An interesting read (short)
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|Thu, 05-01-2003 - 5:53am|
No Tooth Left Unfilled
Each dentist will get a rating of Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor (just like a used textbook!) based on the average number of cavities in the teeth of their clientele at ages 6, 12, 24, and 36.
"Outrageous!" the dentist shouts when he hears of this plan. "Do you mean to tell me that if I serve a poorer population that doesn't get the same preventative care as a wealthier group, I'm going to be labeled as only Fair or maybe even Poor?"
"Yes," says the administrator of Leave No Tooth Unfilled, "and if you're labeled Poor, we'll take some of your equipment away from you."
"That's a big help," replies the dentist.
"Oh, don't worry. If you're labeled Poor, we'll help you. We'll send a dentist who's rated Excellent to show you what to do."
"But the biggest reason that person will have been labeled Excellent is because he's got patients who for some reason have fewer cavities. It has nothing to do with how well I treat the situations I find. In fact, if this Excellent dentist works in an area where people are wealthier, have fluoridation, preventative care, he might never have seen a case like one of mine in a poorer area."
"You're just making excuses and stonewalling."
"Are you crazy? To evaluate a dentist's work, you have to take into consideration what kinds of cases he or she encounters, to observe their technique and manner, to evaluate the long-term results of the care they give their patients, and by the way you have to be a pretty experienced dentist yourself."
"Good luck. No Tooth Left Unfilled is already the law, and that's the way it's going to be."
"That's outrageous. How many dentists were involved in actually creating this law?"
Good question. Very good question.