Figuring out the perfect career fit is a highly personal decision. One job, however, seems to stand out for offering both financial reward and work-life balance: dentist. There are numerous variables that define a “great” job. Some people are motivated financially, while others prioritize work-life balance. The dental field offers both of these benefits and more.
A Top-Ranked Job Choice
Work-life balance, financial reward key factors for dentists
(Family Features) Figuring out the perfect career fit is a highly personal decision. One job, however, seems to stand out for offering both financial reward and work-life balance: dentist. In fact, year after year, U.S. News & World Report has identified it as the No. 1 job.
There are numerous variables that define a “great” job. Some people are motivated financially, while others prioritize work-life balance. The dental field offers both of these benefits and more.
Flexible location. Dentists are needed virtually everywhere. In fact, hundreds of counties across the country are known as a “dental deserts,” meaning they have been classified as a dental health professional shortage area by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Support systems. Many new dentists are surprised by how much of their workload involves tasks outside their area of expertise and interest. However, dental support organizations like Aspen Dental Management, Inc. help dentists with front-office support, staffing, marketing and other non-clinical tasks so dentists can focus on patient care. This approach helps to ensure dentists are also able to develop their careers and pursue practice ownership, all while maintaining a positive work-life balance. Learn more at AspenDentalJobs.com.
Salary and stature. Years of training tend to pay off for dentists. The average salary for a dentist is $173,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dentists also tend to command respect for their expertise due to their education and training, similar to others in the medical field.
Community service. Because oral health is a critical part of overall health, dentists are directly contributing to an improved quality of life in their communities. This is especially true of those who are part of a dental support organization like Aspen Dental Management, Inc. that gives dentists and team members an opportunity to provide free dental care to veterans through its Healthy Mouth Movement. These dentists are also able to increase the amount of time they deliver dental services and at lower prices, thereby improving access to dental care to wider segments of the communities in which they practice.
Independence. Dental practices, including those supported by a dental support organization, are often operated by either a single dentist or small group of dentists, which allows them flexibility and autonomy.
Gender parity. Prior to 1980, women comprised less than 3 percent of all dentists, according to research published in Dental Economics. Today, women represent 27 percent of the industry, and this shift is quickly becoming more pronounced as almost half of all recent dental school graduates are female, according to the American Dental Association. In fact, 40 percent of dentists at Aspen Dental-branded practices are women.
Considering that most people spend the majority of every week at work, it’s important to find the right mix for fulfillment that goes beyond a paycheck, and the benefits for dentists who are part of dental support organizations can lead to greater potential job satisfaction.
(BPT) - Medical professionals are in greater demand than ever before, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), by the year 2025, the United States could need as many as 90,000 more physicians than it actually has, and the demand for nurses and other health professionals could be even higher.
Given those numbers, the time couldn’t be better to consider a career in health care.
Historically, the path toward becoming a doctor or nurse has been a rigid one — and, as a student, you were either on that path or you weren’t. But today, new options are opening up, as even the best-established medical schools seek to expand their offerings and encourage a greater number of medically inclined students to enter the field professionally.
New options for health care-inclined students of all ages
Just take what Harvard Medical School is doing. This spring, the school — whose typical acceptance rate is under 4 percent — announced its first-ever online certificate program that’s open to all aspiring clinicians as well as the general public.
The program, called HMX Fundamentals, is designed to give students a taste of what a top-tier medical education entails, while building crucial expertise in four foundational subject areas: Immunology, Physiology, Biochemistry and Genetics. These highly immersive courses emphasize real-world applications and experiences, integrating real-life case studies and offering a first-hand look into real medical facilities — a significant step beyond the traditional, passive learning and slide-show presentations that are common in some other online programs. The idea is to provide foundational knowledge in a meaningful context, making the information as relevant as possible.
By offering wider access than ever before to some of the school’s top physician-scientists, Harvard Medical School is hoping to change the game, and encourage more health-curious students and professionals to explore medicine seriously.
Whether you’re a highly motivated high school student, a recent college graduate or a young professional considering a transition into health care, this summer’s HMX Fundamentals program could be the first step in your path toward a career in medicine.
Expanding access without sacrificing quality
While HMX Fundamentals courses are open to students at virtually any phase of their academic or professional career, they do require a basic understanding of chemistry, biology and physics. To ensure that students are prepared to succeed, prospective students are asked to submit a brief application, both to confirm they’ve completed the recommended prerequisites and to give HMX a sense of what they hope to achieve through the program.
Applications for the program will be accepted through May 30, and the inaugural summer installment program will begin June 20. Tuition for HMX Fundamentals courses is tiered, beginning at $800 for a single course or $1000 for a two-course bundle. Partial scholarships are available on a limited basis.
Often, employees enroll in medical insurance plans for protection against unpredictable events, sudden illness or serious health concerns that may result in expensive medical bills. Getting the most from your benefits requires understanding coverages and deductibles, as well as taking advantage of voluntary benefits, like dental, vision and hearing, to stay healthy and save money.
4 Ways to Stretch Your Health Benefits
(Family Features) Often, employees enroll in medical insurance plans for protection against unpredictable events, sudden illness or serious health concerns that may result in expensive medical bills. Getting the most from your benefits requires understanding coverages and deductibles, as well as taking advantage of voluntary benefits, like dental, vision and hearing, to stay healthy and save money.
