Understanding and Evaluating Associateship Opportunities
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Course Author(s): David G. Dunning, MA, PhD; Robert D. Madden, DDS, MBA


  1. Considerations of a practice philosophy in the context of the relationship between an owner-dentist and an associate, involve most fundamentally which variables _______________.
  1. Current market trends in dental practice include which of the following _______________.
  1. An owner-dentist may be interested in hiring an associate for many reasons, including _______________?
  1. One of the fundamental, key issues involved in deciding to pursue an associateship is to  determining if you are interested in a short-term job vs. a career track.
  1. It is estimated that a newly graduated associate can produce how much dentistry within the first year of practice compared to the owner-dentist?
  1. In what percentage of the cases will an intended transition from associate to ownership fail if purchase price has not been determined when the associate begins working?
  1. Which of the following is a reason for failed associateships _______________?
  1. In what percentage of the cases will an intended transition from associate to ownership succeed when the purchase price has been established before the associate begins working?
  1. You are planning to work as an associate with a dentist you have known for many years. He simply wants an associateship based on a handshake of trust and no written agreement/contract. It is recommended that you accept these terms of employment and begin working as an associate.
  1. A successful associateship arrangement must acknowledge a risk-reward balance for the owner-dentist so that s/he earns at least some reasonable profit as a result of hiring an associate.
  1. You are considering an associateship opportunity. The owner-dentist’s consulting firm prohibits you from seeking independent advice from your own selected accountant and attorney. In this situation, you should continue negotiation without your own advisers.
  1. When should an associate-candidate first develop a detail personal budget?
  1. As a rule of thumb, you can plan on being able to deduct student loan interest for many years because of generous federal tax law provisions and so can make your student loan payments with pre-taxed dollars.
  1. An associate requires an annual gross income of $105,000 based on a thorough budget. She is considering a position in a practice with a 96% CP ratio of billable production, a 32% compensation level (of actual collections), and the owner-dentist will pay 100% of the laboratory bill. What is the minimum billable production the associate must generate in this scenario to earn $105,000?
  1. Which compensation system allows an associate to earn more income as associate revenues reach higher targets/thresholds?
  1. In general, what benefits would an owner-dentist be obligated by law to provide an associate?
  1. Compensation packages for independent contractor associates tend to be _______________ compared to associate-employees.
  1. Federal laws define what constitute reasonable and enforceable restrictive covenants/non-compete provisions, providing consistency across states.
  1. One of the contentious issues in associateships, particularly in contracts, relates to what income if any associates receive for overseeing hygiene examinations and services.
  1. If an associate is contractually required to pay a portion of the lab bill/fees, it is in the associate’s best financial interest to have this amount taken “off the top” from total associate-generated revenue/collections.
  1. Patient assignment does NOT need to be defined specifically in an associateship contract.
  1. An associate candidate and owner-dentist have several meetings and agree on certain variables in a transition. However, it is fairly common for some of these areas of agreement to differ in documents generated by the owner-dentist’s attorney or other adviser.
  1. As a general rule, according to the IRS, an individual is an independent contractor if the payer [owner] has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.
  1. It is recommended that an independent contracting associate function as a “solo practitioner” from a tax standpoint, having no need to incorporate as a business.
  1. Looking for an associateship includes which of these recommendations?
  1. What differentiates large group practices from DSOs?
  1. Which strategies are likely to enhance employment with a DSO?
  1. Ownership options, if available among DSO-affiliated practices, typically take the form of stock in the local affiliated dental practice or possibly as stock in the larger corporate DSO.
  1. Practice valuations should consider all of the following EXCEPT?
  1. _______________ involves identifying and removing from (or possibly adding to) the overhead adjustments based on the business perks available to an owner, perks which a new owner may or may not have.
  1. Comparing resumes and CVs, which statements are correct?
  1. Which font and size combination is recommended for resumes, CVs and cover letters?
  1. Which of the following is inconsistent with the recommendations for interviewing?
  1. As a part of transition etiquette, it is important to not be surprised by or pass judgment on others based solely on generational differences.
  1. Which of the following is NOT a current trend in associateships?
  1. Initial conversations about associateship opportunities should focus mainly on compensation issues and practice financial information.
  1. An associate is considering an employment opportunity with an owner-dentist. Which of the following variables should be most troublesome to the associate?
  1. An associate is considering an employment opportunity with an owner-dentist. Which of the following variables should be most troublesome to the associate?