DCSIMG
Header Logo Band

GPR

Life as a New Dentist — Solo Practitioner

The ADA is made up of individuals — here’s one of them.

Dr. Joseph Laudie

Dr. Joseph Laudie

Who are you? I’m Dr. Joseph Laudie. I’m a proud member of the Class of 2009 of the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and I am a solo practitioner in a dental practice in Emporia, Kansas.

If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be? I had previous business experience before becoming a practice owner, and I could see myself running some other sort of business, as well as teaching others how to be successful in business.

Why did you choose being a solo practice owner? I knew that I wanted to own a practice after completing my GPR. I found a thriving practice where the owner was retiring. There wasn’t really a transition; he stepped out and I stepped in. On balance, things went well, and patient retention has been fantastic!

Biggest surprise so far about what you do? Being a business owner can be a headache and involve long hours in the office! While I enjoy directing my business, I cannot do it all by myself. I have found that it’s important for me to do what I do best and let others do what they do best to be successful. For example, offering care to my patients is what I am good at, but designing and building my new website is best left to the web developers. As often as I can, I bring on other professionals to help me with the important parts of my business that aren’t directly connected to patient care like tax planning, marketing, insurance and so forth.

What’s your schedule like? I work four days each week from 8 until 5 with an hour lunch. I see two hygiene patients each hour, and I have two assistants working chairside, with another two members of our team at the front desk. I’m proud to say we’ve increased the number of active patients in the practice by 63% over the past three years, so we are a busy practice!

What are you doing for fun? I have three kids, with a fourth on the way, so that occupies a lot of my time. Family and church helps me to balance out the experience of being a business owner. I am a ham radio operator. And recently I completed the Dirty Kanza bike race – nothing like biking up hills on gravel roads for a couple hundred miles to relax and unwind!

Any advice for someone considering your career path? A GPR was very helpful for me. Not only did it boost my speed and abilities, it broadened my education giving me exposure to dental implants, wisdom teeth, bone grafting and medically complex patients. Plus I am the only general practice dentist in a 13 county radius who is licensed to offer IV sedation. I practice in a rural area and being able to offer these services has been a real plus to my patients.

What are your plans for the future? This is the early phase of my “master plan.” I hope to bring on a second dentist as a practice partner, and to increase the number of referrals I receive from my colleagues who don’t offer the same mix of procedures that I do.

Interested in sharing your experience as a new dentist? If you are fewer than ten years out of dental school we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at newdentist@ada.org.

Life as a New Dentist — General Practice Residency

Dr. B. Alexandra Barton

Dr. B. Alexandra Barton

The ADA is made up of individuals—here’s one of them.

Who are you? I’m Dr. B. Alexandra Barton, a proud member of the Class of 2013 of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, and I’m currently enrolled in a twelve-month General Practice Residency (GPR) at Denver Health Medical Center in Denver.

If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry what would it be? I wanted to go into broadcast journalism — I even took some courses in undergrad. But while it was easy for me to see myself anchoring one of the morning news shows, I couldn’t sell myself on a work day that starts at 3 a.m.

How did you choose this program? I wanted a GPR program that would give me more experience in endodontics and pediatric dentistry. Of the different programs where I interviewed, this one seemed to offer the most opportunities in these two areas and so far the program has lived up to my expectations!

What’s your schedule like? There are seven of us who are residents, and we attend lectures once or twice a week. But mostly I’m here from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once a week I’m on-call in the evenings and then I’m on-call over the weekend every six or seventh week.

I was surprised at how often I actually get called in when I’m on-call. This facility is the #1 trauma hospital in the state, so most patients in the area get sent to our emergency department.

What are you doing for fun? Lots of outdoor music and festivals. The mountains and hiking trails are an easy drive from the city, and Colorado has some excellent breweries that I’ve been exploring with my fellow residents!

Any advice for someone considering a GPR? Funny you should ask! Last year at this time I was just starting the application process for residency programs, but I wasn’t fully convinced that I was going to actually enroll in one—I gave serious thought to going straight into an associateship.

Fast forward to today, and I’m really happy I chose this additional year of training. I can tell it’s going to be so much easier to transition into private practice than if I had gone straight from dental school. I’m getting real world experience working with an assistant, using a dental lab, and I’m getting faster at certain procedures. Additionally, I’m exposed to a much different set of procedures in this setting than I was in dental school. I work with the oral surgeons on the bigger trauma cases, but I’ve had the opportunity to do splints, incisions and drainage, that sort of thing. And of course, it’s great that I can bounce ideas off my fellow residents and the program director.

What are your plans for after you complete this program? I’m hoping to stay in Denver, assuming I can find an associateship here, so I’ve been networking with the Colorado Dental Association and getting involved with their new dentist committee.

Interested in sharing your experience as a new dentist? If you are fewer than ten years out of dental school we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at newdentist@ada.org.

Life as a New Dentist—General Practice Residency

Dr Ben Youel

Dr Ben Youel

The ADA is made up of individuals—here’s one of them.

Who are you? I’m Dr. Ben Youel. I’m a proud member of the Class of 2013 of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, and I just started a twelve-month General Practice Residency (GPR) at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.

If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be? High school Chemistry teacher and wrestling coach. Both my parents are teachers so I respect the profession and I know teachers make a lasting impact on the lives of their students. Plus, I’d have the chance to coach wrestling; a sport that was very rewarding for me to participate in growing up.

Why did you choose to do a GPR? I like doing everything! I expect my GPR year to be a great chance to broaden the range of services that I can provide my patients and define my comfort zone for clinical practice.

Biggest surprise so far about your program? I just started, so I’ll say the volume of information in orientation week about the inner-workings of a hospital and the department of dentistry’s role in this setting.

So far it has been a bit more intense than I thought it would be. We get started rather early in the morning and we tend to wrap up later than we did in dental school. So they’re really throwing us into the fire right away here!

What’s your schedule like? Our hours are usually from 7 or 8am to 5 or 6pm, Monday through Friday. One or two weeks a month I’ll be on call. This means I can get called into the hospital to handle a dental emergency any time on any day (and weekends after midnight are the most popular times for people to stroll in with an avulsed tooth or mandibular fracture).

What are you doing for fun? I enjoy working out each day after clinic. I also play in a beach volleyball league each Monday evening.

Any advice for someone considering a GPR? No two GPRs are alike so ask former and current residents what they think. The residents tend to be the best at describing the strengths, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies of the residency.

What are your plans after you complete this program? My short term plans are a little up in the air. I’ve lived in Illinois most of my life and so I have some interest in moving out of state. Also, I’ve worked in a number of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and have enjoyed those experiences. So right now I’m strongly considering moving west and spending a few years working in public health.

Interested in sharing your experience as a new dentist? If you are fewer than ten years out of dental school we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at newdentist@ada.org.