Can You Endorse Your Associate?

Assuming you are busy enough and have appropriate cash flow to add an associate dentist, how do you know if you are hiring the right associate? The right associate is not just a dentist who is willing to work for you, not just someone with a dental license. The right associate is someone you and your team can endorse.

Employees with Dentist Patient

Consider the perspective of your patients. They come to your practice because they trust you. Now you add an associate. Your patients will want to know if they can trust the associate just like they trust you, and patients will look to you and your team for confirmation. But how will you know?

For starters, before the associate is hired, you have to know if your treatment philosophies are in alignment. Practices that have bad experiences with associates can usually trace the breakdown to a misalignment of philosophies involving patient care. Just assuming the associate will learn your style is big mistake. Instead, successful practices spend time discussing their approach to patient care before the associate is ever hired.

Dentist and team

In addition, can your associate meet your expectations for quality of care and production goals? For example, if you provide a high quality of care while also out-producing most of your peers, you may struggle to find an associate who can keep up. Recognizing this ahead of time will help you narrow your search to experienced dentists with above-average hand speed. You may also need to have a well-thought out mentorship plan. Map out your expectations for the associate at the three month, six month, and one year points (and beyond), and then share this with your potential associate—or do this with an existing associate to ensure everything is on track.

If you and your team do not have complete confidence in the person working as your associate, how can your patients? That is why it is critical to hire someone who aligns with your treatment style and who can meet your expectations. When you can endorse your associate, you know you have hired the right person.

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