DCSIMG
Header Logo Band

Helping You Succeed as a Dentist

2015 ADA/Kellogg executive management program registration opens

New dentists and office management staff seeking to enhance their business experience and acumen with enhanced management skills and business principles can register by July 1 for the 2015 session of ADA/Kellogg Executive Management Program.

KelloggIn its 11th year, the executive-level program, organized in collaboration by the ADA and Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, consists of specially designed curriculum for dentists to learn more about business management from one of the nation’s top-ranked management schools.

“Dental school and my orthodontic residency taught me the clinical skills I needed and I learned the necessities of running a practice over time, but I always felt like I was missing the business fundamentals that would that allow my practice to thrive,” said Dr. Spencer Pope, a 2014 graduate of the program and who has been in practice for 16 years.

“Unfortunately, you don’t know what you don’t know, and dentists tend to lack the business fundamentals that almost all other sectors of the economy utilize on a daily basis,” he added. “This program helps to level the curve and provide you with a knowledge base to go forward.”

Based on the core curriculum of incoming Kellogg Master of Business Administration students, the program addresses business strategy, organizational leadership, marketing, finance, accounting, economics, business analytics and operations. Kellogg professors teach all courses.

The 12.5-day program is held at Northwestern University’s Chicago campus, near the ADA headquarters. The 2015 sessions are set for Sept. 18-21, Oct. 23-26 and Nov. 13-17.

Registration fees are $16,750 for ADA members and $17,750 for nonmembers. Fee includes tuition, course materials and most meals. Tuition does not include travel and lodging. ADA members receive discounts on select Chicago hotels. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register, visit ADA.org/Kellogg or contact Connie Paslaski at the ADA toll-free number at ext. 3541, or email ADAKEMP@ada.org.

10 things to look for before signing an employment contract

Understanding an employment contract before you join a dental practice can be intimidating.

signing a documentContracts can be long, the terms can be hard to understand and it may be the fi rst one you’ve ever seen. The ADA publication, “Dentist Employment Agreements: A Guide to Key Legal Provisions,” outlines a number of aspects to look out for in a contract and some key ideas to keep in mind before signing. This online publication is free to members and available for download at Success.ADA.org by searching for the title.

Here are 10 areas to keep an eye out for to make sure you understand what you’re signing:

Employee duties: Pay attention to what is outlined in the contract as far as your duties as a dentist. This provision establishes the job responsibilities and, if breached, could become grounds for termination or a contractual dispute.

Compensation: Understand how you will be paid, how often and whether you’re eligible for commissions or bonuses.

Benefits: Make sure you’re OK with what’s being offered in terms of vacation time, health and life insurance, retirement plan and other fringe benefits.

Term: Check to see the duration of your employment under the contract. Consider what happens if your term expires.

Termination: Understand whether you can be fired without cause.

Malpractice insurance: Check to see if your employer provides dental professional liability insurance or if you have
to purchase it. If the employer purchases it, understand the amount and type of coverage provided.

Noncompete clause: If you’re terminated, this may prevent you from practicing dentistry in a certain geographic area for a specific time period.

Nonsolicitation of employees and/or patients: This may prevent you from actively soliciting employees and/or patients away from the employer.

Dispute resolution: This establishes the process for resolving disputes between you and the owner dentist, should they arise. It’s important to understand if you would be relinquishing basic and important rights, such as the right to a jury trial, if an issue arises that can’t be resolved.

Liquidated damages: This stipulates how much money you would have to pay if you are found to have breached certain provisions the contract.

The ADA advises all dentists to consult with their personal attorneys before signing any contract.

Data aids new dentists in deciding where to practice

Wouldn’t it be nice if simply putting a wet fi nger in the wind were enough to fi gure out where to open a new dental practice — or where to fi nd work at an existing one?

Dr. Partha Mukherji of Forth Worth, Texas (middle), launched a private practice in 2012. Here he participates in a table breakout session at the 2012 ADA Evidence-Based Dentistry Champions Conference in Chicago.

