Thursday, May 27, 2010

Will My New Associate Be Here In 6 Months?

As recruiters, we are frequently asked, “What is your success rate?”.

We took a look at the placement history of more than 1,200 dentists we’ve placed over the past nine years. 93% of the Dentists we’ve placed in full-time positions with independent practices and clinics were with their new employer after six months. In calculating this number we did not include five “high turn-over” practices and two practice-management clients. We also did not count any Dentist who did not make it through their first week “working interview”.

Lessons Learned:

• Practice owners should interview multiple Associate candidates – If you limit your candidate pool to the few you can find by networking with local suppliers or running a local advertisement you are severely limiting your chances of finding the best candidate. It typically takes our recruiters 1,300 networking phone or email contacts to make a placement. The majority of Dentists we place relocate from somewhere else. Most have ties to the area. When a practice asks us to conduct a search we:

  • Reach out to any Dentist candidate who has previously expressed interest in a similar opportunity. (We’ve interviewed more than 15,000 dentists and have contact information for more than 80,000 others)

  • Post on more than a dozen web sites, including Monster and CareerBuilder. receives more Dentist inquiries than either of these major sites.

  • Constantly reach out to military Dentists who will soon be ending their commission.

  • Network with soon-to-be Dental School and Residency grads.

  • Screen and present all viable Associate candidates, not just the one or two who happen to read the local Dental journal or advertisement in the Sunday paper.

• Full-disclosure is critical – Contrary to popular belief, when an Associate relationship doesn’t work out, it typically has little to do with an Associates’ clinical skills. Typically the Associate and the practice had not come to a clear understanding of their respective needs and expectations.

• Discuss everything up-front – We’ve seen a number of well meaning practice owners and associate candidates decide to “work something out” after the Associate starts, rather than addressing the issue up-front during the interview and negotiation process. Compensation issues, scheduling, support, clinical philosophies and long-term goals should all be discussed prior to an offer or contract is extended.

• Be Prepared to Hire – With the exception of a few saturated Dental school cities, there is truly a shortage of Dentists. A solid Associate candidate often has the choice of multiple opportunities. Many practices lose outstanding Associate candidates simply because they weren’t prepared.

The work you do up front in recruiting and preparing for your new Associate will pay dividends for years to come.

Written by Mark Kennedy, Managing Director of ETS Dental. Find out more at

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Secret Lives of Dentists

I remember the first time that I ran into my family dentist in town rather than in his office. I was a teenager at the time, so I should not have been shocked that my dentist had interests other than plaque removal and collecting issues of Highlights. In reflecting on this incident I got to thinking. What do dentists do when they aren’t in the office?

As a grown up (sort of), I now have the answer.


I am a recruiter who focuses on finding associates, partners or buyers for dental practices around the country. As such, I have access to over 30,000 CVs and resumes saved in our computer system. Using our software’s keyword search functionality I was able to query the system for key words as they appear in the Hobbies and Interests sections of those documents. Keep in mind, only 10% of CVs or resumes list personal hobbies or interests. Also, certain keywords (running, reading, writing) appeared too often in job related descriptions and so are not included. Still, the results are fascinating, even if not altogether scientific.


Dentists are an active, open minded group. Over 90% list travel as a key interest or hobby. Of course, the dental industry magazines are filed with ads for CE events in exotic and otherwise beautiful locations, so this comes as no surprise.

Dentists are also avid participants in sports. 30% list an interest in “sports” while those who mention specific sports prefer Golf (18%) over Basketball (17%) and Tennis (16%). Others of note: Soccer (12%), Football (10%), Volleyball (7%), Baseball (5%) and Hockey (3%). Cricket comes in as a statistically irrelevant 1%. Incidentally, Yankees fans mentioned their team by name more than Red Sox fans by a 5-4 margin.

Outside of traditional sports, Dentists also enjoy skiing (14%), swimming (14%) and long walks on the beach (13%). Yoga trumps Aerobics and Pilates 4% to 1.4% and 1%, respectively. 9% enjoy camping while 6% garden and 4% appreciate the outdoors in general.

The arts are clearly an important outlet. Painting is the preferred release of 9%. 2% prefer poetry. Music is listed by 23%. Dancing occupies the evenings of 7% while 4% prefer to play guitar and 3% like to sing. Those 3% are brave souls - karaoke received a scant 6 total mentions. Presumably that 3% sing sober, but 2% of dentists enjoy wine enough to mention it on their CVs. Only one claimed to be a “partier”. 18% enjoy cooking and 5% confess to shopping.

