Life as a New Dentist — Associate
The ADA is made up of individuals — here’s one of them.
Who are you? I’m Dr. Anna Schultz. I’m a proud member of the Georgia Regents University College of Dental Medicine Class of 2012, and I am working as an associate for a wonderful practice in Newnan, Georgia.
If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be? I’m an avid reader and writer, so I love the idea of being an author or editing a magazine. Of course, there’s nothing about being a dentist that stands in the way of me pursuing those interests!
Why did you choose to become an associate? After completing my AEGD program earlier this year, I was looking for a practice setting where I could hone my clinical and treatment planning skills while developing patient relationships, all without the responsibility of running and maintaining a business. Now that I’m actually in an associateship, I’m confident that this is the best place and environment for me!
Biggest surprise so far? Treatment planning is challenging! During dental school and residency, the administration would give our patients significant discounts because their priority was to give us the best education. But in the real world, there is insurance, there are budgets, and not everything we plan is financially feasible for patients. It highlights the importance of developing rapport with patients and gaining their trust, so that they will be engaged in their own oral health.
What’s your schedule like? It’s amazing how much free time I find myself with since graduating from dental school! I currently work four days per week and those days change so that every other weekend is a four-day weekend (not bad, huh?) Most mornings start with a team huddle at 7:30, and we finish for the day between 5:00 and 5:30. On Fridays, we huddle at 6:30 and finish between 2:00 and 2:30.
What are you doing for fun? I enjoy running, biking, working out, trying new restaurants and listening to live music. I’m also working my way through a long list of novels that took a back seat to lectures and research while I was in dental school and residency.
Any advice for someone considering your career path? Completing an AEGD program after dental school was one of the best decisions I ever made. A year of busy practice and more education in advanced techniques and procedures immensely improved my clinical skills and speed, and gave me more confidence in my treatment planning ability and knowledge of clinical dentistry. I know every program is not created equal, but mine was invaluable.
What’s the best thing about being a new dentist? Being excited about everything! I love coming to work in the morning, and I am so happy to work with such an exceptional team and wonderful patients. It makes the work not seem like work at all, and it reaffirms why I love my career!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org