Associate Agreements and Dentist Salaries

Contract Negotiation

You got the interview, nailed it, and are in love with the practice. But, something’s wrong. The offer they just handed you isn’t what you were expecting. Do you take it as is, or turn it down because it differs from what you had anticipated? Every job seeker needs a plan for negotiating employment agreements.

Negotiations are a give and take. If you go into a negotiation with an “all or nothing” approach, you will likely be very disappointed and lose out on a great opportunity. The following are items to consider in your contract and salary negotiations. Be sure to consult an attorney with questions and to get expert advice on contracts. Don’t get stuck on base guarantees or percentage points. Look for other ways to build value in your associate agreement.

Compensation rate and base guarantee- Base dentist salaries or minimum guarantees are very common now. If you weren’t offered one, ask for it. You’re not asking for a practice to give you money. Rather you asking the practice to guarantee that there are enough patients and potential production for you to make a minimal income. So if you are going to be paid $500 or 25% of production, the practice is saying there is at least $2,000/day of available production.  Percentages paid vary from coast to coast. Research the market in which you plan to work and live. Consider this: assuming you would produce $50,000 per month, negotiating up from 25% to 26% would increase your annual income by $6,000!

Benefits (CE, health insurance, malpractice)– Here is a way to enhance your agreement: allowances for CE, insurance, practice-paid malpractice, membership dues, and licensing fees. Generally, figures come to $2000-$3000/year for CE and $300-$1000/month for insurance (insurance costs vary greatly depending your need). Malpractice, dues, and licensure costs also vary from state to state.  You could make your agreement thousands of dollars richer by asking for these items. The practice can see value in giving you CE allowances when you come back and offer more services in a more efficient way.

Signing bonus– These are great. From a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, signing bonuses can be a blessing or a curse. Evaluate closely. The bigger the bonus, the more strings that will likely be attached. Some come with multi-year contracts you must fulfill or face paying a stiff financial penalty. Keep in mind some of these bonus offers can be too good to be true. Some bonuses will be paid in pieces. If you weren’t offered a bonus, ask for relocation assistance. Interstate moving could cost a few thousand dollars.

Final thoughts– Rarely will a practice put a contract in front of you and say “take it or leave it.” If the practice values you, there will and should be room for negotiation. The idea of a handshake agreement is exactly that, an idea. Get the agreement in writing, don’t sign the agreement until you both agree to the contents, and start employment after the agreement is signed. And remember, when in doubt consult with your own legal counsel.

~Carl Guthrie, senior recruiter, ETS Dental

Bicycle Vacations Are Fun, Healthy and Cheap

If you’re thinking that a family vacation is out of the question this year, due to depleted funds, think again. Bicycle vacations are something everyone in the family can get behind as a concept. It’s different, a remake of the camping vacation by car and provides fun for every family member, as well as a chance to spend that quality time we’re always trying to squeeze into our busy lives.
Most of us live within a short distance of one of our many state parks. You may also have a National park close enough to drive to, with your bikes loaded on a bike rack, on top or behind, without spending a lot on gas to get there.
Once you arrive at your campsite, all you need do is unload your bikes, set up your tent and your exciting bicycle vacation is in full swing. Campsites usually provide shower facilities and sometimes laundry rooms and pools, so you can enjoy some of the features of expensive hotel accommodations without the cost. Campsites post a map of local bike paths, with level of difficulty and the length of the route.
A bicycle vacation has you out in the fresh air, getting plenty of exercise, while exploring the beauty of your natural surroundings. You can be sure that you’ll sleep well at the end of the day! Build a camp fire and roast those marshmallows and hot dogs, inexpensive fare that becomes more fun with a reading from a book of ghost stories for the kids.
If you choose a campsite by a lake, take some time to go fishing for the evening dinner. Private campsites of the resort type often feature other entertainment, such as boating and horseback riding, or a playground area for kids. So it’s easy to see how the bicycle vacation can be full-fledged enjoyment without the big price.
Planning is the key to successful bicycle adventures. Here are some general tips to guide you:
1. Get online and Google ‘campsites your-area’ and visit the various websites until you find one that suits your budget and desired amenities. Make your reservations as far in advance as possible in order to assure a spot. Check their terms. Most require a credit card number when you make your reservations, but won’t charge you until your arrival date. The terms also state that cancellations must be made within a given time frame. If you don’t show up, you’ll be charged for at least one night.
2. If everyone in the family isn’t outfitted with a bike, you have several options: some campsites have bicycle rentals, by the day. This may be the most inexpensive option if you’re not planning on bicycling every day. If you intend to bike every day, look for a bike rental shop near your campsite. If you want to invest in a new bike, read some of the bicycle reviews online to find a bike suited to the rider’s needs. Check the classifieds and local bike shops for used bikes as well. Be sure everyone’s bike is equipped with a water bottle.

