1. Guest, be sure to check out How To Get Into Dental School, our free downloadable PDF with step-by-step details for dental school applicants!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

How the heck do we intend to pay off the debt?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Thebeyonder, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. Thebeyonder

    Thebeyonder Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2000
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    For everyone going to a school that will cost ~$25,000 or more a year, how the heck do you plan to pay that off when you get out?
    Say that you borrow ~$100,000 or more, some people borrow more than $200,000, how are we expected to pay this off?
    What if we go directly into dentistry after graduating, and earn, hopefully more than $90,000, how can we afford to pay ~$2,500 in loan repayments per month? Will we ever be able to afford to live? What if we have to open our own practice if there are no practices looking for partners? Factor in rent for the office, mortgage payments, equipment purchases, staff salaries, car payments, malpractice insurance, health insurance, homeowners insurance, car insurance, utility payments, groceries, paying for bringing up children, etc., etc.
    How are we supposed to survive?
    I know that NYU is over $25,000 a year, plus to live in the city is very expensive, so loans will be high. Once out of school having to pay for the loan and everything else? How to do it?
    Say you make $90,000/year
    That's ~$7,500/month
    Take out taxes then your left with ~$4,500/month
    Mortgage for house/rent for office ~$1,600/month
    Loan repayments ~$2,500
    Left with $400 for car payments, groceries, insurance, etc.?
    Never mind credit car payments, entertainment, vacations, etc...
    How can we possibly survive?
    Please help.
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    2
    Find and marry a harbor pilot, longshoreman, airline pilot, big five CPA partner, endodontist, US senator, ..........etc.
     
  4. tinker bell

    tinker bell 1K Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,353
    Likes Received:
    3
    Marry enron top executive board members. Those who got away with millions in stock....launder money, get up early and trade, sneak to computer lab at break time and trade, after hour trade.....
    Or find a sugar daddy!!!
     
  5. Blue Tooth

    Blue Tooth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kinda off topic but I think the Enron thing is pretty important. Getting beyond how corrupt the whole thing is, I think that the courts should take all those who profited off of what was essentially a pump and dump scheme to the cleaners. Although being a corporation is supposed to limit your liability, I've heard that in cases where there are serious ethical mishaps and shady dealings, those responsible can be seriously punished. I hope the liqudate all those responsible. I mean all their money, sell their houses, cars, swiss bank accounts, furniture, carpet, clothes, cookware, etc. Take is all and set up a fund to replace the pensions and 401k that were lost because of their greed. my .02
     
  6. waiting

    waiting Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    thebeyonder, u hit a sensitive nerve there! I'd made similar calculations which left me feeling very despondent about the future....I'm hoping my salary out of residency will be closer to 150K (which, I've been told, is the avg. for someone right out of residency in NC)...Even still, I'm also going to be in the about 200K loan category! Can we just file for bankruptcy??! :rolleyes:
     
  7. ayoon80

    ayoon80 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    hahah...this thread is funny ^_^..I heard that paying off the debt is actually no problem since the amount that you earn when you start working allows you to pay off the debts relatively painlessly. I'm not sure though, that was just my general impression from talking to various dentists and students.
     
  8. Thebeyonder

    Thebeyonder Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2000
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    They won't loan you the money if you couldn't pay it back? How ignorant of a statement is that? I am going to put my financial future in the hands of a bank? Sorry but that sounds like the advice of a dental admissions committee member and not from someone seriously contemplating their financial future. I went onto the BU website and found out that tuition is $37,000 per year. There is also ~$4,000 in necessary other expenses for equipment fees and the like. That is $41,000 per year for school. Looking in the housing part of the website I found that a two bedroom starts at ~$1,200 per month. That is an additional $14,400 per year, add about $5,600 for food, gas, entertainment, etc. and that is $61,000 per year x four years is a grand total of $244,000 overall debt. That is not taking into account rent increases, equipment increases, and tuition increases. So let's say the end result is $260,000 which is a fair assumption. What if you go into a specialty after that? Will you be paid? What if you want to get married while in school? That's extra for the wedding...
    To say that the bank wouldn't lend you money if they thought you wouldn't pay it back doesn't relieve my worries at all. Say you pay off the loans over a thirty year period, what if you get sick or have to retire early for some unknown reason?
    Banks loan people money all the time with certain percentages of loanees defaulting on the loan, it is the banks assumable risk, yet the banks assumption is based on the past. Perhaps in the past dentist's didn't default on loan's as much, but there may be new variables at work, are new dentists loans greater than dentists in the past (even if inflation is factored in), are dentists going to make as much as dentists in the past?
     