Avoid surprises. About 91 percent of adults in the United States are confused about what their benefits cover, according to a recent Harris poll. The best starting point is to review your plan so you understand the care and services covered. If you have a high-deductible plan, you will need to pay for most or a percentage of the health costs until reaching the individual or family deductible. Be prepared to pay any copayments or deductibles the plan requires before receiving care. Also, before scheduling appointments, ask for a cost estimate for the appointment, tests or service.
Preventive dental and vision. Many voluntary plans, such as dental and vision, offer preventive exams, such as routine cleanings and vision exams, that are fully covered. That’s because these preventive exams help to maintain and improve overall health and help reduce health costs. Voluntary coverage is affordable and many plans offer added incentives. For example, coverage for LASIK, dental, vision and hearing benefits can increase from one year to the next for those who continue to enroll and use their benefits. Members could earn monetary rewards to use for dental, vision, LASIK, orthodontia and hearing benefits, care materials and services simply by using their benefits and keeping the benefits paid out under a specified amount.
Medical screenings. Routine health screenings, such as mammograms, immunizations, colonoscopy procedures and prostate cancer screenings, which may be covered fully or in part by your medical coverage, can help you stay healthy and lower health care costs.
Get paid to save. Many employers encourage employees to save money by matching a percentage of the amount the employee contributes to the plan. If available, enroll in a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account to set aside money to pay for health care costs.
Remember that these accounts are not a substitute for the coverage provided by voluntary benefits.
(BPT) - As the new administration and Congress settle into office, many organizations are working hard to put America’s 21 million veterans at the top of the nation’s “to-do” list.
“Veterans share a common thread — regardless of where they served or for how long — they are driven to protect our country and ensure freedom for all citizens,” says DAV (Disabled American Veterans) National Commander Dave Riley. “At the same time, they face unique challenges, from health problems related to their military service to translating their job skills into meaningful employment opportunities. It’s our nation’s duty to support veterans once they return home.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reports that 20 percent of veterans who served since 9/11 are estimated to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Twenty veterans take their lives every day, most of whom never seek help from the VA, and many veterans struggle to find employment, often leading to homelessness.
To help change the lives of countless veterans and their families, DAV has suggested three priorities for our country’s leaders in 2017:
* Ensure veterans have access to quality and timely health care, including effective mental health services. Changes in the health care system for veterans are critical according to leading veterans service organizations like DAV and VFW, as well as bipartisan leaders in Congress. They all agree the best path forward is to create local, high-performing health care networks, led by the VA, which combine the best of VA with the best of community care.
* Give needed benefits to the caregiversof veterans. While caregivers for veterans who served after 9/11 receive benefits and resources, caregivers of veterans who served in earlier conflicts, such as World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, do not receive them. This law must be amended and made inclusive.
* Educate employers about the value of hiring veterans, particularly those with disabilities. A recent survey of employers released by DAV, Monster.com and Military.com reveals 30 percent of employers worry about hiring veterans with PTSD. However, the vast majority of employers who have hired veterans with disabilities report it’s been a positive and productive experience.
You can support U.S. veterans.
You can be a positive voice for veterans and support changes in your communities. Start by speaking up on important veteran issues and write your elected officials in Congress. Volunteer with your local VA hospital or drive veterans to medical appointments. And, if you own a business or are a hiring manager, be sure your organization considers veterans’ unique talents and strengths.
America made a promise to care for its veterans, those men and women who sacrificed for everyone's freedoms. Now the nation’s leaders must live up to that promise. For more information about important veteran issues and how you can help, visit www.dav.org.
(BPT) - Nine years ago, Peter Esswein, a resident of Sandy Springs, Georgia, enrolled in a health information technology degree program at DeVry University to capitalize on the growing prominence of electronic medical records.
"I always wanted to work in the medical industry, and the time was right for a personal career change," Esswein says. "Completing my associate degree in health information technology gave me the confidence and skills I needed to progress on my new career path.''
Now, as Esswein continues his career as a coding quality assistant, health care is changing again. Following the release of a medical coding system overhaul in October 2015, expected updates in the near future are underscoring the demand for coders. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, or ICD-10, increased the number of medical codes by more than 50,000 - and in fiscal year 2017, about 5,500 more diagnostic and impatient procedure codes will roll out.
"The new codes are designed to enable more informative, accurate recording of the medical information required to bill correctly for reimbursement," Esswein says. "In my role, it's essential that I not only understand ICD-10, but that I'm staying ahead of what's coming next to help alleviate any confusion in my workplace and mitigate mistakes in advance.''
Prepping for industry change
Many health care organizations say transitioning to the new system was their biggest challenge last year. While Esswein graduated years ago and is getting on-the-job training with the new system, many employers struggled to find qualified new technicians, since recent graduates had studied the previous classification system, ICD-9.
To get these new grads up to speed, DeVry University offered an ICD-10 course at no cost for medical billing and coding graduates who had registered by November 2015 and students in their last semester of the program. All future courses will be taught using ICD-10 as the standard.
"DeVry University programs will continue to evolve as healthcare advances and becomes more accessible in the United States," says Kristyn Murphy-Rodvill, assistant national dean in the College of Health Sciences at DeVry University. "We know finishing a degree program during an industry transition can create obstacles for recent grads. Our ICD-10 course is designed to eliminate those barriers and prepare students with the skills and knowledge they need to be competitive in their field."
Propelling the future of health care
Knowledgeable health information technology experts - from coders to technicians and managers - are projected to remain in high demand through 2022. Medical billing is projected to grow by 22 percent in this time period.
"With the right education, the future is bright for healthcare professionals," says Murphy-Rodvill. "DeVry's programs are designed to help students grow their professional expertise, and remain at the forefront in their industry.''