Dr. Partha Mukherji of Forth Worth, Texas (middle), launched a private practice in 2012. Here he participates in a table breakout session at the 2012 ADA Evidence-Based Dentistry Champions Conference in Chicago.

Knowing which direction to take when making such important career decisions takes more data than that, of course. Thankfully, brave souls have paved the well-worn path to opening a new practice or deciding where to seek a position. Some have left a trail in the form of advice for new dentists.

Dr. Partha Mukherji of Fort Worth, Texas, for instance, has a few trail tips to share on figuring out where to open a practice. He graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry in 2001 and from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston in 2002, where he completed a one-year postgraduate general practice residency in hospital dentistry focusing on the treatment of medically and physically compromised patients. Then he went to work as an associate.

“After practicing 11 years as an associate in private and corporate settings, I felt confident that I could do dentistry on my own,” he said. “Still, I wasn’t too confident on the business aspects of dentistry. In hindsight, I probably should’ve established my own office sooner. But, hindsight is 20/20.”

Foresight, with data, can also be 20/20. Before deciding where to hang a shingle and open for business, Dr. Mukherji consulted professionals. One of the first things he did was call on a reputable dental practice real estate agency. He made his choice of business location largely based on their assessment of the area. They helped Dr. Mukherji review such variables as demographics and the saturation of dentists in the area.

But Dr. Mukherji also calculated his decision based on certain personal preferences. “I lived in the area, was active in the area and wanted to practice in that area,” he said. He also asked friends, colleagues, specialists and dental vendors for their input. “I found that to be valuable, too,” he said.

Dr. Mukherji advises tapping ADA resources, such as statistical reports. The ADA also refers member dentists to data sources to explore when assessing where to practice. A few suggested resources:

US Census Bureau — Factfinder: Provides population information on household income, education, and many other demographics. Start by entering a city or zip code under the “Community Facts” heading in the left column.

2013 Color-coded zip codes, median household income: Provides a color-coded overview of zip codes ranked by income and education level. Clicking on the map will bring up additional details about the zip code’s income and education level. To locate the map, search the newspaper website for “super zips.”

Wells Fargo Practice Finance: Provides statistical information, including population variables for both residential and employed populations; socio-economic indicators including economics, education and housing; and number of existing practices in designated area.

Journalists to speak at ADA 2015

Washington — The ADA Distinguished Speaker Series will feature columnist Charles Krauthammer and journalist and author Eleanor Clift at ADA 2015 — America’s Dental Meeting here, Nov. 5 from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

The ADA Distinguished Speaker Series annually presents renowned personalities with notable careers and accomplishments in politics, media and industry. The 2015 Distinguished Speaker Series is presented by Church & Dwight, makers of Arm & Hammer, Spinbrush and Orajel oral care products.

Charles Krauthammer, who earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, practiced medicine before becoming a speechwriter for Vice President Walter Mondale. Later, he joined The New Republic as a writer and editor. More than 400 newspapers worldwide publish his syndicated weekly column, begun in The Washington Post in 1985. He appears nightly on Fox News’ evening news program Special Report with Bret Baier.

Eleanor Clift

Eleanor Clift

Ms. Clift is the Washington correspondent for The Daily Beast, a longtime panelist on the weekly public affairs show The McLaughlin Group and also provides commentary for Fox News.

Ms. Clift is a former contributing editor at Newsweek and author of four books, including her latest “Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics,” an examination of the right-to-die debate through personal experience with the loss of her husband.

For more information on ADA 2015, click here.

CPS offers resources to help dentists navigate Medicare decision

The deadline for opting in or out of Medicare is looming for dentists, and the ADA Center for Professional Success has a number of online resources that can help them make sense of the regulation and what to do, according to ADA News.

