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Orthodontics Program Rankings

Discussion in 'Dental Residents and Practicing Dentists' started by Tooth, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    I have ranked the Orthodontics Programs from most competitive to least competitive with scores ranging on a scale from 0-100 points (the more points it earned the LESS competitive the school). They are based on the following criteria. Assumptions are explained below. I have loaded the information in a spreadsheet so that you can change the information as you see fit or as information changes (i.e. tuition, stipends, etc.)

    1. Class size-The larger the class size the easier it is to get in. One point earned per resident spot available. Programs reserving spots for foreign trained dentists will have those spots removed from their normal class size.

    2. Duration of program-The longer the program, the less desirable. One point earned for every month of training required.

    3. Annual tuition-The higher the tuition, the less desirable. The total tuition, stipends (if any), cost of living for the particular city, and private practice pay for programs < 3 years were combined to create a "Cost" score. One point was earned for every $10,000 of cost or removed for every $10,000 of surplus.

    4. Any stipends offered-Used in the "Cost" score explained above.

    5. Annual living expenses specific to the city the school is in-Used in the "Cost" score explained above. I used a cost of living calculator to determine the equivalent of $45,000 a year to live on. I chose Cleveland as my "base" city.

    6. Private practice income for those programs less than three years.-Used in the "Cost" score explained above. It is assumed that Orthodontists will earn $300,000 per year upon graduation.

    My calculations do not account for "prestige". My calculations are primarily economically driven. Therefore you will find some results surprising such as Harvard being calculated as the fifth "easiest" school to get in to. Prestige was deliberately left out to avoid bias.

    My calculations do not account for "good weather". Meaning schools with perceived better weather should be more competitive (ex. Florida vs New York). Weather is too subjective. I intentionally left out this bias.

    My calculations do not include whether a school is your alma matter. A guaranteed interview would greatly enhance your chances at the school.

    My calculations do not include the Post 9/11 GI bill for those who have served with the military. I have this calculated though. If you're interested PM me. It's on a separate spreadsheet.

    Even if you don't agree with the scoring, I have put considerable effort into finding information about each program which most people should find valuable. Just remember that my data may not be exactly correct or out-dated. So far, it's the best information I have for 2011.

    Some schools are complicated. The data may then appear different than what you may find on your own. For example, University of West Virginia provides a stipend only the last year and no tuition the final year. Therefore a stipend given only once during a program with a value of $12,000 would then be calculated as a $4,000 per year stipend for a 3 year program.

    Please see the attachment for the calculations and data. The final score is below.

    Programs Ranked from Most Competitive to Least Competitive.

