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How to Survive and Thrive in a Growing Dental Practice with Dr. Sonia Chopra
Episode 1427th January 2020 • The Prosperous Doc • Spaugh Dameron Tenny
00:00:00 00:36:41

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It’s the dream and goal of many dentists to eventually start and run their private practice. You may have this perception that having your own practice is better than being an associate dentist, as you have more control over your time and what you want to do. While it is true that there are advantages to a private practice, there are also struggles that those who chose this path go through. These are normally what you wouldn’t see portrayed on T.V. or on social media feeds.

Endodontist Dr. Sonia Chopra is all too familiar with these challenges, having gone through them as she set up her own practice, Ballantyne Endodontics. Dr. Chopra is one of the minds behind Everyday Endo Made Easy, an online platform learning community where dentists can learn more about endodontics. She is also one of the founders of Night for Smiles, a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to make dental care more accessible in Charlotte and North Carolina. On top of all her professional work, she is also a wife and mother to three children.

In this episode of White Coat Wellness, Dr. Chopra shares some of the issues she encountered, as her practice was growing. One major problem was trying to find the right work/life balance, which can be a struggle if you’re used to doing everything on your own. It’s important to see where you need support and seek help for it. (08:38) Find the right associate or partner clinicians to help you run the practice is also essential, even if it might take years because not everybody’s going to be a good fit. (12:02)

And when you have your staff, learn to let go and delegate tasks. Create systems for accountability too, so you know that things are getting done even when you’re not around. (21:30)

When burnout begins, she believes it’s important to do a bit of introspection and see where things need to be different. Change starts from the top down, so leaders have to take the first step. (16:09) She also suggests other strategies to help when things in your practice get exhausting, like meditation and taking breaks and time off for yourself. (17:17)

Ultimately, a great private practice is one where priorities are sorted out, collaboration is occurring among the partners, and that work is also done on the practice and not in it. (23:19)

This week’s White Coat Wisdom is for transitioning physicians who are considering purchasing a house as they relocate to a new city. While every situation is different, there are a number of factors that you should consider if you’re in the same position.

Ask yourself if you’re familiar with the new city and how long do you see yourself staying. Is this practice going to be the right for you? There are also financial considerations, like how much you have in your budget now for housing and if it would be better to rent a property instead.

Buying a house is a big decision and this should be thought out carefully.

Dr. Sherilyn Sheets and Fern Ingber, founders of America’s Tooth Fairy, National Children’s Oral Health Foundation is featured in this episode’s White Coat Achievement Segment. These two individuals established the organization, which is a collaborative effort to address the epidemic of pediatric dental disease.

Since it was established, America’s Tooth Fairy was able to provide oral healthcare and education to over 7 million children. Their activities include awarding financial grants and educational materials to nonprofit dental clinics and community partners as well, with a focus on children in underserved populations.

The White Coat Wellness podcast by Spaugh Dameron Tenny highlights real-life stories from doctors and dentist to encourage and inspire listeners through discussions of professional successes and failures in addition to personal stories and financial wellness advice. Spaugh Dameron Tenny is a comprehensive financial planning firm serving doctors and dentist in Charlotte, NC. To find out more about Spaugh Dameron Tenny, visit our website at or our Facebook group You can also connect with our host, Shane Tenny, CFP at or on Twitter