Chuckde

10+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2008
32
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Basically, I found a dentist in my area to shadow after trying about 15 places. This morning when I went in to shadow him, he told me that he spoke to his malpractice insurance and they said having someone come in and shadow is a violation of patient privacy, and the only way they could allow someone back there was if they were employed. I mentioned if we could just get the patient's consent before i began watching them, and I guess he though I meant written consent as opposed to verbal.

Regardless, I told him I would do research into this situation and figure out if there is something we could do. Has anyone had this issue before? and if so, what did you do to take care of it? I shadowed a dentist during the semester at my university and it nevered seemed to be a problem, is it just the dentist or does this clause actually exist?
 

sfrice80

Blood, Sweat, and Beers
Jun 11, 2009
1,272
0
Minneapolis, MN
Status
Dental Student
Some dentists are just wayyyyyy more cautious then others, All the dentists I shadowed were totally cool with me watching and didnt have an issue with it but my buddy ran into the same problem but this was in a larger city so I dont know if its more of an urban thing or not but I shadowed more rural dentists or dentists that were in a town of like 3500 people max, so no one really cares. I would try finding another dentist otherwise its just going to be a big hassle and you may not get the greatest experience.
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,161
2,300
Status
Dentist
Regardless, I told him I would do research into this situation and figure out if there is something we could do. Has anyone had this issue before? and if so, what did you do to take care of it? I shadowed a dentist during the semester at my university and it nevered seemed to be a problem, is it just the dentist or does this clause actually exist?
Take the hint and skip the research.
 
N

NAVY DDS 2010

Basically, I found a dentist in my area to shadow after trying about 15 places. This morning when I went in to shadow him, he told me that he spoke to his malpractice insurance and they said having someone come in and shadow is a violation of patient privacy, and the only way they could allow someone back there was if they were employed. I mentioned if we could just get the patient's consent before i began watching them, and I guess he though I meant written consent as opposed to verbal.

Regardless, I told him I would do research into this situation and figure out if there is something we could do. Has anyone had this issue before? and if so, what did you do to take care of it? I shadowed a dentist during the semester at my university and it nevered seemed to be a problem, is it just the dentist or does this clause actually exist?
I spent a little while reviewing the HIPAA rules. People who shadow are basically volunteers. HIPAA rules apply to all people in the workforce (
Workforce
means employees, volunteers, trainees, and other persons whose conduct, in the performance of work for a covered entity, is under the direct control of such entity,). So, as long as a person shadowing follows the same protocol that every other employee follows, then there is absolutely no reason why anyone can't shadow a dentist. The problem is that the employers are very scared of HIPAA and the penalties they face for infractions. They just need to be educated. The following link is a copy of the HIPAA rules. Pg 23 is where I pulled the definition from.

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/privacyrule/adminsimpregtext.pdf
 
OP
C

Chuckde

10+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2008
32
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Wow, that information is very potent NAVY. But I couldnt find where it explains this exception, maybe I am looking for the wrong wording. Would you mind pointing it out? If you can expand on this a bit, it would really be helpful.
 
N

NAVY DDS 2010

Wow, that information is very potent NAVY. But I couldnt find where it explains this exception, maybe I am looking for the wrong wording. Would you mind pointing it out? If you can expand on this a bit, it would really be helpful.
It is not going to specifically spell out the exception. That is why I referred you to the definition on pg 23 that defines what a workforce is. If you read the rules it refers to workforce when defining who this applies to. The HIPAA rules apply to the workforce of an office to include employees, volunteers, trainees, and other persons whose conduct, in the performance of work for a covered entity, is under the direct control of such entity. This means that anyone who is unde the direct supervision of the employer in any capacity falls under the HIPAA regulations, thus must follow the HIPAA rules.

Now, it may be possible that the malpractice insurance company of the dentist may prohibit people from performing any duties in their office who are not in a paid position. That is a whole different scenerio that you or the dentist cannot control. But if it comes down to whether HIPAA rules are beign broken, then the answer is no.
 

enfuego

10+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2008
289
1
Status
Pre-Dental
All the dentists I shadowed were totally cool with me watching and didnt have an issue with it but my buddy ran into the same problem but this was in a larger city so I dont know if its more of an urban thing or not
I agree. I live in a big city, and I've had a hard time finding people to shadow - other people have had similar problems. The couple people I know who have shadowed in the city had some sort of connection to the dentist.

