5 steps to gracefully quit a dental practice

By David Rice, DDS

Breaking up is never easy… for anyone. Nor is it something to be taken lightly. I see way too many discussions on social media where one thing isn’t perfect and a young dentist or dental team member isn’t there. That’s not cool.

That said, there are times and places when we have to leave a dental office because it’s a healthy thing to do. Here’s how to do that…with grace.

Give more message

It is true that the traditional acceptable notice period is two weeks. Think about it though, you are a dentist. When you move on, you move on from more than one practice… you move on from patients.

When your practice relationship goes south, it’s likely to come as a surprise to those patients who know you, like you, and trust you. Your willingness to stay for a month (or longer) if your practice needs you shows what an incredible professional you are.

Face to face is best

While we live in an email, text and DM world, now is not the time for any of them. Breaking up with your practice is like breaking up with a significant other. As the person initiating the breakup, you are probably over the emotional side. After all, it’s likely how you got to this fracture site.

By breaking up face-to-face, no matter how difficult it is, shows that you care enough about the practice (which they did) to do the right thing.

Formal resignation letter

In addition to breaking up in person, having a formal letter of resignation is ideal. It accomplishes two big goals for you: it shows that you are the consummate professional and it shows that you have made a final decision.

Once you’ve made the decision to break up, you already know that staying is a recipe for leaving later. Immediately after your personal meeting, hand over your formal letter to your employer, smile kindly and leave the stage to the left.

Know what you can control

It’s rare that breaking up is as bad as you imagined. It is also rare that it is completely smooth. You can only control yourself. If you follow this recipe, you’ve done your part.

If your employer or other members of the team treat you badly, it’s their fault. Take a deep breath, stay professional and be the bigger person. It can be difficult right now. It’s worth it once you’re further along.

*Calendar: When someone in practice insults you emotionally or otherwise, document it, invalidate #1 and protect!

Stay in contact

Just like in your personal life, sometimes we are better suited to be friends than to be in a dental relationship. If so, it might take a time buffer…and that’s okay. It’s also okay to stay friends and keep in touch.

Don’t overdo it. You were the one who moved on. That said, be a friend. Life is too short to lose great people.

PS Check out some more of my thoughts on all these five points here

Let us help

Do you have a question? Are you considering quitting and do you need personal advice? go to @igniteDDS or @igniteDentalAssistants on Instagram and DM us. We like to help you!

READ NEXT: Simple Tips on Patient Communication


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