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Letters: Large group practice

September 17, 2012

I read, with some amusement, the article on ADA’s efforts to target dentists in the ever-growing corporate practice model—what I like to call "McDentist" ("Tripartite Makes Membership Valuable to Large Group Practices," Aug. 20 ADA News).

I saw McDentist nearly 30 years ago in "progressive" bastions like California. I’m a University of Southern California grad (’84) and my first job was in a mostly Medi-Cal clinic in Indio, Calif. At least it was a great learning experience and allowed me to plunge into the real world.

But McDentist came two years later when I took my Florida boards and was waiting for the results. One of my pals was a manager at a corporate practice and got me a temporary stint covering for his vacationing docs. I appreciate to this day his help, and it was an eye opener.

A new patient was screened by the manager/doctor and the treatment plan was written down, along with a Post-it note that read "do all." That meant do whatever work you could in one very long, grueling appointment, if possible. Apparently things like periodontal improvement or endodontic pathology could be magically eradicated in one "do all" visit.

Needless to say, this young Trojan was appalled and did my best to work a happy medium with as many patients as I could. Since I was subbing, I was rarely practicing more than a week in any given clinic. Judging from the "young’uns" I speak to today in meetings, it hasn’t changed a whole lot.

So, if the ADA wants to make some courses for this burgeoning bracket, let me suggest some titles:

  1. "How to find out if your office is owned by a nondentist."
  2. "Five easy steps to transitioning to a three-tiered profession: Proper dental treatment, Midleveldontics & McDentist."
  3. "At what age do you decide if you went to dental school to be self-employed or make money for others?"

I hope these help.

Carlos A. Sanchez, D.D.S.
Coral Gables, Fla.