Center for Professional SuccessAny dentist who prescribes Part D covered drugs to Medicare beneficiaries has three choices. They must enroll in the program either as a provider of Medicare services or as an ordering/referring provider or opt out in order for prescriptions they write to be reimbursed by Medicare, according to the federal government. Dentists who fit this requirement must take action by Dec. 1.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has several options for enrolling that apply to dentists. Opting out of the program, by signing an affidavit and entering into private contracts with patients as appropriate, means dentists are out of Medicare for two years and cannot receive any direct or indirect Medicare payment for services provided to Medicare patients. Regardless of the choice, a full explanation and links to the appropriate form, as well as sample affidavits, are available through the Center for Professional success.

The Center for Professional Success has a number of other resources that can help with this sometimes complicated and confusing process:

  • Medicare tutorial video
  • Frequently asked questions about the Part D regulation
  • Resources for enrolling as a Medicare provider
  • Resources to opt-in as a Medicare ordering/referring provider
  • Resources to opt out

The Medicare tutorial video, along with the FAQs, is designed to help dentists make a decision on which option is right for them.  To access these resources and more, visit Success.ADA.org.

Why new dentists need a legal entity

So you’ve decided to open your own dental practice. Now that you’ve told your family, friends, and dental school buddies, it dawns on you…you don’t actually know how to open a practice.

Rich McIver

Rich McIver

In this blog we’re going to walk you through some of the basic requirements needed to open a practice, and provide you practical steps that you can take to get your practice off the ground.

The first step to starting a dental practice is a pretty mundane one: legally forming a company entity. A legal entity is simply a company that is recognized and registered with your state. Your legal entity can be a Corporation, a Limited Liability Company, a Partnership, or any other business type that your state recognizes. It is distinguished from running your business via a sole proprietorship, or other arrangement which is not registered or recognized by your state.

Why do Dentists Need an Entity?

The short answer is you don’t. There’s no law requiring that you run your practice via an entity, you can run it as a sole proprietorship (which in plain English means, “in your own name”). However, here are some pretty good reasons why you’ll want to have an entity:

  • Legal Protection

The biggest reason to form a dental business entity is that it means that your business is separate, legally speaking, from you. That’s useful because if you get sued personally, which could happen for a variety of reasons—such as a guest slipped and fell at your house, you default on your home mortgage, or you get sued for medical malpractice—then the assets of your business aren’t subject to the lawsuit. That is to say, if the lawsuit against you is successful, they won’t be able to take your business. Same thing applies if your business is sued. If the lawsuit is successful, they won’t be able to seize your personal assets. In effect, it creates two separate pots, and a successful lawsuit can only raid one of those pots if you’ve used an entity.

  • Accounting Transparency

A second reason to form an entity is accounting transparency. By having your business run as a separate entity you’ll have separate bank accounts, separate accounting, a separate line on your tax return to report the earnings, etc. That accounting separation is necessary if you’re ever going to try to bring in a business partner, sell a business, or even just properly calculate your taxes. Can you do these things with a sole proprietorship? Technically yes, but it’ll be such a mess trying to disentangle your personal expenses from your business expenses that nobody, whether it be a partner, a buyer, or the IRS is going to believe your calculations and thus your valuation or tax liability will be worse than it otherwise would be.

  • Business Credit Separated from Personal Credit

Another reason you want to create a separate legal entity is that you can start to develop business credit that is separate from your personal credit. In plain English, the loans you take out in the business’ name, whether for equipment, a building, etc. will go on your business’ credit report, and not your own. That’s a good thing for two reasons: first, if either your business or your personal credit isn’t squeaky clean you’ll have fewer problems; second, you can generally borrow more money in total if they’re separated, which as a new dentist trying to start a practice and likely carrying a mortgage, that’s a good thing.

In sum, it’s not legally required, but it’s a good idea to form a separate entity to run your dental practice in.

In the next article, we’ll cover what type of entity you should form, what elections to make, how to actually do it, and how much it will cost you.

For information on ADA legal resources, click here.

