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Letters: Desire to serve

September 04, 2017

I enjoyed the recent article about dentistry in the Navajo Nation ("ADA Supports Centralized Credentialing System for Indian Health Services," June 19 ADA News). I agree with the education needed in these communities. However, after attempting to provide services, and being denied, for the Navajo Nation and the Havasupai Tribe, I concluded that the entire process is riddled with government bureaucracy. We merely wanted to couple service with vacation. I've read of similar circumstances in Alaska, yet we are willing to submit these folks with the substandard skills of dental technicians, or whatever the proper nomenclature is today. I was disappointed with the process, so I now go to Mexico and build houses for people in need. This does not imply that I don't provide service to my patients and community; I do, but I chose to offer it my way.

Perhaps the ADA can resolve some of these difficulties so doctors wishing to provide service in our country can easily do so.

Robert C. Paxton, D.M.D.
South Jordan, Utah

Editor's note: The Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention states it applauds this practitioner's commitment to serve underserved populations. When part of an ongoing program that allows seamless periodic participation by experienced clinicians, access to care and prevention of dental disease can certainly be enhanced. ADA and Indian Health Services are currently addressing much of his frustration at this time and look forward to reporting progress soon to the membership.