Research Paper: Dentistry Critical Success Factors

Pages: 8 (2524 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Such is to say that the ability to promote the practice, to maintain its visibility, to achieve patient loyalty and to establish a reputation that brings it further patients are all part and parcel of defining success in the field. As the text by Santiago notes, there will inevitably be ebbs and flows in the robustness of your practice. The ability to absorb, rebound and even prevent these patterns is important, as is the case in any business. Accordingly, Santiago warns that "patient volume can decline in tough economic times, as many people will put off preventative or routine visits when cutting back financially. Office revenue (and the dentist's income) can decrease when patient volume declines." (1)

These are realities that you must be prepare for in the field, a challenge that is especially compounded for dentists who are in their early stages of practice. This is because high tuition costs and the demands of investment for the start of a practice can have a direct impact on cash flow. Still, just as tuition is high, so too is compensation. The American Dental Education Association (ADEA)(2008) reports this fact, noting that "dentists are well compensated. Though incomes vary across the country and depend on the type of practice, the ADA reports that in 2008 the average net income for an indpendent private general practitioner who owned all or part of his or her practice was $207, 210; it was $342, 270 for dental specialists." (1)

What is perhaps best-highlighted here is that success in the field of dentistry is not defined by your medical training and treatment capabilities alone. The nature of yourpractice and its ability to thrive as a business are very much a part of success in dentistry.

Additionally, the practice of dentistry is truly more multidimensional than just provided treatment. Beyond this, the article by Kokemuller (2009) shows, dentistry also requires you to be something of an educator. According to the article, "along with providing preventative care and treatment, dentists help educate patients on how to manage their oral health." (Kokemuller 1) This means that as a practicing dentist, you must not only possess the communication skills and bedside manner to provide this kind of education, but it also means that you have a clear responsibility to your patients to remain abreast of all current knowledge and emergent research in the field.

Recommendations:

Several Recommendations emerge from our discussion here on dental education. Particularly, you should choose an educational environment that gives access to a host of qualified practicing dental professionals and that provides clear paths for hands-on training as well. According to Trotman et al. (2007), there are considerable efforts within the field to court local and practicing professionals to help improve dental education standards. Trotman et al. finds, "a consistent theme in the national dialogue about future directions for the educational arm of dentistry is how best to cultivate a school environment that will be seen as attractive by members of the dental community who desire to serve their profession as teachers and scholars." (Trotman et al. 713)

Therefore, as you seek out an ideal educational setting, it is recommended that you search for a dental school that meets these qualifications. Naturally, cost, geography and accessibility will also impact the dental school that you attend. The strongest recommendation that we can make here is that you conduct extensive research on the nature, orientation and learning environment of those dental schools into which you seek admission. Additionally, as recommended by the Education Portal (EP)(2012), it can be extremely beneficial to seek a mentor to counsel you through your education.

Also, key among the recommendations provided by this research are those relating to the start of your own practice. Ultimately, this is this preferred path for a great many dental professionals. However, it is important to be sure that this is the appropriate step for a given individual at a given time. your success may ultimately be determined by your ability to recognize opportunity or apply caution as needed. This is why it is recommended that you only choose the path of independent practice when you are fully prepared for the implications.

It is suitable for the recently initiated dentist to find an established practice for which to work while honing a craft. The research outlined in this discussion suggests that you should build toward the experience, resources and reputation required for starting your own practice. Moreover, one major recommendation to emerge from this research is that you should seek out an existing practice within which to establish a partnership or to gain ownership through purchase. The major advantage in entering into an existing practice with the intent of ownership is that this will often come with a set of steady and loyal patients within an established community. For the developing dental professional, this can be a considerable benefit, sparing the major challenges of endeavoring a startup organization.

Conclusion:

Ultimately, your success in becoming a dentist is based upon a combination of education and practice orientation. As the discussion above demonstrates, there are multiple ways to pursue both. The recommendations above help to show how you can optimize your options. But at its core, this conversation reveals that the path to success as a dental professional is different for everybody. From the school that you attend to the degree that you earn to the manner in which your choose to engage your practice, opportunity, personal preference and even some degree of happenstance will play a part in your success.

Though career development is different for everybody, understanding the challenges and industry norms discussed here could go a long way toward helping you achieve your own personally defined modicum of success.

Works Cited:

American Dental Education Association (ADEA). (2008). Becoming a Dentist. ADEA.org.

Education Portal (EP). (2011). How to Become a Dentist. Education-portal.com.

Kokemuller, N. (2009). Benefits of Being a Dentist. The Houston Chronicle.

Office of the Professions (OP). (2012). License Requirements. NYSED.gov.

Santiago, A. (2012). How to Become a Dentist - Dentist Career Overview. About Health Careers.

Trotman, C.A.; Haden, N.K. &… [END OF PREVIEW]

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