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Three-quarters of dentists in our most recent poll said they would rather be their own boss than work for someone else.
Said one dentist, "I would much rather have the headaches of an owner than to be subject to the whims of an employer."
But with freedom comes responsibility, and some associate dentists prefer focusing more on practicing dentistry and less on practice management.
Specialists were unanimous: being your own boss is better. Not a single dental specialist responding to this survey said they would prefer to be an
On the other hand, 28% of general dentists think associateship is an excellent plan.
It’s better to be in charge
- "I didn't go to dental school for four years to be somebody's employee!" (Oregon dentist)
- "I have done both. There are headaches either way. But I would much rather have the headaches of an owner, and the power to make changes, than to be subject to the whims of an employer dentist." (California dentist)
Being an associate is good training
- "Initially it is good to get some experience as an associate, as the business side of running an office is not an area that you are concentrating on when in school learning about dental disease. Observe and learn the business and about the real world of practicing dentistry while as an associate. But ultimately, being your own boss is ideal, even though it can be stressful." (Arizona dentist)
Finding the right balance is key
- "At some point, I want to change my role and be an employee without the worries of the business." (Tennessee dentist)
- "What if you could have both? Have your own business, be your own boss, and have a professional management company do all the business/marketing, etc., so you could focus on dentistry?" (California dentist)
- "I'm a working mom doing full time work in 3.5 days a week. That is all the work I want. I've had my own practice, and now I am a partner. I think I have the best of both worlds" (Illinois dentist)
Note: Survey sample included 54 respondents.