    MOST COMPETITIVE
    1. 3.57 Points University of Rochester
    2. 5.16 Points Washington Hospital Center
    3. 6.17 Points Vanderbuilt University Medical Center
    4. 9.31 Points VCU
    5. 10.26 Ponts LSU
    6. 11.85 Points University of Louisville
    7. 12.22 Points University of Minnesota
    8. 15.85 Points Marquette University
    9. 18.09 Points University of Detroit Mercy
    10. 20.63 Points University of Iowa
    11. 21.07 Points Indiana University
    12. 21.17 Points University of Texas at Houston
    13. 21.30 Points Howard University
    14. 21.84 Points University of Missouri-Kansas
    15. 26.82 Points University of Pennsylvania
    16. 27.10 Points A.T. Still University
    17. 27.29 Points Medical College of Georgia
    18. 30.79 Points University of Nebraska
    19. 31.41 Points Tufts University
    20. 32.07 Points Temple University
    21. 33.00 Points University of Oklahoma
    22. 33.48 Points Jacksonville University
    23. 34.39 Points Loma Linda
    24. 38.43 Points Mayo Graduate School of Medicine
    25. 40.83 Points Case Western Reserve University
    26. 41.77 Points University of Illinois at Chicago
    27. 44.06 Points University of Tennessee
    28. 45.48 Points Oregon Health and Science University
    29. 46.81 Points St. Louis University
    30. 47.56 Points Nova
    31. 48.25 Points Albert Einstein Medical Center
    32. 49.17 Seton Hill
    33. 49.39 West Virginia University
    34. 50.12 UNLV
    35. 50.20 Ohio State
    36. 50.30 Maimonides Medical Center
    37. 50.99 Medical University of South Carolina
    38. 51.18 University of Washington
    39. 52.07 Baylor
    40. 52.60 University of Puerto Rico
    41. 52.72 University of Kentucky
    42. 53.30 UNC
    43. 53.94 St. Barnabas Hospital
    44. 54.29 University of Pacific
    45. 54.40 University of Colorado
    46. 54.99 University of Alabama
    47. 56.82 University of Connecticut
    48. 57.40 University of Texas at San Antonio
    49. 59.42 Suny at Buffalo
    50. 60.42 University of Michigan
    51. 62.29 Roseman University of Health Sciences
    52. 63.10 Montefiore Medical Center
    53. 63.66 University of Florida
    54. 65.51 University of Pittsburgh
    55. 69.42 NJ University of Medicine and Dentistry
    56. 70.24 Suny at Stony Brook
    57. 70.38 University of Maryland
    58. 71.52 USC
    59. 74.66 UCLA
    60. 78.78 Harvard
    61. 80.97 UCSF
    62. 82.29 Columbia University
    63. 86.29 New York University
    64. 89.02 Boston University
    LEAST COMPETITIVE
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Tooth, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
    dante72 likes this.
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  3. ortho lurker

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  4. gryffindor

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    :laugh:
     
  5. og2

    og2
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    probably not exactly all that accurate bc as you mention there are a ton of other intangible factors that need to be taken into account and it's hard to be objective when those come into play; however, this is still a very interesting post and you definitely put a lot of time/effort/thought into it :thumbup:
     
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  6. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    My source is the ADA. They, not me, said Ortho's nationwide earned an average of

    1. 2007- $295,000 (page 139 of 2008 report)
    2. 2008- $250,000 (page 132 of 2009 report)
    3. 2009- $248,350 (page 132 of 2010 report)

    Those stats include part-time orthodontists who bring the numbers down, so I just picked $300,000 which is still in the ball park. If you think ortho's make $10 a year or $1,000,000 a year, just put that number in the spreadsheet. It will give you a new result.
     
  7. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    Thank you man. That's exactly the point. It's about being objective.
     
  8. runrabbitrun

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    Very original analysis.

    That said, to say that WHC or Vandy are more "competitive" than UW or UNC is just silly.
     
  9. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    That's the beauty of being objective. Perhaps UW and UNC, or other "Prestigious" schools have way more emphasis added to them than they really deserve. Also, there are some lesser known programs out there that should be getting waaaay more attention than they're currently getting.
     
  10. HALOdontist

    HALOdontist tweed slayer
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    This number also takes into account the multitude of orthodontists who have built their practices over decades. To assume that the new graduate is expected to earn 300K is grossly exaggerated. There are exceptions to this but 300K first year out is inaccurate for the most part.
     
  11. ortho lurker

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    I think the title of this thread should be re-named from "most competitive to get into" to "most economically sensible" because I am confident that some of these 3 year private ortho programs in big cities with sky high tuitions such as USC, Columbia, etc. will almost NEVER have a post-match open spot while some of the 2 year programs in smaller cities w/ lower tuition will have more post-match open positions available (I am throwing Buffalo as an example from a few years ago). In the end the orthodontic certificate is all you really need to specialize, but go figure. And to assume that a private practice will actually be that busy to hire you full time 5 days a week right out of school or that a chain will hire you to see 30 patients a day for 3 days a week (instead of say 90 patients a day on 1 work day) for that $300,000 salary is absolutely NAIVE. Most private ortho offices aren't busy enough to sustain themselves for 4-5 working days a week at a single location themselves!
     
  12. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    I agree. It would be more accurate to call it a list of most economically sensible schools. I assumed that economic sense would make a program more competitive. But you're right.

    However, what # would you then use for the first year out of school?
     
