By: Mandy King
You have taken that step in identifying a career that appeals to you, but deciding your next step may still be the missing piece of your puzzle. There are many factors you need to examine and decisions you need to make as you approach your final year. You should be asking yourself a few questions:
Where Do I Want to Live?
This is extremely important for those who have a family. Being in agreement about where you would like to practice is a decision that should be made with your spouse. Does the community culture align with your beliefs and values? Ask yourself if the area meets your interests and financial needs. Making sure you and your family will be “happy” is a key factor when deciding where you want to practice.
What Are My Short-Term and Long-Term Goals?
Making a career plan takes time and effort on your part. Commit to establishing your expectations and objectives as you seek an opportunity. Remember who you are and why you chose this career.
Do I Want to Practice as an Associate in a Private Practice?
Ask yourself if you desire mentorship from a senior doctor. Do you see yourself working with this potential employer? Do your personalities “mesh”? Make it a point to visit the practice and see if the culture is a good fit for you. Observe the interaction between the staff and the patients. Can you see yourself practicing in that environment?
Am I Willing to Work for a DSO?
If you are wanting to focus solely on orthodontics, corporate may be a better choice. In some cases, you can negotiate a schedule and salary that are guaranteed regardless of the organization’s ups and downs. As with a private practice, just be sure to find the right fit.
Would I Like an Equity-Minded Associateship Opportunity?
This is an opportunity to consider for an orthodontist that desires to own their own practice in the somewhat near future. You are able to come in as an associate and “get your feet wet” by getting to know the patients and learning about the ins and outs of the practice you would one day be a partner in. Understand that non-competes in most states will be required and are enforceable.
Should I Purchase a Practice?
Financially speaking, is this possible for you? This path does allow you the ability to control your own schedule and usually maximize income. However, the freedoms of having your own practice come with a price. As a small business owner, you have many responsibilities that come along with that title and there are many resources available for you to get help in these areas.
This is an important decision that simply comes down to making sure you stay true to yourself by seeking the best opportunity for you and your family. Know who you are, choose a location, identify the right practice, and begin your journey in confidence.
This article was featured in the September 2018 edition of The InSight, our monthly email published for orthodontic residents and doctors seeking practice opportunities. This monthly email provides news and information focused on the fast-changing orthodontic industry and its relation to current and future orthodontic careers, highlight commonly asked questions that are timely to the young orthodontic community, and provide a current list of available practice opportunities. Click here to sign up for the email.