  9. iflossdaily

    iflossdaily Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    TheBeyonder,
    I share your anxiety about the insane amount of debt we are signing up for. I have put a deposit down for NYU but am praying that I'll get into a cheaper school. It seems like the thrill of gaining admission temporarily overshadowed the reality of life I'll have to face after school.
    I don't have a practice waiting for me and really don't have any financial help from parents/other family.....the whole thing is making me very nervous also.
    I would love to attend NYU but I don't think it is worth having a $250,000 gorilla on my back. I know we're not supposed to do this 'for the money', but everyone here has chosen this profession partly because of the financial benefits. What's the use of persuing your chosen career if you're in bondage for 20+ years? Banks and credit card companies don't care about us...our financial situation is pretty much our responsibility.
    Let me know if you hear any true stories about dentists who are debt free after 10 years with careful planning (who didn't join the armed forces) Especially with such an insane amount of debt.
     
  10. StarGirl

    StarGirl .....

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,003
    Likes Received:
    1
    hello floss
    from what i hear, it's not much and even if you go to BU, NYU you'll still be able to pay off the debt (i know it's hard to believe, cause I don't think i can either), but I do talk to a lot of dentist people at ucla and they all told me it shouldn't be a problem.... let's hope they're right (I, like yourself, have no clinic to go to after graduation nor can I get much help from parents althought they'll help me as much as they can...) Too bad we don't have rich uncles named Donald or Bill.
     
  11. 10040

    10040 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try to check some sites that offer dental practice for sale. I checked some and I never found a practice that has less than 200K gross per year.
    I am sure dentist more than 90K per year(+20 hrs/week). It will pay off. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  12. Thebeyonder

    Thebeyonder Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2000
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hi,
    mammasan I did define some of the new possible variables at work. One of the variables I mentioned was the tremendous amount of debt that some graduates will be facing ($200,000 and up). I wonder, did past dental graduates, say in the seventies, have such debt load, even after inflation is factored in? Another variable I have brought up is the potential earnings of dentists. Will dentists make as much as their predecessors, or will they not? I have noticed that a majority of general dentists have augmented their practices by now including cosmetic dentistry to perhaps make more money due to a loss in caries capital. I ask these questions, because sure I do question my decision, I am not programmed to automatically think, "I must be a dentist at all costs, I will cause my family to suffer financial hardships for my career...etc." I am being realistic. CT005 mentioned that he has seen that dental practices have grossed over $200,000. How much of this gross goes to pay for hygienists salaries, rent, equipment, utilities, advertising, etc.?\
    I have read prior posts on this forum that mentions that if you join a pracitice of other dentists, that these dentists may give you a low salary, and keep a majority of your profits, just because they can, they realize the expense of starting your own practice. I have heard other dental graduates, or dental students of this forum mention salaries of $90,000 and less. When I searched the Uconn health center website that lists jobs, I found a dental job on the website, the salary was posted at ~$72,000. With loans being upwards of $200,000 and mortgage of ~150,000 and other personal expenses, a salary of $72,000 is going to cut it close. I am not saying that $72,000 is not a lot of money, but if you have over $300,000 of debt plus other monthly expenses, $72,000 may not cut it.
    Mammasan the reason I say you are being ignorant is because you put out a blanket statement that the banks wouldn't give you a loan if they didn't think you couldn't pay it off. Sure that is true, but the bank could care less how you live, as long as they get their money. You could be stressed out every month, wondering how you will buy groceries, or if you can afford to pay for your kids college tuition, or how you will retire, the bank only cares about getting it's payments. I worry about mine and my families emotional health. The number one cause of family hardache is financial.
     
