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veryconfusedperson

Why is it "okay" to go into dentistry for money, but not medicine?

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who are those "people" anyway? ;) what if they don't "okay" you, will you stop pursuing your path?

 

People as med students currently in med school, or residents, or doctors?

I think the general public doesn't care as much, this is what I felt.

 

Well if they don't "okay", maybe there is a good reason? In that case I would want to know.

 

For example, maybe it doesn't pay as well as we think? So you shouldn't get in for the money?

Something like that...

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wow a lot of misconceptions here: "cosmetics", "financial transaction", "elective"...sad to see that the budding pre-meds see it as that...while dental "care" to some does indeed seem elective/cosmetic, one would be too naive to say that dental health should be elective...the thing with dental care is that patients only realize the need when they have a painful abscess or tooth that is very sensitive..what most dont realize is that abscess or sensitivity could have very well been prevented in the first place...nevertheless its the patients that come in pain to a dentist and are provided relief through the procedure that truly begin to understand the value of dental care..

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I think he/she means if they were only interested in making money then they wouldn't do either.

 

Ya that's what I meant. If you're looking to become a multi-millionaire, there's much better ways to go about it. Although you definitely could start in medicine/dentistry and invest, but you would be a lot older.

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I just want to point out that if people only went into medicine for the money, it would be better for society. It would mean efficient resource allocation. No more glut of people graduating from sciences with no jobs and no one would go to the Carribs because they just absolutely have to be a doctor and nothing else.

 

Alas us humans are not rational creatures.

 

I get annoyed when I hear people say that premeds should to go for med purely on passion and not based on money. That feels spoiled to me. Like they've been rich their entire lives not knowing that most of the world lives in poverty working in sweat shops. Following your passion is a luxury.

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wow a lot of misconceptions here: "cosmetics", "financial transaction", "elective"...sad to see that the budding pre-meds see it as that...while dental "care" to some does indeed seem elective/cosmetic, one would be too naive to say that dental health should be elective...the thing with dental care is that patients only realize the need when they have a painful abscess or tooth that is very sensitive..what most dont realize is that abscess or sensitivity could have very well been prevented in the first place...nevertheless its the patients that come in pain to a dentist and are provided relief through the procedure that truly begin to understand the value of dental care..

 

I pay my dentist directly. I cannot access those services regardless of how much I may need them if I cannot pay. I have never had to choose between paying my bills and necessary medical care, whereas I have had to go months with an extremely painful dental abscess because I could not pay. Paying directly for a service is a financial transaction, that is not a misconception.

 

I am very appreciative of the dental care I have had and I do believe that most dentists honestly care for their patients and want to help them be healthy. But I think it is insulting when dentists argue about the necessity or value of the care when the financial aspect is brought up, as if that somehow means that the business part of the profession doesn't cause huge numbers of people to refuse or delay needed care. Dentistry is for-profit health care, and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. Patients certainly understand it, which is what I was referring to.

 

I'll view it differently when dentists as a profession ensure the inclusion of noncosmetic services under public health care plans in all provinces, which is something I hope to see in my lifetime.

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I pay my dentist directly. I cannot access those services regardless of how much I may need them if I cannot pay. I have never had to choose between paying my bills and necessary medical care, whereas I have had to go months with an extremely painful dental abscess because I could not pay. Paying directly for a service is a financial transaction, that is not a misconception.

 

I am very appreciative of the dental care I have had and I do believe that most dentists honestly care for their patients and want to help them be healthy. But I think it is insulting when dentists argue about the necessity or value of the care when the financial aspect is brought up, as if that somehow means that the business part of the profession doesn't cause huge numbers of people to refuse or delay needed care. Dentistry is for-profit health care, and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. Patients certainly understand it, which is what I was referring to.

 

I'll view it differently when dentists as a profession ensure the inclusion of noncosmetic services under public health care plans in all provinces, which is something I hope to see in my lifetime.

