we asked in European-wide survey a question to dentists:
In what In what fields would like to have had additional knowledge and skills at the beginning of your professional activity as a medical dentist?
The span of the field on which dentist would like to have additional knowledge varies significantly. In Austria and in Poland the main interest is in the area of Techniques to deal with crisis situation, where in Greece is on working with patients with fear of medical interventions and in Romania, on how to develop a satisfying dentist-patient relationship.
Please find enclosed samples of answers given by doctors in individual interviews.
- The leadership and the economic handling of dental assistants is for me difficult, because since 2000 they only need a formal relatively short education and in general assistants already left school at the age about 16.They are in late adolescence, so many of these young ladies try their “female tricks” on me and – as I heard from colleagues – sometimes also on some patients, which creates unnecessary difficult situations.
- The income tax situation also is an issue, as Austria has gone through a period of change regulations. While 2000 up to 30 % of special dentistry could be made outside of tax (black), now with the “Registrierkassenpflicht” (the regulated cashier ordinance) all has changed legally, but not necessarily in our minds. This also made it impossible to fund the assistants privately.
- Qualified “sales” is an issue, though if the clients have trust in my professional abilities and the team works well sales is not the big issue.
Our medical education in the 3 Austrian clinics is generally good, though the handling of difficult patients was generally not the focus in my training. Apart from practical examples that happen along the way in the clinic, when experienced senior clinicians dentists show you how to do it. However, the basic customer group in those clinics does typically not include the more affluent middle and higher middle class patients with more psychological than medical problems …
In addition the sensitivity of patients has grown since around 2000 plus their growing claims in specialized psychological treatment of their problems. So from my point of view there is a real gap between professional competence and some clients’ needs.
Without going into medical areas, two things would be important after 9 years of working & having my own business:
- Customer relation wise, I would like some training on sales, and in ways to build relationships, trust and respect. I know it is a long process but to me, it would have been an advantage to have been training on something like this
- Patient wise, there are some cases that patients and not only afraid of sitting in the chair but entering the dental office. It would be nice if we could have some “psycho” tools to help these people.
To my opinion it would be vital for every dentist to have some knowledge of psychology in relation to patients in order to be able to build relations of trust with his/her patients and to attend to seminars for developing soft skills in communication & dealing patients with fea
I believe that at the very beginning I would had appreciate very much the knowledge and practise in creating and shaping satisfactory relation dentist-patient. It would be also good if I could had known how to communicate, work with patient who is afraid of dentist intervention or just reacting with fear.
It is more than 8 years when I graduated but I think that the most important at the beginning of my work, despite of medical issues, would be to know how to deal with difficult situations at work, specially working with various patients.
In my point of view: the developing of a good relation between doctor and patient, the developing of effective communication competencies, as well as dealing with crisis situations techniques.
I would like to study more how to approach the patients with phobia of interventions, elements of psychology for dentists, how to develop a good relation between doctor and patient and how to deal with crisis situations
Source: COMDENT © International comparative analysis of dentist needs in terms of interpersonal communication with patient