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New role for dentists?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by groundhog, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    I hear that some states may soon authorize GP dentists to be designated as qualified primary care givers in order to accomodate the increasing numbers of new medicare and medicaid recipients who cannot find MD's or DO's who will accept them as patients. This could get interesting.
     
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  3. Dr. Pedo

    Dr. Pedo Senior Member
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    Groundhog,

    Where on earth did you come across this info? Not a personal attack----simply interested.
     
  4. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    Dr.2b,
    Info that some dental students recently relayed to me. They must have gotten it from some of the profs. As a mattter of fact, our local paper ran an article today which announced that two more HMO's and one large physician group practice would not be accepting any new medicare or medicaid patients after the first of the year. The walls which preserve certain healthcare services as the domain of physicians are under stress because of the demands placed upon the system by the aging population. Those old folks have political punch and they will not be denied access to health care for long. Wait unitl the post WWII baby boom generation begins to flood the retirement roles in about ten years. Hold on. You havn't seen anything yet.
     
  5. tina

    tina Junior Member
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    d3nt1st

    you're so nice
     
  6. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    This is so timely for the guardians of d3nt1st. A solution is now available for parents and such who are responsible for older children or even adults like d3nt1st who might wander off and get lost because of limited mental abilities. One can attach a strap to their charge and then have a trained dog on hand that will hunt down and fetch back the wanderer on command. I think the solution is great. It gives added freedom to both parties.
     
  7. Kung Foo

    Kung Foo Mad Scientist...
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    That's amazing, and I shudder to think that it will EVER happen for two specific reasons.

    (1) Dentists are in no way shape or form qualified to be primary medical care providers. At its onset, dentistry was narrowly rejected as a specialty of medicine - I believe because too much training was involved for the number of dentists needed. Anyway, can you imagine dentists having to completely retrain and re-equip their offices just so they can deal with ingrown toenails and stomachaches? It's ridiculous to assume a dentist can replace a primary care physician - just as it's ridiulous to assume a physician could do the job of the dentist - entirely different skills are involved. Even though the basic science work is similar for medical and dental school, dentists are not trained to do physicals (nor is their focus at all on anatomy below the head and neck) any more than physicians are trained to do a cavity prep. Apples and oranges are still fruit, just as DDS's and MD's are both medical professionals, but you can't begin to pretend they're the same.

    (2) Dentists have thus far been successful in preventing managed care from fouling up patient care as it has with the bulk of the medical world. I can't imagine the ADA lobbists would ever let lawmakers pass such a ridiculous law, or that dentists would coroperate with it. It's difficult enough to find a dentist that will accept public aid, now imagine trying to convince a dentist to retrain at her own expense, re-equip her office/operatories for medical exams, and to jeopardize her dental patient base by cramming the appointment slots with medicare health exams.

    It's a fascinating idea, but if dentists had WANTED to be doctors, then they would have gone to medical school.

    I agree completely that the medical system in the U.S. is headed for crisis status. From what I've seen, they're doing a decent job of recruiting new nursing students (judged by the TV ads for nursing, enrollment and everyone wanting to hire them). They don't even need to put for the same effort to recruit new med. students -- if another medical school would open in the US - be it MD, DO, PA or whatever - they would have NO trouble filling the enrollement slots, and in a few years could be producing a lot more qualified primary care physicians, rather than politicians simply flipping through the phone book to see who else they could get to help clean up the managed care mess. There are a lot of smart people involved in this situation - I'm certain they can come up with a better idea than this one...

    great topic, btw
     
  8. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    I think naturpoaths and chiropractors already qualify as primary care providers for medicare and medicaid folks in some locations. So adding dentists would not be such a stretch. Logic is not the driving force here. The motive is to come up with a quick political fix to relieve stress on medicare and medicaid by enticing (defacto forcing) some folks to seek primary care from than MD's or DO's.
     

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