If you're a dentist looking for associateship opportunities, or if your practice is looking for a dental associate, there are a number of options. But if you're not sure where to look or post what you're offering, you could be missing out on a great fit for your needs and goals.
With the right hire, an associate dentist can deliver the skills and capabilities that help you grow your practice.
That means everybody wins, including patients who get quality care and the right treatment. It's hard to argue with that when a patient comes to a dental professional for treatment. Satisfied patients can provide some of your greatest advertising opportunities, and those patients may be even happier when you have a great dental associate on your staff to work with them.
As a result, finding an associate dentist can benefit your practice in many additional ways than simply adding an employee.
Dental Associateships 101
Dental associateships are for dentists who work at a practice but don't own it. Not every dentist is looking for this type of arrangement, as many of them want to have their own practices.
But there are plenty of dentists who prefer to work with patients, but don't want to deal with the added responsibilities of running a small business.
For a dentist looking an associate, finding a good fit isn't always easy. But it can be worth taking the time to identify and hire someone who can work with patients so you, the practice owner, can spend more time focusing on the business side of your practice.
This is the primary benefit of hiring other dentists in associateship positions — you can share the responsibilities of patient care while addressing the everyday needs that your practice has.
Why Dental Associates Are Helpful
There are many reasons why a dental associate is helpful to a practice. They perform dental duties, of course, which can take a lot of the pressure off of the owner of the practice. Dentists want to focus on their patients, but there are a lot of other issues that can come up and take up a lot of time during a dentist's day.
Because of that, it's important to have a balance between seeing patients and completing other types of work. With an associate dentist in your practice, you can adjust your schedule to be more beneficial for yourself and others at your practice, too.
Increasing patient volume and freeing up your time are just two of the biggest reasons why an associate dentist benefits a practice. Other benefits include the ability to offer a second opinion to patients in your own practice, improving the public image of your practice by hiring additional dentists, and adding a new leader to your practice who can mentor and direct other staff.
In the meantime, you not only have the chance to address business-related issues more often, but you can also start working on a more predictable work schedule. It’s all too easy for small business owners — including dental practice owners — to become quickly overworked with responsibilities to patients and the practice itself.
As those responsibilities become more evenly distributed among associate dentists, your workload becomes more manageable and less stressful. You may even be able to take a vacation!
You also may be a practice owner who is actively looking to step away from the patient side of work in general. If that’s the case, having an associate dentist (or multiple) frees up your time to do things like final checks on patient procedures instead of committing to the full patient experience yourself.
This doesn't mean you necessarily want to stop seeing patients entirely — but this is another way that your time becomes more manageable while you can still practice dentistry.
The benefits of an associate dentist go far beyond benefiting you and your practice as well. Some dentists aren’t interested in running a practice of their own, and they prefer to focus on patients instead of running a small business. After all, that’s what dental school prepares dentists to do — and running a practice can feel alien as a result.
Associate dentists often appreciate the relative simplicity of focusing on their work while earning an established salary that keeps them financially stable. With that, they can happily attend to their work and grow in their positions doing what they do best — practicing dentistry.
Where Can You Post Dental Associateship Opportunities?
Typically, you can find a dentist looking for associateship opportunities by working with your state dental organizations. You can also post on online job boards such as Indeed, Dental Post, and Dental Workers. If you’re still connected to your alma mater, you can also work with student groups with upcoming graduates who may be looking to start a career in your area.
The goal is not only to make sure that plenty of dentists who are looking for this kind of opportunity see it, but also to be sure you're asking in the right place for the kind of dentist who would be a strong fit for your practice.
Personalities and skill sets both matter, so focusing on the right options for posting what you need is important for a good fit. Your practice may get a bigger benefit when you find the best person for the job. Depending on where your practice is located, there may be a lot of people to choose from or you may have a hard time finding a dentist who wants to work for someone else instead of having their own practice.
Hiring Your Associate Dentist (and Other Staff)
If you're in practice or want to be, and you're concerned about human resource issues, our HR guide may assist you. We cover everything from a dentist looking for an associate to other office-based issues. You can seek to hire a dental associate and manage your business in a way to provide growth and value for the long term.
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Treloar & Heisel, LLC. does not offer human resources or practice management advice.