  13. DesiDentist

    DesiDentist G. S. Khurana, DMD, MBA
    Moderator Emeritus Exhibitor

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,573
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Dentist
    I Agree with the poster above. Research everything, look at the stats and if you think you can't handle dentistry then you should reconsider. I know beyonder is married and he as to take into account things that other's don't need to, but it is a struggle the first 5-7 years. But just think of it as doing a residency, like MD's and DO's, have to do for 4-7 years and then they stablize and make the money they deserve. For me, I know it is going to be hard to pay the debt off, but hey, I'm young by 33 I want to be debt free, it may be different for those who are in different stages of life. Good luck to you.

    :rolleyes: DesiDentist :rolleyes:
     
  14. iflossdaily

    iflossdaily Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    steiner,
    There's no reason for you to be a prick because someone is concerned about their financial future. I've been asking myself the same questions and that doesn't make me a 'whiny bitch'. There is nothing wrong with planning for the worst-case scenario while expecting the best. Don't post your idiotic hostile comments while hiding behind an anonymous internet forum.
    Not everyone is going to be a dentist in an affluent neighborhood. Many students in private schools don't have mom/dad's practice to step into. It is a legitimate concern for many of us.
     
  15. mammasan

    mammasan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Read Topic: can anyone give me some sensible advice? in the dental forum and see what drjeff has to say. Maybe that will calm some peoples nerves about the loans.
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. sonigee

    sonigee Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone know which is more $$$$, NY or BU??? I keep changing my mind on what school i want to attend, but if there is a huge financial difference, that might be the final factor...as far as i can tell, it seems as though overall BU is more....anyone have any idea??....do we start filling out the FAFSA now and just wait or what ?? thanx :D
     
  18. Thebeyonder

    Thebeyonder Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2000
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    "In 1995 the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 3,900 health professionals had defaulted on student loans totaling $207 million under the Health Education Assistance Loan program...The majority of defaulters under this program were chiropracters (40 percent), allopaths (20 percent), and dentists (18 percent)...To overcome this problem, the government is getting tough on student-loan defaulters by first withholding their tax refunds and then attaching their wages."
    This from
    Opportunities in Pharmacy Careers, by Fred Gable, published 1998.
     
  19. mammasan

    mammasan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    How do we intend to pay of the debt? Work hard. We're applying to school because we have worked hard in undergrad and plan on continuing that work in dental school. You are way to pessimistic and seem to fend off any help/suggestions offered. Good luck, have you even gotten into a school yet? Try a state school that may put your mind at ease.
     
  20. mammasan

    mammasan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    a reply to that statistic: 18 percent of 3900 health professionals is 720 dentists. There are what, 4,000 grads a year from dental school. What does that mean? Well, we have no idea how many years that statistic covers, it may cover ten, or twenty years worth of dental grads. If it counts the last ten years worth of grads that accounts to a 1.755 percent default rate. not to shabby. beyonder, could you tell us more about that statistic? does it mean 18 percent a year default or a total of 18 percent of dentists have defaulted. That distinction is crucial in interpreting the data. If 18 percent a year default then you may have a point, if not.....well then the data may be misleading.
     
  21. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    2
    Another factor to consider regarding those default stats is that a significant number were connected to health care professionals who simply chose to ignore their federal student loan obligations while living the good life.
     
  22. eschou01

    eschou01 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by mammasan:
    <strong>How do we intend to pay of the debt? Work hard. We're applying to school because we have worked hard in undergrad and plan on continuing that work in dental school. You are way to pessimistic and seem to fend off any help/suggestions offered. Good luck, have you even gotten into a school yet? Try a state school that may put your mind at ease.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I agree, beyonder. Getting into a school should be the top priority; then you can start worrying yourself about finances.

