Why practice owners are partnering with DSOs

Mathieu Murphy, DDS, is an owner of three dental practices in North Carolina and an affiliate with Aspen Dental. 

He spoke with Becker’s about benefits for dentists to move from individual practice ownership to partnering with a DSO.

Question: Why did you choose to move from an independent practice to working and partnering with a DSO? What were some of the factors that led to that decision?

Dr. Mathieu Murphy: Joining the DSO model allowed me to be able to still practice clinical dentistry, still be able to be an owner, but without all of the work that goes into being an individual getting his offices off the ground. The big attraction for me was knowing, for one, Aspen was an established brand that had a great reputation and a great business model that worked well with my personality while still being able to support my family and be with my family.

Q: Do you think your previous experience before moving into owning your own practice was one of the reasons why you decided to partner with Aspen instead of any of the other DSOs out there?

MM: In private practice, it's a lot more difficult to scale up because you're a solo guy and there's not a lot of support for individual practice owners. So being in the Aspen model with the intention of wanting to open and run multiple practices and transitioning eventually to mentoring doctors, the model fit perfectly for me.

Q: How is your experience as a private practice owner different compared to being an affiliate of a DSO? What kind of things do you see that are benefits of being part of a DSO?

MM: Just to simplify all the advantages into one phrase, it would just be the support that I get in all phases of running a business. It could be anything from needing to hire new doctors or new staff all the way down to what materials should I be ordering; Aspen has all those resources available to us to make sure my practices run well and efficient.

Q: What do you see in the future for your practices? How might your goals be different being part of Aspen Dental compared to if you were an individual practice owner?

MM: I run my practices almost like a private practice model. Not only should the owner be invested, but really everybody in the entire organization. From the dental assistants to the associate doctors, lab techs and front desk staff, I want them invested in the practice emotionally as well, and I think that is part of my success. 

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