Part 2: "Drivers" vs. "Cruisers": The Search for Fulfillment as a Dental Practice Owner

If you can’t wait to get back to the office Monday morning, if you continue to enjoy managing and motivating staff, or if you are constantly looking for ways to expand your practice and see more patients, you are probably a “driver.”

However, if you find your body is at the practice while your mind is on the golf course, if due to stress and fatigue, you regularly entertain thoughts of cutting back your time at the office, or if you are bored with the practice and are just marking time, you may be a “cruiser.” Both are natural stages in your career, but you need to know which way you are heading in order to be satisfied in your career.

Growing the practice is not likely to help cruisers find satisfaction, when what they really want is to cut back. When cruisers start looking for other options, ways of keeping the practice going while still taking the pressure off, the most common route is to hire an associate. This may help the symptoms, but doesn’t always address the true problem.

We sometimes refer to such arrangements as “ambiguity-ships” because they often have either no contract or a one-sided contract; typically these have no financial commitment from the associate and offer little incentive in return. However, hiring an associate is a viable option for a cruiser, as long as it is handled correctly and both the host and associate define their expectations in an equitable arrangement.

(Continued in next month's newsletter.)