    #11 Tooth, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  13. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    It also includes a bunch of geeser orthodontists who are 85 years old and don't make much. Thus are the biases of surveys. I still think 300,000 is in the ball park.
     
  14. ortho lurker

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    Uhh.. around $150,000 your first year out is probably more accurate as most new grads can only find enough work to fill 2-3 days a week. Some may be fortunate to find full time work but would accept less money. Ask any new grad how easy it is to fill their schedule, or even ask some of these established doctors who are cutting their own days and are now looking for additional part-time work.
     
  15. charlestweed

    Dentist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Great job! Tooth. If I were an ortho applicant, I would definitely use your list to rank the ortho programs. I would rather go to a cheap, no name, 2 year program (such as Lousiville) that charges 20-25k a year than going to a 3 year well known program such as UNC or to a 3 year program that pays the stipend (such as UCLA, Mayo clinic).

    The more schooling you have to do and the more student loans you borrow, the more years you will fall further behind and the longer it will take you to start enjoying your job and life in general. I went to a cheap 2-year ortho program. With the saving of $50k, I only had to borrow $70k to set up my private practice. These factors easily put me 3-4 years ahead of the doctor who graduates from a 3-year program and borrows $300k to set up a fancy ortho office. Low overhead allows me to hire more employees; and thus, I can enjoy my job more because I can focus more on diagnosis and tx planning…..and less on the manual labor. Having more assistants also allows me to take better care of my patients. The orthodontist, who owes too much loans, can’t afford to hire employees and has to do all the hard work by him(her)self.
     
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  16. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    Thank you. That's exactly the way I feel about it. Louisville would be an awesome school to go to, is completely under-rated, and a great value.
     
    #15 Tooth, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  17. hot

    hot

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    no offense, but i feel bad you wasted all of your time doing this.
     
  18. Ninety

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    thank you for this detailed ranking

    it is not perfect but at least it is just a start point for a more comprehensive one
     
  19. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    Please explain how compiling an up-to-date resource to compare the economic burden of different programs is a waste of time.
     
    #18 Tooth, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  20. gryffindor

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    Because due to the match, the majority of applicants will only ever get into one program.

    I guess it is interesting for you to put a list out there in terms of potential debt load. I don't know how those with the 300K private dental school loans do it when they tack on 250K from an ortho residency at the bottom of your list. I don't know of any new grad who got a 300K starting offer. Those I know who were lucky enough to get full time offers got something like 200K or maybe 250K. That may sound like a lot of money, but it evaporates fast after taxes and payments on a 550K student loan.
     
  21. hot

    hot

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    because your time could be better spent researching which programs fit your needs... but obviously money is the most important aspect you have in mind.
     
  22. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    I'm dumbfounded by your blithe indifference. Surely you can see some value in this break down. To call it a waste of time is just hurtful and nasty.
     
    #21 Tooth, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  23. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    This information should help people rank the schools in an order to best avoid the very debt you're mentioning. That's why it's so useful.
     
    #22 Tooth, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  24. charlestweed

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    Residency only teaches you the basics of ortho so it doesn’t really matter which ortho program you go to.....MS degree, no MS degree, 2 year, 3 year....they are all the same. It is wise to choose the cheapest program. I’ve seen many new grad orthos who got fired from their associate jobs because they were too slow and had problems dealing difficult transferred cases. And many of these new grads graduated from “prestigious” ortho programs.

    Money should be the most important aspect especially now...due to rising cost of living, higher student loan debt, poor economy, inflation, fewer associate jobs available for new ortho grads, over saturation of orthos, old orthos don’t retire, higher taxes etc.
     
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  25. ortho lurker

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    :thumbup: Exactly what I said. Get into the cheapest, shortest length program and make your choices wisely when you get out. I have a few dental classmates who went to "name brand" ortho programs and opened their practice from scratch in expensive areas, and are now eating it because they are not making $ and are stuck with their build-out. Do patients care what dental school or ortho program you went to? Do employers care where you graduated? Employers will generally look for the person who can produce the most and will accept the least from them.
     
