Once you’ve graduated from dental school, there are a number of ways to pursue a career in dentistry. If practice ownership appeals to you, you may choose to accumulate more experience before going down the path of entrepreneurship.
Many graduates choose to pursue a mentorship-to-ownership career path. This typically involves a new dentist who would work under the supervision of a more experienced dentist throughout their career with the end goal of becoming a partial owner, or taking over the practice entirely.
Here's what you'll want to consider when considering a mentorship-to-ownership career path:
Who Benefits From a Mentorship-to-Owner Career Path?
While dental school provides you with a significant amount of knowledge, it's not possible to learn absolutely everything about the field. A mentorship with a seasoned dentist can help to fill in any gaps and provide you with the skills you need to develop your career.
For the experienced dentist, bringing on a newer dentist to mentor can give them options as they get closer to retirement. For example, they may be thinking about selling their practice so they can retire. The mentee can be a great candidate for succession.
What Makes Mentorship-to-Ownership Different From The Associate Career Path?
Mentorship-to-ownership often starts out as a standard associate dentist position, but the relationship differs since there’s a larger emphasis on the mentorship, rather than just working in the same practice. Over time, this path also opens opportunities for growth into an ownership role instead of an individual simply “buying into” the existing practice.
What Are Your Career Goals?
If you're considering a mentorship-to-ownership career path, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you want more than just a "job" for the next step in your career?
- Do you want to own your own practice, but you aren't sure how to get started?
- Do you want to learn more about the day-to-day and business aspects of dentistry?
If the answer to any of the questions above is "yes," a mentorship-to-ownership arrangement could be a suitable path for you.
Choosing A Career Path After Dental School
Life after graduating dental school can feel daunting — you're used to a routine of classes, exams, and training. Suddenly, after graduation, you have the freedom to actually work in your field.
Treloar & Heisel’s post-dental school survival guide contains valuable information about making decisions for your career path, key concepts concerning financial and career success, and how to protect your most valuable assets for the future.