News |3 min read

I Spent My Dental Career Despising Insurance Companies. Here’s Why I’m Helping Them Now.

Real World Insights from AADOM Authors: Val Caulfield, FAADOM, author of blog on the topic "What's in it for me?"

Recently I was asked to serve on a community advisory committee for a major dental insurance carrier in my state.

When I shared the opportunity with my husband, he asked why I would even consider it.

Because really, what’s in it for me?

I know his thoughts were that I’m nearing the end of my career – why would I want to volunteer my time towards something that involved an insurance company?

I do appreciate his concern, but it really never occurred to me that I wouldn’t say yes.

Contributing to the dental community

I care about what the future of dentistry holds for the people that come after me.

If I can share input based on the experience that I’ve gained over the last 35 years in handling dental insurance, wouldn’t it help the next generation?

From the perspective of the patient, the person doing the billing, and the office’s profitability, I feel like I owe it to the profession to at least consider the contribution I could potentially make on such an organization and the dental industry as a whole.

What makes me so passionate about a career where I’ve spent over three decades working in dental offices?

Why would I want to take valuable time away from my family to volunteer for an insurance company?

I’ve spent most of my professional career despising insurance companies, why on earth would I want to help them now?

The shifting culture of dental insurance

I think the simple truth is I live in a community that’s more insurance-driven…Opens in a new window to article about changing the culture of coverage in dentistry… than I’ve ever seen.

Maybe it’s the culture of this locality, or perhaps it’s the shifting culture of dentistry as a whole.

Either way, I can at least give the insurance industry some thought on my experience over the years and help pave the way for what comes next.

So how do I answer my husband’s question of “what’s in it for me?”

Well, nothing really – only my passion for the profession.

I want to see patients continue thriving in our offices, for dentists to enjoy caring for their patients, and for practices to be fairly reimbursed for their efforts.

My passion is to help the next generation of dental office administrators navigate the forever changing insurance game.

AADOM helped me – now it’s time to give back

AADOM has given me the training, tools, and confidence to do something new.

I’ve soaked it all in and then some.

Now it’s my turn to share, be it through webinars, chapter meetings, or national conferences.

It’s my responsibility to continue sharing, even when I’m asked:

“What’s in it for me?”

Meet the Author

Headshot of Valarie Caulfield, FAADOM.Valarie Caulfield, FAADOM, has been an AADOM member since 2012 and in dental office administration since 1985.

Her passion for the profession comes from the dentists who believed in her education and graciously gave her the tools, technology, motivation, and encouragement to keep learning.

She and her husband Ed have been married for 35 years and live in Spokane Valley, WA.



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