3. If you don’t have a tent and sleeping bags for everyone, you’ll need to buy these. Uh-oh, you say, the costs are mounting up. However, when you compare the cost of a hotel stay, which you don’t recoup, against the cost of a tent and inexpensive summer sleeping bags, all of which come home with you to be used again and again, on future bicycle vacations or back yard kid’s sleepovers, this cost becomes an inexpensive investment.

4. Photography. The easiest is to designate one person to be the camera carrier. Don’t go crazy with an SLR and telephoto lens. The small point and shoot cameras are just fine. See examples of some vacation pictures here. Those were taken with a couple inexpensive point and shoot cameras.

5. When you pack food, include as many non-perishables as possible for your staples, such as cereals, snacks, canned goods and dried fruits and dehydrated camp meals. You can purchase meats, eggs and milk locally. In a large cooler, bring just those fresh items you’ll use in the first couple of days.
There you have a basic plan for your bicycle vacation. You can be certain the kids will have no trouble writing their ‘what I did on summer vacation’ report come back-to-school time!

Toothbrush: Electric or Manual?

With so many toothbrushes available on the market how do you know which one to choose?  Manual or electric toothbrush? Soft or hard bristle? Brand or generic? I love the commercials that say “nine out of ten dentist recommend… .” The truth is that dentist will use either what is provided for them or what they use at their office. With that said lets review what is available on the market?  Lets first review the benefits and drawbacks of electric and manual toothbrushes.

Manual toothbrush:  If you use a manual toothbrush, brushing technique is important for proper removal of plaque (the white build-up that collects on your teeth). You have to do all the work as opposed to the electric toothbrush that does most of the work for you. The advantage of a manual toothbrush is that they are inexpensive, small, and do not require electricity. The disadvantage of a manual toothbrush is that good brushing technique is required to maintain good oral health and reduce the chance of toothbrush trauma. If a proper technique is practiced the manual toothbrush works just as good as an electric toothbrush.

toothbrush for teeth
toothbrush for teeth

Electric Toothbrush:  Electric toothbrushes are great. They allow you to brush your teeth thoroughly without having to do much manipulation per webepazzo.com. The instructions usually indicate to hold the toothbrush in a certain position and move it around your mouth slowly. Not much to it. These are especially great for individuals who have manual dexterity issues. The disadvantage of these toothbrushes is the cost, size, and the fact that they need to be plugged in. The electric toothbrushes cost can range from about $15 for a generic toothbrush to $150 for either the oral B or Sonicare electric toothbrush. These toothbrushes also don’t last forever. The useful life of an electric toothbrush is 2 to 3 years.

You might ask, is one brand better than another? It is all about personal preference. I would definitively stick to either a soft or extra soft bristle toothbrush. As for the brush itself, there really is no difference between a generic or a well known brand brush. You will definitively pay a lot less for a generic. It is all about the technique.

Stay Healthy

In today’s world, there are plenty of things that you can do to compromise your health. The world is a convenient place now, meaning we have to do less physically to accomplish what we need to do to live. You no longer have to grow your own food or build your own shed. There is someone out there doing it for you as long as you have the money to pay them.

You don’t have to cook dinner and there is a machine that washes your dishes. These are not bad things, but they can lead to a sedentary lifestyle that can be very unhealthy. You have to think of ways to stay healthy to balance out modern convenience.

Your doctor will have a lot of suggestions on what you can do to stay healthy, and most of what they say is based on what they see in their practice. There is a good reason they are giving you the advice they are giving, but that does not mean you are going to listen. The number one things most doctors say first is that if you smoke you should quit. Not only does smoking lead to cancer, it compromises your health in many other ways. If you have children, your smoke could be hurting them too.

It is very hard to quit smoking to stay healthy, but keep trying until you succeed.Your dentist will also congratulate you on your whiter teeth. You can also stay healthy by cutting down on the processed foods that you eat. This helps you with your weight, overall energy levels, toxins in the body, and your sodium count. If you have high blood pressure, it is very likely because you have high sodium levels (though not always). You have to cut down on the salt. Just don’t cut it out completely, as the body needs salt to function. Instead, eat more natural and unprocessed foods and then salt what you like rather than getting your sodium as someone else sees fit.You will feel so much better and so will your heart.

One message that seems to go around as much as the quit smoking message is the message to get moving. This is a hard one for some people who have jobs that require them to sit for a long period of time each day. Get up and walk around, take the stairs, and park far away when you are going somewhere. Take a walk on your lunch hour or after you get home from work. Do what you can to stay healthy by joining a gym or even organizing things to do with your family on the weekends that are active and fun. It is hard to start exercising, but it feels darn good once you are done. Keeping a positive light in your life can also help you stay healthy. If you are always depressed, you are not going to take care of yourself as well. You may not live as long. Don’t be afraid to see someone for help if you are always feeling sad.

Try to see the good in things as well as the bad for a good mental balance. You can plan for the worst in life, but you should always hope for the best. You may be surprised at how a good, positive attitude can help you stay healthy in all other ways. Happy people take care of themselves.