Warren Schafer, DMD (Ret.)
Dr. Dany Tse`s article, "The Super-Solo Group Practice," in the September 1998 issue takes my mind to another business operating in the Portland/Vancouver area. A person owns a used-car business with many lots. The owner has no active role in the business, but many employees. The sales lots are open from early morning until late at night, and sometimes on Sunday. Extra salesmen are on duty Friday evenings. "Easy financing" is available. The employees are highly skilled in determining a potential buyer`s financial capacity (assets combined with borrowing capacity). There is no consideration of the buyer`s needs.
Professional ethics and financial success are not always synonymous. Eagerness for financial success often clouds professional ethics. Unfortunately, many people in the community judge all members of a profession by the conduct of a few. Dentistry, at one time, was considered a very noble profession. Doctors treated patients with kindness and compassion. Being the top money-maker in the profession only measures dollars and is no indicator for ethically caring for the health needs of any community.
After practicing for more than 50 years, my greatest delight now is performing volunteer dentistry for those without funds.