The Value of Mentorship

Damon Adams, DDS


New and recent graduates in dentistry would likely be able to start off their careers in dentistry on a better foot if they had access to caring mentors. A small percentage of graduates choose to enter into a general practice residency (GPR) program to boost their knowledge, while others may join one of the armed forces to serve the country and to gain more chairside practice before going out on their own in private or group practices.

The debt burden that accumulates during the prerequisite undergraduate education and in dental school is higher than ever before. This places a level of financial pressure on our young colleagues that previous generations did not experience. This pressure is acutely felt as they begin their careers, the very time when production is lower and when it is not wise to sacrifice quality for quantity. So, debt is now a major factor affecting initial choices in career options, dramatically increasing the number of graduates who are seeking positions under the corporate dentistry umbrella and in other group practice settings. DSO’s and other entities are more than eager to scoop up these doctors, but the opportunities available can differ widely when it comes to vision, ethics, quality of care, and the ability to create a positive and rewarding workplace.

After getting to know Dr. Steve Barrett, and hearing what is going on in the “real-life GPRs” at Greenberg Dental & Orthodontics, I made the decision to share what is possible in a large group private practice setting. Steve states that “mentoring is always the No. 1 thing students are looking for” after graduation. Clearly, he took this message to heart by creating a Vision First process to help his young colleagues achieve excellence in care.

This month, we also have a solid lineup of clinical case reports for your reading pleasure and thoughtful study. Be mindful that, although not hands-on, our clinical authors play an important role in sharing their work and experiences in yet another way to mentor!

Please enjoy this exciting issue of Dentistry Today!

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