It is well documented and often discussed that the professional climate we work in at the moment is an unhappy one, and there is a lot of uncertainty and disharmony with the regulators and governing bodies.
Indeed a recent news report that suggested doctors and dentists should ‘snoop’ on colleagues to ensure they are not prescribing too many antibiotics made me question the amount of negative press the healthcare professions receive.[i] We have all heard about the dangers and concerns around the over-prescription of antibiotics and the inevitable antibiotic resistance crisis, and certainly action is required to counteract the rise in the unnecessary prescription of these medicines.
However, this report appeared to be yet another negative piece designed to make doctors and dentists worry about every move they make. Rather than galvanising the profession into action, the effect that this will have will be to encourage the opposite. Doctors and dentists soon won’t feel able to do anything at all because they’ll all be too frightened to do something wrong.
It’s interesting to note that there is so much negative press in the news towards doctors and dentists, and yet at the same time, a recent report from the NHS, a Summary of the Dental Results from the GP Patient Survey: July to September 2014, showed that the majority of NHS dental patients rate their care as positive.[ii] Indeed we hear more about the failures and mistakes and horror stories form the profession than the good news stories – of which I am sure there are many. To a certain extent this is to be expected, it’s how the national media works, but who is there standing up for us? Shouting about the amazing things UK doctors and dentist do on a daily basis? Yes there can be issues in dentistry around pricing and communication, as highlighted by the Which? report, but anything positive seems to get swept under the carpet.
Of course the GDC’s job is to regulate us, not to promote the profession. So who is out there actively advocating the good things about dentistry? Who is supporting better oral health and the excellent, tireless, often thankless work doctors and dentists do?
The national media is all too quick to vilify and denigrate the healthcare professions, when what we really need is a series of good new stories. Perhaps we should all stop and consider something amazing a colleague has accomplished lately; or an instance where someone has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Share this story with your peers and friends and maybe we can all start to spread a little good news.
For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999
Or visit www.endocare.co.uk
Dr Michael Sultan BDS MSc DFO FICD is a Specialist in Endodontics and the Clinical Director of EndoCare. Michael qualified at Bristol University in 1986. He worked as a general dental practitioner for 5 years before commencing specialist studies at Guy’s hospital, London. He completed his MSc in Endodontics in 1993 and worked as an in-house Endodontist in various practices before setting up in Harley St, London in 2000. He was admitted onto the specialist register in Endodontics in 1999 and has lectured extensively to postgraduate dental groups as well as lecturing on Endodontic courses at Eastman CPD, University of London. He has been involved with numerous dental groups and has been chairman of the Alpha Omega dental fraternity. In 2008 he became clinical director of EndoCare, a group of specialist practices.
[i] Reported by the BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31490652 [accessed 27.2.15] and The Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/gps-advised-to-spy-on-colleagues-and-intervene-if-antibiotics-are-prescribed-unnecessarily-10052730.html [accessed 27.2.15]
[ii] Most NHS dental patients rate their care as positive