I'd have a much easier time shadowing back home in the suburbs, but I rarely go home anymore. Finding a position at a clinic or something is probably more realistic and something I could do just to get some hours in, but I think private practice is most relevant. I'm not concerned with procedures and such - I'm more interested in seeing how the practice is organized and how it's run, etc.

OP - Lots of people shadow all the time - it shouldn't violate any rules. That dentist is just being really cautious. I shadowed one dentist, and before I entered the room, he would always ask the patient if they'd be comfortable with me watching. If they said yes, then I sat and watched. If they said no, then I hung out in the back room. No problem.
 
May 15, 2009
1,922
3
CA
Status
Dental Student
Basically, I found a dentist in my area to shadow after trying about 15 places. This morning when I went in to shadow him, he told me that he spoke to his malpractice insurance and they said having someone come in and shadow is a violation of patient privacy, and the only way they could allow someone back there was if they were employed. I mentioned if we could just get the patient's consent before i began watching them, and I guess he though I meant written consent as opposed to verbal.

Regardless, I told him I would do research into this situation and figure out if there is something we could do. Has anyone had this issue before? and if so, what did you do to take care of it? I shadowed a dentist during the semester at my university and it nevered seemed to be a problem, is it just the dentist or does this clause actually exist?
He/She just doesn't want you there. Find another dentist!
 

Lenny1018

10+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2009
19
0
Chicago
Status
Pre-Dental
At my office, a pre-dental student who was shadowing fainted and almost compromised the surgery (I believe it was osseous gum surgery). Unfortunately, that person ruined it for everyone else who wants to shadow as now the periodontist does not allow shadowing. Can you blame him? Don't take it personally. You don't always know what happened to make the dentists not take kindly to shadowing. Good luck!
 

Dannelid

7+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2009
43
0
Status
Pre-Dental
If you're having trouble finding someone to shadow, you could always try and find free dental clinics in your area. They are always looking for volunteers. And plus they often let you actually do stuff too whereas lots of shadowing opportunities are just plain standing and watching the whole time.
 

dl9006

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2008
541
1
Status
Dental Student
Basically, I found a dentist in my area to shadow after trying about 15 places. This morning when I went in to shadow him, he told me that he spoke to his malpractice insurance and they said having someone come in and shadow is a violation of patient privacy, and the only way they could allow someone back there was if they were employed. I mentioned if we could just get the patient's consent before i began watching them, and I guess he though I meant written consent as opposed to verbal.

Regardless, I told him I would do research into this situation and figure out if there is something we could do. Has anyone had this issue before? and if so, what did you do to take care of it? I shadowed a dentist during the semester at my university and it nevered seemed to be a problem, is it just the dentist or does this clause actually exist?

sorry to say this, but i think he may be trying to scare you off.

it's tough finding a dentist to shadow but i think you might be better off with another dentist.

hope it works out
 

zoralsurgeon

noegruslaroz
5+ Year Member
May 25, 2009
304
0
Status
Dental Student
Basically, I found a dentist in my area to shadow after trying about 15 places. This morning when I went in to shadow him, he told me that he spoke to his malpractice insurance and they said having someone come in and shadow is a violation of patient privacy, and the only way they could allow someone back there was if they were employed. I mentioned if we could just get the patient's consent before i began watching them, and I guess he though I meant written consent as opposed to verbal.

Regardless, I told him I would do research into this situation and figure out if there is something we could do. Has anyone had this issue before? and if so, what did you do to take care of it? I shadowed a dentist during the semester at my university and it nevered seemed to be a problem, is it just the dentist or does this clause actually exist?
That is so stupid; I have shadowed over 10 dentists/oral surgeons and have NEVER had this situation...My main OMFS now just tell the patient "I have a student with me today that will be observing, assisting, etc." .. and doesn't even ask them if it is okay...Sounds like (1) the insurance company is walkin all over him..id that that Ins. Co. to kiss it...lol, or (2) he doesn't want you there and doesn't know how else to present it to you....sigh
 

Murl

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2008
212
1
Status
Dental Student
Yeah typically I would go in with the assistant and they would introduce me, tell them I am shadowing for the day, and everyone was cool with it but one person. I had one lady that actually growled at me, yes actually growled like a dog, needless to say I didn't stay for the consult.
 

BiomajorPreDent

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2008
653
3
Status
Dental Student
I only read a couple of the replies

As others have said, he probably just didnt want you following him around and used that as an excuse.

All the dentists that I followed asked their patients before if they were okay with it, and they all were.

One Oral Surgeon that I followed, had me sign a paper stating I will maintain doctor-patient confidentiality of what I saw.

You are probably better shadowing a dentist that you know already.