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Why do so many dental associateships fail to work out?

Discussion in 'Dental Residents and Practicing Dentists' started by Mauricio45, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Mauricio45

    Mauricio45 2+ Year Member

    Sep 15, 2013
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  3. Rainee

    Rainee 7+ Year Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    I’ve always said dentistry is a good ownership gig but not a 8-5 employee gig.

    If you are a specialist that’s different but as a GP.... you have to own... very rare to find a decent associateship.
  4. Mauricio45

    Mauricio45 2+ Year Member

    Sep 15, 2013
    Right? My first associateship out of school was a disaster and lasted only 7 months. You always have to be careful about you say or do because it always feels like you are walking on eggshells as an associate because staff will report on you to the owner. Staff always favors the owner (which makes sense since owner is paying them), and my schedule was hardly productive. Owner would take work I diagnosed (especially fixed prosth- crowns, bridges) and front desk would schedule those patients with him. I felt taken advantage of as a new grad, but I've learned my lessons from that job. I've made mistakes and I wasn't perfect.

    I've heard of horror stories from classmates of mine from their associateships and also on DentalTown.

    Thankfully, I got out of that situation and landed 2 decent part-time associateships at 2 different offices. I think it's WAY better to do multiple part-time jobs rather than 1 full-time associateship because staff usually has an easier time to fill 2-3 days as opposed to 5 days. Plus, I think most dental offices can only offer the associate part-time work.

    I can't wait to own.
  5. Strag

    Strag 7+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2009
    This has happened to a few of my friends in private practice. Just like your situation, they essentially "triage" and whenever the owner's schedule gets light or cancellations occur, the manager who happens to be the wife to the owner would pull treatment from my friend's column. I temped a couple times at a private practice and they have no where near the patient load per day compared to a corporate practice. It's sad but I do agree with the same sentiments. If you're doing general, you have to either own or do corporate in a single office to be moderately successful, and to do that you have to be good at many disciplines. I don't see being an associate in either situations as a stable job in the near future.
  6. Rainee

    Rainee 7+ Year Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    So practice loans...+ 20 years later....retirement. Now so you sorta see why dentistry isn't as picturesque anymore? Add a luxury car and a decent sized house and you add 30 years until retirement... Just wait until your back gives out, or year by year your income is dried up by corporate, saturation, lowering insurances...

    Oh well...I'm in it to win it now. Gotta have a game plan to get out...otherwise you will just flounder and do nothing.
  7. 2TH MVR

    2TH MVR Orthodontist Dentist Silver Donor Classifieds Approved

    Aug 3, 2017
    North Scottsdale, Arizona
    Rainee're funny and I mean that is a good way. I enjoy reading your posts. :)

    Nothing comes easy. Associateships with no future is no different than working for the Corps. Heck .... the benefits may be better at the Corps. Also ... at the Corps are not treated as a 2nd class citizen by the owner doc's staff and/or patients.

    Most associateships fail because there is no future in it. In a perfect world (maybe I'm dreaming) but I would locate a senior dentist looking for the right person to turn his/her practice over to when he/she retires. You need a dental and business mentor willing to show you the ropes. An older practice may not generate sufficient revenue for both you and the senior doc. You may need to augment with Corp PT.

    You can be successful, and it usually starts with reasonable educational debt and then picking the right community that isn't fully saturated.
  8. Firm

    Firm Member Dentist 10+ Year Member

    May 22, 2002
    Because most dentists want the same thing as dental owners. Once you realize this, you don't want to be an associate especially after putting in the same amount of work. Dentists are also greedy and try to take advantage of associates because the associate really isn't bringing anything to the table.
  9. beannaithe

    beannaithe Bionerd 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2005
    Phila, PA
    Most owners want to work less and take more time off...until they start losing income. Then, they start getting greedy and picking the associate's schedule for the good stuff. They have a hard time having an associate because they want to have their cake and eat it too. Most good associates will stay in a good associateship for very long time. I've been at mine (2 docs, 1 owner) for 5 years and I've seen 2 other associates buy a practice out of the other associate spot. Most of the time good associateships don't come up because they tend to be decent, long-term gigs. It's the crappy, short term, not enough patients, underpaid, overworked rotating doors that always come up on Craigslist because no one ever stays long enough for them to take down the ad.
    laighthaus likes this.

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