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How to Future-proof Your Career as a Dentist

There is no time like the present to prepare for the future. Who will ever say they know what will happen an hour from now, much less a year or five years from now? No one knows for sure what we are all facing tomorrow, so it’s always best to be prepared for any eventuality that might put yourself and your family in jeopardy. Dentists, in particular, are one of the most vulnerable professions these days. Doctors can avoid getting too close to a patient, but dentists need to get close and expose themselves to a possible COVID-19 positive patient.

Dentists bring this kind of danger and risk to their homes and families. They don’t only put their lives at risk, but that of their families as well. Every day is a challenge for dentists because they expose themselves to people who may be carriers of the virus. Regardless of the health protocols imposed in the dental clinic, this kind of risk should make dentists think about securing their futures.

Insurance

The coronavirus is not the only thing that can get in the way of the dentist. Research showed that dentists can acquire long-term disabilities that will prevent them from practicing their profession. How prevalent are these instances? One out of four dentists may be unable to continue with their careers because of disabilities. The problem is that most insurance companies will only pay dentists who can no longer work in any other industry. What if you’re still able to be productive in another work? Perhaps, a home-based job or business?

This is why you should look into having an own-specialty disability insurance policy. Even if you elect to work in another profession, you will still receive the full payout from the insurance. They will recognize the loss of income from your original profession and compensate you according to the terms of the insurance policy.

Skills

You cannot remain stagnant. Even if you think you are the best dentist in your area, look for ways to improve what you already know. Successful businesses remain where they are because they don’t stop improving themselves. They don’t content themselves with what they know now. Instead, they find ways to improve their skill set.

It’s not just about focusing on your profession either. You can gain new knowledge about other areas. If you have always been interested in coding and web design, for example, use your free time to learn about it. In the future, in case something happens, you will have new skills that you can use for a different occupation.

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Tech-savvy

How tech-savvy is your dental clinic? Do you have an online appointment system? Or, are you still dependent on your receptionist for scheduling, follow-ups, payments, etc.? Push yourself and your clinic to the limits of technology. No business or profession can survive these days without having technology at its core. Industries are headed off in new directions. Be proactive in using technology to make it easy for your patients to access your dental services.

Investments

Personally, do you have investments? How are you trying to protect your finances? Do you try to make more money out of your income? If your income is stagnant, how are you going to provide for your family when something like a pandemic happens? You won’t have a choice but to continue seeing patients if you do not have a fallback. What if you want to take a break because of a family matter? If you’re not saving and investing, you will need to force yourself to work to provide for your family. Think of the future. You should not rely on what you earn from your profession alone.

Network

Even in business, no man is an island. Your dental clinic cannot survive on its own for a long time. You need to connect with other businesses and open opportunities for yourself. Develop relationships and build new connections with people within and outside your profession. These relationships will help you in the future. They can be invaluable support when your dental clinic encounters problems.

Professionals like dentists and doctors have to protect themselves from the challenges and risks of the future. Being in a profitable profession doesn’t always equate to success nor does it protect your finances and family’s future. A successful career is not a guarantee, too. There is always something around the corner that might surprise you. Dentists have to be prepared to switch to a new career or use their skills for other means when that time comes.

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