Hardly anyone says, “As Nebraska goes, so goes the nation,” but dentists would do well to keep a closer eye on events in the Cornhusker State.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) has received a $4 million dollar grant to expand the availability of dental services in rural Nebraska areas. The length of the grant is 10 years.
According to the dean of UNMC’s College of Dentistry, the grant will be used to provide scholarships for graduates from rural areas, to increase patient services in those areas, and to enhance service delivery through technology.
There are nearly 5500 identified dental health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) in the United States. Depending on the outcome of the Nebraska initiative and others, rural dentists in more states may be facing increased competition.
Some dentists, who are swamped being the sole service provider for a wide geographic area, will no doubt welcome some help. Others in underserved but still competitive markets, will need to step up their marketing game to continue to attract enough new dental patients.
Why? Because new dental graduates who commit to serving in a shortage area for five years will have much or even all of their medical school debt erased. That’s a powerful incentive for new dentists who might not otherwise consider practicing outside a larger city. And entering practice largely or completely free of debt is a luxury enjoyed by relatively few dentists.
Don’t Get Caught Unprepared
It’s no secret that with the increasing number of new dental graduates, competition is heating up everywhere. Dentists who use traditional dental marketing practices will find themselves spending more and getting fewer new patients. When everyone in a market competes in the same way for the same limited dental prospect pool, there’s no good reason for patients to prefer one dentist over another, except for price, insurance, and availability.
Dentists who market on those three factors – price, insurance, and availability – attract price shoppers and one-and-dones. That sort of competition is a race to the bottom that only those with the greatest financial resources will win, and even the winners will pay a price.
To succeed in the face of increased competition, even in more rural areas, demands a different approach to attracting patients.
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Find out what a Patient Attraction System™ will do for you. Go to smartboxdental.com/blueprint and schedule a Patient Attraction System Blueprint™ Session. They are reserved only for serious dentists who want to see a patient attraction system that can double their practice. You can get more patients, more profits, and more freedom.
Just as an aside: We’re thrilled to announce the impending debut of Colin Receveur’s new book on surviving the coming dental apocalypse! Watch this blog for further announcements!