Collecting is a passive hobby. 1.1% collect coins, .8% collect stamps and .4% collect antiques. 7% prefer to spend their quiet time watching a good movie.

Horseback riding stimulates 3.7% of dentists. 3.4% prefer to drive with 1.2% of those enjoying a good race. Safety first, though. Fast cars (3%) are preferred to motorcycles (.5%).

Companionship is important to all of us. While a keyword search of “family” returned too many unrelated results, it was also an extremely popular mention. Pets are also popular with dogs preferred over cats by more than 3-1.

While not representative of most dentists, we have also spoken with a dentist who enjoys clamming, one who writes musical compositions for Wii games, one who was a “Who” in a movie and one who performed with Men Without Hats.

It is not all lab coats and fluoride. Clearly Dentists do have a life outside of practice. The logical follow up question? How many of the above activities are claimed as a business expense?

Posted by Morgan Pace, Dental Recruiter with ETS Dental. You can reach Morgan at (540) 491-9102 or Check us out at

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dental Implants

In 1952 Swedish professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark became very irritated when he was unable to remove any of the bone anchored titanium microscopes that he was using in his research. The titanium had bonded to the living bone tissue which, at the time, went against conventional wisdom.

Further experimentation showed that titanium could be integrated into living bone without rejection or long term soft tissue inflammation and with a high level of predictability. Professor Brånemark called this osseointegration.

Osseointegration was first used in a patient using titanium roots in 1965 and forty years later the teeth that they were attached to were still functioning perfectly. Subsequent years of study and research have refined dental implants and they have become the answer to many patients problem of missing teeth.

With Dental implants people are able to avoid the problems associated with lost teeth such as difficulty eating, pain and an unattractive smile. Traditional dentistry has utilized bridges, partials and dentures, but each has its problems. Bridgework involves altering natural teeth to provide a stable foundation for support of replacement teeth, while removable partials and dentures can, at times, be very unstable causing difficulty eating, speech difficulty and denture sores.

Dental Implants have been placed since the 1980’s by oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and periodontists began placing them in the mid 1990’s. A maxillofacial surgeon is trained to not only deal with gum infections and the pockets around the teeth caused by the gum infections, but the surgeons are trained to know exactly what anatomical components are potentially invaded in the insertion of the implant. Their training makes them knowledgeable about what possible problems could arise, and they would know how to avoid them. The training a periodontist receives also qualifies them to be able to effectively place implants and deal with any associated challenges. Although there are implant courses readily available, no other dental specialty is trained in these surgical treatments, so one’s first choice for a dental implant should be an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon or Periodontist.

Written by Gary Harris
Dental Specialist Recruiter
ETS Dental
Phone: (540) 491-9115, Email:

Source: Dental Implant Center:

Source: Academy of Osseointegration:

For additional information on Dental Implants check out these links:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do What You Love

I think of myself as very fortunate, and for many reasons. I have been married to a wonderful man for 24 years, and I am the mother of three fabulous children. I had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom for 18 years, and loved just about every minute of it. Mind you, I had my moments. When it became time for me to re-enter the professional world, I was lucky enough to land a job as a Dental Recruiter with ETS Dental, a professional Dental Recruiting firm. My previous career (before children) was in the banking industry, so I really was starting all over. I am happy to say that, as luck will have it, I have found a career that I truly enjoy, and I am appreciative of that fact because I know many people do not like their jobs or career picks, and that makes for an unhappy life.

Do What You Love, Love What You Do
You’ve probably heard before that life is too short to have a job or career that you don’t absolutely love doing and for which you feel great passion. When you do something that excites you all day long, you have a far better chance of excelling, you’ll have a lot more fun, and you’ll get paid in the process.

It’s amazing, though, that so many people DON’T do what they love doing for a living. Keeping a roof over the head, paying the bills, getting side-tracked with various obligations, and other distractions can too often get in the way of pursuing our life passions, our dreams, our secret wishes and desires.

Can’t do anything about it? You’re stuck? Well, perhaps there are reasons at the moment or circumstances that are tough to alter for awhile; however, don’t let go of those dreams and desires. Stay open to possibilities, and brainstorm about how you can make them actually happen. Even if it takes time, it really works. If you never even try, you won’t give yourself the chance.

Excerpt from Brainstorms & Raves

Posted by Marsha Hatfield-Elwell, Dental Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Marsha at (540) 491-9116 or