3 Big Reasons to Practice in Small-town USA
Despite the appeal of our small town life in Southeast Idaho, my wife and I felt the tug and pull of the big city. Professional sports, concerts, museums and fine dining were worlds away from our life in Idaho. So, in 2008 we pulled up stakes and relocated to Atlanta Georgia where we, almost upon arrival took our children to Turner Field for their first major league baseball game. We dined at the famous rotating Sun Dial restaurant and our children fell in love with the Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain and the World of Coke. We felt as if doors to new adventures had opened up everywhere!
Two years later as I arrived at work following my usual hour and a half commute through the notorious morning Atlanta gridlock, I stood atop the parking garage overlooking the horn blowing, bumper to bumper, shoulder to shoulder congestion below and wondered if our lives had really improved.
It has been 3 years since that day and we’ve returned to small town USA, this time in beautiful northeast Alabama. While we are still close enough to make a day trip to Turner Field, the honking and hollering have given way to 10 minute commutes to work. I spend more time with my family and have re-discovered the beauty of quiet evenings and the call of whip-poor-wills.
Dentists are sometimes hesitant to break away from the assurance that comes from the larger client base of larger city markets. For some, the big city life will always be better. However, we would like to suggest three (3) big reasons why it might make a lot of sense to jettison the stress of living in the big city in favor of a small town practice.
Low attrition rates. As a general rule, and with an experienced transition partner, the attrition rate associated with acquiring a small town practice is relatively low. Small town dentists spend their careers cultivating loyalty and good will within their small communities and generational client bases. With a smooth transition, you can expect that Mark from the fire station down the street and his little girls Amy and Sam will be in your chair every six months just like they’ve always been.
Opportunities to get involved. Opportunities to build lasting relationships in small towns are huge. Whether it’s a local ballpark sponsorship or a float in the annual parade, your ability to contribute to a small town goes well beyond anything you could hope to experience in a big city. Taking advantage of these small but impactful opportunities can be rewarding both personally and professionally.
Diversity of practice. Admittedly, it can be appealing to set up shop in a big city market and specialize in the newest trends and fads. That said, there is something to be said for the wide range of traditional needs of an entire community. You’ll probably do your fair share of extractions and partial dentures but, more importantly, your ability to build ongoing relationships will translate into referrals, reliable patients that keep their appointments and a sound future.
For some, the allure of big city life will always win out over T-ball games and Whip-poor-wills. However, if you’ve ever paused to catch your breath and wondered if life could be a little more simple, chances are good that an opportunity exists somewhere in Small-town, USA . . . and we can help you find it!