Saturday, October 4, 2014

dentists/dental students: clinic management help?

If I had been mildly panicking about my points dipping below average, I am now solidly below average. But that minor detail aside, I figured out why my clinic life feels so messy. It's the patient managing portion. The entire process isn't linear and it is different for each patient.

When a patient first checks in, we have a "data collection visit" where we gather up all the information about the patient: perio probings for gum health, existing radiographs, medical history, dental history, oral health hygiene, and so on. Depending on the patient's current dental state, we may need to do a prophylaxis cleaning... or an entire reconstruction including extraction and denture designing. So the process before starting any treatment ranges from a simple one hour visit to a drawn-out sequence of multiple visits (schedule weaved in between other patients who may also need extensive visits). 

Would you agree that recognizing the problem is the first step?

I am almost tempted to hire someone to be my clinic manager... applications accepted via email please. 

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I know in real life ("in real life" is a phrase we use very often as students!) the clinic manager takes care of these details. But in dental school, students have to call the patients, figure out the schedules, and convince them to receive the treatment they need ($$$ and insurance is a whole another story). Those of you who are dental students and successful graduates, do you have tips on how to manage your patients? 

I use a Google Calendar and a paper agenda right now. I'm trying to schedule regular appointments (Tuesday 10AM's are for so-and-so) so we can establish a routine for both myself and the patient.

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