SFVDS San Fernando Valley Dental Society

A Society of Mentors

(A Membership Benefit of the SFVDS)

The goal of the SFVDS ‘Society of Mentors' program is to match an established member dentist with a dental student, a recent dental school graduate and/or a new dentist needing to 'learn the ropes' of the dental profession.

This match offers help to student members and new dentists (those in practice 10 years or less) understand:

  1. How to run a successful practice;
  2. Which path within dentistry is best for them;
  3. How to manage a healthy work-life balance;
  4. Manage their debt;
  5. Be a good associate;
  6. Provide clinical advice;
  7. Understand the details of starting or buying their own practice;
  8. The pros and cons of large group practices and DSO's;
  9. Other guidance the mentee might need and the mentor is capable of providing.For areas that the mentor does not feel comfortable giving advice and guidance, the SFVDS ‘Society of Mentors’ provides a list of resources and contacts available throughout the tripartite of ADA/CDA/SFVDS.

The goal of the program is to provide the tools and understanding required in the real world of dentistry: things that are not adequately taught in dental school, but are essential to being successful and happy in dentistry.

While the relationship between mentor and mentee can be virtually anything that both agree on, there are a few ground rules we ask of both mentor and mentee:

  1. Mentors must have at least 10 years experience as a working dentist and Mentees must not be in practice longer than 10 years
  2. Each must commit to at least a 6 month commitment
  3. Each must commit to at least two, face-to-face meetings within the first two months.
  4. Mentors are requested to provide a 30 day notice of termination to give time to identify a replacement.
  5. Each must honor all appointments and respond to each other in a timely manner
  6. Agree to keep all shared information confidential
  7. Each must be easily accessible to the other
  8. Each must be honest and forthright on all issues discussed

Other than these few ground rules, the relationship can be as formal or informal as both parties agree to, from simple emails and phone calls as needed, to structured and scheduled meetings and reviews. Overall, the program has been created to be as flexible as necessary given the varying degrees of help individual mentees may need, and the knowledge the mentor feels comfortable offering.

Mentors and mentees can start the ball rolling by contacting the "Society of Mentors" program within the dental society. Contact the SFVDS central office for an application at bella.sfvds@sbcglobal.net or call 818.576.0116.

Once your application is reviewed and matched with an appropriate mentor, both mentor and mentee will receive a call from the SFVDS office to begin your new relationship.