Donald M. Smith, DDS
Oklahoma City, Okla.
The April issue of Dental Economics had an article ("The Jameson Files") in which an Oklahoma dentist (Dr. John Jameson) did a question-and-answer interview with two dentists regarding profit centers in the dental office.
I find the term "profit center" offensive. I also find the concept to be unprofessional.
A nearby carwash has profit centers focusing on gasoline, detailing, and carwashing, along with the waiting room profit center which sells food, drinks, maps, and knick-knacks. I accept this approach from a carwash, but not from a dental office.
If I enter the reception area of a medical office, I don`t expect to encounter the retail sale of food and drink, blood-pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, blood-sugar monitors, or urine strips. I would further be put off if an office assistant asked me to follow him or her into the office`s laboratory profit center, and from there into the X-ray profit center.
Let`s carry this a step further. If I go to a cancer-treatment center and I am introduced to its chemotherapy profit center, its radiation profit center, and its surgery profit center, then I will perceive a conflict of interest toward my personal well-being. Likewise, I say that retail sales in the dental office affects the credibility of the professional.