 

The business part of the profession does indeed cause delay/refusal of care. Dont understand how you consider "necessity" or "value" as being linked to finances though. One may still need care but may not be able to afford it is true but to say that necessity only exists if one can financially afford care is wrong. Dentists, privately, have still done a lot on their own to offer care to those that need it but maynot be able to afford it. there're still several who offer pro-bono and monthly payment plans to help with the ability to pay for care. you see, as a physician, you dont have to be personally accountable to providing free care as your income isnt linked to care but to put that onus on another profession meeting major hurdles to the inclusion of care under the public plans is incorrect..a similar example to that is seen even in medicine where family docs in busy areas stop accepting patients once their cap is reached...

 

The major hurdle preventing the inclusion of elective dental care under the public health plan is the increasing/ballooning healthcare budget..to not consider that as part of the equation is unjust. There is a separate specialty in dentistry dedicated to public dental health and that is the objective of those who practice it from a policy/clinical practice perspective..however, it is sad to say that there is not enough funding available to even improve research and clinical capabilities with regards to dental policy because it only meets deaf ears.

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I just want to point out that if people only went into medicine for the money, it would be better for society. It would mean efficient resource allocation. No more glut of people graduating from sciences with no jobs and no one would go to the Carribs because they just absolutely have to be a doctor and nothing else.

 

Alas us humans are not rational creatures.

 

I get annoyed when I hear people say that premeds should to go for med purely on passion and not based on money. That feels spoiled to me. Like they've been rich their entire lives not knowing that most of the world lives in poverty working in sweat shops. Following your passion is a luxury.

 

except those people in medicine may potentially be more likely to continue the pursuit solely for personal gain - manipulating the system where ever possible to their own advantage.

 

You would still get a glut of people seeking the high income - it isn't like that situation will completely resolve itself just because it is purely monetarily based.

 

I guess the question for the government ultimately is is there an set of characteristics that best serve the public and how to attract that group (note I didn't define that group :) ). I generally think some measure of balance is important in almost anything - something has to keep you going into the late night hours or the vast amount of work for patients that is not paid for. I resist the temptation to think goals for pursuing medicine are mutually exclusive, but I will say the doctors that most patients feel are doing the best job generally are extremely passionate about what they are doing.

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The business part of the profession does indeed cause delay/refusal of care. Dont understand how you consider "necessity" or "value" as being linked to finances though. One may still need care but may not be able to afford it is true but to say that necessity only exists if one can financially afford care is wrong. Dentists, privately, have still done a lot on their own to offer care to those that need it but maynot be able to afford it. there're still several who offer pro-bono and monthly payment plans to help with the ability to pay for care. you see, as a physician, you dont have to be personally accountable to providing free care as your income isnt linked to care but to put that onus on another profession meeting major hurdles to the inclusion of care under the public plans is incorrect..a similar example to that is seen even in medicine where family docs in busy areas stop accepting patients once their cap is reached...

 

The major hurdle preventing the inclusion of elective dental care under the public health plan is the increasing/ballooning healthcare budget..to not consider that as part of the equation is unjust. There is a separate specialty in dentistry dedicated to public dental health and that is the objective of those who practice it from a policy/clinical practice perspective..however, it is sad to say that there is not enough funding available to even improve research and clinical capabilities with regards to dental policy because it only meets deaf ears.

 

I did not say that necessity and value are linked to money. I said that necessity means nothing to someone who simply can't pay.

 

Family physicians not accepting patients is not, IMO, at all comparable. "Orphan" patients still have access to medical care through walk-in clinics and emergency services. A patient is not cut off from health care by being refused by a physician.

 

Public health dentistry is wonderful and does good work. I am a huge supporter of it. I agree it is also underfunded and too frequently ignored. I'm rather proud of the fact that my own province offers at least basic dental care to all minors. It is interesting to me that PEI, one of the poorest provinces, is able to do that while Ontario, for example, does not.

 

As to ballooning healthcare budgets, I think it's short-sighted to use that as an excuse. As I'm sure you're well aware, oral health has a significant impact on overall health from diabetes to heart disease to pregnancy outcomes. Broadening access to basic dental health services will have impacts that help offset the cost, something that has been well-researched by far more learned people than me.

