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Ways to give back to the community, under-privileged, under-served


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I am curious about the opportunities to give back. Does anyone here have any experience in serving under-privileged/served communities within Canada that they could share?

And when I become an associate, what is the best way to manage a patient with financial issues?

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If they have no insurance you charge whatever you name, I regularly round off 25 to 50% for people w difficult circumstances (appreciative people only, it must be a team effort between you and the patient) it's just routine for the practice. As for doing something for no charge entirely that will depend on your principal, more than 50% discount you are asking the office to pay for their treatment.  Also office payment plans are an option given the patient has a history w the office and didn't just walk in. 

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On 5/25/2021 at 11:48 AM, canichill said:

I am curious about the opportunities to give back. Does anyone here have any experience in serving under-privileged/served communities within Canada that they could share?

And when I become an associate, what is the best way to manage a patient with financial issues?

I have a contract with a northern Indigenous Reserve that is in dire need of dental treatment.  I fly up for 10 days of the month and find the work to be very satisfying as I feel as though I'm making a much bigger impact on someone's overall health by getting people out of pain, and restoring their function and aesthetics (most of these patients need root canals, extractions and dentures).  This is in stark contrast to when I was an associate in Southern Ontario, "selling" dentistry. 

Re: financial issues - Some offices already work with third party financing companies.  The company pays you for the treatment, and now the patient owes the company money.  Some offices offer payment plans.  I used to offer a lot of discounts when earlier in my career, but have found that patients aren't that appreciative.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I worked in public health (see my name, lol).

Dentist in public health is just a job, you do not really help the under privileged. You report to your manager who through chain of command, ultimately report to city counselors and MPs. So it's really more of a political game, or a show if you will. I did it for the location, benefit and job security.  Early on I thought I was there to help people too, but I was punished severely, so were many of my colleagues. Some were even taken to court.....and the managers have no problem throwing you under the bus. 

And then there is the client issue, especially in Toronto, very unappreciating clients. I have had dentures thrown at me, threat of physical violence, harassment, verbal abuse and racist/sexist comments, not daily, but probably weekly. I have since, worked in prisons and mental health institutes, the clients are way way better than the public health ones...... Honestly all of that would still be ok, but unfortunately those bad clients who make a scene usually just call up their MP, then the red carpet rolls out, and they get everything they need including cosmetic treatment, while the people really in need of help, wait in line. That part I cannot take anymore.

Anyways, I just want to warn young dentist here (that's why I made this account) about public health. It's an ok job, you do help some people along the way, but that's not the intend of the job, certainly not priority of the whole program, you will not get the satisfaction at all.

If you really want to help people, go work in rural area, give discounts, have free dental days, etc. There are areas 2-3 hours of GTA that's considered severely under served and dentist population ratio is comparable to northern Ontario.

 

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5 hours ago, PHDentist said:

I worked in public health (see my name, lol).

Dentist in public health is just a job, you do not really help the under privileged. You report to your manager who through chain of command, ultimately report to city counselors and MPs. So it's really more of a political game, or a show if you will. I did it for the location, benefit and job security.  Early on I thought I was there to help people too, but I was punished severely, so were many of my colleagues. Some were even taken to court.....and the managers have no problem throwing you under the bus. 

And then there is the client issue, especially in Toronto, very unappreciating clients. I have had dentures thrown at me, threat of physical violence, harassment, verbal abuse and racist/sexist comments, not daily, but probably weekly. I have since, worked in prisons and mental health institutes, the clients are way way better than the public health ones...... Honestly all of that would still be ok, but unfortunately those bad clients who make a scene usually just call up their MP, then the red carpet rolls out, and they get everything they need including cosmetic treatment, while the people really in need of help, wait in line. That part I cannot take anymore.

Anyways, I just want to warn young dentist here (that's why I made this account) about public health. It's an ok job, you do help some people along the way, but that's not the intend of the job, certainly not priority of the whole program, you will not get the satisfaction at all.

If you really want to help people, go work in rural area, give discounts, have free dental days, etc. There are areas 2-3 hours of GTA that's considered severely under served and dentist population ratio is comparable to northern Ontario.

 

Can you elaborate on "punished severely" and what kinds of situations were involved?

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Punished as in not getting raises, bonuses and vacation that kinda thing. Not issues with the college. I did have to use PLP a lot, because I know I'm not protected and the program side with the clients 100%.

Situation varies, like denying people who don't qualify the income requirement, denying people jumping queue, asking for proper instruments to use, getting consent from only one of the parents, not remembering social worker's name, wanting to refer,  wanting to not see 20 people a day, saying the word gingivitis and client get traumatized......the list goes on, it's almost funny thinking about it now.

 

21 hours ago, dentistrydmd said:

Can you elaborate on "punished severely" and what kinds of situations were involved?

 

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On 5/27/2021 at 5:48 AM, KentuckyFriedBlaziken said:

If they have no insurance you charge whatever you name, I regularly round off 25 to 50% for people w difficult circumstances (appreciative people only, it must be a team effort between you and the patient) it's just routine for the practice. As for doing something for no charge entirely that will depend on your principal, more than 50% discount you are asking the office to pay for their treatment.  Also office payment plans are an option given the patient has a history w the office and didn't just walk in. 

So basically most ODSP/healthy smiles and all OW procedures lol... so if you take those types of patients consider yourself charitable right there...

But yeah school programs usually have some outreach; reach out to them as they can always use a set of hands with various programs.

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