March 10, 2012
I urge you to read the following op-ed piece from Paul Krugman of the New York Times (click on NYTIMES) first and then relate it to the text and subtext of this entry. I encourage it because of the experiences incurred from developing this blog and trying to give it relevance and impact on the Canadian dental community. This is my opinion, tempered by my experience, bias, and perspective.
I attended my local dental association meeting this week (Halton Peel) and the comments by our Ontario Dental Association rep and by the speaker laid open the world of inequity that exists today in goverance. In spite of the veneer of transparency and openness with regard to associations (thanks to social media and networking) that is offered up, the culture of back room deals and “star chamber process” remains. They have websites, they offer mano a mano email addresses, but nowhere is there an attempt to use a discussion forum, a blog and comments to allow for dialogue, interactivity, the opportunity to voice an opinion regarding the message being delivered. THIS UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES is the value of a democratic process and in no way, shape or form is this representative of using Internet driven communication to its full potential.
Let’s first look to the situation vis-a-vis losing one’s licence for treating a spouse. This issue has been in the forefront since the Peeling decision became “front page news”. We were told on Thursday last at HPDA, that the “process” to redress this was underway, some double digit number of months since this insanity was revealed de facto in all it’s draconian Hunger Games lunacy and became a hubbub and cause celebre. The process won’t prevent you from losing your licence if the assistant who didn’t get an undeserved raise last month, “rats you out”. Why are dentists not doing an OCCUPY “whatever street” to have this struck from the books as in “NOW!” Losing your licence is not funny, losing your licence because you do a prophy on your spouse is the height of hilarity. Process my Aunt Fannie. Perhaps the ODA should hire Doug Ford as a consultant and get this buried underground where it belongs. It will prove a lot cheaper than building subways.
Secondly, there was a discussion about the ODNAA or something, something……by the time the third acronym came out, I was lost and even though the wine wasn’t Opus One, it was so much more appealing than the “thrill” of Tammany Hall / Boss Tweed skullduggery being discussed. Would it not be far simpler to OFFER UP a true INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION FORUM or BLOG with comments on the part of the dental associations that play Game of Thrones and the Borgia’s with our lives and our livelihoods? Or on ANYTHING!!!! What difference is there getting mandates through snail mail or email. Cost efficiency to the delivering agent, but the recipient still gets that Bambi in the headlights look on their face and puts up their hand to an empty room and goes, “But, but…..”
Lastly, the speaker that evening on dental screening of cardiovascular status was brilliant. He is working with bioAnalytics /dental-examination/patients-attitudes-toward-screening-for-medical-conditions-in-a-dental-setting as their Chief Medical Officer, if I had used the acronym CMO, would you have understood? The content was marvellous, but the most obvious value of this technology and its software is the creation of a database from all endusers and the use of the data screened in dental offices to provide invaluable information to insurers, public health personnel et al on the heart health of folks visiting a dentist. As these numbers in spite of the economy seem to be vastly greater than the number seeing physicians and as the technology will include non-invasive diabetes screening once they figure out who to pay off at Health Canada (see image below – double click) and with how much, the potential for dentists to truly occupy their place in the overall health of the Canadian public is a cakewalk…….but, CONNECTIVITY is not mandated for dentists in Canada – as I was told by an unnamed member of an ODA committee, “we figure that the newbees in the profession are connected, we’ll just wait till the olde folks fade, mandating won’t be necessary – uh huh, uh huh!”
Where are the visionaries in governance, the folks who realize that process they seem to revere of the non Paul variety, is so “yesterday” and that with the speed of the Internet, the concept of “let’s table that for another time” is consistent with let’s dismantle the Avro Aero program and remove the Canadian aerospace industry from any relevance in one of the major growth sectors of the economy, thank you John Diefenbaker…….the Zeus of process and bending over.
It’s a time for boldness and some degree of madness in our profession in regard to how we relate and communicate. As well, who and how our education is provided needs a major rethink. The use of interactivity of one form or another in governance and expanding the role of the dentist on the street in governance is mandatory or worthy of a mandate. Don’t get me started on why it’s almost impossible to get a dentist to share a clinical case with a brief description on this blog and that includes the editorial consultants and contributing consultants of Oral Health. SHAME ON YOU, SHAME I SAY!!! Yours truly and if you recognize the lad below, you’ll understand the scope of the rant above. We need to exercise the same control and authority on industry members who are driven by bottom lines. We’re all in business, but it is a people business, the wellness and wellbeing of our clients. The bottom line for a patient is quality care, the bottom line for a share holder is stock price. Somewhere in the midst of all these disparate needs, we as a profession must “talk” amongst ourselves, with the bodies that control our destinies and provide us the tools to deliver our services. It must find harmony and balance. To keep ANYONE in the dark is a recipe for disaster for someone and that simply cannot be allowed to be “okay”. Ignorance is bliss if it’s allowed to be strength.
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