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|Articles - February 2013|
|Monday, January 28, 2013|
BY JON BELL
When Stephen Persichetti tells his students at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry how much student loan debt he had at the end of dental school in 1984, the room fills with groans.
Persichetti, a dentist and an associate professor in OHSU’s Department of Community Dentistry, owed around $18,000. Dental students today can find themselves on the hook for up to $180,000 — or more.
“At graduation,” Persichetti says, “they’re going to be in a situation where the only way they’re ever going to be able to service that debt is to be the owner of a practice.”
New graduates and dentists have something on their side that their counterparts in the early 1980s didn’t: historically low interest rates. Those, along with the gradual return of the overall economy, have spurred some new activity from dentists set on hanging out their own shingles.
“In the last eight to 10 months, we’ve seen a real increase in the number of people asking what their possibilities are,” says Scott Beard, director of health care banking for Pacific Continental Bank. “Dental has always been a pretty active market, but it’s been picking up even more lately.”
According to the Oregon Board of Dentistry, there are just over 2,800 licensed dentists in Oregon, up from almost 2,600 in 2008. Patrick Braatz, executive director of the board, says numbers have been flat recently, and he’s heard that it’s been difficult for new graduates to find full-time employment. The recession also found a few dentists filing for bankruptcy or selling their practices.
But with interest rates below 4% and medical leases hovering above $25 per square foot, Beard says it’s essentially cheaper for a dentist to build new than it is to lease. A dentist could expect to spend between $400,000 and $600,000 to build a startup practice. That more dentists may be setting up their own shops comes as no surprise to Persichetti, who says that about 95% of OHSU dental graduates — 74 graduated in 2012 — have some type of equity interest in a practice within five years of graduation.
“One reason you see these loans is that lenders love dentists,” he says. “We stay in the same location for 30 years, or we assume practices from retiring dentists. Lenders love to see that kind of cash flow.”
Thursday, July 10, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.
Friday, August 15, 2014
In this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
By Kim Moore | OB Editor
The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.
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