My 2017 Update

Per a request from Gary to update my status.

Not a huge amount has changed. My practice is still radiology full time and seeing patients one day a week. I would like to split this post into sections of questions I get most commonly. These are not in any particular order.


What’s the lifestyle like?

It’s amazing. I can take breaks whenever I want but I have to have the discipline to work as well. Most of my days are spent in a relaxed setting called home. Not sure that you can beat that. The only down side is what I have discussed in previous posts. Your work is always there. I have learned to shut my work part of my life at a specific point and that’s it. No calls, no reports, nothing.


Are you busy enough to work full time?

I’m so busy that I am no longer accepting new clients. The private practice case load is way beyond my expectations. Physically I think I am at my limit. In other words, things are going really good.


How much money are you making?

None of your business 😉


Was it worth it? 

Absolutely. The best thing I have done.


What’s the next step?

I’m pretty happy where I am right now, financially and job satisfaction.


  1. Hey thanks for the update! May I ask what is the job market like for oral radiologists (particularly in private practice) in the near future? When you say seeing patients, is that as a GP?

  2. I am seeing a lot of growth in general. So if I were to take a guess, the job market seems strong in the education and private markets. And yes seeing patient as a GP. It’s not a financial thing, it gets me out of the house every once in a while.

  3. Thanks again for keeping up with this. Still following years later. The information you’ve provided has been very helpful to many people. I have some business questions:

    Do you do your own templating (take screen captures) or do you have a technician doing it? What percentage of what kinds of cases do you typically see? Implants, endo, pathology, TMJ, airway, look-at-everything? What is typical overhead for private practice?

    Does one usually charge a narrow FOV different from a wide? Especially one that may contain the temporal/sphenoid/ethmoid bones?

    Thanks again!

  4. I take my own screen grabs. There’s a limit to what I do. Some docs will try to take advantage and I have to remind them that the pictures are there as a courtesy. Eventually as more and more doctors get used to the technology they are less likely to ask for images.

    As far as percentage, I think every OMR is different. For me personally Endo, Ortho, and OS seem to be the highest. Although I get a whole lot of everything.

    Regarding charging, I have though about this a lot. Right now the system only charges a single fee but for some cases I feel the fee is too low. Some requests can take an hour to do, in any other type of practice the charge is higher for things like that.

  5. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now.

    I have just completed my residency in OMFR from India and was planning what to do next.

    Pursuing further training in the US is one option, the other option I feel is to start working here for sometime, then proceed to acquiring my own machine.

    Any advice? Also, are you considering owning a machine yourself or reporting work is enough?

  6. For me I work strictly from home. Depending on your location and the government regulations, it sometimes makes sense to have a machine and sometimes not. In the US most dentists seem to be buying their own machines. So I see that as a failing business myself.

  7. Hi OMFR,
    Hope your year is going great.
    I loved reading your blog. I got a lot of valuable information on the field and its future prospects.
    I have applied for an OMFR Residency Program, and have been shortlisted for an interview. Could you give me some pointers on how the interview will be and what the committee might ask?

  8. Hi Dr Astha,

    It has been a while for me, and every program is going to be different I’m sure. They mostly want to get to know your personality. Your dedication to the program and the profession overall. I also suspect that they would be interested in knowing your experience prior to applying. I think this is a question that is better addressed at the residents of the programs you’ll be interviewing with. That’s what I did.

  9. Hi OMFR I am a dental student and am really considering OMFR since general dentistry is not for me. Can you tell me likely it is for an OMFR residency graduate to just do clinical practice just like you. Everything I have looked up it just looks like its an academic world and even those are scarce. Is it very possible to not do general dentistry? At a crossroads right now and your help I would really appreciate. Thank you!

  10. Hello Lee, as far as I’m concerned the private sector has been very good to me. If I were to try to predict the future I would say you should be good to go.

  11. Thank you for the response! I’m assuming there is a lot of potential for teleradiology then?

  12. Hi OMFR I just have a few questions.

    1. How did you first start getting referrals? Did you just market across the country?

    2. Do you ever get referrals from Canada and is there a specific license you have to have tog eat scans from Canada?

    3. I know people ask you this ALL the time but how do you find jobs after residency because I couldn’t find anything.

    4. I’ve read that you did mostly general dentistry before it started picking up for you do you think it will be like this for recent and upcoming grads?

    Thank you for doing this by the way. It’s very informative.