Rich McIver is a New Dentist Now guest blogger. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2005 and obtained his law degree at the University of Chicago Law School in 2008. After graduating law school, Rich founded and managed three tech startups that were each acquired through private equity, private sales and a merger, respectively. In 2010, he founded and managed a Houston-based plaintiffs law firm which he sold via a buyout in 2014. In 2013, he and his wife, Holly McIver, an ADA member dentist, founded Kingwood Orthodontics, where he continues to manage back-office operations. His current project is running Merchant Negotiators, a Web startup based in Houston. Rich provides practical actionable advice for new dentists based on his experience starting and building successful businesses.

The purpose of this article is to promote awareness of legal and other issues that may affect dentists and dental practices, and is not intended to provide either legal or professional advice. Dentists are urged to consult directly with a properly qualified professional or with an attorney admitted to practice in their jurisdiction for appropriate legal or professional advice.

New Dentist Conference Joins ADA 2015 – America’s Dental Meeting

The ADA is pleased to announce that for the first time, the New Dentist Conference will be held at the ADA annual meeting from November 5-10 in Washington, D.C.

New Dentist Conference 2015Features of the New Dentist Conference include:

  • Shark Tank co-star Daymond John as keynote speaker.
  • Exclusive, interactive educational offerings.
  • High-level networking opportunities with leadership and peers.
  • New Dentist reception and lounge.
  • Significantly reduced hotel rates.
  • A chance to give back at the ADA Mission of Mercy.
  • We encourage you to share this information with any dentists who have been out of school for ten years or less as this is an experience they won’t want to miss.

Registration for the New Dentist Conference at ADA 2015 opens May 13 — a full week earlier than general registration! For more information, visit ADA.org/NDC.

Win a Fitbit Flex office package through the Center for Professional Success

Looking to improve your fitness and the health of your staff? Member dentists have a chance to win a Fitbit Flex office package (six devices) by logging into the Center for Professional Success website and entering the monthly contest.

Center for Professional SuccessTo enter, simply log in with your user ID and password at Success.ADA.org, click the Fitbit image and register by April 30.

Last month, Brett Nelson, a dental student at the University of Colorado, won an Apple iPad Air.

The ADA Center for Professional Success is an ADA member-only interactive Web resource where dentists and dental students can find practice management information and decision support tools and applications, along with online and in-person executive management certificate and life mastery programs. Through the Center, dentists can discover relevant and impactful solutions to the business challenges they face every day in the office. Visit Success.ADA.org to learn more.

Conducting research? ADA Library & Archives is your go-to source

ADA Library & ArchivesWhether it’s historical information on the dental profession or the latest scientific studies on dentistry, the ADA Library & Archives is the place to go for any dental researcher — in person or online.

With the help of a team of experienced library professionals, the ADA Library & Archives offers access to a unique collection of electronic, print and archival material.

And since the launch of the ADA Library & Archives eResources in August 2013, more ADA members are accessing and downloading more journal articles.

These early 20th century handpieces are among historical items displayed at the ADA Library & Archives, which maintain the Association's historical records and publications.

These early 20th century handpieces are among historical items displayed at the ADA Library & Archives, which maintain the Association’s historical records and publications.

In 2014, 5,252 visitors conducted 8,177 searches, and ultimately downloaded 5,452 articles, according to data provided by the ADA Library & Archives. In comparison, 95 members requested 614 articles for the entire year of 2012.

This gavel, displayed at the ADA Library & Archives at ADA Headquarters, was made from a wood salvaged from Grant Hall, the site of the Aug. 4, 1859, organizational meeting of the American Dental Association.

This gavel, displayed at the ADA Library & Archives at ADA Headquarters, was made from a wood salvaged from Grant Hall, the site of the Aug. 4, 1859, organizational meeting of the American Dental Association.

“Members who want to continue their education, put together presentations, are curious and want to learn more about a topic or find needed information for their patients now have a one-stop library to find literature or the information they need,” said Dr. Hal Fair, chair of the ADA Library & Archives advisory board.

