Written by Dr. Sampada Deshpande
The COVID 19 ‘shut down’ affected our profession in a myriad of ways. A major breakthrough that a lot of us had, however, was that no matter what happens temporarily to our profession, our core vision usually stays the same. During the down time, many dentists began to systematize their practices, few began (zoom) training their team members and others, like you, invested in continuing education.
As an associate that is out of a job, with no return date in sight, you can either start worrying about the future, or get crystal clear about your life’s goals. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a group of bright, motivated new dentists in my Study Club, who decided as a group, to continue learning the business side of dentistry, while on stay-home orders. Apart from friendship, and mutual respect for one another, we have one other commonality. All of us hope to be practice owners someday. While that may not happen very soon, we know that learning about it is the best way forward. The weekly zoom meetings were also a lot of fun!
There are lots of resources to help educate you in the process of acquiring a dental practice. They are not all in one place, and not all offer CE, so finding reliable information can be a task. Following is a simple list to help a ‘newbie’ get started:
- Brian Hanks: Brian Hanks is a dental specific CFP and buyer advocate. He offers two books, a podcast and course called the ‘Practice Purchase Blueprint’. In his course, he helps you understand how to analyze a practice, familiarizes you with asset allocation in taxes, demographics, developing a LOI and negotiating the purchase price along with much more, at a comfortable pace. Listening to the ‘Practice Purchase’ podcast and reading ‘How to Buy a Dental Practice: Volume 1’ are good places to start exploring. https://brianhanks.com/
- Shared Practices: Shared Practices is a dental podcast hosted by multiple speakers. Speakers bring on experts who help evaluate practice financials, discuss how to select a lawyer, getting the best loan rates and share off-market ways for finding a practice, among other things. The podcast also has a private Facebook group where members share book recommendations, ask insightful questions, and provide resources for everyone to benefit from. http://www.sharedpractices.com/
- Fast Trak: Hosted by Dr. David Rice, founder of IGNITE DDS, Fast Trak is one of the best conferences a new associate or dental student can attend. Discussions range from improving case acceptance and approaching your first associateship, to building a brand and finding your ‘why’ as a dentist. This is a great place to find mentors and friends within the dental community. www.ignitedds.com
- Business Masters with Breakaway Seminar: Dr. Scott Leune, founder & CEO of Breakaway, uses both days in the course to talk about improving systems in a dental office; from how you handle billing, hiring, and outsourcing of services, to scripting on phones, getting case acceptance, and scheduling a doctor and hygienist’s day to success. If you’d rather learn to do things right day 1 of practice ownership then day 500, this is a course for you. https://www.breakawayseminar.com/
- Business Study Club: It is difficult to compare the experience of learning alongside friends and colleagues to listening to a podcast or taking a course online. There’s a variety of Business Study Clubs worth joining but the best ones will make you feel like you belong, have a clear focus and take your input for future topics. Finally, a worthy Club will leave you with more questions than answers- the perfect recipe to spur more learning. Find a Club near you!
- Find a Mentor: Learning from a senior dentist, school professor, or fellow colleague, in a fun, informal setting, is more valuable than all of the above points combined. Asking a colleague out to lunch to talk about their experiences is a blessing, and not to be taken lightly. Respecting their time and practicing the discipline of listening, will go a long way in developing life-long friendships and camaraderie. If you are interested in more business related content, head to https://sampadadeshpandedds.com/resources
- Dr. Deshpande is the founder of the New Dentist Business Study Club, located in Seattle.
- Fast Trak, Breakaway Seminars and some Business Study Clubs offer CE as of this writing.
Dr. Sampada Deshpande is a general dentist practicing in Seattle. A foreign trained dentist from India, Sampada completed her DDS equivalency from the University of Washington in 2018. She is a founding member of the New Dentist Business Study Club and a contributing member of her local Spear Study Club. Originally from Dubai, she looks forward to her weekly Bollywood dance class, hiking the beautiful PNW with her husband, and reading books on Finance & Management. You can reach her directly at @dr.deshpande on Instagram.