During many difficult situations we encounter in life, it is often our friends and colleagues that help us weather the storm of uncertainty and doubt, and get us back up on our feet again. Why is this usually the case? Is it because they are better situated to know what you really need in your most dire of circumstances? Or is it because they have a more than nominal knowledge of how your thought process works and how you would handle certain formidable obstacles ahead? In most cases, the answer to both questions would be yes.
It is this type of reasoning that is behind putting together a “Practice Continuation Agreement”. This agreement essentially designates who you would like to take over your practice temporarily while you work on recuperating. By putting this agreement together in advance of any unfortunate circumstances, you would be able to entrust one of your most valuable, if not the most valuable, asset you possess to people who you know would look after it as if it were their own. Often these types of agreements are established between members of a study group which allows each dentist in the group to become well versed in the other dentists’ personality, clinical philosophy, and even sense of humor. These types of insights are what could help make for a successful stand in doctor, should they be needed.
The alternative to this type of agreement should you become disabled but still want to keep the practice open is to hire an associate dentist to fill in. Since disabilities are often unexpected, the hiring process for an associate doctor is usually done quickly so that there is little delay in getting patients seen. As you can imagine this recipe doesn’t always lead to success.
One of the keys to running a long and successful business is preparation. The Practice Continuation Agreement could be one of the more important steps in being prepared, as it will ensure your business is able to endure the toughest of times.