Tools to transition from school to practice

While new graduates are enthusiastic to put their clinical skills into practice, many would also admit to feeling ill-equipped for the business side of dentistry. In the area of practice administration, 18.2 percent reported being “underprepared” and 29.8 percent reported being “somewhat unprepared,” as shared in the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, 2017 Graduating Class. Additionally, organization and financing of health services and practice administration were top-ranked as the areas of “inadequate” time for education and training.

To support new dentists in the transition to practice life, the California Dental Association offers savings and solutions for the things they may not have learned about in dental school. Here are a few of the answers CDA has for those entering practice:

How can I save when I’m starting out?
CDA membership dues are reduced the first four years of practice so that new dentists can access full benefits right away. In addition, The Dentists Insurance Company, a CDA subsidiary that’s solely focused on protecting dentists, offers an excellent program for new dentists. Once a member has passed boards and obtained a license, he or she pays only $50 for the first year of TDIC Professional Liability coverage, plus benefits from substantial discounts for years two and three. And access to member-exclusive discounts on dental supplies through tdsc.com is CDA’s newest benefit — with savings averaging 20 percent compared to manufacturers’ suggested retail prices on everything from adhesives to X-ray materials.

Who can I call when I have a question?
CDA Practice Support analysts guide members at every stage of dentistry – by phone, email, through an online forum and at live educational presentations. For new dentists, this means one-on-one guidance on topics such as standards of care, records retention and release, EHR conversion, marketing, HIPAA and regulatory compliance. The analysts also share valuable expertise on the considerations when becoming an associate that can help new dentists make informed signing decisions. Through TDIC, analysts also provide confidential Risk Management guidance to dentists who are in doubt about how to handle a situation or have questions or concerns about potential liabilities.

Where can I get the forms I need?
CDA Practice Support and TDIC have built resource libraries to make it easy to find the right form, guide or template. At cda.org/practicesupport, members can explore hundreds of tools, including the comprehensive Guide for the New Dentist and Legal Reference Guide for California Dentists. At tdicinsurance.com, policyholders can download informed consent forms in nine languages for 17 procedures, as well as guides to becoming an associate or buying a practice.

Through membership in organized dentistry, new dentists not only access valuable resources and expertise, they join a community of dentists and dedicated experts to help them be more informed and prepared.

To learn more about CDA membership benefits available to new dentists, visit cda.org/new-dentists.

Updated: 8/9/18

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