 

Pro-bono services, public emergency assistance funds, and dentists who will take payment plans (besides those 'CareCredit' cards which are effectively useless to poor people) are, I think, few and far between and do not represent a solution to the overarching problem.

 

We've gotten a little off topic, but suffice to say I still very much stand behind my statement that I believe people - in Canada, at least - view dentistry through a different lens than they do medicine. I do not mean that as an insult to dentists, simply a statement of the reality of how dentistry and medicine are accessed in this country.

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I pay my dentist directly. I cannot access those services regardless of how much I may need them if I cannot pay. I have never had to choose between paying my bills and necessary medical care, whereas I have had to go months with an extremely painful dental abscess because I could not pay. Paying directly for a service is a financial transaction, that is not a misconception.

 

I am very appreciative of the dental care I have had and I do believe that most dentists honestly care for their patients and want to help them be healthy. But I think it is insulting when dentists argue about the necessity or value of the care when the financial aspect is brought up, as if that somehow means that the business part of the profession doesn't cause huge numbers of people to refuse or delay needed care. Dentistry is for-profit health care, and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. Patients certainly understand it, which is what I was referring to.

 

I'll view it differently when dentists as a profession ensure the inclusion of noncosmetic services under public health care plans in all provinces, which is something I hope to see in my lifetime.

 

Make no mistake, all healthcare is for-profit. Just because the debit/credit machine comes out less often in a family medicine practice, doesn't mean people aren't getting paid, and the patient isn't paying for it. We are in a privileged position in Canada, and particularly in Ontario, to receive medical care at the expense of others, but that in no way means that money is not being made at the expense of taxpayers.

 

As for the second point, I would imagine that dentists, the ODA and CDA and other lobbying groups have very little say over what is and isn't covered by public insurance and who is eligible. Nor would they understandably ever advocate for it given the paltry compensation vs. time taken, materials and resources used compared to a visit to a family medical practice. There are those good souls among us who do a lot of ODSP and Healthy Smiles work, but it is impractical to expect the entire profession to adopt a similar standpoint. Everyone, unfortunately, has to get paid. Physicians and dentists alike. The government makes the decision to marginalize care that they don't deem to be necessary (read: financially unacceptable). This is the attitude that leads to people visiting the dentist only when serious problems arise, and balking at the price.

 

For what it's worth (in relevance to other points raised in this thread), I personally find my relationship with my dentist to be quite a bit closer than that with my family physician. My family physician is rushed, overworked, attempts to see too many patients at once and works in a bandaid-and-referral manner. My dentist knows that the work they do is expensive, somewhat uncomfortable and at times undesirable; my dentist has had to work a lot harder to gain my trust and my money. And for that, I feel much closer to him.

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I did not say that necessity and value are linked to money. I said that necessity means nothing to someone who simply can't pay.

 

Family physicians not accepting patients is not, IMO, at all comparable. "Orphan" patients still have access to medical care through walk-in clinics and emergency services. A patient is not cut off from health care by being refused by a physician.

 

Public health dentistry is wonderful and does good work. I am a huge supporter of it. I agree it is also underfunded and too frequently ignored. I'm rather proud of the fact that my own province offers at least basic dental care to all minors. It is interesting to me that PEI, one of the poorest provinces, is able to do that while Ontario, for example, does not.

 

As to ballooning healthcare budgets, I think it's short-sighted to use that as an excuse. As I'm sure you're well aware, oral health has a significant impact on overall health from diabetes to heart disease to pregnancy outcomes. Broadening access to basic dental health services will have impacts that help offset the cost, something that has been well-researched by far more learned people than me.

 

Pro-bono services, public emergency assistance funds, and dentists who will take payment plans (besides those 'CareCredit' cards which are effectively useless to poor people) are, I think, few and far between and do not represent a solution to the overarching problem.

