Editorial Comment: Dolphin training
 

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Editorial Comment: Dolphin training

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Editorial Comment: Dolphin training

 

Editorial Comment: Dolphin training

I have a friend who works for British Gas. Even though he works in IT, he gets hassled, as a result of a quirky British custom. Once people find out his line of work, they give a critical opinion in relation to his employers, often with an anecdotal story about how they were badly treated. Think about it – it happens frequently.

Remember the response you get when you say, ‘I work in dentistry’. But I am learning. These days it is safer to say, ‘I’m a dolphin trainer’, then bang on about the qualities of bribery with fish.

Before I learned this harsh lesson in self-preservation, I heard the weirdest and most colourful assortment of stories about dentistry – I am sure I’m not alone.

The new contract is now helping to illustrate my arguments. The most recent rant, to trouble my ears went along the lines, ‘my boyfriend went to the dentist for a check-up in March and was told to return for a longer appointment for root canal treatment. He went back in April and the dentist extracted the tooth – why was that?’

Nowadays I view this as a sales opportunity for the profession. Talking passionately about why quality dental care must be done, as well as highlighting policy changes as the reason for many of the problems in the profession - not greedy dentists.

I’ve refined my patter too. I end all conversations with a
suggestion that the complainant (praise is only reserved for the dentist him/herself) writes to their local MP. Recently I discovered I am not alone in this approach and in fact this is a very clever policy.

Discussions on GDP(UK), the UK’s foremost dentistry chat forum, have cogently argued that badgering backbench MPs is probably the best way to affect change in the current working conditions. The heavier their postbags, the more they will push the minister for dentistry into action to ‘put things right’.

But will patients complain to their local MPs? Will the implementation group have any affect? Where does the BDA fit into all this? Has politics moved on and left the BDA behind?
Is the BDA being used as a political pawn to help the government say it is working with the profession?

I have more questions that answers or comments.

Maybe YOU can let me know how this new contract is working?

 Posted on : Tue 16th - May - 2006

 

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