Associateship Troubles And Hostage Negotiation

Episode 057

In an associateship and having trouble? You are not alone. This week we start off by discussing some of the troubles a young dentist is having in his associateship. We also reveal a resource that will help you bargain like an FBI hostage negotiator. Not that the two topics are related…just saying! Listen in for that and more on episode 57 of the Business of Dentistry.

More About This Show

Even though I don’t have an associate and haven’t had that type of relationship before, many dentists do. So when I recently had a conversation with a dentist who is part of an associateship, and he shared several troubling scenarios he was experiencing, I wanted to share those with you on today’s show.

One of the first difficulties he is encountering is the fact that he had agreed to a low salary because of the incentive productive bonuses he had been promised. He thought he’d do well his beyond base salary because of his productivity; he was promised that the practice was very busy and he’d have no trouble gaining new patients, making production and hitting those bonus numbers. So he took the low base salary with the intention of achieving those numbers and making up the difference in bonuses, something I completely understand.

However he’s not doing anything, he’s sitting on his hands and not being as productive as he was told he could be. There aren’t many new patients coming in and the few emergencies that pop up are immediately taken by the senior dentist.

When the associate does get to see an emergency, they have all wanted to continue on as his patients. When they call back they want to see him because they like his communication skills, his chairside manner, and his rapport – which has resulted in the senior doc taking on even more of the emergencies because he is upset that these patients are requesting the associate.

Another challenge this associate is having is the senior doc shifting patients over from the associate’s schedule to the senior doc’s schedule because the senior doc is slower. To boot, there has been no communication about the shift and the associate doesn’t know this is happening ahead of time.

To complicate matters further, the senior doc told the associate that he wanted to expand the practice to doing implants. It wasn’t something the senior doc did himself but the associate wanted to. The associate has had some experience with implants in school, and he was eager to expand his skills and techniques in that area.

So the associate was allowed to do this but was never compensated for it, the associate paid for it himself. He later discovered the senior doc had signed up for the same course and now wanted to do implants too. The associate and the senior doc did the continuum on implants and the senior doc is now generating implant business. However the senior doc is blocking off the associate’s schedule to help the senior doc do the implants, and not allowing the associate to do the procedures on his own.

When he told me all of this, I asked this associate if he signed a non-compete and he said he did. Because there are all sorts of clauses  and differing laws from state to state regarding non-competes, I suggested he seek a lawyer’s help with the matter. I hope he does and he and his senior doc can work things out so all sides benefit from their arrangement.

Another topic I share with you on today’s show is about how I’m cutting my overhead. This is my year of doing so and on this episode I explain how I’ve cut down a few points by going through my credit cards line by line – and why I suggest you do the same.

Also on this show, as promised, I tell you about a negotiating resource I discovered recently and have found useful. Tune in to hear about all of that and more on episode 57 of the Business of Dentistry!

Tweetable: “There are two sides to every story.”

Episode Resources

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini
Never Split The Difference, by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
Voices of Dentistry

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