If you just finished dental school, congratulations! You’re heading into a profession with strong growth potential, good work-life balance, and a variety of career advancement opportunities. It’s an exciting time to join a great profession.
Did you miss our recent post on why being a dentist is the best job ever? Read it here.
Whether your future includes going into private practice, industry, entrepreneurship, teaching and research, government and health care, or hospital dentistry, we have some tips for you on how to get the most out of the beginning of your career.
Above all, you’re in a service business. In services businesses, people work with and refer their friends and family to practitioners they know and trust. Be known in your community and among your fellow dentists. Make your patient interactions positive. The foundation for your reputation begins now.
Brush Up On Your Communication Skills
Remove yourself from the academic setting and remember you’re now talking to patients. They won’t know the technical definition of what you’re telling them, so you need to adapt your communication style accordingly. Focus on the value of the treatment plan for them.
Learn the Business of Dentistry
Especially if you plan to open or own your dental practice someday, it’s crucial you understand financial and practice management. Know the baseline of what it costs to operate the practice each day, be familiar with how to read a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet, and understand how to run a successful business.
Never Stop Learning
Just because you have a degree in dental science doesn’t mean you’re done learning. Whether that means pursuing a specialty or simply asking questions of more senior dentists, always keep an open mind.
Find a Mentor
A great mentor can develop your career and open up possibilities you never thought about. Especially if you plan to open your own practice, it’s important to have a mentor so you don’t feel isolated and you have a more experienced doctor to seek opinions on treatment plans and practice management.
Make Time For Yourself
It’s easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to every shift when you’re just starting out. You’ve been in a classroom for years; you want to practice dentistry! But remember to allow enough time for your needs, too. Maintaining a life outside the dental practice is key to avoiding burnout.
Start Saving Now For Retirement
Dentists are putting off retirement more than ever, but one way or another, eventually you’ll no longer practice dentistry. According to an article in Dental Economics, only four out of 100 dentists can retire by age 65. Make your retirement savings work for you by setting up automatic withdrawal, and don’t touch the money.
It also helps to write down your career goals. Think about your ideal future and your dream career – then make it happen!
We look forward to welcoming you into the field of dentistry. We’re looking forward to the contributions and advancements you’ll make to the industry! Be sure to visit our blog for weekly updates on issues important to you.
**This is the first post in a series for New Dentists Month. Stay tuned for more posts to help you get started in your dental career.**