The tough economic climate, dwindling claim payments and the increasingly complex laws and regulations has led many people to dismiss a career in healthcare services outright. Solo and small practice owners are struggling to keep their clinics profitable and quite a few are considering early retirement. There are also plenty of articles on the Internet and in newspapers highlighting the difficulties being faced by dentists as they struggle to adapt to EHRs and fulfill MU objectives.
But it is not all gloom and doom for the dental profession. A recent report revealed that 2 out of the top 10 best jobs in the country are dentistry related (Dental Tribune, April 2014). Dentists and dental hygienists occupied the number 3 and the number 10 slot respectively. Even though dentist has fallen to number 3 from number one last year, the median salaries for both the professions increased compared to previous statistics.
It is actually not surprising to see that healthcare service positions are among the most sought-after jobs, especially in the aftermath of an economic recession. Even though many businesses are reducing (non-health related) employee benefits in a bid to control costs, few workers are willing to give up their dental/health plans. The American public will always need experienced and qualified personnel for their dental procedures. More adults are taking an interest in cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening, leading to an overall increase in demand for dental professionals.
The survey rates jobs on the basis of several criteria such as work-life balance, future employment prospects, career growth etc. This reveals that even though dentists are facing difficulties within their field, other professions are no less competitive and stressful (in fact they are probably worse). In addition to the above factors, the healthcare IT industry is also delivering innovative products to make the job of a dentist easier. EDRs and practice management applications have evolved to offer sophisticated clinical decision support for users.
Many vendors like Dovetail have moved their software to the cloud making it easy for clinics to comply with federal laws and increase profitability. Dovetail EDR even has integrated payment solutions, making it easy for your clients to pay for treatments immediately. It is clear that healthcare positions and especially dental jobs will continue to be the best jobs for quite some time. Given the strong demand for dental work, highly positive job growth numbers and a good work-life balance, being a dentist or dental hygienist can be quite rewarding in terms of both monetary compensation as well as job satisfaction.