Dr. A was a dentist in his mid-fifties who owned a very successful dental practice. His kids were grown, and his home mortgage was paid, so now, after practicing dentistry for twenty-five years, he wanted to try his hand at another business. He had heard details of AFTCO's Career Alternative Program and decided that it was for him. AFTCO sold and merged his practice with another dentist in the same area. Dr. A continued to work his practice and was paid based on a percentage of his collections.

Dr. A had been practicing dentistry four and a half days a week when he owned his practice, and now he wanted to practice two and a half days a week so that he could devote the remaining time to his new business. Since he no longer "owned" his practice, he would no longer have to pay those annoying fixed overhead expenses when away from the office.

This Alternative Career Program would allow him to continue to earn income by practicing dentistry as little as two days a week, using the remaining time in his new business. As his new business began to grow, he could devote less time to practicing dentistry and more time. This program would eliminate most of the downside financial risks usually associated with changing careers.

Once his dental practice was sold, Dr. A decided to take an extended vacation before starting his new business. He took his wife on a six-week tour of Europe, and it was the first time in his life that he did not have to worry about patient emergencies, paying staff salaries, rent, etc. As a result, he experienced the best vacation of his life!

When he returned from vacation, Dr. A started practicing dentistry two and one-half days a week, and this is what surprised him: his production increased! He discovered that by not taking every new or emergency patient that came in the office and transferring to the purchaser those patients he no longer cared to treat, he had more time to spend with his "quality patients." Those patients were ready to do the comprehensive treatment that he now had time to present to them (because he was not busy chasing after new patients), and as a result, his productivity increased.

He found it difficult to understand how he could practice almost half the amount of time he used to, and his production increased. He thought about it and concluded he had been a prisoner of his appointment book all these years. Since his former staff needed full-time jobs, he wanted them to work full-time to earn their pay. Consequently, the staff scheduled patients to accommodate their full-time work schedule, not according to the patients' needs or the doctor.

He now realized that when he owned his dental practice, he spent more hours in the office to produce what could have been produced in a lot less time. He had not realized that the number of office hours and days had been dictated, not by patient demand, but by his requirement for the staff to work a full week for a week's pay. Since he was now enjoying a comfortable income while practicing only two and a half days a week, he had the remaining four and a half days a week to work or play golf and/or fish. He had none of the hassles of running a dental practice to now take extended vacations without experiencing any negative cash flow. Life was good like it never was before.

After practicing dentistry this way for a while, Dr. A began to reconsider his other business idea. He decided that practicing dentistry under these conditions was better than any other business, so why change! He enjoyed practicing dentistry now that he had eliminated most of the hassles.

Career change needed—NO! Just a need for change and an opportunity to experience the kind of life that you were seeking by going into dentistry in the first place. There are many options for those willing to find answers and those with open minds. Confucius once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." It's time to call AFTCO!

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