Almost every dentist we talk with (established practitioner or recent graduate) already has a story or two about a colleague or acquaintance that has been "burned" by a failed associate arrangement. But strangely enough, even though they are aware of the strong likelihood of failure, dentists still continue to think about the associateship route before considering other options.
Bringing an associate into a practice can either be a highly successful move for both parties or one of the most financially devastating events imaginable! Unprotected and unsuspecting host doctors often become "career launchers" allowing the associate to set up a practice down the street taking patients and staff with them when they move out. Unsuspecting young doctors often get severely "prostituted" and are forced to leave the practice to start over in another area.
The all so common "lets live together to see how we get along before either of us make a formal commitment" arrangement have a documented failure rate well in excess of 90%. It is well documented that associate arrangements almost never result in the associate purchasing the practice even though the original idea was to get acquainted so the associate could either purchase the owner out or at least buy into the practice.
Why so many failures? Associateships are typically poorly structured; desired outcomes are rarely pre-planned and accounted for; and, there is either no contract in place at all or, at the very least, a very poorly written contract with no protections for the host doctor's practice value or the associate's career advancement options or rights.
Associateships do work out and can be quite advantageous for all parties... but only when properly planned, properly structured and the doctors are properly protected. Don't make the same mistake that has already cost many of your colleagues hundreds of thousands of dollars. A consultation with a PARAGON consultant is free. You owe it to yourself to do it right, the first time.
Topics of Interest:
|Dual Representation Philosophy|
|Practice Transition Articles|