    Bottom line, dental school is expensive, but costs are part of the rules of the game you wish to play. If you're severly disturbed over the idea of paying/borrowing $100K+ for a dental education, then you should probably look into a different profession.

    Oh, and those statistics about defaulting on loans are meaningless in my opinion. You can use statistics to prove anything. 86% of the population knows that. :D

    Sorry if any of my comments seem hostile, they are not intended to be. Just my $0.02. Best of luck to you.
     
  23. ehop24

    ehop24 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    How many times do we hear about a dentist going out of business? i myself have never heard of one. everyone in this thread seems truly worried about making ends meet. in regard to the tax losses mentioned by beyonder in one of the first threads, consider that both your mortgage and your loan are tax deductions...big ones at that. it's unlikely that you will end up losing 30+ percent of your income. additionally, your dental practice is a tax dedution. really, tax wise, dentists have some good loopholes. i think the reality is that we arent all going to be building mansions and driving ferrari's three years after we get out of school. for decades, doctors and dentists have managed to pay off their education. it's no different today that it was 50 years ago. if you are truly worried, go the armed forces route. then you will have no financial obligations. and you will have a job, an income, and all living arrangements. 4 years later you have cash reserves, no debt, and great experience. with that as an option, I dont think anyone should be so concerned about finances.

    On a different note, the financial measure of a dentist's success is not how good a filling he or she might do. rather, the money we make is better correlated to business savvy. i'm bothered by the lack of business preparation in the dental school curriculum. in every sense, a dentist is the owner and manager of a small business. i think this is a very overlooked topic. does anyone agree?
     
  24. tinker bell

    tinker bell 1K Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,353
    Likes Received:
    3
    My hygienist spent an hour doing a deep clean for me last week and now my dentist sent me a bill of $190. I'm wondering how much does the hygenist get paid. She also brings her own instrument. I'm sure. I think dentists can make a lot of money because my dentist had a real small 2 chairs practice and in 4 years, she paid off her loan from BU, her practice, her house. Then, recently, she sold this small practice and relocated to buy a new bigger practice and of course, all of her patients go with her. This is something we should consider about when buying practice...etc....My friends who graduated from Tufts 6 years ago paid off her loan already and now owns 2 houses that value total about 1.3 millions in sillicon valley. I don't know how these people did it, but there must be a way. Don't let the cost discourages us from doing what we always want to do. Another option is to hit the book and get in good school with several scholarships offer. Best of luck to all of you.
    T
     
  25. Thebeyonder

    Thebeyonder Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2000
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hi,
    Someone mentioned that you could use statistics to prove anything. I am not trying to prove anything, I am just putting information out there, make of it what you will. Stories about how people pay off loans in three years by some posters is not really good information. Supply us with how they did this, that would be useful.
    To illustrate the immense surge in higher education costs, that appear to be far outpacing inflation, thereby putting health professionals in a different position from health professionals in the past:
    "In 1984 students and parents collectively borrowed $7.9 billion to meet expenses for higher education. At the close of 1994, just ten years later, the amount had grown to $23.1 billion according to Department of Education figures. Based on borrowing trends from 1990 to 1995, total borrowing will increase to almost $50 billion by the year 2000 from a total $24 billion at the close of 1995. Student debt has grown because of rising costs of tuition, higher loan limits, expanded eligibility, and greater proportion of aid in loan forms rather than grant awards and scholarships."
    Opportunities in Pharmacy Careers
    by Fred Gable, copyright 1998
     
  26. Thebeyonder

    Thebeyonder Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2000
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Where else would someone tell you to give up $200,000 of your money, and tell you not to think about it in advance? Are we to blindly put our faith in dentistry?
    If I was going to plumbing school, and I asked "Fellow plumbing students, how much will we make when we get out, will we be able to pay off our plumbing school loans? Oh, don't worry about that fellow student. Just worry about getting in. But what if we get in and can't pay off our debts, or live a life we didn't expect. Oh, fellow student, what has changed, other plumbers do it. But are the other plumbers happy? Oh, fellow student, who knows, worry about getting in. I knew a plumber who paid off his loans and his mortgage, he now lives in Paris, he does plumbing for Versailles. But how did he do it? Don't worry about him fellow student, but doesn't his story sound great? I don't know, maybe I will go into a profession that will give me answers. What!? You never really wanted to be a plumber. I knew it! No. I wanted to be a plumber. But I also wanted to know what I was getting into."
     