ADA members can access full-text articles online with instant access to about 290 journals through the ADA Library & Archives website. About 95 percent are strictly dental journals. The other 5 percent have medical-dental crossover, including in-house access to the New England Journal of Medicine articles going all the way back to 1812. Thirteen new journal titles, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, and 14 new book titles will be added this year.

Other ADA Library services include:

  • Recommendations or referrals to sources of dental information.
  • Assistance with PubMed and Internet searches.
  • Access to ADA Archives and historical information.
  • Customized lists of current articles and abstracts on dental topics.
  • Space for quiet study or meetings at the ADA Library, located at ADA Headquarters in Chicago.

In addition, the ADA Archives, located within the ADA Library, maintain the Association’s historical records and publications, which include answers to questions concerning the history of the organization, the dental profession and the people involved in its development and history.

For more information on the ADA Library & Archives, visit ADA.org/library.

If you’re a new dentist, consider these ADA resources

With about 1,000 new dentists graduating from dental school in Virginia alone over the past 10 years, the future of dentistry looks very bright. The hopes of the Virginia Dental Association’s new dentist committee is to keep all of our recent graduates abreast of what is happening nationally as well as in our state and local ADA components.

Dr. Sinclair

Dr. Sinclair

I am a fairly new dentist; I graduated from VCU in 2009 and can hardly believe that I just had my 5-year reunion a few months ago. It was great to visit with my fellow classmates and see just how many different paths had been taken; however, many of us were thriving in general dentistry.

Once you leave the doors of dental school, you quickly realize how career paths are available. You can specialize, attend a residency, become an associate, enter public service or the military and even start your own practice. I have experienced several of those areas myself starting with public health, working as an associate, and finally starting my own practice a few years ago.

Did you know that the ADA can help in almost all of these areas? If we just take a look at my recent journey from student to practice owner, the ADA has been a great resource for me in almost every segment. In the next few issues, I will highlight some of these areas that the ADA has helped out along the way and show a few of the various ways the ADA may be able to help you, the new dentist.

ADA Sponsored Insurance Policies

Did you ever think what would happen if you had some life altering issue while you were in school? How would you pay your loans? What would happen if you injured your hand disabling you from practicing dentistry? I was a young dental student and none of these ideas ever crossed my mind; however, I didn’t need to worry about it!

The ADA had taken care if it for me as they currently do for all dental student members.  When you are student member in the ADA, you are covered in an ADA sponsored policy that not only includes a $500,000 life insurance policy, but also a $2,000 a month disability plan with $150,000 coverage in student loan protection.  There is even a chance to continue on with the policies as your career advances and your need for coverage increases. For more information, click here.

Licensure Maps

Where do you want to practice? One of the main hurdles for many dental students is deciding what regional board is going to be the best one to take. The ADA has a great informational website that lists all of the regional board exams and the states that accept that exam for licensure. There are also links to contact the state’s individual boards as well as state dental components if there are any further questions. For more information, click here.

CV Development

How do you distinguish yourself among your peers for that perfect job?  Not everyone graduating dental schools wants to do the same thing, but how do you get that first interview for your first associateship. As an ADA member, you have access to the group at the Career Transitions Center of Chicago (CTC).  The team at CTC can provide you with general tips for having a successful resume all the way to co-writing that perfect CV to help you land your dream job. For more information, click here.

 

This blog post, reprinted with permission, originally appeared in the Virginia Dental Association journal. Dr. Cappy Sinclair is a New Dentist Now guest blogger and a 2009 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Sinclair currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, as member of 3M’s Council for Innovative Dentistry, and as an ambassador for the Dawson Academy. He started his own practice Coastal Cosmetic Dentistry 3 years ago from the ground up and is more than happy to share his success and failures with fellow new dentists. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the Virginia Dental Association. To contact Dr. Sinclair, email him csinclair@smilevabeach.com.