Many dentists consider becoming a consultant at some point in their career.  This may be near retirement, after a disability, or when a practitioner no longer wants to be involved with clinical dentistry.  When considering career transition after a disabling accident or illness,  it is one of the more popular alternatives considered by many, but in reality the actual numbers  of dentists who become consultants is less than one would expect.  It is still a very viable option, but must be approached with realistic expectations and commitment in order achieve success.

You must first determine what type of consulting you are interested in,  and then research the specific requirements that will be needed to be met. There are many types of consulting but they can be divided into four main categories.

  1.  Dental Insurance Adjusters/Consultants
  2.  Dental Practice Management Consultants
  3.  Dental Sales Consultants
  4.  Dental Career Consultants

While all four of these fields are quite different, they do benefit from the dental knowledge that a dentist can bring to the table.  Their customers are dentists and can relate better to another practitioner with experience in their field  better than a third party with little no practical experience of dentistry.

When considering if consulting is a field you want to pursue,  you will need to understand that this is a business.  Your primary concern will no longer be the patient,  you will be directly accountable to the business.   You must realize that the customer comes first, but the business decisions to keep the corporation viable are paramount to its success. If you are able to separate yourself from these two priorities, then proceed.  Realize there will be conflict and your integrity many be challenged.

Dental insurance companies will have dentists on staff to review claims for completeness and ensure they are valid.  Many positions require the consulting dentist to directly communicate with the dental providers at times. Some positions are part time and some are paid by the number of claims reviewed. There are some full time administrative only positions in the larger corporations open to dentists.  Although there is no specific educational requirement for most positions, you may want to contact the AADC (American Association of Dental Consultants) at http://www.aadc.org for information on training and certification. Positions become available from time to time in each state.  There is a moderate turnover in entry level positions, so keep watch online for new openings. You will most likely will need a valid dental license for the state you will review claims.

As a practicing dentist you have experience is running a dental business.  That experience is critical, especially to newer practitioners and those with little knowledge of how the business side of dentistry works.  Whether it is experience in staffing issues or detailed knowledge of billing protocols/requirements, your past experience is very valuable.Many dentists transition by forming their own practice management firms and hiring multiple dentist consultants.  Whether you want to form your own company to promote the successful management of dental practices or work for an already established corporation, the potential of this field is only limited by your imagination.  You have the option of contacting the ADMC  (The Academy of Dental Management Consultants) at http://www.admc.net/ for more information and certification. Certification is not required and many dental consultants are not even dentists.

During your dental career you made countless purchases of dental supplies and equipment. The knowledge you gained from those transactions is very valuable to dental supply companies. Many former dentists transition into the sales consultant field. Your outgoing likable personality will help you smoothly transition into this field.  It keeps you relevant and gives you interaction with your former peers. For those who cannot practice clinically anymore, this field almost always has openings for dentists. Your pay of course will new dictated by your sales production, therefore entirely at your discretion. Contact any dental supply or equipment company for an interview.

There is a constant need for dentists to fill positions both for practice purchase and for employment. The need for new or replacement dentists allows for dental consultant groups to form that specialize in recruitment and hiring of dentists. They often specialize in practice sales and are frequently run by former dentists themselves.  Whether you are interested in forming your own firm in dental practice sales or staffing practices with new associates, there are opportunities available for motivated dentists to enter this field.  Your knowledge of how to run a practice, profitability, and appraisal skills will help you determine if this a field you are interested in entering. Existing companies periodically have openings for associate consultants.

This should give you an idea of how dental consulting works. By no means does our list have all the information on consulting you need, but at least it gives you a start. Please contact us if you have any questions. SEE OUR POSTING ON THE TEN STEPS TO SURVIV DISABILITY FOR HELP STEPS TO TAKE ONCE DISABILITY STRIKES Please feel free to send us comments on your  experiences both good and bad.  We will use your experiences to help others. Contact us directly at any time.  Good Luck.

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