  27. waiting

    waiting Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with you completely on all the points you've been making beyonder...as you said, it's not an issue of being pessimistic or not truly wanting to become a dentist. It's a matter of trying to be as well-informed as possible about what we're getting into, and how feasible it's going to be to pay off these ridiculous loan amounts. You're right, all these stories of past successes don't mean squat, as none of those individuals faced the sort of financial burdens that'll be imposed on us. 6-7 yrs. ago you could've graduated from a private school with a debt of 120 or less...that same amt. has now b/c closer to 200K, a rate of inflation far ahead of increases in earning power...and over the life of a 30 yr. loan repayment schedule, at a rate of let's say 7%, that extra 80K translates to an additional $660/month or so! Obviously, one would hope that we're all primarily motivated by our genuine passion to become dentists and help serve people to better their health. However, I'm not about to believe anyone who claims that the earning power of dentists had absolutley no role in their decision to pursue dentistry, let's be real...

    Like you said, dental students really need to be getting as many lessons on practice management and running a small business as possible. I'd like to think I have some business savy, but then again I've never had to do it on that scale. Hopefully, I'll encounter some good role models along the way from whom I can learn. We should all know by now that it's not the most brilliant/technically proficient people who succeed in this society, but those who know how to work the system and manage others.

    :rolleyes:
     
  28. Thebeyonder

    Thebeyonder Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2000
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hi,
    Waiting, I think dental business management could be a nice addition to the dental curriculm. I am not business savvy at all. It would cull my fears if I knew that I would be more savvy when I walked out of the dental school doors on graduation day. I have always assumed that I would work for a group practice, due to my intense aversion at personal financial risks. Knowing exactly what it is like to be in debt, and also knowing what it is like to be in the black, has lead me to have a fear of debt. Financial security, to me, is very important, the less risk the better. However if I knew a majority of the financial risks in advance of opening my own practice, and before getting into loan debt, I would have my fears allayed greatly.
    Someone mentioned that the military would be an alternative, that is an excellent suggestion. Thank you for it.
     
  29. Kimya

    Kimya Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2000
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    2
    The Beyonder,

    I am not considering dental school but med school; however, this thread caught my eye. The number one stickler for me tackling medical school head on is the potential debt.

    You are very wise to be considering this debt load, and I don't agree with people who blithely say that you will be able to pay it off no problem. I thought the same thing when I started researching medical school. However, the more I talk to doctors and learn more about the debt process, I am realizing that is not true. There are people who are having a lot of difficulty paying it off, and a large debt can hamper your future career choices/location/choice of family time.

    What has helped me is to try to find more recent graduates (if dentistry is similar to med than more established dentists may not understand because the debt load used to not be as high)and talk to them about it, find out what they are really paying and how it is affecting them and their families. And of course, find someone whose situation is similar to yours (e.g. went to private school, had to assume most/all of debt).

    Best of luck to you,
    Kimya
     
  30. PainlessPaulus

    PainlessPaulus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    The average mature dental practice collects $420,000, with a 67% overhead. That is about 138,600, before taxes and debt service.

    The best think you can do is not pile up the debt. I worked 3 jobs and came out of 8 years of college and dental school with about $1400 saved and no debt. My parents helped me out with about 40% of my undergrad expense, and I paid them back after I was out fro 4 years. Now that was in 1974 and times have changed.

    If I was coming out today with $150,000 of student debt, I would find an associate that would lead to full partnership in a short period of time. ( one to two years) I would work on my speed in that time and try to pay as much as I could on my student debt.

