Recruiting New Dentists in Iowa:  A guide for your community to be successful

Chapter 5: Elements for retention

Retention is as critical as the recruitment process. Your work is not over at the point that you recruit a new dentist.

A new dentist needs to be busy. If they are not, they will look to go somewhere else. When the new dentist first arrives, the task force might host a reception to introduce them to the community. Also, the task force can help by keeping in contact with the new dentist. Ask if their schedule is full or if they are seeing enough patients. If they are not, ask if there might be a way in which the task force might assist.

It is critical to help a new dentist form ties to the community as early as possible. If they do not develop a connection to the community through relationships and activities, there is the risk that they will choose to leave.

Those who engage in service and leadership opportunities will feel ownership in being part of the community. If the new dentist is interested, give them information about the ways in which they can become involved.

Consider the amenities your community has to offer. This is important not only for a new dentist but for retaining all residents. Prepare a checklist of what the community has to offer. If the list seems too short or outdated, it might be time to develop initiatives for new amenities.

Support for the spouse or partner of a new dentist is just as important as support for the new dentist. If they are not happy with where they are, the chances of losing the new dentist increase. Be sure to connect with them to make sure they feel included and satisfied with the decision to be in your community.

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