The Dawson Academy Blog

Dental Articles on Occlusion, Centric Relation, Restorative Dentistry & More

Return to Blog Index

5 Tips for Finding a Great Associate

By Dr. Gary L. Spieler

The diversity of partnership and associateship experiences I've had has taught me some very valuable lessons. However, I made many mistakes along the way.Why shouldn’t you learn from my mistakes? Why should a busy dentist spend countless hours in “screening” for that right person?

Having been in practice for 20 plus years and having been faculty at UF, I’ve come to appreciate the expectations of many recent graduates. I’ve interviewed countless dental school graduates who had applied for acceptance to the Endodontic Program at the University of Florida. Sorting out which graduates, associates, colleagues might be compatible with your future goals; filtering (interviewing) candidates with realistic expectations from those who have "no clue" (re: the way you practice) can be time consuming and costly.

From my experience, the following are 5 tips for finding a great associate:

  1. Speak with colleagues at local dental schools and ask for referrals.
  2. Spend the time to carefully interview potential candidates to assess:
      • How do they look at your interview?
      • Do they make “eye-to-eye” contact
      • Are they dressed appropriately?
      • Do they listen to you, or do they seem to have “canned” answers
      • What are their expectations in dentistry – financially, clinically, lifestyle?
      • Are those expectations reasonable for your type of practice, location?
      • What are their reasons for choosing your practice?
  3. Be sure to check out each reference.
  4. Do you feel that they can “take direction”?
  5. How many other colleagues have they worked with? Did you call them? What Happened?

5 things to keep in mind during the interviewing process:

  1. Making the right choice will save you:
      • Time
      • Money
      • Frustration
      • Quality of Practice
      • Quality of Life
  2. Prepare your staff for the transition at least one month before active interviews
  3. Listen to your staff's concern and experiences, perhaps they can refer potential candidates
  4. Make the staff active participants in the selection process
  5. Enlist your staff to show enthusiasm for this transition.

For more help with finding an associate, you can email Dr. Spieler by clicking here.

Click me