  26. amalgamator42

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    I think this is a great list. I would have changed a few of my rankings back in the day off it. What has been said above is true.
     
  27. JDIZNEY

    JDIZNEY Grip n Rip
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    Nice work tooth. Good to see someone trying something different!:thumbup:
     
  28. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    Thanks everyone.
     
    #27 Tooth, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  29. crew09

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    oh snap. what the hell am I even doing here. i'm predental, not remotely interested in ortho (did I hear 300k? :rolleyes:), but this thread is epic. excellent stuff!:thumbup:

    [​IMG]

    I'm almost motivated to do this for dschools.....almost.

    Right. That's why I don't come here. In pre-dent forums we all take 200K+ loans that magically disappear and open up multi million dollar practices the day after graduation.

    Loan $$=Lottery$$ yeAH! (shoutout gryffindor!)
     
    #28 crew09, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  30. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    In a way, this list doesn't describe which schools are the most/least competitive to get in to. It measures the degree to which each school competes to attract students. Just like employers who pay more will be more competitive, the dental schools that cost the least will be more competitive. But this list goes the extra mile and includes cost of living for the particular city the school is in, something really out of the dental school's control. Still, an important factor to consider. It also includes class size indicating that small class sizes will generally lend to a higher quality education, but not necessarily.
     
  31. mike3kgt

    mike3kgt Hopefully scuba diving
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    Just to be fair, it's a very nice compilation. I mostly see value in candidates having an easy list of cost of programs and if they provide a stipend or not and projected cost of attendance. I do see a value in a relative ranking system as such, but that is harder to quantify than absolute numbers like cost of attendance.

    I certainly hope this project gave you an opportunity to vent your neurosis. Maybe you should consider prosthodontics instead of orthodontics, we tend to attract those types of personalities. :)
     
  32. blissonearth

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    I would say university of michigan or other state school will have 2 types of ranks just because it has 2 tuitions, one for in state tuition which is 20 K and out of state which is 40k. They are starting to giving out stipend for the residents starting this year. They also have wolverine funds for paying trips and research. I would say u of mihigan will be higher on the list if you are paying in state tuition. It really is a wonderful school. Hands down! Positive environment all the way, nice relationship between faculties and residents.

    It is a great list, btw! GreaT job tooth
     
  33. OG1

    OG1 OrthoGunner #1
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    When I applied to ortho, I compiled a spreadsheet ranking programs essentially the same way Tooth did. I applied to 30 programs, went on 11 interviews, and ranked based on time and price (it helped that I would be very happy at any of my top ranked programs). People were shocked that I was paying $10k on applying and interviewing, but at the end of the day I saved way more money than that by matching at a short program with no tuition. I think Tooth's rankings are brilliant because when you are applying to ortho, you don't have much more to go on aside from length, cost, and location. He even went the extra mile of considering cost of living; very smart and practical.
     
  34. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    Good point. My list only identifies the out-of-state tuition since that would be most useful for everyone on SDN. However, that's why you can just change the tuition amount in the spreadsheet of your school and see where it then ranks (what the final score is). If you know what the stipend will be for Michigan this year, please post it as I could not find that.
     
  35. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    Prosthodontics is fun, I'll admit. But I'm getting tired of mowing people's teeth down to little nubs. It would be much more satisfying, for me, to just move their current dentition into it's correct position and preserve all that tooth structure. I'm in the military, and they won't let general dentists do ortho. So, I'm just itchin' to slap some braces on someone.
     
  36. blissonearth

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    The chair is still calculating how much the stipend will be for this year, either they will pay it on january 2012 or they will put it on the tuition fees. No words yet. Thanks for the list and it is really useful for people who are applying for the program. You are awesome
     
  37. Diesel2011

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    Hey Tooth, Thank you for the time you dedicated to this, I find it very useful. Appreciate it.
     
