by Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Health. Discussion »
ANN ARBOR - American Indian dental students were given the opportunity to discuss in breakout the pros and cons of going working for Indian Health Services versus beginning a private dental practice upon graduation and passing their state dental exams. They were on hand Saturday morning at the Society of American Indian Dentists conference in Ann Arbor.
HIS vs Private Practice the Pro and Cons Discussed
For Dr. Darlene Sorrell (Navajo), who is eligible for retirement on June 1, is happy with her decision to go to work for Indian Health Services.
While the starting pay may be less when working for a dentist who works for Indian Health Services than dentist who owns a private practice, the opportunity for early retirement may be enticing.
“I will be able to retire when I am 47,”
said Dr. Charles Spalding (Shoonaq of Kodiak) works for the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska.
“I will be able to retire with 60 percent of his pay once he retires.”
The four and half years spent attending dental school will count towards years working in terms of seniority when counting years to retirement, which are thirty years.
There are four ways dentists can work for Indian Health Services Commission Corps; civil service; tribal employee or by contract.
The other option for young American Indians dentists is to go into private practice.
Dr. Jessica Rickert-Potawatomi and Dr. Dave Smith, SAID President
Dr. Jessica Rickert (Potawatomi) facilitated the roundtable for American Indian dentists in private practice. She recalls not getting much business training, if at all, while a student at the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry.
“Starting a business can be difficult in difficult times,”
stated Dr. Dave Smith, the current president of the Society of American Indian Dentists.
Economics, geographic locations, marital status and family obligations were cited as determining factors when making decisions about going into private practices for new American Indian dentists.
Securing a good certified public accountant and attorney to review any legal document was very important.
The American Indian students left with decisions to make, but at least they heard from those who have been there and done it.
posted May 21, 2011 9:57 pm et
Do you have a comment about this? Share it!
Thank you for visiting. We are loading the new Native News Network website. Visitors always come first, so if you click on a link only to find the corresponding page is unavailable, please use this link to contact us here ».
Then, tell us how we can help you.
I will contact you personally.