Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Perils of Self-Protection 

Dentists are engaged in the same self-protection that physicians have used.  The tooth-tuners are resisting the introduction of dental therapists in states.  The reason is economics.  Dentists don't want to sacrifice the income potential.  They are objecting on the basis of their superior training.  It is the same argument that doctors used to stall the introduction of physicians' assistants.  Sooner or later, however, dental therapists will become the norm because as the article points out, dentists concentrate in urban areas where there are more patients and leave farms and hill country uncovered.  From a PR perspective, dentists look greedy and heartless.  It makes no difference that they provide more health services than therapists.  When it is a choice of help or none at all, professionalism takes a back seat.  If universal health care is to become the US standard, there must be more primary care that semi-professionals can provide.


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