  13. 1. I didn’t market at all. Most referrals are by word of mouth. I work as part of a radiology group and they handle all the marketing. There are several of these groups.

    2. I get referrals from all over the world. I only have my one license. I think this issue is currently still up in the air.

    3. Finding work won’t be hard. By the time you get out you’ll know who to talk to. You can always meet people in the AAOMR yearly meeting.

    4. Depends on how much money you want to make. I wasn’t planning on doing general at all, this just happened to fall in my lap. I was covering for a friend.

  14. Thank you so much for the advice. Do you any advice on how to get into an OMFR program? I would appreciate any.

  15. I can’t think of anything specific to be honest. Just like any other residency you apply and interview and see what happens. Maybe consider going in to see the program prior to interviews. Talk to residents and faculty alike.

  16. Hi Sarah,

    What specifically are you looking for about salaries? You might want to check some of the other comments as this is a common question. If you’re looking for numbers I don’t have any specific data to provide. The OMFRs that I know are doing well. I’m doing well. Everyone seems to be happy.

  17. Can you please comment on some numbers you have heard of lately? I know you said no specific figures but your blog post back in the day you gave some reports before graduation and I was curious to see what the reports would be now that you have graduated from residency and are working in the field now.

  18. It’s not a huge difference than what I’ve written before. The market is very good right now. From a financial perspective it just depends on the number of cases you’re wanting to do per week. The range is huge but it really comes down to the OMR. The demand is there, depending on how many cases you like to do. It’s all up to you.

  19. Hey Dr. I got accepted into an omfr residency program and will begin in July 2018.

    How are you finding radiology in a private setting? How hard will it be to get referrals and work for private reporting?

    Also, what would your opinion be on working at the university or going private?

  20. Congratulations and welcome to the specialty.

    I’m finding it to be fantastic. Referrals and private work aren’t that hard to find in my opinion. The demand in 2017 has been very high. More than I ever expected when I was in residency.

    Depends what you’re after. I am in private practice. That speaks volumes I believe. Maybe eventually when I want to retire I would consider going to teach, but right now I have no intention of doing so.

  21. Thanks for the prompt update. Although I’ve completed my residency in diagnostic sciences in India but I’m looking forward to further training.

    I’ll probably continue to ask you questions regularly if you don’t mind.

  22. Hey Omfr, thanks for the blog, just two questions that popped into my mind.
    1. As for the private practice, is it easy to find a job that lets you work on your own time or are there expected hours? For example, what is the average expected turnaround time for requests for reports?
    2. How enjoyable is doing oral radiology? Is it something “fun” or “intellectually stimulating” or is it fairly routine? boring? How would you describe the work in other words

  23. 1. Great question. From what I’ve seen all private work in OMFR seems to let you decide your own hours. You typically have two to three days to complete cases. Sometimes you will get rush cases which have a 24 hour turn around window. Essentially it really is up to you how many cases you want to do per day/week and how busy you like to be.

    2. Just like any field things can get somewhat routine. These same is true for me when I am doing restorative, endo, extractions, etc… I have a mixture of interesting and routine cases. Overall I find radiology much more intellectually satisfying than clinical work. The worst part is sitting in front of a computer all day (I am that busy). I have had to force myself to get up at least once and hour and do some activity.

  24. Hey OMFR, do you have to be a licensed general dentist to do what you do? It seems as if most programs don’t ask you to be licensed.

  25. Hi Sarah,

    Yes you do in order to practice. If you are an international dentist I believe (don’t quote me on this) you can apply and even start residency but you must obtain your dental license to practice. Regardless of background though you must be a dentist in order to apply.

  26. Hey,
    Thanks for a great blog, i’ve read it start to finish several times in the past year. I’ve been a dentist for 5 years now and I’m at a cross roads and a lot of what you say resonates with me. For bolstering a CV for residency and to get a better idea of OMFR, are there any journals you recommend subscribing to?
    Thanks again

  27. Hi Tyler, I’m not entirely sure that subscribing to a journal would bolster anyone’s CV. I know when I was applying, my residency preferred applicants who had at least a couple of years under their belt. It definitely helps when reporting on cases.

  28. Thanks for the reply, appreciate it. I’d assume you’d be right.
    Is being a teleradiologist for OMFR a pipe dream? The idea that you could go through training then immediately set yourself up as a teleradiologist? This is what is extremely appealing to me but I’m not sure if I’m being too naive? I love computers and software.

