area.
A PPO simply has a fee schedule that you must agree to take. You are still pay "fee for service."
I suspect there are few who actually hear from God and get "the calling" to become a dentist. I think an intelligence response to "why dentistry and not XXX" is to emphasize the exposure factor. I was exposed to and became interested in dentistry when this and that happened. I followed up on that intererst by doing this and that which enhanced my interest in the profession. As far as becomming an XXXX, that may have been a viable option for me, but I guess that I was never exposed to it to the extent that I became interested in persuing it as a profession.