You are an associate dentist.
You accepted a job with base pay, plus commissions, plus the potential to earn more.
You have started your new job and the practice where you started working is paying you your base pay but they are not paying you your percentage of collections above that base pay and they are not allowing you to see your production and collection reports.
This is a TRUE story from a dental associate that reached out and asked me for advice about what to do.
I want to share with you the key interview questions you need to ask as an associate when on a job interview to prevent situations like this but first I want to share my NUMBER ONE "must" before accepting an associate position.
Before accepting an associate position, hire a dental focused attorney to review your contract before signing anything You may be thinking to yourself, “I don't want to waste money having a dental focused attorney review my contract, I can read a contract”.
Well, do you think your dental focused attorney can read how to bond something? Yes, they can read it but they don't really know how it works. Same deal here. The words in a contract from restrictive covenant to how the associate will be paid to how the associate will market themselves in the practice, to the notice the associate will need to give before leaving are all so important and I have seen so many failed associateships by dentists not doing this one thing- not having a dental focused attorney review their contract.
You have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into your education. Investing another thousand dollars and making sure the document that you are signing is not going to put you in a bad position is super important.
Now that I have stressed this super important point, here are the 12 questions you should always ask the practice owner before accepting an associate position.
12 Questions to Ask Before Accepting an Associate Dentist Position
- Where is the job?
- Why is the office hiring an associate? Is the position a CAR or a BOAT? Read more on this here!
- What procedures will I be doing MOST of the time?
- How will I be compensated? (Income guarantee)
- How often will I be the ONLY dentist working at the practice?
- What FUN things are there to do in the area OUTSIDE THE OP?
- Would I be able to speak with a PAST associate so I can learn more about this position?
- What are your expectations?
- What is the average PPO insurance adjustment to the care at this office?
- Will I have a dental assistant working with me?
- Would it be possible for me to observe in the practice for a day so I can get a sense of what happens during a normal day of dentistry?
- When would be a good time to review the associate contract with an attorney?