What is it? Well, it is different for every dentist but for some it can be described as “doing dentistry because you want, doing only those procedures you enjoy, and doing them only on those patients you wish to treat, and only when you want to be working!”
This also can be interpreted as “freedom.” Most doctors would prefer to spend less time in the office (rather than more time), so it’s safe to say that taking more time off and having the financial resources to spend more time traveling, hunting, fishing, golf, etc., will improve your Quality of Life!
Overhead, however, is a 365-day fact of life for every practice owner and takes up between 50% to 60% of annual gross revenues. Doctors cannot practice every day of the year, so they practice five days a week which allows them to generate enough income to pay the overhead expenses and to pay themselves reasonable compensation as well.
So when a doctor decides to back down to a 4 day work week, they don’t think about how this affects their net income. A 4-day work week or, for that matter, a 3-day work week is fantastic, but the problem is the practice still has the same 365 days overhead. You can cut your hours back, but you cannot cut staff salaries or rent, utilities, telephone and all of the other fixed expenses of the practice.
If you practice 5 days a week and have a 60% overhead, then the first 3 days of income pays the overhead expenses. The remaining 2 days of practice income represents the doctor’s compensation and profit. When you cut to a 4-day work week, there is less time to produce revenue for the practice, and the overhead expenses remain the same.
Cutting to a 4-day work week means you now only have one day of production to pay the doctor’s compensation (remember, it takes 3 days to pay the overhead). When you drop one day from your work schedule, you lower your time in the office by 20%, but you will also find that you have a 50% drop in personal income for the doctor. Obviously, cutting back to a 4 day work week is great from a Quality of Life standpoint, but it could be a financial disaster.
AFTCO developed a “Quality of Life Scheduling Program.” for doctors who no longer want to practice 5 days a week. However, instead of going to a 4 day week (which is a mistake), the doctor should consider a 3-day schedule which provides a better Quality of Life because you now have more time off to enjoy all the things you’ve always wanted to experience, without a drop in income.
This program is designed to keep the practice open 5 days a week. The owner practices only 3 days a week, but the office is open 5 days a week. This is done by adding another doctor to the practice! That’s right, one practice with two doctors, each scheduling 3 work days per week with an overlapping day. Both doctors practice a 3 day a week schedule, but the office is open for the entire 5 days. This controls office overhead and it increases overall practice profitability.
Another nice feature is that you are available to your patients all 5 days (Monday thru Friday), it’s just a matter of which week you will be available for that particular day of the week. Also, you will enjoy a 6-day vacation every other week while in this program! This will considerably improve the Quality of Life for both doctors and control overhead at the same time.
Believe it or not, most doctors could see and treat all their patients in just 3 days a week. The only reason the office is open 4 or 5 days a week is most doctors cannot stand the idea of paying the full-time staff salaries… and have them work less than full time. As a result, the staff schedule the patients over that 4 or 5 days to justify their salaries, and the doctor subjects himself/herself to a 4 or 5-day work schedule!
Well, with AFTCO’s Quality of Life Scheduling program, the staff will work their full 5 days each week, so you can go to sleep each night knowing they are not getting one up on you.
If you have more patients than you can see in 3 days, then you probably have more patients than you need to be seeing by yourself. That’s right; you should be able to produce more than enough income on the number of patients you can see in just three days a week. If you have an excess of patients, then you have even more scheduling options as to how this program can be implemented in your practice. This could include a practice merger, an associate/partnership program, a sale, purchase, or a combination of any one of these options.
So, now the choice is yours, you can keep on going the way you are, or you can do yourself a favor and significantly improve your Quality of Life now. It’s time to call AFTCO!