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Dental School Only Half a Dentist's Education
Dental schools do not provide graduates with an adequate practice mnagement education, according to a Wealthy Dentist survey. Four out of 5 dentists find that recent graduates unprepared for the realities of dentistry, lacking business savvy.
Dental school graduates lack business school sense, according to many dentists. "Most dental schools are giving some instruction in the economics of practicing dentistry, but it only scratches the surface," said an Indiana periodontist. "Schools need extensive realistic practice management curriculum,"
But is business training really within the scope of dental school? "Today's graduates are not prepared to start a business, but neither were we. Business sense is hard to get in a classroom setting," observed a North Carolina dentist. "It's like preparing for parenting: how do you know when you're ready?"
Some feel dental schools are failing to keep up with the times. "Dental schools are trapped in a time warp continuing to use the 20th century curriculum to educate practitioners of the 21st century," commented a New York oral surgeon. "Technology has certainly changed. Teaching and preparing has definitely not improved, or even changed," said a Florida dentist.
Just because a student does well in dental school does not mean she or he will be a good practitioner. "Dental schools have routinely produced graduates that fully believe that they know a great deal more than they really know. They are definitely not ready for private practice," commented a Maryland dentist. "Young dentists I work with have trouble with diagnosis and treatment planning," agreed a Delaware periodontist.
Of course, some feel that dental schools provide an excellent education. "Dental school has tried to address issues of practice management, dental insurance issues, and advanced restorative techniques including implants and periodontal surgery," said a Pennsylvania periodontist.
One Michigan dentist reported being disappointed by his young associates. "I have gone through a few associates. I have a high-tech, high-end practice, and I try to show them all the tricks. They are not only clueless, but they don't even try - poor confidence level out of school. They want to make the money but they don't want to work the hours or try to learn the communication and practical skills that today's public demands... I think that in the future I'm going to charge a training fee!"
"Dental schools might be great, but they're notoriously bad at addressing business issues," said Jim Du Molin, dental management consultant and founder of The Wealthy Dentist (http://www.thewealthydentist.com). "Students learn lots of science and very little about practice management. But how can graduates expect to practice dentistry if they can't run a dental practice?"
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