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Corporate Dentistry vs Private Practice: the great debate of the 2010-2020 era
The little known secrets inside the debate of corporate dentistry vs private practice are just now coming out.
What most don’t know is the truth that may shock you. Corporate Dentistry vs Private Practice are two dental practice models in a battle for prominence. But make no mistake – one will dominate and one will forever be subservient to the other.
What will you do?
Who will you work for…yourself or a corporate entity?
This article will give you a no B.S. look at the pros and cons of corporate dentistry vs private practice. My team and I have worked for decades with very successful clients on both sides on this topic so you’ll have an unbiased perspective in this article. What you learn here may give you the perspective on the topic you’ve been looking for.
Read below and uncover 3 realities of corporate dentistry vs private practice.
(And I have good news for you – you’ll learn a few practical steps to thrive in either model)
#1 – Professional Freedom
Will you have more freedom in Corporate Dentistry or Private Practice?
The answers may surprise you.
#2 – A Proven Loophole
How Start-Ups Compete to Win – Corporate or Private Practice
#3 – 6 Patient Grades You Need to Know
How patients see Corporate Dentistry vs Private Practice
Our surveys still show us that most dentists don’t want to work for a conglomerate or large network. But just in the last few years, dental students are beginning to approach the 50/50 split when asked if they’ll go corporate or private. We’ve all seen what this has done to traditional medicine – the MD community chose a dance partner they’re not so sure about during the decades of the dance.
When given a choice, most dentists would choose to be their own boss.
As I speak with thousands of dentists, coming from all areas around the world, this is the prevailing desire; be my own boss, enjoy professional freedom.
Unfortunately, professional freedom in dentistry is a bit complex.
The truth is what some dental circles might consider heresy – but what dentists need to know is that there are different levels of professional freedom found in both types of practice models.
Consider my perspective, having worked with both corporate dentistry and private practice, up close and personal for years.
2 Types of Professional Freedom
As you explore the topic of corporate dentistry vs private practice, you’ll find two distinctly different versions of freedom.
1. Private Practice Freedom:
a) Full Clinical Autonomy – Private Practice freedom offers you full clinical autonomy. The rights and flexibilities are yours to claim, along whichever clinical path of excellence you choose. Dawson? Do it. LVI? Love it. Panke? Perfect. It’s your call, on your terms, with every case and every patient. There is no clinical director watching over your shoulder and no business manager telling you to “look harder” at that treatment plan.
b) The income can be greater in private practice – on average, 10-30% higher incomes are earned by private practice owners.
c) You work as much or as little as you want, but your income is limited by your ability to work smart with a team following your vision. If you lead well, you earn well. Your leadership skills will be developed by necessity and you’ll create a future that you design.
d) Responsibilities that go with owning a small business are on your shoulders – the lows of learning and the highs of achievement both belong to you.
e) Your growth potential and income potential are truly unlimited (one practice in Pennsylvania now produces over $16.5 million dollars in one facility…after opening just 7 years ago!)
2. Corporate Dentistry Freedom:
Yes, you read that word freedom alongside the phrase, “corporate dentistry”. Many dentists shudder when I claim that it’s possible to attain professional freedom in corporate dentistry. But, like all things in life, this will come with a tradeoff. Here are the realities I’ve seen across the country:
a) Part Time, High Income. Many dentists today want the benefits of a part time career with a high net-income. Would you like to earn $100,000 and work 4 days per week without any after-hours responsibilities? Some corporate dental positions will offer you this.
b) Would you like to avoid hiring and firing? Many corporate groups keep the doctors out of all the H.R. management.
c) Move the family? Some very large groups offer you moving options.
d) Accounts receivable concerns are almost always taken off your back. You will likely still be paid only on collections, but the responsibility of collecting will belong to the corporate employees.
e) Practice strategy is out of your hands – for better and for worse, depending on your preferences. If you want to want to simply “show up and do dentistry”, this is good news. If you hope to test new ideas, materials or techniques, you may not be granted that chance.
f) Patient scheduling is typically covered by the group and often training of the staff will take place by the group as well.
You choice will affect your professional freedom.
Corporate dentistry vs private practice is a complicated battle but you must choose between those two distinctly different versions of professional freedom.
Which will you choose?
Is the Private Practice Window Closing?
Here is the difficult truth behind the growth of corporate dentistry: as corporate dentistry grows, there is less opportunity for new private practices.
Don’t let the diplomatic people in the dental industry convince you equal opportunity exists for startup private practices to compete with startup corporate dentistry practices.
It’s not true.
It’s not a fair fight and you need to consider this in your research.
Consider this Scenario:
If a corporate dental office opens a new town, you’d better not open up an office there. Any new practice who opens in that town will have an unbearable fight for survival on their hands.
As more corporate offices stake their claim and put up their flag in towns across the country, they reveal that they know something about that town. They have data to prove they can attract lots and lots of patients there, in that specific town.
Once the corporate dentistry office takes hold in a town, their massive marketing budgets and aggressive patient attractions tools will kick in, leaving any would-be new dental offices in a bad spot.
Don’t open in that same town – it’s a bad idea.
This is why you can’t call it an equal opportunity when looking at startup practices in corporate dentistry vs private practice.
Being pinned against the wall by a huge organization’s preparation, marketing strategies and aggressive new patient tools is a recipe for disaster.
But don’t think you’re free from problems just because you found a perfect town that doesn’t host a corporate practice. Lately, we’ve seen private practice doctors in bidding wars for their ideal space, competing against the corporate giants. Don’t forget to weigh the issue of dental real estate leases (Read the 3 part series here) which corporate dentistry never underestimates and will use to their negotiation advantage.
But what if you opened an office in that town first?
What if there was a proven loophole that got you the benefits instead of a corporate entity?
The Possibilities of the Loophole…
It’s possible to create tremendous success with startup practices and I’d like to show you how.
The answer lies in a proven loophole we’ve seen work over and over, in areas all around the country.
Read the next article in this 3 part series and you’ll discover the loophole that could make or break your success in the battle of corporate dentistry vs private practice.
In Part #2 – We’re Discussing A Proven Loophole
How any Start Up Can Compete with the Best
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You’ll uncover the loophole that has helped new dental offices across the country reach new levels that will impress even the biggest corporate entities.
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