Dental Practice Management Survey Results: Employees or Owners?

practice-ownerThe dental management survey results are clear!

An overwhelming majority of dentists would rather own and manage their own practice.

Only 15% of our dentists said they would prefer to be employed by a larger company that handles most management responsibilities.

That’s not too surprising, considering that the dental profession has a long history of self-employed doctors.

What IS surprising is that 60% of those dentists who said they would prefer to be an employee currently own their own practice!

Here’s what a few of our survey’s dentists had to say about dental practice managment:

  • “Corporate dentistry is a bad idea and eventually will fail.” New Jersey dentist
  • “I regret that the dental industry is going toward a less personal corporate model. When we think more of profit than care, we lose personal relationships that create loyal, well cared for, long term patients.” Texas dentist
  • “I sense that being an employee sounds easier to the new dentists. But I think they will tire of being dictated to by “superiors”. No one is going to tell me what to diagnose or how much I have to produce. The individual patients’ needs should dictate what I do, not the corporate need to turn a specific profit number.” Illinois dentist
  • “I take the risk, but have the opportunity for far greater rewards.” Colorado  dentist
  • “It is bad enough that insurance companies “dictate” treatment planning and choices for patients. Now you find yourself working for a corporation driven by profit. Morals will get corrupted, values get pushed to the side, and you find a group of people who give dentistry a black eye.Where are the State Dental Boards? Only North Carolina seems to have enough backbone to legislate what should be a given: dentists should only be allowed to work for dentists. And dentists who “manage” care should be held more liable for poor dental work. There is no other choice if we want to avoid the career path of Pharmacists.” Colorado orthodontist
  • “It’s ideal for patient and dentist to be in a multi-specialty group practice for the best care, and to allow the dentist/specialist to spend their time doing Dentistry instead of payroll and other tedious functions of practice management.” Massachusetts General Dentist
  • “I own my own practice. It’s more stress — but more freedom.” Texas dentist

Which type of dental practice management do you prefer?

Dental Practices See Little Profit in Workplace Hanky-Panky

How Office Romance Can Lead to Divorce, Embezzlement, and Even Assault Charges

Yes folks, it’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. But who are we kidding? Isn’t love always in the air?Romance among Dental Coworkers

At least, that’s what it seems like when I review the results of my recent survey about finding romance in the dental office. One in five dentists admitted to becoming involved with a coworker or employee other than their spouse. And though the other 80% of dentists may not have indulged in an office affair themselves, they’re certainly well aware of the possibilities for disaster. (Read the Dental Practice Romance press release.)

Let me briefly acknowledge that sometimes office romances can work out well, ending with marriage and kids and “happily ever after.”

But let’s be realistic: we all know that’s the exception, not the rule. Office affairs can also lead to heartbreak, lawsuits, divorces, and disgruntled employees. I’ve heard my share of horror stories over the years… and now it’s my turn to share a few with you!

Please Don’t File Assault Charges

I got a call recently from a dentist with major drama at his practice. Dr. Sly was having an affair with his front desk manager. This was no problem – until Dr Sly’s wife found out!

Dr. Sly’s wife was understandably furious. She fired the front desk manager on the spot. And then she slugged her.

The front desk manager didn’t just have grounds for unlawful termination – now she had grounds for an assault charge against Dr. Sly’s wife. An assault charge is not good for business!

So I spent a hectic weekend on the phone trying to smooth the whole situation out. I engineered a solution that satisfied the front desk manager, and she promised she wouldn’t press charges. I’d like to say the whole thing worked out well – but I suspect Dr. Sly’s wife wouldn’t agree.

In Flagrante Delicto

Then there was the time I got a call from a dentist who’d discovered his assistant and his front desk manager were having an affair. To make it worse, the front desk manager was married and had several children.

They’d done a good job of keeping their affair secret – until the day the dentist walked into the X-ray room and discovered the two in a very intimate embrace!

An Elegant Couple Faces a Messy Situation

At a dental conference some years ago, a dentist stopped to ask me about my dental consulting services. Having consulted with countless dentists, I figured there was nothing I couldn’t handle. But his story stopped me cold.

The dentist was an elegant Southern gentleman getting on in years. His wife was as polite and impeccably groomed as he was. I was secretly delighted; they looked like they would be fantastic clients.

But Dr. Elegant had a teensy little problem with his dental practice that he wanted to discuss with me. His daughter, a stay-at-home mom, was married to his dental associate. The plan had been that the associate would eventually buy out the practice. Unfortunately, it seemed like the associate’s marriage to Dr. Elegant’s daughter was on the rocks.

“You have to separate your personal issues from your long-term financial goals,” I told him squarely.

He and his wife glanced at each other awkwardly. They confessed that they suspected their son-in-law the dental associate was having an affair with their office manager.

“Well, that’s an easy one to solve – time for her performance review!” I said. (Please folks, don’t beat me up about this! There’s a time and a place for constructive discharge, and this was it. Why not solve two problems at once by removing the source of temptation?)

Dr. Elegant and his wife were still uneasy. My advice may have been spot-on, but it didn’t address their real problem.

Just that weekend, Dr. Elegant’s wife had been reviewing the books when she made a disturbing discovery: embezzlement. The doctor and his wife were 80% sure that the office manager and the associate were embezzling money from the practice. The cheating couple’s plan was to embezzle enough money to allow the associate to buy the practice, divorce his wife, and marry the office manager.

I was stunned. This went far beyond my dental practice management skills. “Good luck,” I told Dr. Elegant. “Once you have that issue resolved, I’d love to have you as clients.”

Share Your Own Stories of Office Romance

You can read more stories of dental practice affairs by reading our complete dental practice romance survey results or reading the Dentists Dating Coworkers press release. Plus, don’t hesitate to share your own tales below!


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