Anja is a member of the Class of 2022, and recently attended the District 6/7 Meeting in Ohio. Continue reading below to find out what she learned!
On the weekend of September 14th-16th I attended the districts conference for the American Student Dental Association (ASDA). The weekend was a wonderful experience filled with informative presentations given by leaders in the dental field, including many current students. Although there was a lot I was able to take away from this conference, the most beneficial topic to me that was covered was a discussion given by a recent National ASDA Vice-President who is now the owner of a dental support organization (DSO) supported practice.
Like many other dental students, I came into dental school sure that I wanted to spend the entirety of my career in a private practice setting. I was convinced that the stigma against DSOs, or corporate dentistry, was true. I had the overall impression that corporations were not in it for the patients, but cared more about profit than people. However, the presentation given by this recent graduate really opened my eyes to a different side of corporate dentistry, one that is patient-focused, gives full autonomy to the practicing doctor, and provides a high-quality, modern practice to provide the best of care.
The new practice owner was able to provide us with a bit of a back-story about her experiences after graduation. She explained how this dental support organization was a great opportunity for her to start having a steady patient pool and reliable income as a new dentist. She didn’t necessarily see herself remaining in corporate long term, but liked the idea of staying at this DSO more and more during her first year. She explained how her DSO has many opportunities for the right dentists to climb the ladder and eventually work their way up to ownership in less time than what is often seen in a private practice setting. Fast-forward only two years later and she is now the owner of her own DSO supported practice, spending all her time with patients as the DSO handles the business side for her.
I thought this presentation really opened my eyes to see all the opportunities that are out there for new dentists. As a D1, I still have a lot of time to decide which route is best for me after graduation, but I thought this presentation was a really great way to learn more about an option I had never previously considered. I think being well informed is the best way to maximize career possibilities and seek out the route that is truly best for the individual. I am grateful for this experience at District Meeting to help me learn more about the opportunities out there for new dentists, and I am excited to continue to expand my professional knowledge in the future.