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Thank you for the opportunity to reply to Dr Rider’s recent letter. Our paper identified time taken for graduates to assume some form of practice ownership, the interest in acquiring small business skills and the first record of debt amounts for Australian dental students upon graduation.1

The management of debt is a necessary part of life and is used by both individuals and governments to get things done. Good debt is associated with appreciating assets. If necessary, acquiring a dental education for entry into a professional career seems to be a good example of such debt.

I feel very low interest loans should be available to dental students and recent graduates in need. Funds could be available from members of our generous profession and trade association, laboratories, suppliers and others. Administered in cooperation with the dental schools and our dental associations, our ‘Dental Future Fund’ could be of assistance initially to those in need or by extension, to those who wish to participate in private practice ownership sooner rather than later.

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