  29. I got my first gig as teleradiologist before I graduated. I don’t think it’s a pipe dream at all. For me at least it was reality.

  30. Wow thanks for the response.
    Is it a pipe dream that you could be location independent? Say you wanted to live in another country and continue to work? I just see so many benefits, even not having to drive to and from work and not have down time like when a patient doesn’t show up or no one is booked.
    I know you’re not keen to talk specific finanacials, but I will have to pay outright for my $150K~ course(no student loan is available), would a DMFR be able to earn at least as much as a general dentist?
    Thanks so much, it’s great having a website like this as there’s not much information available.

  31. The advantages are unreal. I love my life. I’m very busy but if something comes up I can take a break. Traffic is amazing. I open the door and walk through it.

    As far as financials. I get this question from everyone. I will address it here once and for all. I make more than average dentists and less than oral surgeons. That’s all I will say about it.

    It is what you make of it.

  32. That’s awesome. Thanks for confirming those. Having a flexible schedule albeit busy I’m sure gives you enough freedom to not miss important or spontaneous events.
    I understand the money thing but your answer gives me enough info- thanks.

  33. It’s really all about the schedule. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re looking purely at profits then I recommend to look elsewhere. But if you want a fairly relaxed life style well… this is kind of the jackpot.

  34. Awesome blog OMFR! Just curious as to what type of a personality you think would thrive in private practice oral radiology. Do you notice any shared traits between you and your peers that love what they do? Thanks in advance!

  35. Hi Dr E.

    Not really sure about shared traits. I would think that you would have to be ok with working alone and disciplined enough to keep up with a schedule. Your clients are not going to be too happy if you are consistently late for example. With a few exceptions most of the OMRs I know tend to be incredibly nice.

  36. Thanks for the reply OMFR! Could you explain the difference between the degrees offered. As I understand a PhD is typically for academia while a masters and certificate can be used for both that and private practice. Would a certificate be a good idea since its shorter or is there a downside? Thanks again!

  37. For private practice a certificate would suffice. Getting a Master’s degree wouldn’t hurt but it won’t exactly put you at any higher standing. It does give you the option later on to go into academics, should you change your mind. A PhD, to be honest, I’ve never thought about. That to me is definitely the academics route.

  38. Awesome, that’s great information! Is the difference between a masters and certificate at your alma mater just the research aspect? Also, would you consider the specialty a safe bet for graduates or not yet? Again, thanks a bunch for answering these questions. As far as I know you are the leading source of information for aspiring radiologists! 🙂

  39. I started with my residency in one of the top OMFR programs in the country just last week.

    I wanted to know did you have any experience in Intraoral Ultrasound or any Interventional Maxillofacial Radiology during your residency, I am not sure if this program will have that kind of exposure.

  40. Congratulations! I have no experience in either of those. Not sure about the interventional aspect. I prefer working from home anyway.

  41. Dr. E, of course I can share.

    I have completed my Masters in Dental Surgery in Oral Medicine and Radiology from India. Had a good share of research and clinical experience with CBCT during my time in India.

    Applied to 5 programs, interviewed at 2 and got admitted at one.
    NBDE part 1, GRE and TOEFL were what all I gave as examinations and solid letters of recommendations from the people worked with in India.

    I’m sure my background in clinical dental radiology helped me to get accepted.

    What more would you like to know?

  42. Thanks celtic! I am curious about how competitive it is to gain acceptance into a program. Nowhere I can find has any statistics or recommended GPA that would make an applicant competitive. It sounds like you had an awesome application, I appreciate your insight.

  43. Dr. E,

    Based on my experience in applying for over 2 years to various programs, the minimum is 3.0 but you need atleast 3.5, I was at 3.7.

    Yes, the programs are competitive with people from around the world trying to get in, I was surprised to see lots of candidates with much more experience in the field than me.

    Anyway, if you are interested, why don’t you join a preceptorship program for a few months at one of the various radiology programs. See how to program works, get to know the faculty and director, assist them, build some rapport with them so when the application time comes, you might have an advantage over someone who is just a piece of paper to the appointment committee.

  44. Hi
    I really love your blog!
    I am from Saudi Arabia and currently work as a Teaching assistant for OMFR courses. Planning to specialize in OMFR. I would really appreciate it if I could communicate with you if I had questions regarding applying to US colleges.

  45. Hello Mariam,
    I am glad to help. I prefer communications through the website. If you read the comments you’ll see everyone tends to ask questions here. This way we can all benefit.

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