    I would look for a practice to associate with that is blue collar and middle class. But the most important thing would be that the senior dentists OWNS THE PRACTICE LOCATION REAL ESTATE.

    This will allow you to combine your student debt into a mortgage once you become a partner in the practice.

    Doug:)
     
  31. 3rdMolarRoller

    3rdMolarRoller User Account Deleted

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,181
    Likes Received:
    5
    Thanks Dr. Paulus

    So will you need an associate in about 4 years? :D
     
  32. grant555

    grant555 Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,

    I think the question you raise about paying for dental school is pertinent to anyone who is even thinking about dentistry as a career. First, there are a few ways to pay for it or reduce the stress of the financial burden.One way is opt mentioned HPSP scholarships through the military. I know most people shun the idea of giving 2-4 yrs to Unlce Sam or Uncle Sugar as it is called, but there is more to it than most people think. Despite popular opinion, the military has some very competent dental professionals. I mention this because there is a stigma about military health professionals as being substandard and incompetent. But I beg to differ that there are rotten dentists in the civilian world who drill and fill with reckless abandon. However, the HPSP is probably a less stressful idea for someone with prior military service or at least some ROTC time, so choose well.

    Second, there are some loan repayment programs through agencies such as the National Health Service Corp where you serve in a disadvantaged area, receive a salary, and they pay off a certain amount of your student loans each year. I don't know much about these programs, but I haven't heard anything bad about them either. If you want an idea of what geographical areas that you might serve in try this link http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov//jobs/search_form.cfm

    Third, I believe that there are some options with different state agencies such as North Carolina where you work 5or7 yrs in a disadvantaged area and they pay off your loans. But I am not sure at all about this option.
     
  33. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,459
    Likes Received:
    4
    Yep... A few of my classmates are going the Health Professions Scholarships route which will pay off all their loans.

    Two will be working with the Indian Health Service as Federal Government employees (under the U.S. Department of the Interior) to provide dental care on reservations after they graduate (5 year commitment) in exchange for loan forgiveness. There are also two Army HPS guys and one girl who is going Navy HPS. They will be commissioned after graduation as O-3's (Captain in the Army, Lieutenant in the Navy) and also serve 5 years active duty.

    Another alternative for loan forgiveness in some states is to become full-time faculty in a state-funded dental school for five years after graduation. Where I am (New York State) this can be done.

    Originally I wanted to go Navy HPS, but my sister convinced me to just do a 1-year GPR and start practicing after I graduate in 2004. She did a 1-year GPR, learned some marketable skills, and just three years after graduation in 2000 she is well on her way to paying off her loans and buying into a practice.
     
  34. emporio

    emporio Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    UBTom, where did your sister go to dental school? Thanks.
     
  35. mcataz

    mcataz Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    5
    My buddy and I just got back from New York. We had a long plane flight together so I got to ask him a lot about the business side of dentistry. He happens to be a practicing dentist. And I asked him why people get the impression that dentists don't make a lot of money? I told him that a lof of people fear not being able to pay off their loans.

    He is doing quite well for himelf. He earned a respectable 120K as an associate and as the owner of his own practice, he is doing quite well for himself so he knows what he is talking about.

    He told me what many others have repeated. But to sum it up, your location plays a big factor in determining your paycheck. He told me that many of the same people who complain about not making enough in dentistry are the same people who feel obligated to live in Southern California namely LA and other managed care heavens. People we have a choice. You don't have to live in So Cal. There are plenty of other areas in the country that are quite nice and have a shortage of dentists.

    The second major reason is that a lot of people remain associates for a long time. Many don't want the burden or the risk of opening up or buying an existing practice. At the same time, you are going to have hard time paying of your loans if you decide to remain as associated for a long time like many do. The ones who open their own practice in areas that have a short supply of dentists, and that are personable are doing quite well which includes my friend and he is only 25. His good friend from dental school is still an associate and will probably remain an associate for a long time. He just doesn't have the personality or the business sense to run his own practice.

