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Dr. Chhoker - Rebuilding a medical practice

It’s difficult being your own boss. But it can be much harder not being your own boss.

  10 minutes


Dr Bobby Chhoker was approached by the head of a corporate group to work in Australia and to take over a large dental practice focused on implants. When that job didn’t work out as planned, he found the pre-requirements of a 457 visa precluded him from being anything other than an employee.

“Once you work for yourself, you don’t want to work for anyone else,” he explains. “So I went back to being an employee. Which was fine, but I wanted to have autonomy and go back to making my own decisions. Because ultimately having your own practice is also being master of your own destiny.”

Man with a plan

The visa’s limitations were also frustrating considering the level of expertise and knowledge Dr Chhoker had built up in his native UK. After finishing his early training, he set his sights on “doing the rounds—exhausting every discipline of dentistry to try and become better”, he says.
But no matter where he went, he was always drawn to surgery. “I don't know whether you're good at it, you enjoy it, or you enjoy it and you become good at it,” he says. “But I then went on to open my practice in Harley Street in London, which was focused on surgery and implants. I subsequently went on to do my master's degree in implant dentistry with the University of Warwick, largely because my business partner
there at the time was Dr Stewart Harding, who was the Professor of Implantology at Warwick University.”
But when Australia called, Dr Chhoker could see the potential of combining a great lifestyle with an opportunity to share his knowledge of implantology. In the back of his mind, he started forming a plan to introduce a local version of the master’s degree he had lectured in at Warwick.
“This course has been run for over 20 years in the UK,” he explains. “We’ve developed a three-section course. The first part is for post-graduates who can do it part-time, predominantly online. The second segment is 12 days of lectures and practicals. In stage three they bring 10 patients into the surgery and we do the cases together. If they complete the first year, they have a certification. If they carry on to the second year, they get a diploma and if they want to carry on to the third year, they get a master's degree in implant dentistry.”
But when he found himself working as an employee dentist, that plan had to be shelved.

The purpose-built practice

After applying for his permanent residency, he did his time as an employee then started looking for his own space. He teamed up with a friend who had an alternative therapy business. “She found these premises [where he is currently based]. It didn’t look very good. But we had a vision. We took the entire floor and we split it in two—she took half, and I took the other half, and then I spent the time to make the practice purpose-built.”
Finance came from BOQ Specialist after he met Thomas Wald at the ADX expo. “I had been around to so many places, so I had developed a list of questions to ascertain exactly what products they were able to offer me and how I could structure things. And he pretty much ticked all the boxes,” Dr Chhoker recalls.

“People forget that financing isn’t just a structure and a deal. I wasn't being put into something where I didn't know what was happening. It was very transparent, very honest, and tailored to me and my vision.”

Now his practice has exceeded his expectations, Dr Chhoker’s next step is to expand his practice and perhaps dust off the idea for the implantology course. “The content is there. So it's pretty much me getting up on a platform, presenting it and then mentoring students.”

Thinking about starting or growing your practice? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for setting up a practice. Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 131 141.

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