Looking at career transition alternatives, especially in the time of COV-19 is rapidly becoming a very attractive pursuit for many dentists. The rapidly increasing cost of practice with new PPE requirements and infection control rules is taking a toll on even the strongest of us. Dentistry is changing and the bright financial future for dental practitioners is now cloudy and very concerning. As a disabled dentist or as a dentist who has just had enough, moving on to a new less volatile field is becoming very desirable. One of the more popular transitional careers is becoming a dental claims adjuster or a dental insurance consultant. We recognize membership in the AADC (American Association of Dental Consultants) as viable step in your pursuit of a career in dental consulting.
Insurance companies need dentists to review claims for validity before payment is forwarded in many cases. Staff review of claims is often done electronically to verify codes and to verify active license holders. Once a claim passes this initial review, it may be forwarded to a dentist for final approval. Each company has its own protocol and they are in place to prevent fraud and abuse. Keeping in mind that profit is the insurance company’s bottom-line; one can easily see why a fail-safe system is needed. Only dentists have the intrinsic technical knowledge to judge the validity of many claims. Without them, lay personnel would be entirely lost.
We have previously posted about the truth concerning these positions. THE TRUTH ABOUT DENTAL CLAIMS ADJUSTER JOBS You may consider reviewing this along with your review of this article.
Remaining a valued and relevant professional following a dental clinical career is very important to dentists. It just seems a waste not to use all those years of school and training, once you make the decision to decrease your clinical exposure/time. Whether you want to move to part-time or just retire; the steps you need to take are the same.
- Seriously review what you want to do. Consulting is just one of numerous rewarding encore career opportunities for a dentist. Don’t overlook education/teaching or dental marketing/sales.
- Begin by gathering information. Your review of this article is a start. Ask your colleagues if they know of any active or former consultants. Seek them out and ask questions. Many questions.
- Review job opportunities on-line. Likely there will be few, but they do pop up from time to time. Be prepared to move and get a license in another state. Limiting your search to your own home state will severely limit your opportunity.
- Make a list of insurance companies that offer dental insurance. Do your best to network or use linked-in to find out the staff who make hiring decisions. Personal connections are gold. These adjuster positions have been and will be extremely competitive. Contact the Human Resources staff and begin your application.
- Seriously consider joining the AADC (American Association of Dental Consultants). You can become an affiliate member before you are actively employed by an insurance company or state association. They maintain job listings that are current and valid. Becoming certified is not required for most positions, but it will help to get your foot in the door.
- Get aggressive in your pursuit in this field. COV-19 is going to drive many toward it. Time is of the essence, and your perseverance and flexibility in location will be key to your ultimate success. Don’t take no for an answer, and understand repeated applications show your commitment.
One of the more important topics that need to be discussed are financial rewards. If you are transitioning for financial reasons primarily, be prepared for a significant reduction in your take home pay. There are dentists at the senior management level that make as much or more than they made in clinical practice. Those positions are few and usually require years of experience in the field. Delta and many large insurance companies promote from within. Pay is often determined on a case reviewed basis, and the more case you review the more you make. The days of salaried positions at the entry level are essentially over. Working on-line from home is also the norm with most companies. It would be unlikely you will have a downtown office to commute to everyday.
Be prepared to start at an entry level staff position. No one is captain of the ship the first day. Being humble is difficult for a dentist since we have been leaders since our first day in practice. Being a good follower is the first step in being a good leader. Unrealistic job expectations are the primary reasons so many dentists fail to find meaningful employment after they reduce or halt their clinical practice of dentistry. We have seen too many dentists completely frustrated and despondent. Transition is not easy and we have previously discussed this challenging topic. FIVE MYTHS ABOUT GETTING A NEW DENTAL JOB.
Be proud of your decision to branch out into a new field. We are ready to help. Please feel free to contact us for support, advice, or just talk anytime. 24/7. Continuing to be valued and relevant is a driving motivation. Consider contacting the AADC today. As disabled dentists ourselves, we understand the challenges faced by ill/injured dentists…………….and those that want out of the rat-race now. Don’t just survive, thrive in the new normal all of us now face in a pandemic world.
WE ARE VOLUNTEER DENTISTS HELPING OTHER DENTISTS.