How do I decide where to practice?

February 8, 2016
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How do I decide where to practice?

These days, it’s not who you know. It’s where you go.

Your dental education was pretty expensive, wasn’t it? Our guess is that you’re going to need to bring home a whole lot of bacon to pay off your student loans.  Here are some suggestions about how to figure out where your efforts will produce the best return on investment.

  • When you’re considering living and working in a certain city or state, make sure that the economic forecast in that location is on the growth side. You don’t want to put money into a sinking ship.
  • Do your research. (We say that a lot. Have you noticed?)
    • Check out the dentist:patient ratio in the neighborhood. Will you be the only dentist? How many people live there?
      • A desirable dentist:patient ratio is 1:1500.
    • Investigate the demographics of the dentists in the area. Are they all about to retire?
      • That would be very good for you!
    • Or are they all recent graduates?
      • That would be very bad.
    • Find out the characteristics of the population. Is the neighborhood known for its school district?
      • Treating lots of children will build your practice over time.
    • What is the socio-economic status of the population?
      • We think that one is obvious.
  • If you’re willing to go to some far-flung places, there are great opportunities out there, particularly in Health Professional Shortage Areas.
  • If you think you’re interested in practicing in a new location, get a job and work there first. What if you aren’t happy there? Before you grow roots, give yourself a trial period to figure out where you would like to establish yourself.

Most of all, you need to feel like you belong in the community. That sense of belonging will go a long, long way.

We’ll get you connected.