The Business Side of Dentistry

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If you had your own practice, how would you handle the business/financial matters?

  • I'd want to do it all myself because I enjoy it and am good at it.

    Votes: 16 43.2%
  • I'd want to do it all myself because I don't think it's that big a deal.

    Votes: 3 8.1%
  • I'd hire a full-time MBA and just do dentistry.

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • I'd hire an MBA part-time and share the work with him/her.

    Votes: 4 10.8%
  • I wouldn't hire an MBA but would work together with my senior staff on it as a team effort.

    Votes: 6 16.2%
  • I would rather not own a practice at all: I'd rather work permanently as an associate.

    Votes: 6 16.2%

  • Total voters
    37

trypmo

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Tangentially to another thread, I wanted to bring this issue up explicitly.

If you own your own practice, do you want to be both the businessperson and the dentist?

I'd sooner be inclined to hire on an MBA full-time to make all the financial arrangements (I'd peek over his/her shoulder every now and then) and not have to worry about them myself. Isn't that what having your own practice is all about: the freedom to be a dentist?

So it's an extra $60k a year... if you aren't worrying about the finances personally, you can be treating more patients and bringing in more capital, so the time you'd save would probably more than pay for the staff member, wouldn't it??

Of course, if you already have studied business and enjoy doing it, then that's great, and you're lucky! For the rest of us, though, I'm wondering whether people generally want to run the business side of a practice or not.

:idea: aha -- a poll!
 

Bickle

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I doubt you need to hire an MBA to handle the finances of a dental practice.
 

trypmo

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Then vote choice #2! :D
 

Bickle

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No, I dont agree with choice 2 either. I'm saying, someone with a business degree is well qualified to handle a dental practice. IMO, an MBA would be over qualified.
 

trypmo

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An undergrad degree? Whoa. I should've made that an answer choice too, I guess (oops). I didn't even think of it because I don't think I'd trust someone with just an undergrad degree to run my business. But that's a really good point; I should've thought of it!
 

aphistis

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Originally posted by Dentaldream
No, I dont agree with choice 2 either. I'm saying, someone with a business degree is well qualified to handle a dental practice. IMO, an MBA would be over qualified.
Agreed. After all, most dentists are hardly comparably trained in business as MBAs, and the majority survive in practice, so it follows pretty easily that your office manager wouldn't necessarily need that kind of credentials--and you'd still end up paying the salary premium for that MBA you aren't taking full advantage of.
 

Bickle

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Hell, what do I know??

Maybe dentists just use MBAs for the business side rather than undergrad degree holders. Can someone shed some light on this....?
 

trypmo

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Originally posted by aphistis
Agreed. After all, most dentists are hardly comparably trained in business as MBAs, and the majority survive in practice, so it follows pretty easily that your office manager wouldn't necessarily need that kind of credentials--and you'd still end up paying the salary premium for that MBA you aren't taking full advantage of.
Any stats as to whether office managers typically are or aren't holders of either undergrad or graduate business degrees, or is the above something that seems obvious to you because of your experience and/or what you've heard? I'm really interested to know; I'm not trying to be combative.
 

aphistis

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Originally posted by trypmo
Any stats as to whether office managers typically are or aren't holders of either undergrad or graduate business degrees, or is the above something that seems obvious to you because of your experience and/or what you've heard? I'm really interested to know; I'm not trying to be combative.
No, I don't have any numbers ready to hand. This sounds like something you might have better luck asking over at DentalTown. We're almost all students; they're actually living the life. ;)
 

trypmo

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Originally posted by aphistis
No, I don't have any numbers ready to hand. This sounds like something you might have better luck asking over at DentalTown. We're almost all students; they're actually living the life. ;)
I'm still kinda scared to post over there, though I've been a member/lurker for a while. Perhaps I should hold my breath and take a plunge into the potentially icy waters...
 

gryffindor

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trypmo, I'm graduating in a few months and I'm still scared to post on dentaltown. But it is fun to read that message board and see what the real dentists talk about and think about.
 

Comet208

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I personally know of an office manager in a large dental office who has no more than an undergrad degree. I am not sure what her degree is in though.


P.S: I have found Dental Town people to be very supportive and welcoming.
 

sxr71

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Originally posted by trypmo
Tangentially to another thread, I wanted to bring this issue up explicitly.

If you own your own practice, do you want to be both the businessperson and the dentist?

I'd sooner be inclined to hire on an MBA full-time to make all the financial arrangements (I'd peek over his/her shoulder every now and then) and not have to worry about them myself. Isn't that what having your own practice is all about: the freedom to be a dentist?

So it's an extra $60k a year... if you aren't worrying about the finances personally, you can be treating more patients and bringing in more capital, so the time you'd save would probably more than pay for the staff member, wouldn't it??

Of course, if you already have studied business and enjoy doing it, then that's great, and you're lucky! For the rest of us, though, I'm wondering whether people generally want to run the business side of a practice or not.

:idea: aha -- a poll!


You have to pay an MBA around $80,000 a year for an inexperienced one and quite a bit more for one with experience. For an average dental practice a good hygienst with some business experience seems best.
 

jaxx

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I do not know any dentists who use mba's to run their offices. Almost all hire an office manager and use a good dental management software program. Your manager needs to be an efficient people person who can collect your money/ keep your book full while not turning off your patients. :)
 
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