  38. gryffindor

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    I think you hit the point here which is that each applicant has to rank the programs that actually invite you to interview because those are the schools where you might actually get accepted. I had University of Rochester at the #1 spot on my list, just like Tooth has on his list. However, seeing as they never invited me to interview, it didn't matter where they were on my list because I had no chance of ever getting in. I would've loved to have attended any of tooth's bottom 10 programs too since they were all close to home or in sunny California. Fortunately for my future bank account, only one of them invited me to interview, SUNY SB, and I ranked them last on my list not because of cost (I think as a NY state resident it wasn't as expensive as a non-resident) but for other reasons.
     
  39. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
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    You're welcome. For the record, I'm not even applying for ortho this year. I'm in the military and still have several years left on my obligation. That also accounts for why I have the spare time to generate this information. In actuality, I have created a far more comprehensive ranking which includes the post 9/11 GI bill, yellow ribbon program, BAH and the like. The results are similar but more precise for my situation and other military folk. However, since I already did the work, I just created a more SDN friendly version to share with the non-military 2011 applicants.
     
  40. talknerdytome

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    When do interviews start dadgummit?
     
  41. majman16

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    Thanks for sharing it. It made me much more confident about the schools I chose to apply to. Thanks for serving our country too!
     
  42. blissonearth

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    I couldn't find USC's rank. From ADA reports of 2009-2010 application, the tuition is a whopping $70 grand a year for 3 years!!!
     
  43. seeunmok

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    How did you come about calculating the living costs? $114758 per year for UCLA and UCSF really sound a lot to me.
     
  44. himynameis

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    Wow, that's an impressive compilation.
     
  45. Guy Smiley

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    Interesting list. I am telling you though, assuming an orthodontist is making $300k a year is crazy. Try cutting that amount in half. I graduated from one of the top schools according to your list, and neither me or any of my classmates is pulling in near that. Even those who bought practices aren't pulling that much with debt service. I only know 1 colleague pulling that much becauase he bought a spectacular practice with a very generous seller. Honestly, talking with my friends still in residency, i think you are lucky to just be able to find a job these days.
     
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  46. gryffindor

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    I recently found the answer to my own question. The orthodontist with the 550K dental school + ortho residency debt moves to Texas.
     
  47. Sublimazing

    Physician Dentist 5+ Year Member

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    Reimbursement rates in texas are making things a little whacky down there. Can't imagine this trend lasts forever. But as of right now, texas is where it is at
     
  48. master80

    7+ Year Member

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    Not true at all! Ortho. Medicaid has been cut down significantly and so are the jobs
     
  49. ortho lurker

    7+ Year Member

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    The easiest way to earn $300k a year your first year out is to work as an associate for the chains. The chains in California pay on average $1,000-1,500/day so if you work 5-6 days a week, you will hit that number. The hard part is that the chain only needs 1-2 days a month at each location so you will be jumping around and it can be a challenge to string out the full time schedule, but it is possible! No start-up or practice loans to start, and less headaches with no paperwork!!
     
  50. charlestweed

    Dentist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Not being able to find full time work at the dental chains may be a good thing because you will be forced to create the job for yourself, which is to set up your own office. After graduation, I spent the first 4 years working 6 days/week for 3 different chain offices. Sure, I made a lot of $$$ but I was always afraid of getting fired, my days getting cut, and my bonus getting cut. I really regret not starting my own office right after graduation. Can’t work for someone else forever.

    Now with my 3 own offices, I don’t care if the chain offices cut my days. I don’t have to hastily start a new case 5 minutes before closing time so I could make the regional office manager happy. When I work for myself, I work shorter and more flexible hours and I make many times more than working at the chains.

    I don’t understand why so many new grad orthos are afraid to start an office. It is so easy. Ortho should be the specialty with the lowest overhead. You don’t have to have expensive equipments and fancy electronic gadgets to do good orthodontic work. The quality orthodontic treatment is determined by the skill of the orthodontist, not the brand of the ortho brackets. It is the painter, not the brush!
     
  51. ortho lurker

    7+ Year Member

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    It's not the overhead that's the problem, it's getting the patients. You hear of these ortho start-ups in So Cal that charge $2,000 a case and they shut down the doors a few months later.
     

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