Multiple practice models are in play nationwide. For a disabled dentist who can no longer practice clinically, fortunately there is a newer very popular novel approach to practice that relieves the senior dentist from his patient duties and allows him/her to concentrate solely on the business aspect of dentistry. Many of these mega-group practices start small as a single solo-practitioner offices but expand significantly as they assume control over other small dental offices. The dentist involved transitions from clinical practitioner to Chief Executive Officer of a dental group practice corporation.
The purchase of other dental practices to add to your existing dental business is very challenging but has unlimited potential. Having good business sense and excellent interpersonal skills is critical. These large group practices employ many dentists and staff members. They are way beyond the traditional partnership practice of 2-3 or group practice of 4-5. They take advantage of today’s dental business climate that requires countless hours to be spent battling insurance companies and untold hours spent keeping up with state and federal regulations.In addition, many newer dentists are so deep in debt that purchasing or starting a practice is totally out of the question. Many dentists just want to give up and take a paycheck. Whether they work in the corporate dental environment or in regional mega dental practices, the result is the same. The traditional single practitioner model is rapidly vanishing.
Your skills earned over years of practice are invaluable. If you have the drive, consider having dentist employees. You will be surprised by the number of new graduates and older practitioners who respond very favorably when given the chance to work without the pain of staff problems, equipment purchasing, and lab bill disputes. You know how to manage money as a tool, and can use your experiences as an advantage to broaden your business plan. Consider this model only if your disability is going to let you work long hours with the stress of management of a large multi-site staff. You will not be treating patients; instead you will be managing staff, arranging for equipment/supply purchases, and developing detailed marketing plans.
The dentists who run these groups are committed to success. They often invest significant portions of their financial portfolio in the dental business and are fully willing to work way over 40 hours initially. In the long run, these dental CEOs have the option to hire corporate chief operating officers and step back from the day-to-day operations of the practices. They then can either retire or sell their hard-earned corporations to others at a significant profit. Make no mistake, you will have a huge personal and professional investment in this practice model, but your desire to work in the dental field despite your disability is what will get you past the finish line.
By keeping payroll under control,keeping all referrals internal, using smart bulk purchasing practices, and intelligent marketing strategies; you have the potential to see this practice model expand quickly with significant financial return. Of course if your disability is significant or your physical age is a factor, this is not the route you should follow. Strongly consider academics, teaching, consulting, or volunteer programs that require less physical stress and less financial obligations. This model is just an idea for you to consider, and we would be less than complete if we ignored it. Research all your options and make good decisions on your future.