We’re learning all about taking a thorough health overview of our patients including review of systems and social/family history accounts. Something our professor said really stuck with me:
Many people see their dentists twice year. Unless they are sick, people don’t go to the doctor even though they should. Dentists use a comprehensive Review of Systems to evaluate the patient’s overall health. In addition to dealing with the chief complaint patient came in for, they can identify different conditions. And because dentists see patients regularly over the years, they can recognize any changes in health over time.
We’re learning all about renal diseases, the heart, different medications, ear and nose exams. We are constantly reminded that it’s important for us to recognize abnormalities, not to diagnose them!
And while it’s a lot of information to study and memorize (and I
whine think: why do we have to know everything?) I try to remember that we have a responsibility as healthcare providers to not just take care of someone’s mouth but the person as well.