 

We've gotten a little off topic, but suffice to say I still very much stand behind my statement that I believe people - in Canada, at least - view dentistry through a different lens than they do medicine. I do not mean that as an insult to dentists, simply a statement of the reality of how dentistry and medicine are accessed in this country.

 

you're missing the point there..the reason i brought up that example is because that is the sort of situation each dentist has to face everyday....and when those in the medical profession are thrown into a situation where they're not being rewarded (financially) for the work and time they're putting in, they're also refusing to take on that work..its not very different you see.

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Is the tooth-fairy going to pay for this?

 

does in other countries so it is not quite fairy land stuff.

 

It is a logically inconsistent that we separate out dental services and include other things that are less critical in our health system.

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does in other countries so it is not quite fairy land stuff.

 

It is a logically inconsistent that we separate out dental services and include other things that are less critical in our health system.

 

every single person in Ontario (including newborn children) now owes about $20000 in debt. Maybe if we add dental coverage to the list of entitlements we can shine our bright white teeth at our creditors and they will bugger off?????

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every single person in Ontario (including newborn children) now owes about $20000 in debt. Maybe if we add dental coverage to the list of entitlements we can shine our bright white teeth at our creditors and they will bugger off?????

 

1) Group buying by public insurance will likely decrease per-procedure costs.

2) Regular dental care will reduce the costs of dental care that is deemed "medically-necessary" and medical consequences of ill dental health (bone infection, heart disease, etc.).

3) I presume you're dividing Ontario's debt among its citizens? If not, ignore the following (except the last sentence, which is still relevant). Debt is a normal part of the financial organization of a capitalist country. There are points where it can reach crisis, but the simple existence of debt is not justification for cutting (or refusing to expand) services. Furthermore, taking a government's debt and dividing it among its citizens seems to be an arbitrary sort of operation. How do you justify your analogy between governmental and personal debt? If you had a $500,000 mortgage and were capable of making the payments each month, would you refuse to go the dentist until your mortgage was completely paid off?

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1) Group buying by public insurance will likely decrease per-procedure costs.

2) Regular dental care will reduce the costs of dental care that is deemed "medically-necessary" and medical consequences of ill dental health (bone infection, heart disease, etc.).

3) I presume you're dividing Ontario's debt among its citizens? If not, ignore the following (except the last sentence, which is still relevant). Debt is a normal part of the financial organization of a capitalist country. There are points where it can reach crisis, but the simple existence of debt is not justification for cutting (or refusing to expand) services. Furthermore, taking a government's debt and dividing it among its citizens seems to be an arbitrary sort of operation. How do you justify your analogy between governmental and personal debt? If you had a $500,000 mortgage and were capable of making the payments each month, would you refuse to go the dentist until your mortgage was completely paid off?

 

1) This makes no sense. If the payment is subsidized by the government there is no reason to seek out cheaper dentists or for dentists to compete with each other to lower costs (Patients will simply not care about the cost at this point)

2) The NHS in the UK covers dental care but their overall dental health is no better than in Canada or the US. One of the biggest incentives to maintain proper dental hygiene is that one can avoid the costS associated with seeing a dentist.

3) Your analogy is false, most people actually pay off a part of their mortgage every month even if they also spend money elsewhere. Currently, the Ontario public debt is growing with no end in sight. It would be like taking a loan for a new car when your home is being foreclosed on.

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every single person in Ontario (including newborn children) now owes about $20000 in debt. Maybe if we add dental coverage to the list of entitlements we can shine our bright white teeth at our creditors and they will bugger off?????

 

ha wasn't claiming that :) Only that it is illogical to pay for other medical expenses that are less important while some people's poor dental care is cause more societal damage.

 

It isn't being left or right in political thoughts - it is being utilitarian in approach. If you spend money you want to do it logically.

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I get annoyed when I hear people say that premeds should to go for med purely on passion and not based on money. That feels spoiled to me. Like they've been rich their entire lives not knowing that most of the world lives in poverty working in sweat shops. Following your passion is a luxury.

 

I have to say that's what I feel too...

