The usually effervescent Huge Doherty sent me this article link.
The evident truth is that the world is changing, and changing fast. The number of dentists who are employees versus owners is increasing rapidly. More than 40% of graduating dentists are women, many of whom do not seek nor want ownership. The debt load of graduating dentists is staggering, making the purchase of an existing practice out of reach. Third parties, which cover roughly 57% percent of dental patients seeking treatment in this country
I might take this more seriously if I hadn’t heard it all before. Thirty-five years ago a guy named Avrom King was predicting pretty much the same thing. At that time the big threat was not Heartland but the Sears Dental Clinics. Didn’t happen.
Third parties pay for a bit over half of dentistry but that means that a bit less than half is fee for service paid by the patient. Dentistry is nowhere near as dependent on third parties as medicine.
On the other hand there is no doubt that economic conditions are tough. Many young graduates are facing way too much debt with limited options.
It is wise to face the future aware of the brutal facts. I am just not convinced that private practice is doomed. New technology, new educational systems and even new business models based on technology have the potential to transform and save private practice.