Dentists – What to Know Before You Accept an Associate Position
Finding a new associate position can be a daunting process for both new and experienced dentists. While making a good impression on an interview is important, it is equally important to learn as much as possible about the practice. Here is a compilation of questions from job seekers who I have worked with over the years. I hope that this list will make the decision process less intimidating.
-Employee or Independent Contractor?
-Employee at will?
-Is the doctor open to restrictive covenant in case of future ownership?
-Is the doctor going to stay on PT for some time or can he, if needed (After purchase)?
Type of Practice
-How the practice is set up (family, Pedo, or dentures)? Pedo: what age?
-Age of the practice?
-When/what do you refer out?
-Place or Restore Implants? Which system?
-# of operatories
-# of Hygienists. Hrs of operation?
-Will the associate have their own assistant?
-How much is the practice overhead?
-How long has each employee been there?
-What does the practice do to market itself?
-How many FT and PT staff?
-What is the patient pool like?
-Have the number of active patient records been reviewed?
-Is the practice growing or declining in number of patients seen, new patients attracted, and young patients?
-Average number of cancellations per week?
-Average number of patients seen by associate per day?
-How far ahead is the doctor book filled?
-How far ahead is the associate book filled?
-How far ahead is the hygienist’s book filled?
-PPO type of insurance? Insurances: accept all kinds or just selected ones?
-How much is the discounted price of the PPO compared to the fee schedule?
-Medicare or Medicaid acceptance?
-How much of the practice relies upon capitation programs, PPOs, HMOs, Medicare or Medicaid?
-What percent is FFS, cash and discounted PPO?
-When was the last fee increase?
-Are the fees low, high or average for the immediate area?
-Do you offer patients credit?
-Days, hours, on call, etc.
-How many office hours and days per week is the office open?
-Job description (separate document) or general description
-Is the associate expected to check hygiene of other doctor’s patients? If yes, will the associate be compensated for it?
-Will the associate be expected to perform hygiene/prophy?
-Does the doctor do any procedures other than regular general dentistry?
-What were the most of the cases being done by the associate?
-Will the associate be placing Implants for the practice?
-Supplies, equipment, support. Etc
-What type of PMS (Software) is used?
-Implant surgical set up? Who finances to get that set up if NOT already in place?
-What is the square footage of the office? Can it be expanded?
-Average age of equipment?
-Is the practice left-handed, right-handed, or ambidextrous?
-Do you have a confirmation system for appointments?
-How do you deal with NO Show?
-Intraoral Digital Camera?
Term of contract
-What is the required notice period should either party wish to terminate the relationship?
-Is there a guaranteed salary, draw, daily rate or hourly rate?
-Is commission determined from collections or production?
-If collections, what is the collections rate in the practice?
-What percentage of production/collections is used to calculate income?
-Is there a chance to increase compensation in the future?
-Is the associate responsible for my own lab fees and expenses?
-How will the associate be paid? (Weekly/bi-weekly/monthly)
-How much on average was the last associate making?
-What was the average associate production per day?
-Does the associate production include hygiene exams and x-rays?
-Can I get a fee schedule of the practice?
-Medical Insurance: health and dental?
-Required CE courses? How much and for how many hours a year? Are they paid for/reimbursed? Is there a stipend?
-Sick days…….. # allow per yr…..
-Personal days/vacations…..# per yr allow……
-What benefits are given to the staff?
-Define, list, when paid, lab, etc…..
-What Lab do you use? Use different lab for different lab orders?
-Will the practice support the acquisition loan (in case of future ownership), pay the overhead expenses and can afford a reasonable income?
Other Questions and Notes:
-What is your practice Philosophy and Goals? For the Practice and with new pt’s tx?
-% of implant surgeries
-Have you had associate before? How many? How long they stayed? What was the reason for the associate resignation?
-How do you advertise?
-Will most dental insurance dictate pt’s Tx plan??
-Do you deal a lot with EMERGENCY pt? Separate operatories for that?
-Average number of emergencies per week?
-Will I be doing hygiene/prophy when I don’t have pt?
-Who determines how long I have when spending with new pt/initial exam and record?
-Do I have a separate apt to do comprehensive exams and record, or do I perform the TP when pt comes in for cleaning?
-How long does a hygienist spend on their recalls?
-Is there a particular doctor in the area who is your main competitor?
-Who sees the patient first (Doctor, hygienist, associate)?
-Why was the partnership offer turned down by an associate (if applicable)?
-Will I be able to visit the office during regular working hours?
-Does the doctor have a report showing how much treatment is treatment planned?
-What is the time frame for an associate position before we can talk about partnership/buy in/buy out?
-Is there an option for future ownership? Are you considering a move out of state?
Posted by Morgan Pace.
Morgan Pace is the Southeastern U.S. Account Executive and Senior Recruiter for ETS Dental. He can be reached at email@example.com or 540-491-9102. ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States. www.etsdental.com
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