;)

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There is nothing wrong with working for money as long as you do do your job. You wouldn't see a doctor negotiating a lower salary.

 

Well, debatable. Perhaps not a lower salary, but in Dec 2012 they overwhelmingly supported a deal that froze their salaries for two years to help fight rising costs. Contrast that with the ongoing fight teachers have had with the government, and it's very different. Now obviously doctors make a lot more than teachers do (though they also invested lots more into their education), and I do think teachers are underpaid, but I think there is a difference. Maybe a better example is the raises that TTC employees have come to expect on a regular basis, and the strikes they go on if such raises are threatened. I think therein is a difference between working for money and working for a different purpose (albeit very well paid nonetheless)

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Well, debatable. Perhaps not a lower salary, but in Dec 2012 they overwhelmingly supported a deal that froze their salaries for two years to help fight rising costs. Contrast that with the ongoing fight teachers have had with the government, and it's very different. Now obviously doctors make a lot more than teachers do (though they also invested lots more into their education), and I do think teachers are underpaid, but I think there is a difference. Maybe a better example is the raises that TTC employees have come to expect on a regular basis, and the strikes they go on if such raises are threatened. I think therein is a difference between working for money and working for a different purpose (albeit very well paid nonetheless)

 

http://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2012/05/a-real-wage-freeze-for-doctors-the-facts.html

 

The reason why there was a wage freeze was because in the span of 10 years, doctors in Ontario billed 75% more compared to a decade ago. Doctors in Ontario, including family doctors, seriously make an insane amount of money. This growth FAR outpaces any other public service sector (teachers, TTC, etc.)

 

"The OMA proposes to increase physician compensation by $700 million over the next two years [by 2014]. This includes a five per cent raise for current doctors, worth an average of $20,000 more per doctor."

 

This would put the average gross income of a Ontario family doctor to over 400k (it's currently 385k). I can just imagine the kind of money specialists are pulling in right now.

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http://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2012/05/a-real-wage-freeze-for-doctors-the-facts.html

 

The reason why there was a wage freeze was because in the span of 10 years, doctors in Ontario billed 75% more compared to a decade ago. Doctors in Ontario, including family doctors, seriously make an insane amount of money. This growth FAR outpaces any other public service sector (teachers, TTC, etc.)

 

"The OMA proposes to increase physician compensation by $700 million over the next two years [by 2014]. This includes a five per cent raise for current doctors, worth an average of $20,000 more per doctor."

 

This would put the average gross income of a Ontario family doctor to over 400k (it's currently 385k). I can just imagine the kind of money specialists are pulling in right now.

 

I said multiple times in my post that doctors do make a lot of money, and I wasn't disputing that. All I was pointing out is that, when given the chance, they did not choose to fight the wage freeze. regardless of all of your points, they were still free to not support the freeze in such overwhelming fashion. That is all I'm saying, in response to the previous post

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http://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2012/05/a-real-wage-freeze-for-doctors-the-facts.html

 

The reason why there was a wage freeze was because in the span of 10 years, doctors in Ontario billed 75% more compared to a decade ago. Doctors in Ontario, including family doctors, seriously make an insane amount of money. This growth FAR outpaces any other public service sector (teachers, TTC, etc.)

 

"The OMA proposes to increase physician compensation by $700 million over the next two years [by 2014]. This includes a five per cent raise for current doctors, worth an average of $20,000 more per doctor."

 

This would put the average gross income of a Ontario family doctor to over 400k (it's currently 385k). I can just imagine the kind of money specialists are pulling in right now.

 

Yeah they frozen it because they pretty knew the government was going to force it on them (us?) regardless. The government did have a point - the income was rising faster than inflation etc. Of course docs are smart - they know when they are going to face a losing PR battle and adapt.

 

The OMA is a union and thus will act like any union would. Its purpose is to protect the members (although they can take a longer term strategy with that which can include short term pain).

 

Also it important to note the family medicine income rise was on purpose, and done by the government to reverse the family doctor shortages.

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