    The other trick he said is managing your overhead. He was telling me that there are dentists who gross a lot of money but don't know how to properly manage and finance their overhead. He said that this is the biggest trick to earning money as a dentist. The best dentists know to keep their costs down. He said it's not hard to generate revenue but it is challenging finding ways to keep your costs down. He said that's what separates the big earners from the little ones.

    Just something for you guys to think about.
     
  36. PainlessPaulus

    PainlessPaulus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    He told me what many others have repeated. But to sum it up, your location plays a big factor in determining your paycheck.

    The other trick he said is managing your overhead. He was telling me that there are dentists who gross a lot of money but don't know how to properly manage and finance their overhead.
    Just something for you guys to think about. [/B][/QUOTE] mcataz,

    I secret to overhead is collection. You must be more like a grocery store than a physician. You can only pay your overhead with collection not production. When you start to look at practices, be only interested in collection. Also, you will hear that a 98% collection ratio is excellent. I do 100%-102% every year. Next time you college asks for tuition, ask them if you can own it to them.

    doug
     
  37. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    Messages:
    11,749
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Dentist
    Great points about collection and overhead.

    Dentists can truly make or break themselves based on their business skills.

    I've come to realize how important overhead and collection are as I've been working for my family's business. We have several customers that currently owe $200,000 or more, and one customer that owes over $400,000.

    With numbers like that collection is certainly important, but anytime you are running the business collection is important, regardless of the actual amounts.
     
  38. mcataz

    mcataz Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yup, Doug that's the other secret. My friend has an office manager that is amazing with collections. He will not let her go for anything. He says she is amazing and he noticed the difference between her versus the one he had prior. A good office manager can make a huge difference.
     
  39. juan7677

    juan7677 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
  40. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,459
    Likes Received:
    4
    to Emporio:

    My sister graduated NYUCD Class of 2000. It's true what the other guys said about location, location, location-- She is working at an upscale group practice in affluent Westchester NY doing procedures like implant surgery that earns her very good fees. My sister does work hard though to get where she is now-- 6 days a week. She enjoys what she does though; otherwise I suspect she wouldn't put that much effort into it. :D
     
  41. emporio

    emporio Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    UBTom,
    Thanks for the reply. Does one need to have a post-doc education to do implants? (fellowship?) I've heard that that's very lucrative. Also, could you tell me approx. how much she makes? I'll be starting dental school at SDOS this fall... so I'm just curious how newly graduated students are doing after dental school. Are you planning to specialize? if so, which specialty and why? Thanks.
     
  42. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,459
    Likes Received:
    4
    to Emporio:

    In the future as implant dentistry is integrated more tightly into dental school curriculums, I suspect that post-doc education would become unnecessary for doing implants. For example, my class (2004) had very little exposure to implants. But the class following us has implant restoration integrated into the pre-lab course. I'm sure the Class of 2006 at my school would have even more exposure.

    But as of now, it is usually a good idea for dentists to take either some sort of Continuing Education course or do post-doc training to get into the implant scene. Implants are indeed lucrative, but it is among the more complex procedures with uncertain outcomes so practitioner skill is very important. It helps to be practicing in an affluent area where there is a bigger market for implants.

    Me, I don't plan to specialize.. Just a 1-year GPR program will be enough for me. :D I think I want to practice in many aspects of dentistry rather than in just one specialty.

    Good luck at SDOS!
     
  43. PENN Diddy

    PENN Diddy Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    1
    Back to original post,

    "How do I intend to pay back?".... Move back in with your parents, not have a high maintenance girlfriend for at least 2 years, & don't let your ego get in way of you paying it off (Honda Civic Vs. Porsche 911).
     
  44. PainlessPaulus

    PainlessPaulus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our office manager is responsible for anything under $300. I am responsible for anything over $300. I make money arrangement during case presentation. IN FACT money ARRANGEMENTS ARE THE CASE PRESENTATION. Patients want to know how much will it hurt and how much will it cost. That has been the downfall if many guys starting out. They talk about the wrong stuff.

    Doug
     

Share This Page