"Personally, I have transitioned new doctors into dental practices over my career and I must say the first time I did it was not nearly as smooth as the last time I did it. As I watched the AMP TV show about the transition for an Associate Doctor it brought back so many experiences and lessons I have learned.
There are some basic ground rules for making this new relationship success. Fist and foremost there is only ONE reason to hire a new doctor and that is because the practice is too busy for the owner to physically handle the current patient load. If you find yourself in this place and decide that hiring an associate is right for your practice I would strongly encourage you to include your team in the process.
Discuss with your team who they see being a good fit for the practice and remember that a proper introduction to the team of who you hire is absolutely critical to this transition. The owner of the practice should never speak negatively about the new dentist in any way, you should not compare clinical skills and you should not expect this new doctor to be a practice builder in the first year. The team needs to know that it is not appropriate to refer to the new doctor as an associate, they should concentrate on both doctors schedules equally and should always promote the new doctor during phone call time. Staff should speak favorably about the new doctors work in front of patients and always offer assistance when the new doctor is having a difficult time.
This is an exciting time for any practice and it is important to remember how you handle this change will dictate if your team is accepting of the change or not. This is a time for you to be a mentor and a leader on a whole new level. And lastly, always remember to instill in this new doctor that creating value in the dentistry that you will do together is the philosophy that your practice needs to live by to be successful."