Dental Independence

With HDC, Young Dentist Finds the Opportunity She Was Looking For

Dentist Opportunities

For new dental school graduates, stepping out into the profession is an exciting time. Some choose to complete general residencies or become associate dentists in other offices. Others choose to practice independently right away. For Dr. Kristen Stevens, this second route just made sense.

"Starting out, I knew I didn't want to do a general practice residency. I wanted to be out on my own. I also didn't want to be an associate dentist. At that point, I didn't want another dentist looking over my shoulder; I wanted to be the leader in my office," said Dr. Stevens.

Originally from the Atlanta, Georgia, area, Dr. Stevens attended Indiana University School of Dentistry, graduating with her DDS in May 2010. Before graduating, she began searching for the right opportunity, one that would meet her career criteria and provide her with the ability to stay in the area while her husband, also at Indiana University, finished dental school. That's when she came across Heartland Dental Care.

"Right out of school, I had enough to worry about with starting my career and developing my skills, so it was helpful to have others to rely on in other areas like building our team."

Krista Stevens Kristin Stevens, DDS
practicing dentist at Eagle Creek Dental Associates in Indianapolis, Indiana

"I knew I wasn't ready to buy my own office yet, so I looked at some different options. I still wanted to work in the area, and I liked the idea of having management support. I found HDC in my search and had the opportunity to speak with some HDC-affiliated dentists who affiliated right out of school," explained Dr. Stevens. "Everyone shared their positive experiences with the support, mentoring and leadership programs."

After graduation, Dr. Stevens became part of the HDC family and in July 2010, began practicing at Eagle Creek Dental Associates in Indianapolis.

"Several months before graduating, I began speaking to the HDC Recruiting team about what options were available and what I could expect. The recruiting and interview process was great; I was given comprehensive information and was able to meet the Regional Director of Operations for the area. The experience wasn't overwhelming or nerve-racking," said Dr. Stevens.

Almost three years after affiliating with HDC, she is still finding the management support she was looking for, as well as the ability to be the leader and decision-maker in her office.

"I've really enjoyed the support. The office administrators have been great to work with. Even though I lead the office, having their thoughts on areas I'm not as informed about, such as some of the administrative aspects, has been invaluable," Dr. Stevens said. "Right out of school, I had enough to worry about with starting my career and developing my skills, so it was helpful to have others to rely on in other areas like building our team. That allowed me to focus strictly on being a dentist."

"For dentists considering an affiliation with HDC, especially those just graduating, I say do it. It's one of the best decisions I've made. The continuing education has made a huge difference, and I've definitely embraced it. I love seeing the end results with my patients and making a positive change in their lives. Learning more about Invisalign and endodontics from other experienced dentists has also been helpful. That's another great thing about HDC — the shared knowledge and camaraderie between affiliated dentists," said Dr. Stevens. "As a dentist, it's easy to get lost on your little office 'island', so having the support around you is extremely comforting. It gives you the confidence to lead and provides more time to focus on patients."