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Data Bite: The 4 best things about being a dentist (according to dentists)

Feb. 18, 2016
What are the best things about being a dentist, according to dentists themselves? Roger P. Levin, DDS, reveals the answer here and explains why some dentists find happiness and not others.

The business of dentistry has changed and will continue to change. Yet, despite all the challenges dentists face, dentistry remains a great career choice. It’s rewarding on many levels. You and your team help people improve not only their oral health but also the quality of their lives. There aren’t many jobs where you can have that kind of direct impact on your customers (patients).

In this year’s Dental Economics-Levin Group Annual Practice Survey, we asked dentists: “Other than delivering outstanding patient care, what in your practice gives you the most satisfaction?”

The No. 1 answer was “being my own boss,” which was selected by 44.4% of dentists. Here are the other three responses:

  • Working with my team (29.7%)
  • Making a good living (19.3%)
  • Managing the business aspects of the practice (6.5%)

The autonomy that comes with being your own boss obviously appeals to many dentists. Even with the proliferation of larger corporate practices, nearly half of responding doctors said that’s what they enjoyed the most about being a dentist, at least from a non-clinical standpoint.

Team, Money, and Business

Nearly a third of dentists (29.7%) said “working with my team” gave them the most satisfaction. This makes perfect sense, as many dental practices have staff members who have been with the office for years. A good team makes coming to the office enjoyable.

About one in five dentists (19.3%) said “making a good living” was their primary source of satisfaction. With more dentists focused on increasing production as a result of today’s slower economy, it’s surprising that this response wasn’t higher.

“Managing the business aspects of the practice” generated the fewest responses at 6.5%. Dentists are trained as clinicians––not as business people––and this response reflects that fact.

Owning and operating a dental practice has many challenges, but there are also many rewards. It’s easy to focus on the problems, but let’s not forget the benefits as we move forward in these changing times.

To learn more about implementing proven, real-world business systems in your practice, attend one of Dr. Levin’s “Ignite Your Production” seminars in 2016. To see his full speaking schedule, go here.


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