Every year, US News and World Report lists the top 10 jobs in the nation. This year, US News ranked “Dentist” as the top job. Now, if you are a dentist, you may be a little bowled over by this ranking. Like many other dentists, you may feel overworked, harried, and generally dissatisfied with your job. If this is life at the top, heaven help those at the bottom! The truth is, as dentists, we do have it pretty good. The problem is that our good fortune can be obscured by the many burdens that come with running a business. Fortunately, establishing your dental practice goals, along with definite means to achieve those goals, can help you manage stress and really appreciate what you do.
Job Rankings by US News
US News bases its rankings on the number of projected job openings in the next decade, unemployment rate, prospects, salary, and overall satisfaction. 7 out of the top 10 jobs were in healthcare. However, dentists clocked in at #1 for several reasons.
- 9% unemployment rate (an astonishing statistic, compared to other fields)
- An average salary of $164,570 and a median salary of $146,340
- Projected 23,200 new job openings before 2022
- A good work-life balance, particularly when compared to other healthcare occupations
Not Feeling Like #1?
Ok, at this point, you may be thinking, “Decent work-life balance? Ha! Who are they kidding?” Like many frazzled dentists, you may not feel particularly satisfied with your career. Perhaps you would even be willing to take a pay cut if you could just get rid of the sinking feeling in your gut every morning when you go into work.
Lists are all well and good, but statistics are impersonal. Although everything may look great on paper, there could be a number of personal and professional problems that are holding you back from your true potential. As a dental coach, my job is to help you find those areas, eliminate obstacles in your life, and help you become the best person you can be.
Establishing Your Dental Practice Goals
Before you can create your dental practice goals, you must find the areas that need improvement. There are probably several things that you would like to change. However, you should begin with the most deep seated problems. Often, smaller issues will clear up automatically when you address major personal or professional shortcomings.
One of the most common and most problematic issues that I encounter is poor communication skills. Lack of communication can cause problems with your team, colleagues, patients, and even your family. Other common difficulties include high stress, inefficient scheduling, ineffectual branding, and overcommitment. Of course, your path to achieving your dental practice goals will be completely unique to you. What is essential is that you are honest with yourself and that you create a specific plan with a defined course of action. With this proactive approach, you can clear away the mental and emotional clutter and begin to truly appreciate your good fortune. After all, we work in the number one field in the country!