Q: I notice you are on staff at JFK medical center. I was very interested to learn how dentists are involved in hospitals.
A: When I was in college, busy studying and being rejected by girls on a weekly if not daily basis, I had a great roommate whose dad had a dental practice on Wall Street. Fred Kahn DDS, now about 80 and still sporting an awesome tan like George Hamilton. Fred was a dental mentor to me. He also lifeguarded as I did on Long Island’s South shore during summers in college.
Back in 1983, he told me: “I would never higher an associate doctor unless they did a two-year GPR (General Practice Residency program) at a major metropolitan medical center.”
I did my GPR at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, back in 1988. I make the same recommendation to my son who is year two of four at Tufts at Boston. A hospital based residency, although an option, is a must for my practice. I told him: “Dental school will teach you how to treat patients; the residency will teach you how not to kill them.”
We sutured lip lacerations from stab wounds and gunshots, removed countless shattered teeth, admitted and assisted fractured jaw cases and went through rotations in anesthesiology and medicine. Although we were on call every fourth night, my social life blossomed. (I think because I carried a beeper, which in those days’ girls thought you were a doctor or a plumber, the latter having the nicer apartment.)
Although in private practice, I still maintain hospital privileges at JFK medical center with the following duties:
- Coadmit, consult and evaluate total oral health needs and diagnose and provide general dental diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic oral health care.
- Precardiac surgery patients, oncology patients, and emergency patients with trauma and/or infection to the head and neck regions.
The hospital residency programs give dentists the training to evaluate important medical situations, before performing extractions, implants, and many other procedures that normally require the assistance of a patient’s physician. Examples: patients on blood thinners, or who have had cardiac stents, valve surgery, or take drugs for osteoporosis, just to mention a few.
Most of these programs are in city based hospitals that treat the indigent and the most severe and complicated cases you could imagine.
Many of these topics will be discussed during the Q&A portion of our FREE seminar on October 13th. Details below: (Note: Seating is limited!)
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry with an emphasis on implants, porcelain veneers, and complex crown and bridge treatment. He is on staff at JFK Medical Center and is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. He completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.